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Friday, March 7, 2014
Is it alright to breast feed my 16 month old?
My baby is still brestfed several times a day. He is 16 months old and I wonder whether I should try to stop brestfeeding him. Could the prolongation of brestfeeding affect his future psychological development? Is it healthy to continue up to 2 years old as some specialists say?
It is fine to continue breastfeeding your 16 month old. Many mothers will breastfeed until at least 2 years as a supplement to table food & perhaps as a comfort measure. Wean when you & your little feel it is right (or when you are pregnant again). Additionally, prolongation of breastfeeding will not affect your son's future psychological development in a negative way. Just the opposite, continuing breastfeeding & holding your son will be a positive influence on his psychological development as it gives him security now & later he will be more independent. Remember, human infant are the least mature of all mammals at birth & close contact & secure attachment in the first years (through age 2) lead to better development socially, physiologically & cognitively.
Enjoy your close time with your son. To soon he will be off doing his own thing and not your little guy any more.
Barbara Morrison, PhD, CNM, FNP
Assistant Professor of Nursing
Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing
Case Western Reserve University