Breastmilk contains a wonderful hormone called cholecystokinin (CCK), which induces sleepiness, both in the baby and the mother. It is the easiest method to put your child to sleep.
"Other children form attachments to comfort rags, toys, dummies and even a bottle, objects that can all be mislaid, forgotten or lost. The beauty of breastfeeding is that my daughter's source of comfort is permanently attached to me and, besides, as far as I am concerned, anything that has the ability to pacify a restless child in the evening, and particularly at 2am, is a blessing! She falls asleep within a couple of minutes of latching on, whereas I have heard friends complain about having to spend long periods of time performing bribing rituals in order to get their children to go to sleep."
Are You Still Doing That? by Jan Andersen
Also, while nursing, the child will usually get much more skin-to-skin contact with Mommy - and that can make a difference in how well your baby grows. Studies show how premature infants grow much better if they are massaged and touched a lot by a human hand, and the same surely applies to babies born at term.
These good points won't cease at 6 months or at one year. To many people in the US, the idea of a 2-year-old toddler climbing into Mommy's lap and asking to nurse is a foreign and uncomfortable concept. But to the mothers who do it, breastfeeding a toddler is a natural and healthy part of raising children. Nursing can help your child during any kind of emotional upsets or family crises, or just simply through teething. And if we are to believe our children, toddlers (who can talk) invariably appreciate breastfeeding.
"...the two-year-old who, having fallen and then nursed, amply rewarded her mother by saying, 'Thanks, Mom, for nursing me. Bye now, I'll be okay.' "
Mothers Nurse Their Children into Toddler-hood
"As for Kevin, he has never been sick (ever...honestly!), is a wonderfully good-natured child, and is independent, loving, affectionate, funny, intelligent and calm. His security in my love for him is absolute, and this extends other facets of his life. He is attached and safe and sees the world as a loving, nurturing place. I believe that the closeness of breastfeeding, from the hour of his birth, fosters this."
By Laurie Flanagan, mom to nursling Kevin, 16 mos
Toddler Nursing Testimonial