Nursing the Older Baby and Toddler

Breastfeeding an older baby or toddler is not only easy and enjoyable but also beneficial to both mother and child.

A child’s immune system is not fully developed until six years old. Older babies, especially those in day care, are often more exposed to pathogens. As long as the child is breastfed, his mother’s milk protects him from infection and aids in the development of his own immune system. Continuing to breastfeed also protects your child from developing allergies and asthma.

Help your child to learn

Mother’s milk continues to contain special growth factors that help the brain, gut and other organs to mature. Extensive research into breastfeeding and cognitive development, found a positive relationship between a child’s intelligence and how long he breastfed.

Besides that, mother’s milk is a good filling food. Israeli researchers recently discovered that the longer a mother breastfeeds, the higher the fat and energy content is in her milk.

The health benefits for the mother also continue as long as baby is breastfeeding and often beyond. Research has found that the longer a woman has lactated, the lower her risk of breast cancer.

Much more than nutrition

Breastfeeding is much more than nutrition. Breastfeeding can make your job of mothering and your baby’s job of growing up easier. Nursing is the perfect first aid for bruises, bumps, frustrations and sore self confidence that your baby will experience as he tries new things. Breastfeeding is especially reassuring for babies experiencing separation anxiety, which typically begins at six months and peaks between 12 and 18. Breastfeeding reunites mother and baby after they have been apart. Rather than making children clingy, a positive correlation has been found between breastfeeding duration and social adjustment.

Enjoy this special time

This special time in life does not last forever. At some point you or your baby will decide to end it. Meanwhile, you can feel good knowing that however long you choose to nurse your baby, you are giving him a special gift that only you can give.
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