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Continued Breastfeeding 12-23 Months

Indicator Phrasing

% of children 12–23 months of age who received breast milk during the previous day or night
See indicator in other languages

Indicator Phrasing

English: % of children 12–23 months of age who received breast milk during the previous day or night

French: % d'enfants de 12 à 23 mois qui ont reçu du lait maternel le jour ou la nuit précédents

Portuguese: % de crianças entre 12-23 meses de idade que receberam leite materno durante o dia ou noite anterior

Czech: % dětí ve věku 12-23 měsíců, které během uplynulého dne či noci konzumovaly mateřské mléko

What is its purpose?

Breastfeeding should be continued up to (or beyond) two years. This indicator assesses the progress towards this recommended practice (by measuring the proportion of children breastfed approximately in the middle of the recommended period of two or more years).

How to Collect and Analyse the Required Data

Collect the following data by conducting individual interviews with mothers of (a representative sample of) children aged 12-23 months:



Q1: Can you please tell me the age of your youngest children?

A1: _

1) the youngest child: .... (specify in months)

2) 2nd youngest child: .... (specify in months; cross the answer if the respondent has one child only)


(ask the next question only about a child aged 12-23 months, if available)


Q2: Yesterday, during the day or at night, was [baby's name] given any breast milk?

A2: yes / no


To calculate the indicator's value, divide the number of children aged 12-23 months who were breastfed during the previous day or night by the total number of surveyed children aged 12-23 months. Multiply the result by 100 to convert it to a percentage. Please note that breastfeeding by a wet nurse and feeding of expressed breast milk both count as being fed breast milk.

Disaggregate by

Disaggregate the data by gender and age groups (12–15 months, 16–19 months and 20–23 months, whenever the sample size is large enough).

Important Comments

1) This indicator replaces the previous indicators for continued breastfeeding at one year (among children aged 12–15 months) and two years (among children aged 20–23 months).


2) This indicator relies on an accurate age assessment. Since people often do not remember the exact dates of their children’s birth, the data collectors should always verify the child’s age. This can be done by reviewing the child’s birth certificate, vaccination card or another document; however, since many caregivers do not have such documents (and since they can include mistakes), it is essential that your data collectors are able to verify the child’s age by using local events calendars. Read FAO’s Guidelines (see below) to learn how to prepare local events calendars and how to train data collectors in their correct use.


This guidance was prepared by People in Need ©

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