Breastfeeding Toddler: What You Should Know
Are you thinking about breastfeeding your baby into toddlerhood and wondering how the breastfeeding relationship will change? Are you wondering if your toddler is trying to wean, or wondering why your toddler is all of a sudden breastfeeding round the clock?
Here are a few observations on normal toddler breastfeeding habits. As constantly, the method your specific baby approaches nursing will also depend on her special character.
The length of time do breastfeeding sessions last?
First off, it’s really typical for the breastfeeding sessions to get shorter as baby ages– this doesn’t necessarily mean that baby is preparing yourself to wean. As baby ages, she can get milk more effectively (by this time your baby is a professional nurser) so she doesn’t require as much time to obtain the exact same quantity. Another factor that enters into play is interruption– baby gets so interested in the other things going on around her that she does not like to put in the time to nurse as long. A common toddler nursing session may last only a couple of minutes– just adequate time to take a sip and reconnect with mother for a minute before running off to do toddler things. Naptime, nighttime, and waking up nursing sessions generally last longer, given that baby is usually sleepy and not as intent on delving into the middle of things.
How typically do toddlers breastfeed?
Breastfeeding frequency for toddlers is normally quite irregular and varies considerably from child to child. It’s typical for toddlers to be interested in everything around them and, as a result, not as thinking about breastfeeding At other times, baby will be so focused on the big modifications within herself (developmentally), that she will wish to invest lots of time at the breast to reconnect with mama and get used to all the brand-new abilities in her life. Some children breastfeed often (” like a newborn” is a frequent remark that you speak with the mothers of 12-15 month olds), some breastfeed just one or two times a day, and some breastfeed a couple of times a day on some days and regularly on others. No matter what the breastfeeding pattern, average breastfeeding frequency decreases gradually as baby gets older. Once or twice a day breastfeeding sessions can continue for months as well as years, depending upon the child and mama.
Toddlers breastfeed for comfort, in addition to nutrition. Breastfeeding can work wonders when baby is hurt, unfortunate, upset (nursing is a fantastic tantrum-tamer), or sick. Toddlers may also use breastfeeding as a quick way of “signing in” and reconnecting with mama throughout the day.
Sometimes your toddler might go through phases of increased night nursing. Common factors for increased night breastfeeding in toddlers consist of teething, reduced breastfeeding during the day since of distraction, developmental advances and reconnecting with mother.
It is normal for a toddler to breastfeed more frequently when far from home for a couple of days, or when there are other huge changes in the typical everyday regimen. To a toddler, breastfeeding is warmth, comfort, reassurance … it’s their “home far from home” that they tend to pull back to when things are unknown or unpredictable. As soon as you are back at home and settled in (or when your child has actually adjusted to the change, no matter what it was), the increased breastfeeding tends to fall by the wayside.
What breastfeeding positions work best for toddlers?
Placing simply depends upon what is comfortable for you and baby, and will evolve as baby ages. Positioning (and often lock) most always get rather casual in time, and as long as this works for you and baby it is not an issue. Nevertheless, often mama will get sore nipples or might feel baby’s leading teeth. In these cases, it’s a good idea to check out making some modifications in placing or latch.
By toddlerhood, most babies have quite a collection of creative breastfeeding positions. Acrobatic breastfeeding is normal and it’s common for baby to try breastfeeding upside down, with feet in the air, standing on one foot, wiggling and twisting and turning, and so on. Delight in the silly positions they attempt, be versatile and patient, however if the acrobatic breastfeeding gets to be an issue, here are pointers that have assisted other moms:
- Offer it a little time. Displays of the most extreme acrobats are usually a stage that appears when baby figures out that she can nurse in a million different positions and, what’s more, it’s fun to attempt. The novelty will disappear after a little time and the balancings will decrease.
- Offer baby something to hold and play with while nursing (a small toy, maybe). Some mamas also use a nursing locket to focus baby’s attention on something aside from acrobatics.
- Attempt talking or reading a book to your child while you nurse. Tunes or fingerplays can likewise help.
- Attempt a firm reprimand. State something like “Be still” in a firm voice; don’t raise your voice, as you do not want to scare baby. You may also hug baby near you to repeat the point.
- Try stopping the feeding if baby continues with the acrobatics. State something like “I cannot nurse you when you’re squirmy. Let’s go play and get the wiggles out and we will nurse in a little while.” Then bet a couple of minutes prior to providing to nurse again.
- Another variation of stopping the feeding: Warn baby that if she doesn’t be still, mommy’s not going to nurse. And then stop the feeding if she continues. Get up, put her down, and explain to her once again why you stopped nursing. Inform her that if and when she can be more still, mommy will nurse again.
- Breastfeeding in public is in some cases an issue when baby is really wiggly. If the acrobatics are too much for breastfeeding in public, attempt to breastfeed before leaving and inform baby that you’ll nurse as quickly as you get home, to the car, and so on (postponing breastfeeding like this works much better when baby is over 18 months and is not overtired). If baby requires something (and will not settle down for nursing) you might provide a snack or a little something from a cup while you’re out.
If I breastfeed past a year, will it be harder to wean?
I’ve frequently heard it said that “If you do not wean now, you’ll NEVER have the ability to!” It is not unusual for mommies to wean at a year (or prior to)– even when neither mom nor baby truly want to wean yet– due to the mistaken impression that the only two options are to wean by a year or keep nursing till age 5!
Breastfeeding past a year does NOT make it difficult or perhaps necessarily more difficult to wean later on. If you feel in the future that you wish to start mother-led weaning, then you can certainly do so. Age has much less to do with ease of weaning than does your child’s developmental readiness for weaning. Each child has his own developmental timeline for child-led weaning– the age that a child is all set to self-wean varies considerably from child to child and frequently ranges from age 2 through age 4 (though you definitely see children on either end of this range). When mom starts weaning, then the closer the child is to weaning on her own, the simpler it will be (for both mother and child) to accelerate this natural development.
What is child-led weaning like?
Child-led weaning happens when a child no longer has a have to nurse– nutritionally or mentally. It’s fairly uncommon for a baby below 18-24 months to self-wean if they are not being encouraged because instructions (though things like mother’s pregnancy might likewise impact the timing).
A child who is self-weaning will often reduce nursing very slowly over a period of months, one session at a time (anything abrupt is most always a strike). Numerous children will continue with only a nighttime, morning or naptime nursing session (or a combination) for months before weaning. When a child self-weans, she will also have actually been drinking well from a cup and getting the huge majority of her nutrition from solid foods for a while.
My daughter’s weaning story is pretty common– she self-weaned when her little bro was 14 months old. Before he was born, she was nursing mainly at naps, night and awaken, and she continued this after he was born (other than for 6-8 weeks of increased nursing right after he was born– common for tandem nursing). She cut out naps a number of months prior to she weaned, so that nursing went by the wayside. About a month before she weaned, she began dropping off to sleep after (or during) bedtime reading with her Father, so that nursing was eliminated. She may have reduced the wake up nursing session a bit, however it wasn’t actually visible. When we went on holiday with her cousins for a week, she was too busy to nurse in the early morning for the last couple of days. After we returned she nursed possibly twice, about a week apart, which was the end.