12 answers

How to Wean a 2 Year Old....

I have a son who will be 2 in a few weeks and I am still nursing. I would like to wean him off as soon as possible. He will only go to sleep if he is nursing and wakes up in the middle of the night asking for boobie. I don't know what to do to correct this. I have enjoyed the great bonding we've done through nursing but I think it's time to get to the next step.

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What can I do next?

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My girlfriend was dealing with the same issue. So happens she has a business trip she had to go on for 3 days / 2 nights - she didn't pump or anything before hand. When she got back her daughter was pretty much on the sippy cup - everyone once in a while she has to deal with a meltdown for a request of "boobie" but she doesn't give in and her 2 year old is adjusting well.
Good luck.

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I weaned my daughter around 2 also. Since the nursing is only for comfort and getting to sleep now, this was a hard time for us. Plus, it was hard on me. I had to tell her I had boo boos on my "ninis" and she couldn't have them anymore. I rocked her to sleep the first night and she woke up all night wanting to nurse. I put her close to me and rocked her and just told her that I loved her. After 3 nights, I got my first whole night of sleep in almost 2 years. It has been almost a year since I stopped nursing her and every now and then she still asks but she is fine if I tell her no. It is a great bonding and I loved it. Congrats on doing it this long.

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My son just turned 2 june 25 and just wound up not wanting to be breastfeed one night. I'd been trying for weeks only to end up with a cranky little man. I would suggest trying to get him distracted. Get on a schedule, morning breakfast and a sippy cup, playtime, naptime, snacktime with a sippy cup, playtime, naptime, lunchtime with a sippy cup, playtime dinnertime with a sippy cup and just try to keep him entertained. That's what I was doing with him and he finally gave up breastfeeding at 22 months! If he wakes up during the night do not breastfeed him, you can comfort him and just talk gently to him until he falls asleep again..give it a try, I know everyone has different experiences..but I hope this works out for you...

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Hi P.,
We have 31 month old twin boys whom I just weaned as well about a week ago.
Like the other poster- I made it a point to talk about it all a LOT as the time was approaching... "big boys drink milk out of cups". We made a special trip and they got to pick out their own sippy cups that are for milk, water,etc. They enjoy putting in their own ice cubes and they have transitioned much easier than I thought it would be. If they ask- to nurse, I just say- I gave the rest of the milkies to someone with a "baby" since babies drink milk from boobies,etc... they seem to get that. I still lay down with them and cuddle and it's going very well. What a lucky baby you have to have gotten mumma's milk for so long. I know my original goal with them was 1 year and then that turned into 2 and then it just went on- so at 31 months I was "ready" and it turns out they were too. Good luck with it all.
xo, A.

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We're approaching this time soon too, but if you are only nursing 2x a day you are getting close. Remember when you are dropping something its always good to substitute something else...in this case I don't mean start to give a bottle...I mean begin a new routine. Do an activity during the day that is tiring, then start a new bedtime routine (you can even call it your big boy routine). Example: drink water or milk, brush teeth, change into pj's, read book(s), sing song, tuck into bed, say prayers/give a blessing, turn off light and go to bed. Another variation is to get baby ready for bed then take a long evening walk in the stroller/baby jogger. If baby doesn't fall asleep from the motion of this, then give a little drink of water and start the routine with reading books. I can't think of a time that my guy has awakened at night unless sick. He's too tired.

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This will be the longest week of your life. Here is what we did to wean our youngest (and hardest) overnight. Give him to your husband and have him take care of him. He will scream and cry. It took us a week- a long week- but every time he woke up in the night, DH took care of him- held him, rocked him, layed with him, etc. I slept in the other room. If you are anywhere around, it will not work. My DH even took a couple days off so he could sleep during the day because he knew he would not be able to get any sleep at night.

Good Luck

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You need to change the routine. Give him a sippy cup with milk in it and brush his teeth afterwards. Then read him a bedtime story. There is a great children's bible that has plenty of pictures like a comic book. I used this on mine and they still remember the stories many years later. My Son's favorite story was about Jonah and the Whale.

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I weaned my daughter at this age. I talked to her about it for the weeks leading up and I told her that after her birthday there was going to be no more because big kids don't drink mama milk. I assured her that I loved her and when the day came (lots of talking leading up to it) she understood perfectly well. She was sad and disappointed, but she got it and didn't cry. I made sure that we were still together during the time we'd normally be nursing, but we'd read a book or rock in a chair instead. I would lay with her at night when she fell asleep. I loved watching her eyelids get heavy.

I also never gave her a bottle. She could have water in her room at bedtime, that's all.

Good job BFing this long. You'll never regret that. Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful

Congrats with sticking with it this long! My son, almost 2 now, is still breastfeeding but only once a day in the morning. Up until about 16 months he was still nursing all night long, so I was ready to nighttime wean. When we would go to bed I would tell him he could have milk when the sun comes up. He woke up in the middle of the night for three months (yes, it took us a while!) but I would just tell him he could have milk when the sun comes up. That took care of the mid-night milks. Then came the task of weaning before bedtime. Again, I just told him that he could have milks in the morning, because the milks and mommy are really tired. It worked on the first shot! He hasn't asked for milk at nighttime since the first night I said that. We just make sure that he is pretty tired and mommy sings songs instead of milks. (Oh, and that's what I also did for mid-night weanings, sing instead of milks...he really liked that and never really cried much.) Now we are on to our morning weaning...I am 8 weeks pregnant, and my breasts are really sensitive. This seems to be our toughest transition, since we are still co-sleeping and as soon as he is wide awake and alert, he wants milk-as soon as the sun comes up! LOL.:-) The past week I have been nursing him just a little and then we will get up and get breakfast quickly. Hope that works...but I am also hoping as the baby grows that he will understand that the milks are now for the baby. ha!

Good Luck, and take your time. Try diff techniques and see which ones work best for you. It didnt work for us to sleep in diff rooms because my son just ended up crying himself to sleep. Not a big fan of that, so I had to try other techniques. Trial and error is usually your best bet. :-) Take care.

Idea: Maybe you could tell him that you have some special milk for him in the morning. And buy a container of milk with cartoons on it or something. OR some other kind of "treat" or "surprise" to have in the morning with breakfast. And tell him the boobie needs to go to sleep for now, so that it can make the special milk for you in the morning, but it's a surprise. LOL. Just thinking out loud. My son loves surprises.

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Kudos to you for long-term nursing!!!

I was very blessed that my oldest self-weaned a month or two before her second birthday. We went on a trip to Disney, and with the constant go-go-go, she just kind of forgot to ask for it.

My youngest, not so much. A few months after her second birthday, I decided it was time to take my body back. Band-aids worked like a CHARM!!
I'd put one on each side, and tell her that they had "owies," then offer her a cup of milk. . . okay, that worked.
After a day or so, they'd be "all better," so I wouldn't get engorged. . . . then "owie" again. . . Off and on for about a week or two, longer between each "all better" until I was comfortable that I wouldn't get engorged. Then I left them on "full time" for a bit. It was funny at night - we were co-sleeping at the time, and she'd try to latch on, but couldn't. I'd whisper a reminder about the owies, snuggle up, and she'd go right back to sleep. I think there was only one night that she was inconsolable, and I gave in.

NOTE: I highly recommend that you stick the Band-aids to your shirt or pants for a moment before applying them. It softens up the adhesive a bit, and makes removal MUCH more comfy.

Best wishes and luck!

1 mom found this helpful

maybe use band aids and tell him you have a bo bo!

When I weaned my son I took a grandmother's advice. Go away somewhere! At the time my son was 2 1/2 and was still nursing 5-6 times a day. I went away on business for the weekend for the first time without him (painful for me!!!) and he was fine all weekend.

When I got home I told him that my boobies got broken on my trip. He said, "That's o.k Mommy, the fireman can fix them!" After laughing hysterically (to myself of course), I explained to him that they were broken for good. He was a little upset but o.k. He still asked to nurse on occasion for about 6 months or so. But - I sympathized with him that they were still broken and we moved on.

Let him find another soothing mechanism. He'll adapt. Good luck! I know how hard and bittersweet this can be.

My girlfriend was dealing with the same issue. So happens she has a business trip she had to go on for 3 days / 2 nights - she didn't pump or anything before hand. When she got back her daughter was pretty much on the sippy cup - everyone once in a while she has to deal with a meltdown for a request of "boobie" but she doesn't give in and her 2 year old is adjusting well.
Good luck.

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