Will nursing make your toddler clingy?

My husband is worried that nursing is making our son clingy. He is a wonderful happy little guy and sometimes I think he just wants to nurse for comfort or security. It can be tiring being the "human pacifier" but at other times I think, who cares? Will nursing really make my baby clingy later on?


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

As you already know, your baby is meeting more than his nutritional needs at your breast, and that is fine! Breastfeeding is so comforting to busy toddlers as they are exploring their world. At your breast, he emotionally "refuels."

Today, we often expect babies to be independent at too young an age. Extended nursing, rather than making your baby clingy, is helping him to know unconditional love and security, which allows him to progress to becoming a very independent child. Dr. William Sears, author of many wonderful parenting books, commented that the most secure children in his practice were those who benefitted from extended nursing.

As a mom, mothering a nursing toddler, you do need support. If you areunable to get it from family and friends, La Leche League is a wonderful source. Call 1-800-LA-LECHE or check your local phone book for the phone number of a leader in your area. My best wishes in mothering!

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