After the first year
You and your baby have made it to a year of breastfeeding. Well done! Find out how breastfeeding works when families continue beyond 12 months.
Commonly asked questions
Research shows that many toddlers still wake at night regardless of how they are fed. Stopping breastfeeding with this hope may mean your toddler weans earlier than either of you would like, to no avail. Many parents find sleeping close to their toddler means everyone gets more sleep in the end.
If your pregnancy is normal and healthy and you have no previous history of miscarriage or preterm labour, it’s fine to keep breastfeeding.
No, this is a common myth. Research shows breastfeeding may protect against tooth decay. When a baby breastfeeds, the mum’s nipple is far back in baby’s mouth so no milk can pool around baby’s teeth. It’s fine to continue to breastfeed and to breastfeed your baby to sleep.
Breastmilk continues to provide nutrition, comfort, and protection from illness in early childhood. This is particularly important as toddlers begin to be exposed to a wider variety of people and environments, such as child care. Continuing to breastfeed can also take the stress out of mealtimes with fussy eaters - as you know they are continuing to get nutrients from your milk.
Breastfeeding past 12 months also provides greater health benefits to mums, including reduced breast and ovarian cancer risks, and is a protective factor against Type 2 diabetes.
Unfortunately, it’s common for family and friends to feel uncomfortable about toddlers breastfeeding and they may suggest that it’s time to stop. Breastfeeding continues to provide benefits to both the mother and her child well into early childhood. If you aren’t ready to wean you don’t have to.
You may find it helpful to meet like-minded mums who can support you as you continue to breastfeed your toddler. Reach out to your local ABA support group to find your village.