Breastfeeding benefits for 14 month old?

My daughter is still breastfed, but will only nurse once a day, sometimes not even that. Is it still beneficial to continue? She really doesn't seem to care one way or the other (when her Dad gets her up she's fine without her morning nurse). I really want to do it as long as possible since she is starting daycare full-time in 2 weeks. I want her immune system to be strong.


Thanks for the advice, K and Diet C! I am in no way "disinterested". I am, however, returning to work in September but I may start offering at night in addition to morning.

Update 2:

Amy - The AAP actually recommends nursing for AT LEAST a year, and the World Health Organisation recommends "up to the age of 2 and beyond".

7 Answers

  • abc123
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    The AAP says a child weaned before 2 years is at increased risk of illness. WIth your daughter entering day care, its especially important to keep her immune system strong. The best way to do that is breastfeed. Your body will pick pathogens up off of her skin from different things she's exposed t and make immunities for them and pass them to her from the breastmilk. Its very unlikely for a child to really wean before 2 years. They are just so busy they forget. Sometimes they only nurse once every few days....Never force her (which is almost impossible to do) but remain an open bar as long as you can. Plus, the benefits of breastfeeding have been proven to stack up...meaning the longer you BF, the more significant the advantages for brain development and immunity.

    Amy- You need to educate yourself. You have absolutely no idea what you're talking about. Many statements in books and from agencies are misleading. But the fact is, immunities do not stop after 6 months or 1 year. There ARE benefits after 6 months and 1 year. There are studies to PROVE this. It just doesn't even make sense logically. Why would all of a sudden immunity and nutritional benefits just stop being in the milk? In fact, human milk does change but for the better and to meet childrens needs. For example, after one year the fat content in breastmilk is higher since babies need more fat at that age. Immunities are usually higher too, since they are usually exposed to more at that age. Don't be spreading false information to people.

  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    as already stated breastmilk has the quality of changing to fit your growing baby's needs. of course its still beneficial to breastfeed past a year, a year is usually all americans feel comfortable with when it comes to breastfeeding, most women i know don't even make it that far unfortunately. i think another reason to stop after a year, instead of continuing until they are 2 or so, is that its easier to wean at this time and just switch them to cows milk...and older child is definitely going to have more of a strong will to keep breastfeeding if you nurse until they are almost toddlers. the suggestion of a year is "at least a year" so beyond that is up to how comfortable the mom and child is with nursing later than that, there are health benefits but not as much as they are in the first year.

  • Diet C
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    Yes, it's absolutely beneficial to continue.

    If she's starting to not really care either way, she may be on her way to weaning herself (though 14 months is quite early) in which case you can just let nature take it's course.

    If you want to nurse her more, you could always offer more. But, even if it's just once a day it's still beneficial.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Yes. Basic summary:

    If you are going to press on for years you really want to get Katherine Dettwyler's book -- not easy to find but a library will be happy to special-order it for you. This part is interesting:

    "According to the research of Smith (1991), many primates wean their offspring when they are erupting their first permanent molars. First permanent molar eruption occurs around 5.5 to 6.0 years in modern humans. It is interesting to note that achievement of adult immune competence in humans also occurs at approximately six years of age, suggesting that throughout our recent evolutionary past, the active immunities provided by breast milk were normally available to the child until about this age (Fredrickson)."

    "Don't offer, don't refuse" is a weaning method, so if Mom is disinterested and never the one to offer, this may end sooner than expected.

    There is no evidence, at all, to suggest that this will "create problems later" in any fashion and plenty of evidence demonstrating all manner of benefit, so don't be put off by old wives' tales.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Breastmilk does have benefits to a 14 month old, even in that small amount. It sounds like she is weaning herself and if it were me I would let her wean. There is nothing wrong with stopping now, and if you still want her to get the breastmilk you could always pump and give it to her in a sippy cup.

    Good luck!!

  • 1 decade ago

    At this point, it sounds like she's ready to be weaned. Her immune system has gotten a lot of benefits, and make sure she has all her vaccines.

    There are some benefits, but overall, if she's ready to be weaned herself, I'd go ahead. It can create problems later in trying if she stays too long.

  • 1 decade ago

    It is always beneficial to breast feed no matter what the age. The only thing you need to worry about is her teeth. Breast milk is very sweet and contains a lot of sugar believe it or not. That's why they want children to be off of the bottle and breast after a year old. You can actually rot there teeth, so to avoid this and to continue breast feeding you should brush her teeth after she is done feeding. Not to mention she has already gotten all of your antibodies by this point, they get everything they need from you by 6 months. So her immune system is as strong as its going to get. Unfortunately kids do get sick and when you put them in daycare you have to make sure that the daycare takes all of the precautions to make sure a clean and safe environment for the kids. Ask them how often they clean the toys and tables. You would be surprised at what some of them will answer. No matter how long you breast feed she will get sick, it is a part of life and you have done all you can for her already. Great job on that one. :)

    Source(s): Me and my experiances. I have 3 kids. 6 almost 3 and 4 months old
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