According to La Leche League, extended Breastfeeding is any baby 1 years or older who is still nursing habitually.  LLLI categorizes toddlers’ reasons for breastfeeding as nutrition, comfort, security, as a way to calm down, and for reassurance.  Other than nutrition, these generalizations describe the babyworn toddler to a T!  And as for the extended BFing  mothers, La Leche says that we use it as a way to enjoy the closeness & to offer comfort to children who are otherwise occupied with becoming a “big kid” and don’t need their mommies quite as much as before their 1st year birthday!  As the mother of a 14 month old who has learned to walk, then run & dance within a week, I know that I am searching for any way to get my little guy to give me a cuddle. If that means offering milk even when it is inconvenient (at the beach when he was covered with sand!) or wearing him even when my body could use the rest, I will grab the chance and do whatever I can for a quick snuggle!  And if I can combine both comforts and nurse my walking, talking toddler in my baby carrier and maybe even get him to fall asleep while I’m wearing him, hooray for me and everyone else had better tiptoe and be quiet as to not wake “the baby!”  Don’t pack away your slings just because your child has started walking!  Keep them accessible and handy.  1 mom I know uses her retired Maya Wrap Ring Sling as decoration in her 6 year old daughter’s room to remind both of them of the good ol’ days.  If possible, don’t bring a stroller so that when your new walker’s legs get tired, you have nowhere to put them except in your carrier!  And if your toddler requests to be held, rejoice and, as the women say at LLLI, “Never refuse!”

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