Breastfeeding A Toddler - 10 Tips, Tricks & Experiences | Mimi, Mommy and Me: Breastfeeding A Toddler - 10 Tips, Tricks & Experiences

June 26, 2014

Breastfeeding A Toddler - 10 Tips, Tricks & Experiences

While pregnant with Peanut, I was looking forward to nursing her.  I knew that this was not a guarantee, as breastfeeding often comes with complications and doesn't work for every mother.  But I have been blessed with a smooth and successful breastfeeding experience.

And now I find myself nursing my toddler!  (The term extended breastfeeding refers to breastfeeding your baby after their first birthday.)  I had no idea what to expect in my breastfeeding journey when I started, but I have sure learned a lot these past 18 months!

Breastfeeding A Toddler - 10 Tips, Tricks & Experiences

Here are my 10 tips, tricks and experiences to nursing a toddler:

1) Toddlers have a more confident latch and have mastered many nursing positions. 

This makes nursing them much more convenient in otherwise inconvenient settings!  In a pinch once, I even had Peanut buckled into her car seat and was still able to give her a quick drink of milk.  Sometimes you do what you gotta do, haha!

2) Peanut nurses at most 6 times a day.

Peanut will nurse first thing in the morning, at nap time, before dinner, at bedtime and once, maybe twice, at night.  There are days when she will skip a few of these nursing sessions. Other days she will demand them all!

3) Nursing sessions run from about 5 to 10 minutes in length. 

That is much shorter than the marathon feedings they can pull as babies!

4) Toddlers know how to ask to nurse. 

Peanut has mastered the "I want to nurse" whimper along with an occasional shirt tug, but I've heard many stories of the toddler making up their own word for when they want some milk. That is so cute!

5) You can schedule these feedings. 

If Peanut wants to nurse at an inconvenient time, I can tell her we have to wait until we get home and she will wait. When she was a baby her needs were much more urgent.

6) If you co-sleep (check out my unexpected journey with co-sleeping) your toddler will most likely nurse once to twice at night. 

I've read that this can last until they are weaned or moved out of your bed. But my experience is that these night time feeding are short and sweet.

7) Nursing is a calming activity for a toddler. 

Peanut will often nurse at the end of the day, before dinner. After a full day of activities I cherish this quiet time with her. It helps settle her down and also helps reset her tolerance level for the evening, which is very nice.

8) While sick, your toddler may go back to only breastfeeding. 

This is a wonderful option for them. It's very nutritious, keeps them fed when they may not want other food and is a comfort to them. When Peanut was sick she really increased her breastfeeding and even had a breastfed bowel movement. Be warned, the increase in nursing will probably make your nipples sore!

9) Breast milk and nursing are healthy for your toddler.

Breast milk is still providing your toddler with many amazing nutrients and lots of immune system support.  And nursing is great for the jaw development of your toddler.  There are also lots of studies on the long term health benefits from being breastfed as a baby.

10) Breastfeeding is healthy for moms.

There are lots of studies and articles on the health benefits for nursing mothers.  From reduced cancer rates to emotional health and more.  One more reason to feel good about nursing your toddler!

Overall I have loved breastfeeding my little Peanut!  Here are the tips and tricks I learned during my first year of breastfeeding.

Have you breastfed a toddler?  Do you have anything you'd add to my list?  When did your baby wean?  That will be my next foray into uncharted waters!

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  1. Thanks for sharing at the #WWDParty and enjoy the weekend!

  2. Great tips! I unfortunately never made it to the toddler years. Good for you!!


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