While we primarily associate its benefits with the health and well being of our babies, a new study conducted in Greece indicates that breastfeeding for longer than six months may help with toddler development.
According to the research, kids who were breastfed past the six-month mark scored higher on cognitive, language, and motor development tests when they reached the toddler phase. Yay! Yet another win for breastfeeding moms. (Imagine that.)
But while this information is all well and good -- hopefully it won't wind up being one more thing that pressures moms who can't or don't wish to breastfeed (at all or past six months) into doing so. It's important to note that this is only a correlation -- it doesn't mean feeding your baby with formula is going to hinder his development down the road.
I breastfed my son ... but only for a couple of weeks. To put it simply ... I hated breastfeeding. It wasn't for me (and that's ok).
And when he was a toddler? He was right on track if not above every single milestone associated with cognitive, language, and motor skill development. He talked in full sentences early on. His vocabulary went well beyond words like "dog," "mama," "ball," and so on and so forth. And his coordination skills were definitely on point.
He turned out just fine ... and I honestly don't believe that he would've fared any better had I kept him on the boob. And had he not done as well developmentally? I certainly wouldn't have blamed it on the fact that he was mostly formula-fed.
Don't get me wrong ... I'm not saying breastfeeding isn't a good thing, because it is -- for women who want to and are able to do it. All I'm getting at is that moms who choose to go the bottle route shouldn't let this research upset them or make them feel like they are doing a possible disservice to their child during the toddler years for forgoing the boob.
Besides ... there are plenty of other ways we're probably screwing them up.
Do you think breastfeeding had any effect on your toddler's development?
Image via TheMinnieMoo/Flickr