…perhaps yes, even up to after two years. I have three kids, all of whom I breast fed (am still at it with the youngest, that little girl you see on the side panel). All the wonderful things that are said of children who are breastfed are true. They’re bright, confident, eager learners, so aware of what is going on around them, and never one to be left out of any activity.
It is also impossible to leave them with anyone else for more than one hour. I did not have the foresight to try and have expressed milk in stock for this little piglet, and as a consequence she is bound to me, by this invisible yet unsevered umbilical cord, apparently for several months more after her 1st birthday. I breastfed her older brother for twenty-four months, he who had adamantly refused to suckle from nipples of rubber or silicone, and it looks like she has every intention of following in his footsteps.
They are more likely to push away the bottled baby food and globs of boxed cereal, and will insist on having the same food from your plate. I think this comes not so much from their acquired tastes, but from their awareness of their immediate surroundings: “Why am I eating this yucky mush when everyone else is having beefsteak and broccoli?” The answer to that being difficult to explain to her, as she still does not have any teeth at the ripe old age of 11 months. I bought a blender instead, so she can have yucky mush that smells and tastes exactly like the food on our plate. She is, for the meantime, pleased.
Kids who are breastfed even after they have started on solid foods are more likely to sleep through the night and not wet their beds. This may not be so remarkable these days, with affordable disposable diapers available, but this decreases the likeliness of rashes developing.
Only women who have not breastfed (or have not done so properly) still believe that breastfeeding can ruin the shape of their breasts. I am a forty+year-old woman who can testify that after having breastfed two kids, I was left with not much more up front than what I started with, a month or two after weaning. Now this is definitely NOT fair. To make up for this injustice I have bought myself a few v-necked shirts. As long as I’m still breastfeeding my little girl, I still have a few more months to show off this, albeit temporary, cleavage.
NOTE: Of course, I must state that I am not a pediatrician or even a doctor of any sort. I am just a mom who has written down these observations based on my experiences and that of other moms who have and have not (for perfectly valid reasons) breastfed their babies.
The artwork is a detail from “Three Ages of Woman” by Gustav Klimt, 1905.