Regardless of whether you breastfeed for one month or four years, your breastfeeding journey will eventually come to an end. Once your little one becomes a toddler, breastfeeding almost enters into ‘taboo’ territory and you may start to doubt your decision to continue to feed.
But you really shouldn’t.
7 myths totally busted
Although breastfeeding a toddler isn’t for everybody, if you do choose to breastfeed for more than a year, then you can rest assure knowing that these claims and comments about extended breastfeeding are completely false.
1. There is no nutritional value after two years.
Your breast milk doesn’t suddenly turn into unnutritional goo the moment your child enters toddlerhood. That’s not how it works. Breast milk is breast milk, regardless of whether you’re feeding a newborn or a toddler.
2. If he can ask for it, then he doesn’t need it.
Even newborns ask for breast milk (perhaps not with words, but they have a natural instinct to root for the breast). While the method of communication may be a bit different now, it doesn’t mean your older child’s needs are any less important.
Having a toddler ask for milk with his words is a lot more relaxing than having a newborn scream his lungs out when he wants it.
3. Your child will remember it.
My four-year-old doesn’t even remember what she had for breakfast yesterday. But, if, your toddler’s memory is incredibly good and he does remember being breastfed, then it would be a memory of comfort and closeness. This is what toddlers (and young children) associate breasts with (not anything else).
4. Once he has teeth, it’s time to stop.
Just because a baby has the ability to chew doesn’t mean his ability to suck and swallow ceases. Adults can drink out of a straw or suck on a water bottle without chewing on it, right? Guess what – babies and toddlers can too!
And, if he does happen to bite you, a firm but gentle, “no biting” is all he needs to understand that this is not allowed.
6. Extended breastfeeding is more for the mother than the toddler.
Yes. Breastfeeding has plenty of benefits for mum. Your breasts stay firmer. Breastfeeding burns calories. And, when compared to using bottles and cups, breastfeeding involves a lot less washing up to do.
But it’s also highly beneficial to a toddler and the connection he has to his mother. Breastfeeding promotes closeness, comfort and even changes the child’s brain chemistry to help keep him calm.
7. You’re preventing him from growing up.
Kids are going to grow up whether you breastfeed them for 3 months or 33 months. Sorry, but breastfeeding doesn’t stop time.
And, take it from a mother who just dropped her now-seven-year-old son off at school, this time goes sooooo quickly. If you can keep them little for just that little bit longer, if you can cherish the connection that comes with extended breastfeeding, then, honestly, do it.
Did you know the Healthy Mummy smoothies are breastfeeding friendly?
To celebrate National Breastfeeding Week, we’re taking 40 per cent off ALL breastfeeding friendly products- check them out here!
The Healthy Mummy smoothie has been created to help mums benefit from a wide range of nutrients which can also help support your healthy eating plan and exercise routine if you are trying to lose weight.
The smoothie range has been formulated by leading nutritionists, dieticians and with input from Monash University.
It offers an excellent source of essential vitamins, minerals, nutrients and important antioxidants.
It’s also free from any weight loss accelerants, caffeine, contains no wheat ingredients, no fructose, is 96 per cent sugar free and is dairy free.
You can download our information fact sheet here. You can also download the smoothie label and ingredient list here.