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your breast feeding toddler

First feed at homeFirst feed at home

Breastfeeding toddlers, of course you can keep going...

Deciding to keep on breastfeeding is between you and your toddler; if it works for you both, then keep it up!

A baby becomes a "toddler" when they are in the age bracket of 13 months and 3 years.

You've therefore got 13 months experience at breastfeeding your baby - you'll find that a breastfeeding toddler is easy; in fact in my experience at times even easier!

How so? Well we're going to take a look at the following areas:

Having breastfed for so long, you'll find that your used to the child's changing routines, and be amazed at how easy breastfeeding can fit any routine. You'll be pleased to know that this can and will continue...

You'll likely find too, that you can use breast-milk as an indication to your toddler's health. I know my son, will only want to take for me, when he's feeling under the weather.

Anyway I don't need to talk to you about the positives of breastfeeding, you already know this, but you could share your secrets of toddler success here.


BREASTFEEDING TODDLER: NEW POSITIONS

I remember asking my Health Visitor questions on the different positions in which to feed my son.

The problems I encountered, was my baby belly had reduced, and my far my longest child making it awkward to hold him "traditionally".

I remember her assuring me, that the older he got, the easier it will become.

She was right, even though I wasn't convinced at the time.

I had learnt of the Rugby ball position in hospital had had traditionally used this method.  But as he got longer, he used to push with his feet (while feeding) against the back of the chair...

Are you wincing yet?  I sure was!!

So from the rugby ball position, Aidan and I ventured into finding more suitable positions that suited both of our needs. Here are a couple of our favorites...

laying down

Granted, not the newest position in toddler-hood; but we found this  ideal for breastfeeding a toddler at night.

These days, I find that a night feed is only usually needed if he has been unwell.

However laying on the bed, he will 'wiggle' to be comfortable.  Once settled he would always latch without any problems.

He is my little "toad" as I call him, as he's quite well versed in pushing me over, climbing to the other side to get the best of both worlds.

Probably a little unorthodox, but it works for us !

Remember your milk smells stronger to the child at night, and if you ever need to bolster your milk production try to get your little one to feed once or twice at night.

It's amazing what your body can do.

time for a cuddle

I find this remarkably comfortable, although my son is now getting a little big for this to be operational.

He sits on my lap as if for a cuddle, I find that I have to 'lift' my breast a little to allow him to latch comfortably. However he can have a good full feed from here.

I've also found, where necessary, this can be discreet if required to feed whilst out and about.

When he is sat on my lap however, he is centered on the leg that he intends to feed from.

Therefore, when it comes to changing breasts, he is required to do a little shuffle to the other leg, but does so with ease.

That said, I still cannot get over the convenience of breastfeeding, and whilst some say it's time to stop (at the time of writing, Aidan is 2), for us, it's still working...


BREASTFEEDING TODDLER: THINKING OF CEASING?

Then there were three...

My youngest two

Since writing this page, our family expanded by one.  Young Victoria came to join us when Aidan was about 2 and half years old. 

Aidan and I shared a wonderful breastfeeding journey, one which I haven't been able to share with either of my daughters.  Our journey came to a natural end, not long after I found out I was expecting Victoria.  

Aidan told me "the milk taste funny" and that was that.  Maybe mother nature looks after this relationship, or maybe the time had just come.  


Breastfeeding toddler - when is the time to stop?

There is no right or wrong answer for when this should be.

It is up to you (Mom), and your toddler.  When it doesn't work for you both, then the time has come.

When it is right for you to stop you will either instinctively 'know' or you'll have a plan to cease breastfeeding; perhaps because you have to return to work.

For me the only other person I factor into my decision is my Husband.

He has whole heartedly supported myself and our children through our breastfeeding journey.

As with all things to do with children, life changes, and they do grow up. For us the time is looming for me to cease breastfeeding.  I'm a little sad, I suppose, as it's the end of an era - but I strongly feel I have given my son the best I can.

We are therefore taking it slow.

I have considered the 'cold turkey' method, or putting lemon or something similar on myself before feeding; but this just doesn't seem right for me.

Here are the things I am considering for Aidan as we embark on this next stage...


BREASTFEEDING TODDLER: INTRODUCING COW'S MILK

Lets look at the importance of milk.

Irrespective of whether you are breast or bottle feeding, your child needs a milk intake during the day.

The amount and frequency, will depend on their age, routine, and form of the intake.

FEEDING A YOUNG CHILD MILK:

With the toddler guidelines of being 13 months to 3 years, it's important to reference that toddlers should have about 3 servings of milk per day.

The form that these servings can take can vary to dairy products such as:

  • milk-based dishes, 
  • cheese, 
  • yoghurt
  • fromage frais.

As breastfeeding, you can continue as you have been doing, though do make sure that the 3 servings of milk are provided, as well.

However for those parents feeding their toddler on formula milk, you can by the age of 1 replace formula or follow-on milk with cows milk.

The table below will show you the age and type of milk, that can be introduced to your child.

age

6 months

1 Year

2 Year

5 Year

breastfed

Exclusive

Continue

Continue

Ceased

forumula

Exclusive

Introduce Whole Cow's Milk

Introduce Semi-Skimmed Milk

Introduce Skimmed Milk

It's important to understand that the full fat cows milk is important because it contains the extra fat and vitamins that an under 2 year old requires.

You can introduce the other varieties of milk at the right ages, if your child is a good eater and growing well.

If you believe your child should be kept on whole milk, then you should do so.

However don't jump straight to skimmed milk, as this is not recommended to children under 5 as there is insufficient fat in the milk for our young ones.


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