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Why do babies continue to breastfeed after starting solids?

(10 Posts)
jerryg Thu 18-Nov-10 22:13:51

Just wondering really, does anyone know? Im curious as to why some babies eat quite alot of food but still breastfeed for years of early life. Is it for comfort, antibodies, or are there alot of milk calories consumed? Do they eat significantly more solids to make up for calorific breastmilk when they self-wean from the breast? Hope that makes sense

misdee Thu 18-Nov-10 22:16:22

because thats the way nature intended?

MoonUnitAlpha Thu 18-Nov-10 22:42:28

The majority of an infant's calories come from milk up to a year, whether they are breastfed or on breastmilk substitute (formula) milk. Milk is still an important part of a child's diet throughout the second year too, whether breast, formula or cows milk.

MoonUnitAlpha Thu 18-Nov-10 22:44:47

And the "natural" human weaning age is estimated at somewhere between 2.5 and 7 years old. Obviously there are large cultural variations on this though.

They still need milk (non-breastfed babies normally drink milk through the toddler and preschool years, after all) and human milk is perfectly adapted for their needs (in terms of nutritional balance and immune factore) while cow milk (even processed into formula) isn't.

I have heard that weasel milk is pretty close in nutritional composition to human breastmilk (far closer than cow milk), but have you ever tried milking a weasel? Breastfeeding is far easier. Plus, of course, on weasel milk you'd only get immunity from mange and distemper rather from the infections human toddlers are actually exposed to.

(Disclaimer: actually, I have no idea whether weasels contract mange or distemper either. But they sound like the sort of thing weasels might catch. And I now can't source the "fact" that weasel milk is the closest mammal milk to human milk, but I left it in anyway because I like the visual image of milking a weasel. I shall have to do some more digging on that one.)

FunnysInTheGarden Thu 18-Nov-10 23:02:07

because they need to drink as well as eat?

ProfL am loving the whole weasel thing

StarkAndWitchesWillFindYou Thu 18-Nov-10 23:09:26

DD is self weaning. She is 2yrs 2 months.

I ask her 'would you like mummy milk?' she says 'no, cup milk'. I say 'suit yourself'.

When she is ill or very tired she asks for mummy milk though although only about once a fortnight now. Still seems to be there for her though.

jerryg Thu 18-Nov-10 23:16:56

grin @ weasel milk. Lots of milk calories needed then. Thanks. Sounds like a silly question now I read it back, suppose it was just another wondering as to why some self-wean earlier and don't continue to need it.

jerryg Thu 18-Nov-10 23:19:29

Awww lovely. So it's comfort too

Fontsnob Fri 19-Nov-10 00:15:28

Someone must have milked a weasel to find that out. grin

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