43 answers

How to Stop Breastfeeding 22 Month Old

my daughter is 22 months old..I still breastfeed and would like to stop. we co-sleep, which both my husband and I both want to do, but she still wakes up every 2 hrs or so just to nurse-I know not for hunger, but Iam like her pacifier.....I really want to stop nursing, so hopefully she will sleep longer at night- Iam exhausted, and would love more then 2 hrs of sleep at a time. I do not believe in letting kids cry it out(more power to those of you who do!) so that is not an option for us. I also have to nurse her for nap time to sleep too.....I would love any suggestions on how to stop, I have so many friends who say that thier babies just lost interest in nursing, but my daughter is not one of those kids, so here Iam.....let me know if you have any suggestions!!! thanks!

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What can I do next?

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Hi J.
I stopped breastfeeding at night while cosleeping by keeping a bottle of water in bed and I told her I would not be breastfeeding her in the middle of the night anymore. When she would wake up to feed I would give her the water instead. At 1st she was a littel upset but saw I was still there holding her and would drink the water and go back to sleep. That way I never felt I was ignoring her needs instead I redirected them.

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Hi J....I don't have any advice based on personal experience, but I can recommend a book that might be helpful. It's called "The No-Cry Sleep Solution" by Elizabeth Pantley. It's a very easy and quick read. The author co-slept and breastfed her children, and she addresses the "human pacifier" issue in her book. Good luck.

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My girl was the EXACT same way. I let her self-wean, and she did do that about at around 2 to 2.5 years old. I let my younger child self-wean too. I'm a SAHM, so it was fine... although I did not get much sleep at all. LOL.

Or, change her bedtime routine... let Dad put her to bed. I would to that sometimes when I was just too tired.

Take care and good luck, I know it's tiring. :)
~Susan
www.cafepress.com/littlegoogoo

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I've heard Jay Gordon's book is great. I ended up nursing until we were both done(47 mos) I did start talking to her about sleeping all night and drinking milk in the morning and gave her reasons.Tis was at around 18 mos. they do get it. it was still about 6 months before she actually stopped night nursing. This cut out the night nursing first. I felt much more rested after that. It can be challenging with the co sleeping. I suggest sleeping with your breasts covered if you don't already. There is also alot of support at mothering.com forums. I ended up nursing longer because I didn't want her to feel as if she'd done something wrong and they will natually stop between 2-4 years. Remember you are doing something so amazing for your child. I don't know one single person who is sorry they did it!! A flower for you! H

2 moms found this helpful

Hey there -

Bravo to you! My husband and I co sleep with our son. And I nursed for over two years. So....how did I stop? Oh boy, I was so worried about it. But I got a few suggestions and then mixed and match the advice to suit me and my son. I slowly stopped one nursing at a time. Distractions. Help from my husband. Talking to my son all the time about the exciting changes we are going through. Told him he is a big boy. Slowly I was down to the night nursing. Yes, there a little bit of fussiness stopping the nursings throughout the night. But it wasn't bad. I told him I loved him. Gave lots of hugs. Lots of soothing. No, I didn't allow any of the big crying. I didn't like that. I agree with you. If it was fussiness, than I was ok and he was ok and he went back to sleep. It's a slow process. I had to be patient. So, back to the night time one. We had countdown. I picked a date and we did Six more nights. Five more nights. Four more nights. My son got excited. I didn't want him feeling that something was going to be taken away from him. I wanted him to feel excited. I told him how proud I was him. I thanked him for sharing this experience with him. And then the last night, he said "Big Boy." Oh, I was so proud. I did get him presents. I had them lined up. I didn't go the sugar route. I got DVD's, books, stickers. When he asked for nursing, he got a present. And it worked. Like I said, it takes some time and patience. And you go with your gut what feels right. You've got support if you need it. ;)

Sure hope this helps. Good luck!

R.

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Great job! I know how hard it is. My first stopped around 26mos my second just turned three and is uh... still nursing. But, very infrequently, once every 4-6 days or so. When I night weaned my second, he was about 25mos old. I just told him what we were doing. At first I started with, when Mr. Moon is out we don't nurse. I had to tell him that for several weeks until he finally got it. I never let him cry over it, if he insisted on nursing, I'd let him and just keep it really short, OK, we'll nurse until I count to 10 on both sides, OK? He'd be fine. I'd remind him that very soon, we won't be nursing at night at all, only when Mr. Sun is out. After he night weaned the days became very easy too because he is just busy with so much else. He only asks to nurse once in a while - I think he just wants to make sure I always have milk. (-: With my first, same thing, I just started telling her pretty soon we won't be nursing anymore, nursing hurts Mommies boobies (I was pregnant). With her, it was 3 days of talking to her, on the 4th night, I just assumed I was nursing her to sleep to go to bed and she said, "no more nursing, milk all gone" it wasn't all gone but she got it that we were done. Your daughter understands a lot so just start talking to her and she will get it.
Best wishes,
M.

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Looks like you got some really good advice -from the one mom who did the countdown and presents.

I have a wonderful 2 year old who still loves to nurse-and so we still do once before bedtime. To get to this place:

I put her on a schedule of having breastmilk after each meal, before nap and bedtime and 1st thing in the morning - so that we both knew when to expect it. We talked about it a lot. If she asked for it any other time I offered her soymilk and gave her lots of hugs and kisses. Then eventually I talked with her about the fact that she was getting to be a bigger little girl and that we would just do first thing in the morning and b4 nap and bedtime. And then weaned her of b4nap and first thing in the morning.

Being clear about what I wanted (talking to her about it alot), being very loving and reassuring and helping to meet her need -by offering some other milk/beverage right away & reminding her how much I love her - helped her to make the transition without crying it out - but there were some tears. I also really wrapped up first thing in the morning if she wanted to cuddle- so that she wouldn't try to breastfeed.

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

I had to stop at 17 months with my son and he was so mad he cried for two weeks, the neighbors called child services on me because he wouldn't stop. Turns out he was also teething. Have you considered getting her a little bed next to yours? Weaning her so late will be harder because she is more able to express her frustrations and desires and will probably give you a hard time. You may just have to tough it out and find something else to give her instead of your breast for that need. She is still on the schedule of an infant and it is set much deeper since she is older. You're going to have to fight to break that habit and maybe have some sleepless nights. Hopefully someone else can give you better advice.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi J.
I stopped breastfeeding at night while cosleeping by keeping a bottle of water in bed and I told her I would not be breastfeeding her in the middle of the night anymore. When she would wake up to feed I would give her the water instead. At 1st she was a littel upset but saw I was still there holding her and would drink the water and go back to sleep. That way I never felt I was ignoring her needs instead I redirected them.

1 mom found this helpful

ok, here's my thing...i nursed a long time. my son didn't sleep through the night until he was over 3! however, i believe the reason is because he was still nursing. we co-slept also. i can't imagine how to ween and sleep together. i got him to the point that i could just soothe him back to sleep, but it means many nights of longer crying and wakefulness...i couldn't do it. you might have to switch her to another bed or increase feedings before bed (although i don't think that's what wakes them up to nurse...i think it's the desire to be close to mommy). i guess i don't have good advice, i just have sympathy : ) i will tell you that you'll miss it when it's gone (i wanted sleep badly, but i miss being woken up just to be close). it's up to you...yiou might want to sacrifice sleep for a little longer ; )
and congrats to you on such a supportive husband!!!!!! and congrats to him for being so open and awesome!

1 mom found this helpful

Try "bandaging" your breasts and telling your daughter they are broken . You might also consider putting a small toddler bed next to your bed for her to sleep in . Start off by putting her favorite toys to sleep in the bed at night and then gradually ask her if she would like to join her friends in the big girl bed. She can always crawl into bed with you at night if she needs to.

I have a question about not letting children cry it out. I let my son cry out some things ( like separation anxiety when i am going to the mailbox etc..) And I give him a few minutes to self soothe if he is in the crib and trying to go to sleep. He crys less and less because he "learns to deal" with it. I think it leads to developing problem solving skills , like when He wants a toy he can't quite get to and he cries about it. How do you deal with all those instances that kids cry for "no good reason" ?

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