The picture of breastfeeding we see most often is of a mother cradling her baby, but continuing to breastfeed past the first birthday has huge benefits, too . And while it can sometimes be a little more challenging to breastfeed an 18-month-old versus a newborn (the wiggling, the distraction, the biting!)
We promise that your perseverance will pay off – big time.
It’s not just the added closeness that nursing brings (though as children become more active, that few minutes of cuddling is sometimes the only time they stay still) it’s the fact that the longer you breastfeed your baby, the more likely they are to be healthy and happy.
Study after study has shown the benefits from extended breastfeeding.
Toddlers (kids between 1-3 years old) who are breastfed get sick less often and are sick for a shorter period of time when they do become ill.
Breastfeeding beyond the first birthday can also support kids in their development.
Letting them be connected and dependent on you while nursing may actually make them more confident, outgoing and independent little people. Even more incredibly, this benefit may continue all the way through those tricky teen years. Who knew that nursing now could mean more pleasant teens later?