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Breastfed child still sick very often

(25 Posts)
bunny85 Thu 27-Apr-17 12:13:04

Hello all,

My son is 17 months old and is still breastfed. He's not attending daycare, but we go to playgroups few times a week and have play dates. What puzzles me is why is he still getting cold so often, once or twice a month. It's just a common cold each time, but the frequency of it is puzzling. I read breastfed children shouldn't be sick often, is it something wrong with my milk? He wasn't sick that often during his first year though, even though we still attended playgroups regularly. Does anyone have any thoughts on this?

Many thanks!

ThouShallNotPass Thu 27-Apr-17 12:32:46

Breastfed kids still get I'll just like other children, particularly when they're older than newborn and have more physical contact with other germ factories children. It is true that Breastfeeding does help to lower the chances of the children developing a lot of things though. I'm not up for googling the stats right now but I do recall that there's up to 40% better chance that they don't develop asthma if there is a family history? Anecdotally it's true for us. DH and DMIL are asthmatic but our 3 children (bfed) haven't got it.

InfinityPlusOne Thu 27-Apr-17 13:22:48

In my view any time children mix then germs are swapped, regardless of breastfeeding vs non breastfeeding. It isn't a magic shield against bacteria or viruses unfortunately. While there is evidence of protective benefits of Breastmilk for some health issues it isn't a guarantee and doesn't mean all breastfed children have the same benefits.

Neither of my children have asthma for example, though one was breastfed and one not and there's a huge family history of it.

Brokejoke Thu 27-Apr-17 13:26:18

I think it's just a breastfed child may have a stronger immune system than they would have had if they were formula fed. Doesn't mean they won't get ill, and it doesn't mean every formula fed child will get ill more often than every breastfed child. There's nothing wrong with your milk! All children get sick from time to time, I'm sure it must help build up their immune system too.

Kiwi32 Thu 27-Apr-17 13:36:43

I'm still breastfeeding my 1 year old and he picks up loads of bugs from nursery. This is how their immune system grows and develops to do its job. The antibodies in your milk will still help him fight the bugs and the comfort breastfeeding provides will be welcome too.

You're doing an amazing job, there is nothing wrong with you or your milk!

Stuckinstressville Thu 27-Apr-17 13:42:13

Mixing any other kids, you picking up germs in life, this is totally normal, annoying yes, but normal.

Your immunity is only so strong.

I was BF thou and have bad asthma and my DH Bf too and his skin is allergy prone. Sorry!

Sample1936 Thu 27-Apr-17 13:48:46

Breastfed and they still got ill. Wouldn't know if it would be the same on formula or not as i only breastfed. Was also disappointed ad i expected them to be ... healthier?

InfinityPlusOne Thu 27-Apr-17 13:51:34

Was also disappointed ad i expected them to be ... healthier

I have to add a disclaimer here first that I am a huge supporter of breastfeeding for any number of reasons.

However, I do think the health benefits (in terms of illness prevention) are very much oversold.

Heirhelp Thu 27-Apr-17 14:24:16

Healthy people with strong immune systems get colds.

RedBugMug Thu 27-Apr-17 14:26:38

that's how the immune system gets strong: by fighting off infections.
10 colds a year in the first 2-3 years is normal

disastrouslee Thu 27-Apr-17 14:28:02

I'm with infinity.

Anecdotally the healthiest people I know were bottle fed and the ones who get every bug going were breastfed. I'm talking about people in a very wide age range here - preschoolers to adults.

There are many many reasons to bf your baby but IMO health benefits isn't one of them.

DaisyQueen Thu 27-Apr-17 14:30:47

I breastfed both of my dc and they catch every bug and cold going. Although breast milk boost immunity it doesn't stop them from ever being poorly.

mummabearfoyrbabybears Thu 27-Apr-17 14:38:38

My little guy always seems to have a snotty nose and he was BF until he was 3. Maybe it would be the same or more severe if he was ff?

LaundryQueenHatesBunfights Thu 27-Apr-17 14:41:36

My DS is the same age and also BF. I've started washing his hands thoroughly with soap and water (as I do my own) when we get in from a group or being out and before we eat. He hasn't been ill since I've started doing this a few months ago.

And before someone says 'kids need germs!' I still let him eat stuff off the floor/not too precious about him putting communal toys in his mouth, just hands, particularly little sticky toddler jam hands seem to be good at making you ill.

PolarBearGoingSomewhere Thu 27-Apr-17 14:51:12

I think older babies and toddlers are just grotty and snotty. My 14 month old has a permanent runny nose. BFing does provide health benefits, but it's statistically and at a population level. The stats I have read relate mostly to asthma and eczema, and gastroenteritis is virtually unheard of in EBF babies before they begin solids. Colds are just par for the course I'm afraid!

ZZZZ1111 Thu 27-Apr-17 19:04:53

Didasterous health benefits are one of the main reasons many women choose to breastfeed. Research shows that formula feeding increases likelihood of people developing type 2 diabetes and obesity.

I don't think there's any evidence out there that bf reduced frequency of coughs and colds though.

JustMumNowNotMe Thu 27-Apr-17 19:23:48

I was breastfed, I have eczema, ulcerative colitis and asthma. Oh and overweight! DD1 Was BF into toddlerhood- is always ill even now at 10 bless her. DD2 is 2, was FF and I can count on less than one hand all the illnesses she's had. DC3 is only 4 months so we will have to wait and see.

BF of course has benefits but I'm not sure this is one of them.

bunny85 Thu 27-Apr-17 20:29:40

Thank you everyone, very interesting responses.

Redbug, my worry is based on the fact he's had more than 12 colds in the last 12 months...at least that's what it seems, didn't count to be honest. But especially lately seems like he's getting one cold after another.

He has always been a terrible sleeper, but when he gets a cold the first night is always crazy. No sleep. Up every 5 mins because cannot breathe.

LaundryQueen, that is one great advice. I'm starting doing it from tomorrow. I have a feeling it'll work because to my shame I forget washing his hands after playgroups very often much to my mum's horror.

This slight disappointment comes, I think, from the time when I was pregnant and met a man whose 3 year old was still breastfed and he told me 'it's amazing because he's literally never sick at all'. That got stuck in my mind and I clearly expected something that's not real. smile

FartnissEverbeans Fri 28-Apr-17 06:40:49

I believe only things breastfeeding has been proven to protect children against are otitis media (an ear infection - for every 6 bf babies there will be one fewer infection between them), gastrointestinal infections (one in 25 fb children will have one fewer infection) and necrotizing enterocolitis, which is only relevant to very premature infants in neonatal units.

The health benefits are massively oversold.

My baby is EFF and doesn't get ill any more often than his bf peers. He's been at nursery a few months now and has had a few colds, which he then passed onto us. Lovely. Me and DH were bf too, which I suppose is relevant grin

christinarossetti Fri 28-Apr-17 07:06:46

According to my scientist dh, there are over 250 different cold viruses.

I remember thinking that we'd probably got about 200 to go by the time my children started school.

What op described sounds about right for the first few winter's imvhe.

Stuckinstressville Fri 28-Apr-17 11:24:31

OP have you tried a humidifier in your dcs room? We find this helps the nighttime along with a wedge under the cot mattress to alleviate symptoms.

bunny85 Fri 28-Apr-17 14:07:03

Stuckinstressville, no we haven't tried that but will definitely get one! You are not the first person to mention it. Thanks!

FartnissEverbeans Fri 28-Apr-17 16:35:59

How are you meant to give the child ice cubes? I suppose you could put it inside a muslin bag or something but I'm pretty sure that would get messy and unhygienic really quickly

FartnissEverbeans Fri 28-Apr-17 16:36:37

Haha wrong thread!! Sorry OP grin

bunny85 Fri 28-Apr-17 22:18:28

Fartniss grin no problem! That's also an interesting subject though haha

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