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Continued Breastfeeding at 2 Years

Indicator Phrasing

% of children age 20 – 23 months who received breastmilk during the previous day
See indicator in other languages

Indicator Phrasing

English: % of children age 20 – 23 months who received breastmilk during the previous day

French: % d'enfants de 20 à 23 mois qui ont reçu du lait maternel la journée ou la nuit précédentes

Portuguese: % de crianças com idades entre 20-23 meses que receberam leite materno durante o dia anterior

Czech: % dětí ve věku 20 – 23 měsíců, které během uplynulého dne či noci konzumovaly mateřské mléko

What is its purpose?

WHO recommends that breastfeeding should be continued up to (or beyond) two years. Breastmilk is an excellent source of nutrients and supports children’s healthy growth and development. This indicator therefore measures the proportion of breastfed children up to the recommended age of two 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 20 – 23.99 months:



(ask the first question only if you did not collect the data in an earlier part of the questionnaire)

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


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 20 – 23.99 months, if available)


Q2: Yesterday, did you breastfeed this girl/ boy during the day or night?

A2: yes / no



To calculate the indicator's value, divide the number of children aged 20 – 23.99 months who were breastfed during the previous day or night by the total number of children aged 20 – 23.99 months. Multiply the result by 100 to convert it to a percentage. 

Disaggregate by

Disaggregate the data by gender.

Important Comments

1) 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.


2) Most likely, your survey's sample size will be calculated for "households with children aged 0 – 24/ 59 months", not for 20 – 23 months, resulting in lower representativeness of data for this indicator (Only part of your sample will be children aged 20 – 23 months). Unless you have a separate (representative) sample for this age group, the best thing you can do is to ensure that your survey uses a larger sample of respondents (e.g. by using a 95% confidence level and 4% margin of error).

This guidance was prepared by People in Need ©

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