Breastfeeding Past Three Years Old: 15 Reasons Why Moms Are Doing It (And 5 Reasons They Shouldn't)

Pregnancy is one of the most exciting and wonderful experiences a woman can have in her life. After all, bringing a new human being into the world is a pretty incredible thing to do, and it is not easy. However, this time in a woman’s life can also be very stressful. Pregnancy can often come with a lot of worries since mom is not only responsible for her own health and wellbeing, but also the health and wellbeing of her unborn baby girl or boy as well.

Furthermore, there are also a lot of important decisions an expecting mother must make during her pregnancy. For example, she must decide where and how she wants to give birth, as well as what kind of healthcare provider she wants to have (assuming that her pregnancy is healthy and that she has the option of choosing between a doctor, midwife, or both.)

Additionally, there are some other pretty big decisions moms must make before their baby arrives. They have to decide whether they are going to nurse their baby or feed them with a bottle and formula. Since nursing provides many benefits to both moms and babies, there are some people out there who are choosing to nurse their children even when they are toddlers. Here are some reasons why moms are doing this, and a few reasons why they should not.

20 It Reduces The Risk Of Cancer For Mom

Nursing a child is an incredibly great thing to do, and that is because it can provide benefits for the mother, as well as the child. Typically, the minimum amount of time moms should spend nursing their children is two years, but some are choosing to do it even longer than that because moms who do it have less of a chance of developing certain types of cancer later on in life.

There are various types of cancer that moms are at a lower risk for if they nurse their child for over two years. Some of them are ovarian, uterine, and endometrial cancer.

19 The Toddler Is Less Likely To Get Sick

It is no secret that a mother’s milk is very beneficial to her baby. That is why so many moms are choosing to nurse their baby girls and baby boys, especially since we are all becoming increasingly aware of what is good and bad for the health of ourselves and our children.

Though not many moms are continuing to nurse their babies once they become toddlers, there are some who want to nurse their children a bit longer. One of the reasons some mothers choose to do this is because it makes the child's immune system stronger, which means they are less likely to have colds.

18 It Gives Nutrition To The Baby

No matter what way moms choose to feed their babies, the children are still getting nutrition. However, mom’s milk has a great deal of nutritional value that is very good for her child.

However, something many moms do not realize is that the nutritional value does not stop or lessen just because the child gets older. In fact, it can still be greatly nutritious for them whether they are toddlers or younger children.

Basically, we all should eat vegetables all the time. Just because we eat a certain vegetable a lot does not mean that it becomes any less good for us.

17 Moms Find It Calming For Them

Being a mother is such a wonderful and important thing. However, it is also very demanding, and that is why many mothers find it exhausting. This is true for nearly all mothers. However, it is even more true for women who are taking care of more than one child at a time.

Therefore, moms really look forward to any chance they have to sit or lay down and relax. Plus, they also look forward to any moments during which they can bond with their children. Extended nursing does not only benefit babies, but it benefits moms as well because it gives them more chances to relax and bond with their little one.

16 The Baby Is Soothed

The amount of benefits a mother and child get when it comes to nursing is a pretty long list, which is why some mothers are not exactly ready to stop doing it after a couple of years. One of the numerous benefits of nursing for a longer period of time is that it can be very calming for the baby.

Babies are often fussy, and that is because everything is new and exciting to them, and sometimes they just don’t know how to handle all of that excitement. However, toddlers can also be this way as well, and nursing is something their mothers can do to help them calm down.

15 Brain Development Is Boosted

Nursing a child is extremely good for both the baby and the mother. While mothers who choose to nurse longer than the first few years of their children's lives may receive some unwanted comments from others, there are a lot of moms that are choosing to do it, and it can be very beneficial.

One of the biggest and most important ways nursing can benefit a toddler is by boosting their brain development. An interesting fact about this is that children who had been nursed when they were toddlers actually seem to have higher academic scores than those who had not.

14 It Can Lead To A Smaller Waist For Mom

When a woman is pregnant, whether it is her first pregnancy or not, she will likely notice that parts of her body are changing. For example, our stomachs expand a lot due to the fact that the unborn baby is growing.

However, there are other parts of our bodies that also see significant changes when we are expecting as well. For example, many moms have noticed that they have slightly wider hips, as well as a wider waist after they have given birth. However, moms who nurse their toddlers may have a smaller hip and waist circumference after they have nursed for a while.

13 It Is Convenient

There are a lot of mothers out there who choose to nurse their baby, and they do not feed them any other way. Furthermore, there are also a lot of them who choose to feed their baby with formula, and they don’t nurse.

But on the other hand, there are moms who choose to do both. No matter what method a mom chooses, there are some who say that nursing a child can be more convenient than dealing with bottles. Many frantic mothers who have excited, and sometimes fussy, toddlers believe that it is easier and faster to just nurse them rather than to prepare a bottle or solid foods.

12 Sometimes Mom Just Wants To

There are a lot of important things that absolutely must be taken into consideration when a mother is deciding how she wants to feed her children. The benefits to nursing a child are pretty much endless, which is why many moms these days are choosing to do that rather than to feed their children with formula.

However, moms who want to nurse their toddlers need to have thick skin, and that is because they are likely to hear a lot of negative thoughts from their peers. However, how a mother chooses to feed her toddlers are not anyone else’s business, though it can be hard to remember that. But anyway, moms need to choose what works for them and their babies, and they need to know that what others say does not necessarily matter.

11 It Can Help The Child Avoid Some Diseases

New parents have a lot of things to worry about when it comes to the health of the children. However, one of the many benefits of continuing to nurse a child even after they are a few years old is that their risk of developing certain illnesses is significantly lower than it would be otherwise.

Children can get sick rather frequently. For example, sometimes kids develop ear infections, as well as upper respiratory infections. However, some moms choose to continue nursing their toddlers because the longer a child is nursed, the less likely they are to get infections like those.

10 Nursing Toddlers Are More Independent

When it comes to nursing, everyone seems to know that doing it is greatly beneficial for both the mom and her little girl or boy. However, many people also seem to forget that there are still benefits that can be gained from it when the child is a toddler.

Furthermore, a misconception that some men and women have about it is that it will make the child more dependent upon his or her mother and that he or she will have attachment issues. However, that is not the truth. Nursing is something that promotes a secure bond between a mom and her child, which later encourages the child to be more confident in doing things on their own.

9 The Baby Can Stop When They Want

One of the benefits that come along with nursing a child past their first few years of life is the fact that they can wean themselves when they want to. However, sometimes moms would like to help their child transition to solid foods, and there are things they can do that will make the process easier for both the child and the mother.

One thing that is very important here, as it is in all relationships, is communication. Little ones like to have a set routine, and changes may not be welcomed by them very easily. However, moms can try to find ways to explain to their child that a change is about to be made, and it is something everyone goes through.

8 Nursing Toddlers Stay Hydrated And Full

There are a lot of times when toddlers simply do not want to do something, which also means that there are times when little boys and girls are not interested in eating, despite what their bodies need. However, there are some ways moms can be sure that their children are actually getting the nutrients they need.

One of the ways a mom can be certain that her toddler is receiving the nutrition that is needed for them to be healthy is through nursing. For example, sometimes when children are sick, they do not want to drink or eat anything. However, nursing is a way to ensure they are getting what they need.

7 It Makes Mom And Baby Feel Good

Moms who choose to nurse their children for very long periods of time are usually judged quite a bit, especially by other moms. However, there are actually a lot of great benefits to doing it, and that is why some moms do not want to stop nursing their children once they are around two or three years old.

Some of the benefits are simply physical, but there are others as well. This is a special time that a mom gets to have with her child. It seems that both children and their mothers actually enjoy these moments, and that is partially because they get to spend time with one another.

6 Moms’ Chances Of Getting Rheumatoid Arthritis Are Lowered

There are a lot of terrible autoimmune diseases out there, and many of them sound pretty frightening. So most people usually do everything they can do in order to keep themselves from developing anything like that, and that seems to be one of the many reasons why moms are extending the number of years they choose to nurse their babies.

Mothers who nurse their kids are less likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis, which is basically a disease that causes severe pain in our joints. In fact, those who nurse their babies for about one year are 25% less likely to develop the disease than moms who did not.

5 Moms Who Do This Have Less Freedom

There are a great number of benefits to nursing toddlers. However, before expecting mothers decide to take that route, there are also some negative parts to it that must be taken into consideration.

One of them is freedom. Usually, mothers have a bit more freedom to do other things while their child eats, but that is not quite the case when they are still nursing. This may not sound like a big deal to some people. However, it can be hard to do things around the house, cook, run errands, or go to work when moms choose to nurse their toddlers, as the children are still depending on them for food.

4 It Can Get Painful

Human beings have a lot of very strong parts to their bodies. There are a lot of times when this is a very big benefit, but there are also some moments when this can be a disadvantage as well.

In fact, one of the moments when having a very strong child can hurt is when they are nursing. It can hurt a lot when a young baby nurses, but nursing a toddler can be much more painful. Furthermore, something that can also cause pain when a toddler nurses is their teeth. Additionally, sometimes toddlers like to bite things. However, there are some creams moms can use that are helpful in this scenario.

3 Mom Can Have Issues Getting Pregnant Again

Many men and women out there often dream about having large families. So, that means that moms who want to have multiple children should really spend a good amount of time thinking about how long they want to nurse their babies, as it can have an impact on the possibility of having more babies in the future.

There have been a lot of cases in which nursing moms became pregnant again while nursing. However, that is not always the case. When children begin to eat more solid foods, thus making their moms produce less milk, the mother’s fertility will go up.

2 Nursing Toddlers Are Less Likely To Soothe Themselves

The reasons to nurse a child are pretty great, and that is why some mothers choose to continue doing it even longer than some of their peers. However, that does not mean that there are no negative parts of nursing a toddler.

In fact, one of the drawbacks to doing this is that it might actually make the child less likely to soothe themselves when they are excited or upset. That is because nursing can be very soothing for children, which means that toddlers who nurse will very likely rely on their mothers, as well as nursing from them, in order to feel soothed.

1 It Makes The Transition To Solids More Difficult

There are a lot of scary thoughts for new parents, and some of them are centered around feeding their new babies. Though some parents choose to feed their child formula while others nurse them, everyone has to help their baby transition from consuming milk to eating solid foods.

This is something that might actually be more difficult for moms who chose to nurse their toddlers for a long time. That is because children become used to nursing, therefore they can be rather unhappy about changing that. Also, parents should know ahead of time that weaning their child can take quite a while, and it is usually pretty hard to do.

References: familyeducation.com, parents.com, babydestination.com, romper.com

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