Thursday, October 25, 2012
How Long Is Too Long ?
My precious Emelia is almost 20 months old. She is growing up so fast!! She sleeps in a toddler bed, no longer sits in a high chair, can feed herself quite well with a spoon or fork, and speaks full sentences. Listening to her talk is so funny because you just do not expect someone that little to speak so well. She is also able to ask and answer questions. The other day we were outside and she started walking towards the shop. I said, "Emmie where are you going?" Emmie, "To get daddy." Me, "Where is daddy?" Emmie, "At the van." She is an amazing little thing. But yes even though she has the ability to feed herself and eat just about anything, I am still nursing her.
Just like anything else, people have very strong opinions on breastfeeding. I know I do. But, since they are my children I guess that is a good thing. It still amazes me that even those who may agree that breastfeeding an infant is best, think that once they are over a year old it is ridiculous to continue. There are even those who argue that nursing an older child could actually harm the child (which is absolutely crazy!)
The health benefits from breast feeding still exist for an older baby. Even though the baby can eat many table foods, breastfeeding still is the perfect food for them and provides them with a lot of nutrients. Breastfeeding provides a protective effect against respiratory illness, ear infections, allergies, asthma, and gastrointestinal disease just to name a few. In addition to the nutritional benefits of breastfeeding, breastfeeding provides a very special bond between the mom and the baby. Breastfeeding provides a sense of closeness and also comfort when the baby is hurt or sick.
So how long is too long? As long as both mommy and baby still want to continue breastfeeding it is not too long. When either mommy or baby decide they want to stop then it is time to stop. The decision to stop breastfeeding should not be because of age or other's opinions that it is time to stop. You should nurse your child as long as you and baby want to continue nursing.
How long will we keep nursing? As long as Emelia wants to continue we will continue. She still nurses several times during the day and at night. When she wakes at night she gets down out f her bed and puts the pillow I nurse her on up against the side of the bed to wait for me to come in, I nurse her, and she goes back to sleep. I cherish even those middle of the night breastfeeding moments and am going to for as long as they last.
Read why breastfeeding is the right choice for you and your baby here.