Parenting

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When Your Child Won't Stop Breast-Feeding


Kate, the mother of a 7-year-old, 5-year-old and 20-month-old is still breast-feeding ALL of her children. She tells Dr. Phil that she just can't say no when the kids ask to nurse. What advice does Dr. Phil have? Read on.


BREAST-FEEDING FACTS
First, it's important to know that breast-feeding can be a very positive part of motherhood. This has been medically proven through studies:

  • Two decades of research have established that breast milk is perfectly suited to nourish infants while protecting them from disease. Breast-fed babies have a lower rate of illness than bottle-fed babies.

  • The American Academy of Pediatrics says that breast-feeding for the first 6 months after birth supports optimal growth and development and recommends that children be breast-fed for at least 12 months. Thereafter, breast-feeding can continue for as long as mutually desired. Experts agree that the only acceptable alternative to breast milk is infant formula.

  • Solid foods can be introduced into a child's diet between 4 to 6 months of age " but the baby should continue to drink breast milk or formula (not cow's milk) for a full year.

    WEANING YOUR CHILD
    There aren't any rules about when to stop breast-feeding, but a baby should ideally have breast milk for the first year of its life. Dr. Phil has this advice for Kate, who breast-feeds her 5-and 7-year-olds:

  • By giving in and allowing a child to nurse after being weaned, you are teaching the child that he/she can get what he/she wants when he/she wants it.

  • Don't feel guilty for saying no. Children need to learn that they can't get everything they want. Establish boundaries and keep them.

  • Find other ways to show your child affection and give them comfort when they want to be breast-fed. You can hug them and hold them instead. Remind your child that he/she is a big boy/girl now and doesn't need to breast-feed anymore.


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