How much should a one year-old nurse?

My son has just turned one and I'm still breastfeeding. I had expected to wean him around now, however we've just found out that he is allergic to both milk and eggs. This is not such a problem as Reay & I both still enjoy breastfeeding. My problem is that I'm finding it difficult to locate ANY information on how often, and I'm concerned that he may be too attached to the comfort factor. At present he is feeding at around 5:30 am, 10:30 am 3:30 pm 8:30 pm, with several "snack feeds" in between depending on whether he's feeling out of sorts, and the odd 1:30 am feed (which I have to say I don't enjoy as much). Does this sound OK?

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Debbi Donovan

Debbi Donovan is a Board Certified Lactation Consultant, as well as a retired La Leche League Leader. For more than a decade, Debbi... Read more

There is not any "right" number of times that a one year-old should nurse. Some are only nursing a time or two a day, while others continue to enjoy lots of time at their mother's breast. It sounds like Reay, who is nursing about 7 times a day is somewhere in between these two. This is very normal for a baby of his age.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with comforting your baby at your breast. Of course, it is good to perfect your other comforting skills too. Get your partner involved. Practicing and becoming adept at other comforting skills will be especially helpful as your baby begins to make his transition from your breast.

Tending to your baby's needs promptly helps your baby to trust you and his world. He also becomes more independent, and more secure. Keep up the good work, and if you both continue to be happy with the nursing relationship, don't allow yourself to become overly worried about the timetable. Best wishes in mothering!

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