When you think of breastfeeding, what do you envision? Perhaps a newborn infant nursing with her mum still in the hospital, or a chubby rosy cheeked six month old cherub breastfeeding happily with his mum in the park.
What most people do not envision isbreastfeeding a toddler.
Breastfeeding Numbers Down By Fourth Month
According to the 2010 Australian National Infant Feeding Survey, 96% of new mums initiate breastfeeding, but only 39% of these babies were still being exclusively breastfed at four months. That number drops to 15% when babies are six months.
The statistics from 2006-2007 Longitudinal Study of Australian Children offers slightly different statistics, with 28% of children at twelve months of age still being breastfed. But by 18 months, the numbers were at 9%, and at two years old, down to 5%.
Breastfeeding A Toddler: Why It’s Awesome
No parent should feel judged forhow long or how short a time they breastfeed. Here are some of the reasons why breastfeeding a toddler is awesome:
- The continued bond. Breastfeeding allows you to meet your baby’s emotional and physical needs in a healthy and normal way.
- The nutrition. Though a toddler is likely exploring several different foods by now, breastfeeding is somewhat comparative to taking a multivitamin.
- The illness protection. Your breastmilk is still providing your toddler with bolstered immunity.
- The savings. You will be amazed how much you save by not buying formula.
How To Nurse A Toddler In Public
Nursing a toddler, particularly in public, can be more difficult for mums when they feel that there is a stigma attached to it, or may simply be uncomfortable nursing in public. To help allay any embarrassment you may feel, teach your toddler a “key phrase” or a special “code word” to ask to breastfeed. This may be verbal or it may be physical (i.e. your child patting his or her chest).
Many toddlers will also start to pinch and poke different areas of your body while you feed. As soon as these behaviours begin, redirect their hands. If necessary, have a special toy on hand for them to play with while you feed.
Lastly, be comfortable. This means not only being able to discreetly feed your toddler, but feeling like your fabulous self while doing so. AtPeachymama, we have a brand new selection of fashions for theautumn/winter season, including our popularFlame jumper andButterflies breastfeeding tunic.
See the latest range athttps://www.peachymama.com.au/collections/new-arrivals