Sound Off! What Are Your Tips for Weaning?

11/18/2008 at 10:00 AM ET
Ramey; Limelight Pictures


For those of you who breastfeed, or have in the past, you know that it is an incredibly personal decision, and that the steps you take while nursing your child — and when you decide to wean your child — are all based purely on your body and your baby’s needs. The moms we’ve spoken to have had some pretty interesting — and funny! — stories about their experiences breastfeeding and weaning their children. So how did you know when it was time to wean your child? Jennifer Garner breastfed until daughter Violet Anne was 14 months old, while Salma Hayek says that she’s addicted to breastfeeding daughter Valentina Paloma, 13 ½ months.

So here’s your chance to sound off. Tell us, when you weaned your child off the breast, what tips and tricks worked best for you? Any funny stories of your own?

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becky on

I nursed my first daughter until she was almost 13 months. She stopped on her own. There was no weaning, she just decided she was over it I guess. My second daughter I nursed until the week before her first birthday. She would have preferred to nurse longer and I would have gladly obliged, but I was 16 weeks pregnant when she stopped nursing. We had cut all but the night feeding and my dh just put her to bed one night without me nursing her. I was sad, but he was right, it was totally draining me nursing and being pregnant.
As for what other moms do I think it is totally their decision. TOTALLY. I think you should nurse for the first year but how long after that is up to you and the kid.

Susan on

As a child I was allergic to all dairy, wheat, chocolate, nut and flour products. My mother nursed me until I was nearly two because it was the only way she knew how to keep me fed. This was thirty years ago before people knew how to deal with that sort of severe allergies. :) Poor Mom – she couldn’t eat any of those foods either. What a good sport. Love ya Mom!

Mama_C. on

Both my girls nursed their first year then pretty much gave it up themselves. My first got into the fun characters on those valve-less First Years sippee cups. She’d see them every week in the grocery store and really wanted one. So I got her one and it was only about a week before she wanted all of her liquids from there–no more mommy. With my second, she wanted to be just like her big sis and started stealing her sister’s sippy cup. I tried to nurse exclusively for a while longer, but compromised when she was about 10 months old with two or three nursings a day and let her have the sippy cup. She, too, got so she prefered the independence and control of having her own cup.

One thing that did crack me up was when I was nursing my second daughter, my oldest wanted to “try being a baby” and “nurse” a few times. They are only 18 months apart and I think it made for a smoother transition to big-sisterhood allowing her to every now and then “be a baby” as she called it.

jacqui on

I weaned my daughter at 14 mths – 2 words: chocolate ovaltine.

Angie on

I will be checking this post again to see what ideas other moms have. I nursed my older daughter until 14 months, and weaning her was pretty easy. Daughter #2 is turning out to be so different. She is 17 months and does NOT want to give it up. We are down to 3 feedings a day. I hope around age 2 she will be more willing to go without?

megan on

I am DYING for some weaning tips! I have a 14 month old who will not give up the boob for anything! We’ve tried gradual weaning, and cold turkey… she has gone as much as a full day without any other fluids, which of course results in a return to nursing. Any tips for such a stubborn child??? We’ve tried whole milk, flavored milk, Pediasure, soy milk, and rice milk… she won’t accept ANY of them or any other dairy foods (and no allergies, we had testing two weeks ago). And we have a variety of cups (soft spout, hard spout, valve, no valve, straw, bottles, etc etc), and that route hasn’t worked either. Getting desperate, soooo glad to see this posting and looking forward to reading the comments!

Bonnie S. on

My mother nursed my brother for a year and she weaned him using eggnog. I nursed my sons until 8 1/2 and 7 1/2 months and had to quit because they were biting, so I just reduced the feedings to less per day and such like they tell you. My daughter nursed until 17 months and she was pretty much ready to quit. She had shortened her feedings and got distracted really easy.

Shannon on

I nursed my daughter until she was 18 months old. I had to stop cold turkey because of medications I was taking that were not good for her. I was so scared she was going to completely freak out on me, but it was relatively simple. I told her “nurse was all gone” and that “it went bye-bye” and that “she was a big girl now.” She got upset at first, but then she started repeating me about her being a “big girl.” It took about 1 weeks’ time until she had completely forgotten about it. I was very surprised! She would then say “nurse bye-bye” for awhile after that. She just turned two November 6th!

Diane on

I let my children decide when they were ready to wean.

My daughter weaned when she was 18 months. I was six months pregnant by then I suspect my extreme morning sickness, a change to more colostrum in my milk and a don’t ask but don’t deny stand on breastfeeding lead to that earlier weaning.

My son self weaned at just about 24 months. For the last few months he only night nursed and then slowly stopped that on his own.

Both situations were good but I wish I had been able to get my daughter to a full two years which to me is an ideal nursing length.

Lynn on

I have a friend who still nurses her almost 3 year-old, once a day or whenever he “needs” it..as well as her 6 month old. I keep my opinions to myself. Opinions anyone???

misty on

Is it mean to quit nursing cold turkey?

Cora on

I nursed my daughter until she was 6 months and had to wean her due to my lack of producing enough and the only thing we did was add just a tad of sugar to her formula, but I guess the same could be applied for regular milk as well maybe!!! :) Good luck ladies!!!

Colleen on

My first son weaned at 16 1/2 months, I was pregnant and he just one day decided to stop nursing. I think my supply was getting low anyway and he was becoming more independant. I would have liked to go a little longer.

My younger son is still going strong at 11 months. I hope to go until 18 months – 2 years, but ultimatly it’s up to him.

Shelby on

I haven’t had children yet but I am hoping to extended nurse. My mother nursed me until I was 18 months old. I refused to take a bottle (even with breast milk) or pacifier which left my poor dad with some troubling times when mom left. My mom raved about the time together and although she hadn’t planned to nurse that long, it worked out. By that time it had been reduced to night and nap time nursings. One day, it was cold turkey and I switched right to sippy cups. Assuming I am blessed with children, I am planning to nurse all of them for at least a year and hope to nurse until at least 2 years but obviously that depends on their willingness. I feel that breast feeding is such an immense responsibility and gift as mothers that I would like to be able to give my children the best! Hopefully within the next 5 years I will start my family and hope that breast-feeding continues to be as well received and grow in popularity as it is now!

Andrea on

I breastfed my daughter until she was 13 months, however, she was only at night from about 11 mos. on. I was pregnant w/ #2 and her doctor advised me to stop.

I nursed my second child until a bit over 12 months. He turned 1 on the 21st and stopped the first week in Dec. I was also pregnant w/#3 although I didn’t know it.

My youngest child weaned herself at 11 mos. she started doing nights at about 10 mos and just stopped entirely on her own.

My oldest was a nightmare to wean, but w/in two days she had it.

My last two were much easier.

susanna on

My son is 21 months, my fourth child, and there is NOTHING that’s making him give up! He actually never took a bottle or pacifier. I love breastfeeding him but hope he will give up on his own in the next 3 months. Sometimes I’m just very exhausted, but I’m following my instinct.

Penny on

I had planned on stopping at twelve months no matter what, but anytime after 6 would be fine. But my child stopped themselves at about 10 1/2-11months.

ekaterina on

i used a child directed weaning- my son nursed until he was alomst 4 (yikes!) i still cant believe he went that long – he nursed a lot- when i was preggo with my daugther i think my milik dried up and that probably helped- and i enjoyed a break for a few months before my daughter was born- she is 11 months now and still going strong-
it is funny how one day they just decide they are done and you dont realise that is the last time!

Amy on

I nursed my oldest until he was a year. I was returning to work so I gradually replaced one feeding a week with a sippy cup of milk until we were down to night time feeding only. I cried the last time I fed him but he didnt even care! I think the key is introducing a sippy cup at 6 months of age so they are use to it by the time you want to switch. I now have a 5 month old and I am working full-time. I plan to nurse until a year again but this time is so much different because I have to pump during the day. Congrats to all the mom’s who’ve tried breastfeeding…it truly is a great gift to your baby!

brandy on

my first only nursed for about 6 weeks because i had no help with nursing found a nursing consultant for #2 and he nursed untill he was almost three #3 is still nursing at 19 months and #4 is due in 5 weeks will nurse him till he self weans like the other two

Fynn on

My oldest self-weaned around 19 mos. My youngest was still going strong at 2.5 years when I decided to wean him. Once during the first couple of days, he was banging his head against the wall and screaming like an addict in withdrawl. My oldest, desperate to stop the meltdown, pleaded: “Just give it to him, mom!”

TwinMamma on

This couldn’t have come at a better time. We’re on night #2 of nighttime weaning. My son is 15 months old and I just felt it was time. He has already self weaned during the day. He’s not liking it too much, but he’s not crazy upset either. I’m hoping the hard part will be over soon.

AllAngela on

I’d thought about weaning my daughter at six months when my nipple became a teething ring, but I stuck it out for another month. What did it was a business trip I had to take to South Africa when she was seven months old. When I got home a week later and tried to nurse her, she looked at my boob like it was a foreign object.

Lucy on

I nursed my daughter until she was 6 months old. I think it is disgusting that people breastfeed their children until 4. There is no need for this. Some of you Moms need to get a life.

Stacey on

I don’t have any kids yet, but I would nurse for about the first year or so.

My neighbor’s daughter nursed her son until he was five years old. I know this for a fact, because I seen her do it. I thought he was WAY too old to nurse, and that just seemed slightly wrong to me.

Marie on

My son is 29 months (2yrs, 5 mos) and we’re still nursing! I thought we’d nurse until 6 months, though I had really hoped to make it a year. A year came and went…then the second year lol. While I love it and hate the idea of giving up that time with him, I’m trying to wean him off with NO luck.

He’s down to only nursing as he falls asleep (we co-sleep, something else I didn’t expect to do, but ended up doing) and might wake up in the middle of the night for a quick nurse. I think it’s habit more than anything for him now and a lot of comfort too as he’s miserable trying to get all 4 of his 2 year molars yet.

He drinks milk and juice and water out of a sippy and even out of a regular cup, but NOTHING is acceptable when we go to bed, other than a boob. He gave up his plug (pacifier) without a fuss. But if I try to withold nursing? He’ll sob uncontrollably and it breaks my heart.

I guess he’s just not ready and in my heart, I’m not either, so maybe that’s why he hasn’t given it up; we’re both just not there yet.

babyboopie on

I breast-fed my son until he was 6 months old because he just wasn’t getting enough and my boyfriend at the time wanted me to stop because he felt it was time for him to have solid food, I remember being so upset for days. It was the most natural thing to want to feed your baby but everytime I instinctively reached for my top, my boyfriend would shout ” C’est ne marche pas!” and I would have to feed my son baby rice which was better for him I think, looking back. But God, it was absolutely difficult sometimes, I remember I breastfed him weaning him gradually, normally at bedtime but then he stopped alltogether when he was 7months.
In a way, I do miss that time I had with Pierre, him at my breast because it was just a beautiful moment for us both, but looking back, I don’t regret it because it hurt me more than it hurt him, and I had to do what was best for him.
I’m so happy that I got that chance to have been his ‘food supply’ for six wonderful months and then watch him appreciate lovely food.
His favourite food is crepes and moules frites!

Shawna on

I believe in child-led weaning. I wasn’t able to breastfeed my oldest child but my first daughter nursed until she was 5 and my second daughter is still nursing and she will be 3 in January. I know many people think that is wrong and gross but it really isn’t. The worldwide weaning age is 2-7 years and the WHO recommends nursing for a MINIMUM of 2 years.

suzanne on

I nursed my daughter until 23 months – it was tough because I was ready to stop and she wasn’t. One of my biggest frustrations was the lack of information about weaning – there are a MILLION leaflets and loads of literature promoting breast feeding but virtually nothing about the challenges of weaning – there’s just an assumption that the baby will stop weaning of its own accord, with no problems whatsoever. How wrong! I tried to get my daughter to stop at 18 months, then 19 months… we tried to reduce her feeds but it didnt make a difference. Eventually I had to check into a hotel for a week when she was 23 months old – 1 week in there on my own with my husband wrangling her. It was rough for her and a lot of tears but she got into milk and was absolutely fine! i’m proud of getting to almost 2 years but next time around I would only breastfeed for about 6-9 months before the baby is too ‘addicted’!

Helen on

I saw a TV documentary here in the UK and there was a 5 year old girl coming home from school and being breastfed. That’s simply is so wrong!

Jazz on

For my first, I nursed him until he was two, at which point he weaned himself, which was perfect timing because I was pregnant with #2!
With my second I nursed her for 18 months, which was the minimum I would do for any of my children. I weaned her at 18 months only because I had baby #3 when she was 11 months, so I was nursing two kids for 9 months. Once I weaned baby #2, I continued with baby #3 until she was 20 months.
When baby #3 weaned I was 8 months pregnant with #4 and tired, so I’m happy she weaned herself then. She wanted to be just like her older sister and brother with their sippy cups!
Baby #4 I nursed just until his first bday, because I then found out I was expecting twins and my doctor told me to stop nursing him. It was so sad.
I will definately be nursing the twins when they come, and as they are my last children I hope to nurse them for as long as possible!

Melea on

My daughter is 4 months and still breastfeeding STRONG. I would love some tips on getting her to take a bottle every once in awhile. I have a two year old also that I can’t really take places alone because we have to take his sister in case she needs to eat. She hates formula, hates babyfood, hates rice ceral, hates breastmilk in the bottle. She does know how to use it, she just refuses to. Any ideas?

tailee on

My son is nearly 22-months and still breastfeeding in the morning before I go to work, in the evening when I return home and just before bed. He doesn’t nurse to sleep (anymore) so it doesn’t interfere with his ability to soothe himself to sleep. Many people have asked when I plan to wean him and I jokingly say that I’ll be nursing him till he’s ready to go to college, but seriously, I think it may be closer to 2.5 years. I honestly don’t know and am in no hurry to rush things along. It’s a wonderful time for us to bond and wind-down, and ultimately, once it’s over, it’s over. So, I’m letting him lead the way for now.

Dina on

My son stopped nursing when he was 2 months, he flat out refused to latch – so I had no choice but to pump and continued to do so until he was 12 months.

I am still conflicted about the BF thing. I wish it was a better experience for me and hope the next baby will click better but I know that at least I am able to pump for a year if I need to!

I gradually stopped pumping less and less when he was 12 months, it took 3 weeks to stop pumping but I was happy to pack up the machine!

Elaine on

My eldest was weaned at 2yrs 9 months, and that was because I was pregnant with daughter no. 2. My husband and I were able to tell her that the milk supply had run out and she accepted that. I am still going strong with number 2, who is 22 months, I plan to wean at about 2 years, but as we are both still enjoying it, it will be very hard. My eldest showed no sign on wanting to wean and i’d kind of planned to wean by 3 if she didn’t stop earlier.

miasmom on

I nursed until my daughter was 14 months. I work full time and I was lucky enough to have the flexibility in my job to pump twice a shift. It was the best thing I could have done for her and she weaned better than I did!

Caroline on

My son weaned himself at 11 months and I did not want to stop. By that time it as twice a day, in the morning and at night. I would pick him up and lay him in my lap to nurse him and he would wiggle his way out of my arms. It was so sad because up until then, he would smile and giggle each time I would put him in the “position.” Now he loves to play with his sippy cup. It’s been a month and I am still sad.

Tanya on

I am currently tandem-nursing my almost-three-year old and 8 month-old boys. We are having a “bye-bye nursey” party when he turns 3 in a couple weeks, and I told him when he’s 3 we don’t nurse anymore (the tandem thing is getting difficult, though I do have mixed feelings about this decision, as we said we wanted child-led weaning). I think he’ll do okay, considering we’ve weaned him first from night-nursing (we co-sleep), then morning nursing, then after-work nursing…now we just have the bedtime nursing left. It’s hard, though, because he will still see his brother nursing…it would be like seeing pizza everyday if you’re on a diet :-) My breastfeeding relationships with my sons have been wonderful, and I feel secure in the emotional attachment we’ve made. I know this will carry with them long after they both have weaned.

Kris on

I nursed dd until she was 3.5 years old. We weaned because her latch got extremely lazy and she wouldn’t fix it. I gave her a week’s notice, counting down every night. On her last night she got a special present, then that was it. No more nursing. I’m glad I did it as long as I did.

Isabell on

Jazz and you others who had more than two and nursed past a year congrads…your like super moms.. I could never get past a year.. One trick that worked for a friend of mine her son was 2 when she decided to stop she used cabbage leaves and something about the taste made her child stop nursing.

Jena on

I nursed my daughter until she was 26 months old and she would have gone longer. I gradually reduced her feedings down to 4 a day (In the morning, before and after her nap and then before bed) and then 3, and 2 and the last feeding to go was the one right before bed. I think at that age she understood when I told her that I loved her VERY much but that we weren’t going to nurse anymore. I suggested that if she wanted some comfort that we could hold hands as she fell asleep and she agreed that was a good idea. We do have a family bed, so she was still able to get that closeness that she needed.

I think a lot of people think that children that are nursed for “too long” become too clingy and dependent on Mom but I have found the oppisite with my daughter. My daughter and I have an AMAZING close relationship and I am so Proud of the independent, smart and secure child she has become. I beleive that giving your child so much of yourself for so long lets them know that you are there for them and will be when they need you to be.

Autumn on

I nursed my son for 6 months, I suffered Postpartum Depression after he weaned. It was a shock! I had no clue that it could happen after weaning. Luckily with medication and the return of menstration, I was better within 3 months. I am now nursing my daughter who is 8 months. I want to nurse her until she is 12mths. However, I am concerned about weaning and if I will have PPD again. Hormones are NO fun!

amber on

“and when you decide to wean your child”

it should be pointed out in the original post that some mothers don’t decide to wean at all, but allow children to truly self-wean. (full-term, ecological breastfeeding.) anyway, some have commented about child-led weaning, but it would be nice if the post reflected the fact that not all mothers make these choices for their children, but instead allow them to make them themselves. :)

tamk3 on

With my oldest I did it for 2 weeks. Being 21 and all it was too much of an experience for me. With the 2nd though, he breastfed exclusively for 8 mos. We would take 5 10oz bottles of breastmilk to daycare for him EVERYDAY!!! We stopped because he didn’t want to even begin trying anything else (food, cereal). My last one, she did it for 3 mos and she was the hardest. I hurt all the time but I wanted to at least get her to the 3mos stage.

Morning on

At some point you have to ask yourself why you aren’t letting your child cry. Nursing after one year’s old is clearly for comfort and habit. In today’s society you are probably trying to stunt your child’s natural growth. I wonder more about the parents motives in this situation.

MamaVeronique on

I breastfed my oldest until she was 18 months old because she wouldn’t give it up, she would refuse everything. I tried everything, nothing worked. I tried every kind of milk, and I wanted her off the boob by christmas. She knocked a glass of eggnog onto herself 11 days before Christmas and practically ate herself, she loved it. After that I tried to give her eggnog but she wouldn’t take it, so I mixed it with breastmilk and gradually cut back on the breastmilk until it was just eggnog, then I gradually put more and more normal milk in the eggnog. It worked, she was on straight milk by January 7th. My second daughter weaned herself on her birthday, cold turkey. She stuck her finger in a glass of milk with melted honey that I was using to bake her cake and took the boob once more after that it was milk and honey, then just milk. My youngest is 8 months old and is allergic to the protein in milk and she is allergic to every liquid milk substitute so we have her on vitamins and I am breastfeeding her, the only thing that she isn’t allergic to. I can’t have any milk products because I am breastfeeding her, so I’m off anything dairy until I wean her, which I hope to do soon after her first birthday. Breastfeeding has been an amazing experience that I have shared with all three of my daughters and I will cherish every memory I have on it.

Marina on

I stopped nursing my daugther when she had her first tooth (6 month) because she did hurt so much that I couldn’t take it anymore, so I stopped.
But, from her birth, I was feeding her with breastmilk and baby milk in the same time because I think it’s easier, and then when I stopped breastfeeding, she didn’t care.

Julie on

My hat is off to women who are able to successfully breastfeed their children. It is the best for them. I sometimes get sad when I think about the fact that breastfeeding my twins didn’t work, but I was able to pump for a while for them, so that made me feel better. I know that breastfeeding is truly a commitment, and it is done out of pure love and nurturing for your child. I also believe in child led parenting during the infant phase. They slept when they were tired and ate when they were hungry. Their little bodies told them what they needed and I never argued with that. They settled into the same schedule that they made for themselves. I believe that as they grow into their toddler years, structure has to be provided for them. I decide when they lay down for a nap and what time bedtime is. I also have regular and predictable mealtimes, and if my twins decide they will not eat at “lunchtime” or “dinnertime”, I make it clear that there will be no more offered until the next mealtime. My overall point is this. I personally know of at least two children who were still nursing at ages 5 and 6. Boundaries need to be set. I won’t argue with the fact that women in underdeveloped countries where there are few other resources continue nursing far beyond what the Western World would consider “normal”. But in developed countries where food, resources, and assistance are available, I cannot accept a woman’s decision to nurse until their child is 4,5,6 yrs old. At that point, I believe that it will have a social and psychological effect on the child in developed societies. I know both women and children crave the closeness and bonding of breastfeeding, but in our developed societies, I believe that weaning should happen before the child begins school. And by school, I mean preschool, where most children would be at least 3 years old.

RITA on

My daughter breastfed until she was 20 months and I was 16 weeks preggo. She looked up at me and said “yuck mama” and that was that. It was so sad for me, I wanted to continue throughout the pregnancy and she was only having a few feed a day but c’est la vive!

I think the don’t offer, don’t refuse is a good/nice way to wean if you can do it. Lovely to hear that women “extend” breastfeed, but yes, WHO advises up to 2 years be the minimum, so keep on keeping on if you can ladies :)

Dinah on

I weaned my son from 16 to 17 months. I think he could have nursed a little longer, but I was just really ready to wean. As much as I loved nursing him, it was difficult, being that I work full time and often travel for my job.

My advice would be to just take it slow. Eliminate a feeding or two every few days, so that your body has time to adjust. I didn’t experience much engorgement or discomfort, mainly because I was only nursing a couple of times a day, when we weaned, and I eliminated feedings, slowly.

Lanna on

I just did child led weaning. Oldest weaned himself at 27mo when I was 4-5mo pregnant with my middle child, middle child officially weaned himself at 25mo a week after I had my youngest child. And while bf’ing while pregnant isn’t exactly fun, it can be done. And, IME, past about 18mo, my kids only really nursed at nap/bedtimes, when super cranky or sick – hardly ever while out and about at that age, then they’d taper off to once in the morning, then once every few days, and so on. Since it was always gradual and at the kid’s pace, there was no real emotional trauma to any of us, which is nice. :)

N.S on

I can’t give any tips or tricks because I’m nowhere near done nursing my 13 month old – when the time comes I won’t be leading the process – she will be, so I will follow all her cues, be that in two months or two years from now.

My mother breastfed all her 5 children for a combined total of 12 years – and said weaning wasn’t a hassle or chore because it had nothing to do with her – it was completely baby-led.

Megan Dunn on

My first two children were gently weaned at 2.5 years and I plan to go at least that long this time around. I never expected to be nursing a toddler but once you get to that point you see that there is no magic cut off point in which they all of a sudden grow out of the need to nurse. Its a gradual thing which is gentler on both mom and baby.
I started by offering a snack and cuddle when they wanted to nurse to see if they would accept it. If they didn’t and really needed to nurse then I’d let them. With both kids it took less than 2 weeks before they stopped asking to nurse all together. We continued with the hugs and cuddles of course. Its was a nice non traumatic way to wean. I am very happy knowing they got a great start in life with their nutrition.

Dionne on

Hello,
I stopped breastfeeding my son when he was 9 months old. I immediately started him on a bottle with Good Start milk because it taste like breastmilk (kind of sweet) also I gave him rice milk from the whole food store. I think the transition was easy because the milk had a sweet taste to it. I had to find the right nipple for the bottle though which was challenging but I eventually found one.

s on

I pumped when I went back to work and nursed my daughter in the morning, evening and at night. At seven months old, she bit me so hard she drew blood — I involuntarily shrieked and freaked her out, leading to a nursing strike for a week, during which she’d only nurse in the dead of night. She then went back to nursing while sleepy first thing in the morning and at night, but never again during the day. I spent months pumping and pumping and pumping. Then she just fed once at night, until the week before a business trip (when she was 14 months old) I substituted just holding her for the night feeding. She was a little upset at first but quickly adapted and finally slept through the night. And I was SO glad to get done with that pump – my constant companion for 14 months. Although my relationship with the ole pump was intimate, I did not bond with it…

Sarah on

My son never took to nursing to begin with, so there wasn’t much weaning going on. It was a nightmare for both of us trying to get him to latch and stay on, so I finally just started pumping and then gave it up completely at 2 1/2 months. So he was already completely used to a bottle by that point anyway.

Jamie on

I loved nursing my son, and he loved it as well!! He never took a bottle- didn’t want it or the pacifier. That made things a bit difficult, especially for my husband to get involved, but I wouldn’t have given up the experience for anything. Especially if he was ever sick as he got older, breastmilk was sometimes all he could keep down-so I always felt like I made the best decision. He probably would have nursed forever I swear- but a few months after his third birthday I put some band aids on my breasts and said that they were broken and that was the end of that! By three, nursing was strictly for comfort and there were days when he didn’t nurse at all, so I was ready, and it didn’t phase him at all. I just believe you should do what feels right for you, don’t be influenced by others either way. Take into consideration what others say, but ultimately you will find your own way…

Julie on

My son was a preemie, so my breast milk had to be fortified by adding special formula to it….he had no problem at all switching to just the formula and since I pumped anyway exclusively, no prob with the bottle

Kiera on

I’m currently nursing my 16 month old son, while 7 months pregnant with my next son.

Some of the best moments have been quiet dawn cuddles, and the ability to soooth almost any bump, bruise or graze with a quick feed.

I’m the first in 3 generations to nurse beyond 6 months, and it’s not always accepted – but my son is happy, I’m happy, and I have the amazing support of my husband.

I can’t see our breastfeeding relationship ending anytime soon, and have every intention of tandem nursing once the next baby arrives.

You ALL NEED ALIFE on

Children don’t need breastmilk until 5.

Megan on

My son is 16 months and still going strong. I would like to wean him, but nothing is working so far.

Des on

My kids were both 2 (24 months and 2 days shy of 24 months.)

My oldest weaned on his own. We were in vacation in Hawaii and he said “no more booba!” and that was the end of that. LOL

My daughter only nursed at night from age 18 months until 24 ish months and at 24 months I felt done with nursing and we traded night nursing for a sippy of water. After 3 days she never asked about nursing again. She never cried over it either which was nice cause I would have felt too mean and probably would have given in.

Sharona on

The WHO recommends 2 years because many families around the world cannot afford formula, do not have access to clean water, and that is the only way the baby will be fed…in industrialized, developed nations, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and another one based in Canada recommend exclusively breastfeeding till 6 months, and then mixing solids with breastfeeding until 1 year, and after that continue if it works for both mother and child…I’m not saying this because I think breastfeeding should be cut off right after their first birthday but because after 1 year it really is a comfort and attachment thing for the mother and child, not neccessarily essential for the baby

Bree on

I am a believer in nursing to age two and then going from there.
My three tips are:
***don’t offer but don’t refuse (I think that’s a laleche league phrase)

***break up the routine — don’t always sit in the same chair or grab the same blanket… whatever your nursing routine is. Sometimes moms are as much in the routine as the kids are and they need our help if we want to “break a habit”. Start cuddle time or book time instead and see if baby still asks for nursing. You might be surprised.

***Let it be a comfortable “process” — that means it could take weeks or even months, and you have to be okay with that or it will not be comfortable for either of you.

I nursed my son till 25.5 months and my daughter is 27 months and still nursing. She is in the weaning “process.” I’m so thrilled to read all the posts from women who are nursing beyond a year!! Yay!!!

Kat on

My oldest son weaned himself at 12mo… my milk never came in no matter what I took or did with my second and we had to give up at 1month.

The meds I’m now on prevented me nursing my daughter.

I really feel not only that you should nurse whenever possible, but that it is so much better for mom and baby and easier for mom and baby
(though I still was sad over losing that special bonding time with my oldest when he did this) if it’s allowed for baby to set the pace and go by his own time of when to stop nursing.

Now, obviously, there are times when that isn’t possible or best, but for the most part, most children will wean themselves around age 2-4 and so they do not just keep going forever.

Some do wean earlier, either from a change in the milk due to a pregnancy that they don’t like (probably what caused my oldest to wean), being more active, or just losing interest in that food source.

Others will take longer because it is a great source of comfort and they just love it better than any other food.

But whether it is going from breast to bottle, breast to cup, bottle to cup, I really think that just offering the next step and letting the child lead the way on timing is so important.

We just offer the next step when we’re ready to think about the switch or supplementation.

Baby Nursing Mom on

my first two kids nursed for about 13 months, and self-weened when they were ready.

Kat on

Megan – it sounds like too many steps at one time.

If you are sure you are ready to wean (aka… you just do NOT want to be nursing her anymore), then the first step is to get her used to a cup.

pick a cup… one you know she is able to use (some are harder and some aren’t to get liquid out of) with some water with meals first… just to introduce the cup… little sips between rounds of solids or after the meal to rinse the teeth and gums…

once she gets used to the cup and knows that it’s not just to replace the breast, you can pump and put some breastmilk in the cup and offer it to her… start when you aren’t there (at least not in the room) and have someone else give it to her.

Once she gets used to the idea (give her awhile before going in and letting her have the breast instead… make sure she’s at least taken some sips and then move to this next step when she’s better at taking half or a full cup of breastmilk), you can move on to mixing.

you can mix pumped milk in with whatever milk you feel is best for her next milk source.

over time, you decrease the breastmilk and increase the other milk.

Once she is used to the other milk, just always give the cup before you would nurse… do one feeding at a time and go by her cues… if she drinks it all and goes with no breast, fine… if it’s the opposite or in between… also fine.

Now, when you offer her the cup with milk in it, whoever gives it to her (you or your partner or grandparent or whoever those first times and beyond), let her be assured this is not a BAD transition by snuggling her close and holding the cup for her if she does not want to hold it.

Remember, little steps.

She will learn that just because she’s not nursing does not mean she won’t still get just as much snuggling and cuddling and she’ll relax and be more open to weaning.

And, if you can’t get milk out easily with a pump, you can use formula to mix with the milk because milk really does taste that much different and formula is more like breastmilk than milk.

Another option would be to try the milk warmed… to the same temp as breastmilk typically is. She’s probably not used to cold liquids.

Jennifer on

I have 3 kids.
My first was 3.5 when I gently pushed him to wean while we were on vacation. He was almost 22 months when my second was born, and I tandem nursed them for 18 months. They only nursed at the same time in the beginning, but after a while, they just took turns and the older one only nursed three times a day in his 2nd year, and twice a day from the age of 3 until he weaned.

I got pregnant with my 3rd child a month after my first weaned. And my 2nd child weaned 3 months before my 3rd was born. He was 2.25 when he weaned on his own. He just gave it up on his own, probably because of the change in taste while I was pregnant.

My 3rd is still nursing and she is 2.5. She is only nursing before bedtime now, and often falls asleep. She has missed a day or two in the past couple of weeks, and I see our time ending eventually. I don’t mind. I’ve been pregnant and/or nursing since April 2001. When the last one is done, I am done and moving on to the next chapter in my life. I don’t know what it will be like to not have a baby/child nursing, so it’s bittersweet.

Since we mostly did child-led weaning, I mostly just cut back as they got older, and if they wanted to nurse when I didn’t want them to nurse as much, I would distract them, and move out of the place they normally liked to nurse, and offer them something to eat or drink. Now, if my daughter wants to nurse at night after her bedtime nursing, I offer her water. If she asks in the morning, we are usually very busy, and I just tell her we need to get ready. Distraction works the best, and telling them when they can instead of telling them they can’t always worked best for me.

Amber on

I nursed my son until he was 26 months old. He probably would have nursed the rest of his life but I was about 16 weeks pregnant and every time he nursed I had really intense contractions. My doctor told me I had to quit immediately because my body wasn’t handling being pregnant AND nursing my son at the same time. So I had my OB have a talk with my son. She told him that he was a big boy and big boys didn’t nurse, only babies. (He had been potty trained for 2 months already, she she threw in that only BIG BOYS are potty trained and BIG BOYS don’t nurse.) She explained to him my “boobies were broken” and I never nursed him again. I remember thinking it’d be a nightmare as he still nursed to sleep and many times during the night. He was so attached but it wasn’t that bad!! I kept telling him mommies boobies were broken and reminded him what the doctor said. I found other ways to cuddle with him and bond with him (just mommy & him) before bed and that helped. He was such a big boy, really made me proud!! I am 25w pregnant and plan to nurse this little girl as long as she wants :)

Heather on

I am currently breast feeding my 9 month old. I plan on going till he is ready to stop. We have a wonderful nursing relationship. I cannot imagine not having nursed him. I don’t see him stopping anytime soon. Heck- I think he would nurse till he was 20, if I let him. :-) Go ladies!! Keep on nursing your little ones.

Alexis on

Child-led weaning. You should definitely nurse for the first year of the child’s life and even up to age 2 if the child still wants to nurse. But child led is certainly the easy way to go!

Megan on

The WHO does recommend BF through at least two years for several reasons. During pregnancy, your body put in an extra layer of fat intended to support BF in the second year. Also, extended BF does continue to offer nutritional benefits to the child as well as health benefits for the mother.
I have done child-lead weaning with all seven of my children. They have all stopped on their own at various ages, but most right around the second birthday, usually due to a new pregnancy, I feel. My youngest is 17 months, and I am 16 weeks pregnant with #8, so we will see if he decides to give it up. Still an active nurser! Blessings all!

Kez on

31 months and still going strong here. Will continue until he naturally weans himself. My first child had a facial defect so breastfeeding stopped not long after her first sugery at 14 weeks. But she continued with a dummy until almost 5 – so I think i breed sucky babies who need it for food AND comfort, and both those needs are equally important :)

Ivana on

I breastfed my first daughter for 11 months. One day she just turned away and did not want to breastfeed anymore. But my younger daughter was a completely different story! I breastfed her for 28 months. She was a real breastmilk addict. After 28 months I thought that it was about time to wean her. It took us two difficult nights to get her used to the idea that mommy´s breasts were not available anymore. She never touched a dummy or a bottle. Even when we tried to give her a bottle, she just gave us a surprised look and spat out the nipple. We went right over to a cup. She is 13 now and we still have a strong and loving relationship.

MAMMA12 on

I did not nurse my 2 boys because I was young, working and going to college and thought it would be “too hard”. with my dd who is now 17 months I knew I wanted to nurse. she loved nursing and would only nurse…no bottles, etc (tho I tried pumping she did not want it!!” lol…..I truly loved nursing and regret I did not my boys..anyhow she was weaned at 14 months…I kenw I wanted to get to 1 yr mark…so around 11 months I would slowly take away feedings…it worked!!!! the last week was rough..but finally a weekend at grandmas ended it…she went all weekend w/o it..and when she came home she wanted it..but I would gently say no and give her the sippy w milk in it..after a day or so..that was it!!! I am so glad I got to nurse as long as I did…and I ahev to admit it I miss it :) but love the memories made :)

Nicola on

I’m another one who took the easy way out and simply let my son lead the weaning process. We wondered for a time if I’d have to sleep in the top bunk of his college dorm room, but he did eventually decide that the time was right. I think that’s the main thing, if you’re up to it, they WILL NOT nurse forever. If you want to make it easy easy easy on yourself, let them decide when their bodies are ready to give it up.

My son slowed down considerably by the time that he was two. By three, he was nursing a few times a day, but slowing down even more, and by three and a half he had knocked back to once or twice a day at most. He was a couple of months shy of his fourth birthday when he announced that “Nursies is for babies and I’m a big boy now so I don’t need nursies anymore”. Done, never looked back, piece of CAKE!

Lis on

I have 2 girls, neither wanted to let go of the breast. I tried putting coffee and lea & perrins on the nipples. Thought the taste would help. They ended up breastfeeding until they were two years old.

Kelly on

I weaned my oldest at 6 months because I had to go back to university and did not have the money upfront to buy an expensive efficient breast pump, let alone a place to pump while at school.

I started to slowly wean my 2nd off mid-day feedings at 10 months, only to have my supply drop dramatically to the point where she became increasingly frustrated and difficult to nurse. One day a few weeks later she just refused to nurse, despite my attempts to up my supply again, thinking that if there was more milk flowing she would nurse again. After a week of persistent unsuccessful attempts to get her to latch on again, I threw in the towel. I couldn’t handle the rejection.

Neither time I felt like it was really on my terms, which is disappointing, but I can’t dwell on it too much. They both received much benefit from the time I was able to nurse.

Amy on

I nursed my son until the day after his 2nd birthday. I was planning on letting him decide when to wean, but caved to social pressures and stopped at that time. I still regret it.

At 2 yrs old they are still a baby, and I’ll never get that time back with him. I felt pangs of regret with every cold he contracted for at least two years after we weaned. His colds were always less severe and shorter in duration when he was nursing.

We adopted our first child, and I tried adoptive nursing, but didn’t have a lot of support. I quit after 2 weeks (when she was 8 weeks old). I wish I knew then what I know now. I wouldn’t have quit so easily.

My advice is to stick it out. Treasure each moment. 20 years from now you’ll look back and truly appreciate how short this time is.

Jen on

My son is 9 moths old and nursing strong. I pump while at work so that he can still have it during the day. I don’t even want to think about the day he will stop. I am all for self-weaning because I want him to nurse for as long as he wants. He is eating solids and drinks water from a sippy cup but still nurses from me in the morning, in the afternoon when I get home and at night. Just reading these comments about the babies who stop make me so sad so I have no idea how I am going to take it when he does finally become a “big boy” and stop. I am so grateful that I have been able to breastfeed him and I will truly miss it when we stop. I read something somewhere that said “No one said how much it would hurt to start breastfeeding or how much it would hurt when it had to end” I think it is going to hurt me more than him :)

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