Too Old for Nursing

Q: “My daughter will be 2 years old next week, and we’re still nursing. She shows no signs of wanting to wean, and I don’t mind. We nurse early in the morning and at night as she goes to bed (and sometimes during the day), but I’m beginning to wonder if she’s getting too old.”

A: The American Academy of Pediatrics urges mothers to breastfeed exclusively for the first 6 months of life and recommends continuing nursing up to the first birthday and for as long after that as both mother and child desire.

Nursing toddlers aren’t that common in the United States, but they’re the norm in other parts of the world.

Your daughter obtains most of her nutrients from other foods by this age, but she still gains much from nursing: closeness to you and the calm it provides during her busy days.

You can encourage her to wean when one or both of you is ready by finding other ways in which to be close and calm. Until then, enjoy your special times with your daughter.

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