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.

 

It’s free.

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.

 

It’s convenient.

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!

 

10 Reasons to Keep Breastfeeding

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14 comments on “10 Reasons to KEEP Breastfeeding”

  1. I’m nursing my 29 month old still, so it goes without saying that I think the benefits outweigh the cons. The biggest reasons that I continue and you didn’t mention are that (1) WHO recommends nursing for at least 2 years – they’ve got a ton of research on this and I trust this rec is backed by good study data, (2) continuing to breastfeed lowers mom’s chance of developing breast cancer – it used to be called the nun’s disease because it was mainly affecting childless (non-lactating women), (3) the natural weaning age of humans has been determined to be between 2.5 and 7 years old – why would I cut off this invaluable nutrient so early? Good luck with your decision!

    • Wow!! That is so interesting! That makes me feel really good about continuing. I am hoping to let my son self-wean, so it will be interesting to see when that happens. I knew there were links to a decreased chance of breast cancer but I didn’t realize it was that pronounced! I also didn’t realize that natural weaning happens so much later. Thank you 🙂 I learned a lot 🙂

  2. I am struggling with this right now as well. My daughter will be 1 year in December and I am so tired of pumping at work. But, with cold and flu season upon us I am not so sure if we are ready to stop yet.

    • I feel for you there… the last thing I want is a sick baby. In the end, that may be the biggest reason to keep going.

  3. Great advice and I agree with you. I enjoyed breastfeeding all three of my children because it was such a great bonding experience and it was easier. I did have to stop breastfeeding my youngest early which wasn’t by choice. But, luckily he’s very healthy. Thank you for sharing and linking up at the Click and Chat Link up Party. Have a lovely weekend, Kim @ This Ole Mom

  4. My guy is almost 1 and I never thought I would be an extended breastfeeder, but he is not ready to stop yet so I am going to let him wean when he is ready.
    Good luck with wihatever you choose!

    • I never thought I’d be breastfeeding this long either! It is pretty wonderful though 🙂 Thanks for stopping by.

  5. Ditto what I said on the other post. It’s SO easy, and since my other daughter is already so pushy, popping in a breast is easier than fighting with her and my other daughter. But I need to stop being so lazy.

    Your co-host from Turn it Up Tuesday ~~April~~

    • Couldn’t agree more…sometimes the path of least resistance just makes the most sense. I do the exact same thing 🙂

  6. I’ve been tossing these same reasons around in my head. It sounds like we are in similar situations! My boy is almost 13 months, but I am still nursing him about 3 times a day. I’d like to cut it back to two times though. I just don’t like the thought of weaning him completely going into cold and flu season…It is such an immune booster for him!

    • Flu season is a huge reason for me too. It’s been so nice to have him healthy, that I would hate to all of a sudden have a sick baby on my hands. It’s really such a hard decision to make. I guess I’m really hoping that it can just be a slow progression that happens on it’s own. Hopefully he’s not 4 when that happens! :-/ Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  7. So, the best advice I got when I was conflicted over whether or not to stop breastfeeding was that nursing is a contract between mama and baby, and BOTH parties have to be on board with the terms of that contract (not just baby). You need to do what is best for everyone involved, and maybe especially, you.

    • That is realllly good advice – for lots of things! So much is changing as he gets older and I’m starting to get a little frustrated following his lead (I know that sounds crazy!). It’s tough to push them to do things your way, but obviously it needs to happen. Thanks for the advice 🙂

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