Breastfeeding Past A Year Old (What To Know)

My little one is 17 months old and we are still going strong with breastfeeding. It’s safe to say every mom has a goal of when to stop nursing. For some it’s for a few months, 6 months or once baby turns a year. There are many reasons for a mom to stop breastfeeding. Whether it be going back to work, pregnant or maybe just wants her breasts to herself LOL Breastfeeding past a year old was not my goal. I said once he turns one I am done. Well guess what? It was not up to me. My son is still nowhere close to ending breastfeeding and I am 100% ok with this!

Should I Continue to Breastfeed After A Year?

I admit, as my son was getting closer to 12 months, I was nervous about ending our bonding time through breastfeeding. I thought it would just happen naturally at that point. Soon, I realized he was not ready and neither was I. At that time I decided I would continue to breastfeed until he turns 2 years old. Another goal of mine. Well, he is 17 months and have decided I would continue to breastfeed until we are both ready. Many may think it’s just about the child but it’s also about the mother. Emotionally it’s hard to let go of a special relationship with mom and child. Breastfeeding is comforting for both, among other things.

It is up to you for how long you and child would like to continue to breastfeed. Of course, you can set boundaries as baby gets older. Such as, feeding only allowed at home instead of outdoors. Feedings only allowed before naptime and bedtime or just feeding morning and night. Right now I don’t have any set boundaries with my son. He does prefer to nurse instead of eat food and so that is my priority, for him to eat before nurse. Other than that, I am okay with nursing when we are out.

breastfeeding
Breastfeeding

Why Continue to Breastfeed After a Year?

Continuing to breastfeed past a year still has many benefits from mom and child. For one, mom while have lower chances of getting ovarian cancer and two have a smaller waistline years down the line. You can read more HERE.

What To Know

  1. Once baby starts teething, he may bite. If so, remove the bite with your pinky finger. NEVER pull. After a few times baby will understand this and will stop. It is painful but he will learn to stop because it hurts mom and he won’t be able to nurse!
  2. Know that baby can’t suck while biting your nipple. Therefore, it is safe to continue to nurse when baby has teeth.
  3. Your baby may be thirsty and may nurse for a few minutes and be all done. Yes, it’s normal.
  4. If he falls and gets hurt, he may want to nurse for a few minutes. This to me is the best because my son will nurse for about 5 minutes and is up and running again. It’s so comforting. because I am his safe place.
  5. Avoid fish with high mercury while nursing, such as, swordfish.
  6. Watch what you eat. By doing so you will know if baby is allergic to certain foods, such as dairy or fish; baby may become fussy or gassy.
  7. When I first started to breastfeed, I admit I was always thirsty. Overtime, the thirst isn’t as bad. But always have water while nursing in the beginning.
  8. As baby gets older he will learn to nurse standing up and even doing all kinds of flips. This becomes a little uncomfortable when out in public and he wants to peek through the nursing cover, exposing you!
  9. Vitamin D drops are recommended for a nursing baby as breastmilk doesn’t have any.
  10. Babies who are breastfed longer have lower blood pressure and cholesterol when they become adults!

Overall, there a ton of benefits of extended nursing, including a brain burst for your child. Breastfeeding is not for everyone, so don’t ever feel judged for your choice! I did not nurse my older two for my own reasons but I am so glad I am able to nurse my youngest and have experience with both. See my posts below on my experience on that.

Other Posts You May Find Useful

Happy Nursing!

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7 thoughts on “Breastfeeding Past A Year Old (What To Know)

  1. Good points! I breastfed my oldest for 12 months, my middle child for 6 months, and 18 months for my youngest. I enjoyed the bonding and new when he stopped I wouldn’t be breastfeeding again – so that definitely led into my choice to go a little longer with him. I made the mistake of reacting when he bit me. I didn’t mean to, it just hurt. Once he realized he could get a reaction from me when I wasn’t really paying attention he continued to bite, so that is why we stopped. But I would have gone longer if I could have!

  2. I wasn’t able to breast feed. My milk never came in so I’m a little jelly–even 19 years later. lol. I think the comfort level and the bonding is so important along with the health benefits. Weaning and self soothing do happen eventually.

  3. Take your time with it, you’ll never get to bond with your little one like this again! I’m glad you didn’t stop just because it’s what most expect you to do. All your points are very valid!

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