I came across Bethany's insightfull post on facebook when a friend shared the link to it. I could'nt agree more with what she has shared, so I asked her permission to copy it over for you all to read. Due to an annoymoss person who left a negative comment on this i would like to point out a few things... This is in no way,shape or form offering any kind of medical advice. This post is purely one persons positive opinion (of which i agree) on breastfeeding a toddler, showing only the pro's not the con's. Sticking two fingers up at the people who frown upon it. I ask you kindly not to continue reading if you don't accept this!
"Why would anyone want to breastfeed a toddler? That's disgusting!"
And yes..that was a comment I got from someone. Unfortunately, many people share that opinion. In the United States, only 11% of babies are breastfed to 12 months. After that, the number drops even more. BUT, there are children who are breastfed. Scientists and anthropologists anticipate that the natural weaning age of humans is 2.5-7 years of age. In most cultures, children continue to enjoy the nursing relationship well past infancy.
So why on earth would someone want to breastfeed a toddler? I'll tell you......
10 Reasons Why You Should breastfeed Your Toddler
1) Convenience. Okay, call it laziness. It's easier to keep breastfeeding than to wean. Plus, nothing can put a toddler to sleep faster than a few minute on the breast. Temper tantrum? Breastfeed! And, toddlers will naturally get some lumps, bumps and scrapes. Instead of struggling to quiet the tears, just pop your toddler on the breast for a few seconds and BAM, problem solved.
2) Less of a need for a lovey. Loveys are wonderful, but they can be lost. Imagine being on a long drive and realizing you left the favorite comfort toy at home, hours away. The very thought can put the fear of God into the hearts of parents everywhere. BUT, considering it's virtually impossible to misplace a breast..... Anyway, having your child attached to you instead of an inanimate object is a HUGE perk.
3) Nutrition. No matter how old your child is, your breast milk will still be perfectly tailored to your child. Plus, toddlers are renowned for being picky. One day, they can't shovel the food in their mouths fast enough. The next day you are practically begging them to eat each bite. No problem. When they are breastfeeding, you can rest easy that they are still getting all the nutrients they need to be healthy (a real bonus when they go a whole week eating nothing but goldfish crackers and chicken nuggets).
4) Immune protection. During the second year of life, the number of antibodies in your milk goes UP. This is understandable, considering they are more mobile as toddlers; getting into everything. So, while your toddler is playing with a snotty-nosed kid, or busy cramming handfuls of sand in his mouth, or sucking on the germy shopping cart handle, you can rest easy knowing that your child will probably not get sick. BUT, if he does, he won't be as sick or sick as long as he would if he had been weaned.
5) Higher IQ. Studies are showing more and more that the longer your breastfeed, the smarter your child is. By breastfeeding into toddlerhood, you can raise your child's IQ by as much as 10 points. This is especially important for children with special needs who are "on the fence", so to speak. For these children, it can mean the difference between functioning and not functioning.
6) Better speech development. The act of breastfeeding is designed to work the muscles of the mouth and jaw that are needed for speech. It is believed that children who are breastfed have better articulation than those that aren't.
7) Preventing dehydration during illness. You know how kids are when they're sick. Forget feeding them...and even getting them to drink is a struggle. BUT, you can always get a toddler to nurse. This can mean the difference between taking them to the hospital for an IV and keeping them home and comfortable.
8) Greater independence. Our society pushes children to be independent WAY before they are ready. Breastfeeding meets your child's dependency needs. Studies prove that children who are breastfed are more independent, confident, secure and, more importantly, more securely attached to their parents. Letting your child breastfeed until he/she is ready to stop helps to foster independence.
9) Breastfeeding burns 500 calories/day without exercising or dieting. Since humans are designed to breastfeed several years, your body stores up several years worth of fat during pregnancy. Breastfeeding is the easiest way to lose the weight.
10) Breastfeeding lowers the mother's chances of getting breast cancer by, on average, 25%. The longer you breastfeed, the lower your chances are of getting breast cancer. Added bonus, breastfeeding a daughter reduces HER chances of getting breast cancer later in life as well.
It's not weird, wrong, perverted, or insane. Breastfeeding into toddlerhood is natural, healthy and extremely handy. Hopefully you will consider nursing a baby into toddlerhood, or at least giving a friend or relative encouragement when they choose to.
Me feeding Lydia on a train (12.5mths old)