I breastfed my 3 year old and her 2 younger sisters, for 9 months
Yes I breastfed 3 babies at the same time. When my 4th child was born I was still breastfeeding her 2 older sisters who were 15 months and 2 years old.
I continued nursing all 3 girls for 9 months. This time of triandem nursing has formed an incredibly close bond between my girls.
But why did I do it? Why didn't I wean while pregnant or when the next baby was born?
I am a strong supporter of breastfeeding and of letting my kids self wean. Breast milk is the perfect food for babies. And it it is still very beneficial for toddlers.
Toddlers breastfeed for comfort, in addition to nutrition. Breastfeeding can work wonders when your toddler is hurt, sad, upset (nursing is a great tantrum-tamer), or sick.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that mothers breast-feed for the first 12 months and “thereafter for as long as mother and baby desire.” The World Health Organization recommends the practice up to age 2 “or beyond.”
In the second year (12-23 months), 448 mL of breast milk provides:
- 29% of energy requirements
- 43% of protein requirements
- 36% of calcium requirements
- 75% of vitamin A requirements
- 76% of folate requirements
- 94% of vitamin B12 requirements
- 60% of vitamin C requirements
Breastfeeding rates have been rising over the last three decades in the United States, but less than a third of all mothers are still nursing when their child is 1 year old.
In 2011, 79 percent of all newborns began breast-feeding. About half were still nursing at 6 months and only 27 percent at 12 months
All 3 of my girls eventually weaned all by themselves. But my breastfeeding journey didn't end when they did.
They have 2 adorable little brothers and the youngest one is 18 months old and still breastfeeding with no end in sight.
Breastmilk is packed with nutrients and more fat and calories for older nursers. That’s the amazing thing about breast milk; it evolves to meet the needs of the child it’s nourishing.
Regardless of how old your toddler is they continue to benefit from the protein, calcium, fat, vitamin A, and other nutrients in breast milk. Think of it like the nutrition benefits to a vegetable, like spinach. The amount of spinach you eat doesn't take away from its nutritional value. Spinach, whether it's your first serving or your 1,000th, is still good for you.
Per the World Health Organization, “a modest increase in breastfeeding rates could prevent up to 10% of all deaths of children under five: Breastfeeding plays an essential and sometimes underestimated role in the treatment and prevention of childhood illness.”
So this is why I did and will continue to breastfeed my toddlers as long as they want.
Did you breastfeed any of your children?
How old were your children when they weaned?