How Long Should I Nurse

By Eliza Jones | Pregnancy

Feb 20

This is a hard question to answer. Honestly, I believe any breast milk is better then none. Studies show that babies should be breastfed for the first six months. Babies can’t have cow’s milk until they are a year old. So, what do you do for the other six months? Why would you stop nursing at that point?

The bottom line is, it comes down to a personal choice you need to make. Only you and your baby will really be able to decide. I stopped with both of my girls at a year. By the time they get to be a year old, they want more independence. They are curious and want to see what the big kids are doing or the cat or whatever else is going on. It is a lot easier for them to grab their cups and go explore then it is to sit still and nurse. I did keep the bedtime feeding longer then the other feedings. It was my way of settling them down and feeling connected before bed. This time, I’m not sure if I will want to nurse a little longer or not. Seeing how this is my last baby, things might be different.

Anyway, there are people who nurse well into toddler hood. Personally, I think it is a bit of an overkill, at least during the day. On the same hand, seeing a two year old running around with a bottle seems weird to me too. I have no problem about wanting to feed your child the best, I just think every parent needs to start letting toddlers grow up a little.

The bottom line is, there is no right or wrong answer. Listen to yourself and your baby. Nurse for as long as you like, just try and stop before college. It might be a little weird to show up at the dorms every night for your child’s bedtime snack.