As my little guy starts inching towards the 1 year mark, a lot of transitions are working their way into our lives. New nap times, different foods, little legs that run, and pants without footsies. I had always thought the 1 year mark would also bring an end to breastfeeding, but now that I find myself there, I’m not sure what will happen.
Earlier, I wrote a list of Reasons to Stop Breastfeeding to work out in my head whether it was the right time. A lot of the reasons are pretty exciting, but what good is a list of reasons to stop without a list to compare it to?
So here is my list of 10 reasons to keep breastfeeding past the 1 year mark:
Related post: 10 Amazing Perks of Breastfeeding a Toddler
There are definite health benefits.
Flu season is coming up and it would be great to keep his immune system as boosted as possible. Same for allergies and the common cold. He doesn’t get sick a lot and I would love to keep that going.
It seriously calms him down.
It’s like a miracle worker. When he’s really upset (or hurt) this is like instant medicinal relief for him. I have no idea what else I will do and I hate to introduce a new form of attachment (like a pacifier or thumb) this late in the game.
So much bonding happens.
It will be very sad to put an end to this bonding experience. I know we’ll still be cuddling and bonding in other ways, but it will be different.
He might not be ready.
I realize he is physically ready to wean, but emotionally he might still need it. So why go through the process of weaning if it will be hard for him? I really believe that sometimes the easiest road is also the wisest.
I feel like this reason doesn’t come up in conversation enough. But we save a boatload of money by breastfeeding! Switching to formula will be costly.
Not only is it free, but it’s also always there! No running to the grocery store or even just down to the kitchen. It’s with me at all times and requires absolutely no preparation.
It’s burning up calories.
I will tell you that I don’t even really feel this happening and that fact really scares me. What if I stop and start seriously packing on pounds? That would not be fun.
The 1 year mark is arbitrary.
I’m not a fan of doing things just because someone somewhere said so. The 1 year mark certainly has value, but that doesn’t mean it’s the right length of time for every baby.
There are so many other things going on.
Like I already said, this is a time packed full of transitions, so maybe the breastfeeding can provide a bit of stability for him.
It’s making it harder to get pregnant.
I want more kids eventually, but right now I’ve got my hands full, so I’m happy with the built-in birth control.
I’m sure there are more reasons to keep breastfeeding (as well as more reasons to stop breastfeeding), so let me know what else you’ve got! I still am not quite sure which side of the fence I fall on. I guess only time will tell!