Reasearch about extended breastfeeding on demand and its impact on child - Mothering Forums
Breastfeeding Beyond Infancy > Reasearch about extended breastfeeding on demand and its impact on child
Katie T's Avatar Katie T 11:32 AM 12-22-2010

I need your ladies (and guys) help. I am trying to find some researched and respectable articles on extended breastfeeding on demand ( still night nursing at 2 1/2yo and nursing when they want at home ect.)

Thanks so much for anything you can throw my way. I have done searches on here and the net and am not coming up with anything that is backed enough for what I am seeking.

annettemarie's Avatar annettemarie 02:28 PM 12-22-2010

Moving to Breastfeeding Beyond Infancy.

Blessed_Bess's Avatar Blessed_Bess 10:55 AM 12-28-2010

I would also be very interested if someone has articles about extended breastfeeding. My DH keeps saying it's going to mess up our 3 year old to let him keep nursing when he wants...

CheriK's Avatar CheriK 01:05 PM 12-28-2010

A year ago or so, another forum member put a page together on her website listing research posted in a similar thread:


Probably the Christchurch, New Zealand study is the most robust and well-researched, but there are several articles.  I don't think any specifically look at cue-based nursing in older children, specifically, just length of nursing.


There are also studies about cosleeping (possibly might helpful) at Dr. James McKenna's site:


Hope some of this help. Unfortunately, there is very little research that specifically looks at nursing toddlers or preschoolers, and most of it lumps any nursing after 12 months in one category.  But there is beginning to be more and more research showing that breastfeeding should continue for a minimum of 2 years.


popbaby's Avatar popbaby 01:47 PM 12-28-2010
TaraStar's Avatar TaraStar 05:36 PM 12-29-2010

Try pointing out that the World Health Organization recommends breastfeeding for at least 2 years and beyond. The worldwide average is four years old. 


Tara Laverdiere

Portland, Maine

woodchick's Avatar woodchick 06:23 PM 12-29-2010

I don't know if this is helpful to you, but it is interesting nonetheless.


A Natural Age of Weaning by Kathy Dettwyler

averlee's Avatar averlee 05:41 PM 01-04-2011

There is very little about it, unfortunatley.


One study showed, that breastfeeding toddlers did not get as many ear infections as those weaned or formula fed. 


One book I read said that not one single case has ever occurred where a child was harmed from breastfeeding. There is not one single case in psychology or psychiatry where a child was traumatized or damaged from breastfeeding into childhood.


One case study followed the children of mothers who in times of famine breastfed children, or provided breastmilk for children, as old as 12 years old to keep them from starving. These moms had fewer children die of malnutrition and disease. All the children, when grown, reported they were grateful to their mothers and were not damaged, but actually benefitted from, the extended breastfeeding. One grown child said that while some mothers were practicing infanticide to save their children from starvation, his mother was nursing all 5 of hers, and they all survived.


I wish I could remember the name of the book or something more solid for you.

Katie T's Avatar Katie T 06:16 PM 01-05-2011

Annette those babies are just way too cute for starters!! Thank you to everyone who have responded. I think this will help!