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          Parenting

          When Your Child Won’t Stop Breast-Feeding

          November 08, 2002


          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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