Help! My One Year Old Won't Get off the Breast!

Updated on April 03, 2009
K.R. asks from Spring Hill, FL
7 answers

Well, i don't know what to do. She won't drink from anything else andI hav exhausted all ideas. Now what?

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answers from Lakeland on


I'm still nursing a 2 year old. My philosophy is, if you don't have a really good reason to stop, go ahead and nurse her. If she's not ready to quit, you'll have a huge fight on your hands and it will be a miserable experience for both of you.

My first weaned rather easily at 17 months, but my second is just not there yet.

Another thing I've noticed-- once you wean them (or really cut back), they get really sick. My first never had an ear infection until she weaned. Then she got three in a row. :(

Here's some reading on the benefits of breastfeeding toddlers:

One thing I can assure you-- it's temporary. Before you know it this time will be over, so enjoy it while it lasts. If you're still intent on weaning, try again in a couple of months and see how she reacts. Good luck! :)

edited to add: I just read your "a little about me". I would try getting someone else to offer your daughter diluted juice or water in a sippy cup. I bet your daycare provider will be able to get her to drink a little, and even if it's very little, she will make up for it by nursing after you get home from work.



answers from Tampa on

How does she do when left with someone else? Does she drink from a sippy then? What have you tried in the sippy? My twins will NOT drink BM from anything other then the boob, but they will drink other things from a sippy, straw, cup, etc. So when I am away they have water and solids and because they are over one yr old they can go hours without BM and they will BF when I am home.

Im a CLC and would be happy to help you (phone and email consults are free)

my phone ####-###-#### email is


answers from Tampa on

This is very normal, as babies are not natural meant to wean from breastmilk yet at only 1yr old. Actually the AAP recommends a MINIMUM of 1 year while the World Health Organization recommends nursing for at least 2 years - and as long thereafter as is mutually desired by mom and baby. Breastmilk is best :-) If there is no drastic pressing reason to quit, I would continue to nurse your little girl. She obviously is not ready to wean and knows her body. Weaning her before she is ready can bring lots of stress and anxiety to your baby and you. She sees nursing not only as nutrition, but also a very special comforting time of emotional bonding as she develops. She sees it as an expression of love from you and will likely not understand why she is being denied what she sees as something you have always enjoyed with her. If you absolutely MUST wean, do so very gently and slowly and with LOTS of undertanding and love. Most moms doing it this way only cut out one nursing session per month, starting with one that they care the least about. You can reduce the # of daily sessions as much or as little as you like, it doesn't have to be all or none. Many moms still nurse older babies/toddlers at night and in the morning and possibly before naps - the comfort times. Keeping your milk supply for her can also be a life-saver if she should get sick, dehydrated or really stressed about some other life event/change. Many kids will only nurse when very sick, which has kept them out of the hospital requiring IV for hydration!

I know that nursing past 1 yr can bring external pressures from friends, family, and even husbands to wean... but stay strong in your motherly instinct to do what is best for your own baby. Your baby is telling you what she wants/needs. You can find LOTS of support online at places like Yahoo groups (search for 'nursing beyond 1 year' or 'Extended Nursing'). Seek support of other moms in the same situation to make a choice for what wil work best for you and your baby. Best wishes!



answers from Tampa on

Hi there...I just wanted to let you know that I am going through the exact same thing right now with my 13 1/2 month old daughter...I plan to try some of the suggestions that were offered to you including using a straw and strawberry mix...I was wondering how it has worked out for you and if you've had any success with any of these or other methods?...Thanks!



answers from Tampa on

Someone else mentioned that she may drink (breast milk, juice, whatever) from a sippy cup or bottle or regular cup when you aren't around. My friend's son wouldn't take anything but the breast if she was around and would only take a bottle from her husband or a man. If a woman tried giving him a bottle he wasn't having it, he would only sip from a cup, and then grudgingly giving really dirty looks the whole time. (I guess he figured that since there were breasts she was clearly holding out on him.) This was all as an infant when his hydration and nutrition depended entirely on breast milk and he did just fine. As much as kids can be little stinkers they aren't going to starve themselves, eventually they'll take what's offered. Which isn't to say that you need to torture your daughter either. Leave her with someone you trust for a few hours and do a dry run. A few hours without liquids won't do major damage and even if she doesn't pick any of the options the first time if whoever is watching her can get her to eat some applesauce or other liquidy food all the better. Maybe part of it is that she senses you tensing up and that upsets her and then she wants to nurse because it's her way to calm down. I know telling you not to tense up is easier said than done. Also, going back to work doesn't necessarily mean you have to stop nursing completely, you could still nurse her when you're at home and have a slower transition.

Anyway, I'm sorry you're having a rough time and I hope that you're able to find something that works for you and your daughter without too much trauma to either one of you (and I'm betting that this is WAY more traumatic for you than her).



answers from Tampa on

hi there i have a in home daycare try milk with strawberry mix in it thats what i had to do with my children and it worked even a daycare child it worded K.



answers from Lakeland on

I had the same problem with my son. I'd planned to stop at a year, but he wouldn't take a bottle or any type of sippy cup. I had to breastfeed for an extra 2 months because I couldn't get him to drink milk. I finally got him to use a straw...but it has to be one of the disposable bendable straws. We use the Take and Toss straw cups, but don't use the straws that came with them since they are too hard for him. Good luck!

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