Extended Breastfeeding:
How Long Should I Breastfeed For?

Are you thinking about extended breastfeeding?

When should you stop breastfeeding your child is entirely up to you. If you have decided to breastfeed your newborn baby, or are currently doing so, your baby is among those lucky ones who are getting all the important nutrients that are only found in breast milk. Don't forget to take all the help from our Breastfeeding section.

Let us discuss this thing a little...

6 months is good, 1 year is better, 2 year is the best.

Breastfeeding is extremely important for your baby till he or she is 6 months old. It is highly recommended that you continue to breastfeed your baby till he or she is one year old. Beyond that, if you continue doing so till he is 2 years old, it is definitely a good idea. Many women even breastfeed till their children enter preschool.

Whether or not breastfeeding a 3 year old is a good idea is still debatable. However, if you and your baby are comfortable with this routine, there is no medical evidence showing that it shouldn’t be done even when your baby reaches 3.

Generally, it is recommended that you should breastfeed your child till she is 2 years old. Till then, she has started taking proper meal and has consumed all the goodies found in breast milk for two solid years.

Cannot breastfeed?

If you feel you cannot breastfeed your child due to any limitation that is other than medical, you can always express your breast milk and feed your child via bottle. If, however, you are told not to breastfeed by your doctor due to some health issues, formula milk is an alternate approach. Whatever you do and how long you plan to breastfeed your baby is your own choice.

If you feel that you and your baby are enjoying this healthy process even when your baby has become a toddler and has started taking proper solids, you have all the right to choose to continue breastfeeding. Do not think that since your mother breastfed you for 6 months or your friend left the breastfeeding routine when her baby turned one, means that you also should follow their footsteps. It’s all between you and your baby.

To sum things up...

How long should you breastfeed for is totally up to you. If you find it convenient after the first year is over, continue for a "bonus" one year - one year of additional goodness! The more your child benefits from the breast milk, the better it is. If you have done extended breastfeeding till your child is 2-3 years, you have done your job really well ... I mean, really really well!

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