A bunch of links on breastfeeding toddlers

I haven’t written a breastfeeding diary here since I took on Hanna Rosin two months ago, but the Iowa blogger at Fat Single Mom Takes on the World informed me that  there was some kind of “online carnival” last week about nursing toddlers. (Here are some links.)

I figured now is as good a time as any to compile information about breastfeeding beyond a child’s first birthday.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months, continued breastfeeding until a baby is at least 12 months old, and after that as long as it is mutually desirable for mother and baby to keep nursing.

The World Health Organization recommends nursing at least to age two, and beyond that age if mother and child wish to keep nursing.

This power point presentation by Dr. Jack Newman, author of the Ultimate Breastfeeding Book of Answers, contains lots of information about nursing toddlers. Dr. Newman also provides various views on what should be considered the “normal” age for weaning in humans.

Resources for women who are nursing beyond 12 months of age:

   *This page at KellyMom lists numerous advantages of extended nursing, for mothers as well as for children. (Links to references are provided.)

   *Mothering Your Nursing Toddler by Norma Jane Bumgarner is a must-read book.

   *The Attachment Parenting International site includes interactive forums for your own questions as well as these answers to frequently-asked questions about nursing toddlers.

   *La Leche League International provides lots of information, especially here.

Speaking of breastfeeding, at Mother Talkers prgrsvmama26 brings us the news that Representative Carolyn Maloney of New York will reintroduce the Breastfeeding Promotion Act in June. Click the link for more details about this bill and what you can do to support it.

Here is some information about the economic benefits (for employers as well as employees) of helping working mothers to breastfeed.

According to this page on the National Conference of State Legislatures site, 23 states have adopted laws related to breastfeeding in the workplace, but Iowa is not one of them. On the plus side, Iowa is among 43 states with laws allowing women to breastfeed in any public or private location. Iowa is also one of 12 states that exempt nursing mothers from jury duty. La Leche League has compiled more detailed information on breastfeeding and the law in the U.S. and around the world.

About the Author(s)


  • Breastfeeding in Public

    Of course, just because Iowa has a law saying your allowed to breastfeed in public doesn’t mean you won’t get hasseled for it, even in unexpected places like the Y!!!!


    • true

      and good for you for speaking out.

      In general, I am surprised at how rarely I have gotten any negative feedback while nursing in public.

      Some years ago I was with my toddler (he must have been 13 or 14 months old) at the state capitol for a public hearing in the evening. Things were dragging on, and he was very restless, and I remember trying to nurse him while he was squirming and fidgeting. An older woman started walking toward me and I thought, “Here we go, I’m going to get a lecture,” but she leaned over and whispered, “I nursed mine until they were three!” She added that it was nice to see a mom trying to comfort her baby that way.

  • I've long believed

    that better support for breastfeeding among new mothers would increase extended nursing.  Those first few weeks/months can be brutal when nursing doesn’t come easily, and for moms who return to work it can seem impossible to maintain.  I think if we did a better job of supporting mothers until a strong nursing relationship is established, it would be more likely that moms would nurse longer.

    • I am sure you are right

      I know many women who had a goal of nursing for six months. However, once nursing was established they really enjoyed the bonding and the convenience, and many of them went on to nurse beyond a year or two.

      Also, more support in the early weeks would save families money they would otherwise have to spend on formula and would reduce health care costs (because of fewer ear infections and other illnesses that require doctor’s visits for babies).

  • True, but there's more!

    Not ONLY would it save money for the families and cut healthcare costs, it would ALSO save taxpayer money in other ways– I’m on WIC and I’d be willing to bet that even though WIC provided me with a brand new Pump In Style breast pump and that as a breastfeeding mom I got tuna and carrots every month that I still cost them less than providing Isaac formula!  There is a VERY thought provoking article about welfare and breastfeeding here:


    I still haven’t made up my mind what the “right” answer is, but I HAVE observed that the very people who would benefit from breastfeeding most are the ones least likely to do so!