21 answers

Wean 18 Month Old

I would really like to wean my 18 month old boy. He is getting mean and violent if I don't offer at his demand. I am not kidding, if he is trying to lift my shirt for a drink and I pull it down he hits kicks and bites and throws an all out fit. I can get him distracted for maybe 3-5 minutes before he remembers 'I want a boobie'. I have a 5 yr old who weaned herself when I got pregnant (she was 16 mos.) and a 3 yr old who weaned herself at 22 mos but from 17 months she only had a drink when she got up and before bed at night.(2wks before I gave birth to the 3rd- the unweanable). This boy would just like an "open bar, self serve". I totally wouldn't mind morning and night but I really don't appreciate getting hit all day when he has no need to nurse. If anyone has any wonderful ideas I sure would appreciate it. He get PLEANTY to eat and drink without me... I am just not quite sure how to get him to understand that:)
Thank you in advance for your help!!

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More Answers

I had similar questions while I was nursing. My mid-wife told me to use something non-toxic, but horrible tasting on my nipple (like bitters or a flavor your child doesn't like). After a couple tastes of "somethings wrong with Mom" he should start to wean himself. Be cautious though, don't use a skin irritant or let him nurse without the deterrent. Hope it helps!

2 moms found this helpful

Hi E.,
I can so relate to breastfeeding older babies. One of mine didn't wean until she was 22 months (she was my longest nurser). Many years ago I read an article in a Parenting magazine that talked about babies and suckling. It said that babies up to the age of 5 use sucking as their first form of comfort. In your situation I think it's apparent that your son is using nursing for comfort. Perhaps try getting him to comfort himself with other means, a thumb, a bottle, the binky. And don't let him walk all over you by hitting you. One way to stop this is grab him up into your lap holding firmly onto his little legs and arms so that they aren't flying everywhere, then in a quiet voice right next to his ear sing him soothing songs until he calms down. When calm love on him and tell him his actions are unacceptable and hurt you. He sounds like a very smart kids and he'll be quick to understand that it is unacceptable to hurt you. Good luck.

2 moms found this helpful

He's not unweenable. You just don't have the experience to ween him, since the others weaned themselves. He is 18 months and maybe cold turkey would work, or you could be very encouraging and offer him something else and a lot of praise if he takes the bait, like smiling and hugging him and telling him how much you love to hold him. In the meantime, don't let him get near enough to kick, bite or hurt you, because, although it is amusing, it does hurt. When my son was little and got upset, sometimes I'd just say, "it's so hard to be a little boy". Another thing you could try is going a few days without nursing, then tell him there's no more milk. There are a million solutions, you're smart and if you want to, you can ween him. It can be difficult with the youngest one, because we love our babies so and unconsciously we sometimes want them to stay that way. Especially if we realize that this is the last one. Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful

Although he probably does not need to nurse for his nutritional needs, (although he would still benefit nutritionally), he obviously needs to nurse for his emotional needs. I invite you to consider that. Your other children probably weaned to make room for the next one, and this one doesnt have another one "pushing him off". Some babies find it soothing to nurse well past 2, even 3 yrs of age. You might find it soothing, too, if you can accept that it is "OK". I invite you to contact LaLeche League in your area to find others who share this experience and can support you. If, however, you are determined that he wean, La Leche League can also offer you information on how to help him wean without harmful consequences. Being able to "be there" for our children, even when it is beyond our expectations, is challenging, but in the end, so very rewarding. Kudos to you for meeting his needs these past 18 months. I am sure your whole family has benefited for it.
I would gently let him know, however, that hitting, biting, etc is never acceptable behavior, but he is expressing his frustraton in the only way he really knows how. Gently teach him alternative ways.

1 mom found this helpful

Hitting your mother is NEVER NEVER acceptable. That's the first thing you should be dealing with. I also think that a 1/2 to 2 year old should not be nursing. That's my opinion but once they have teeth, they should not have the opportunity to bite the "boob" that feeds them. Tough love, cold turkey. You are in charge and he needs to know that. Tell him he is a big boy now. My children are grown and are wonderful respectful adults. My 3 grandchildren were all weaned at around six months. They are also well on their way.

1 mom found this helpful

It is a soothing mechanisms. It will take some time. good luck.

1 mom found this helpful

have you tried taking him to buy a new cup of his own? I had a simular issue when my son was 1yr and I took him and let him pick out his own cup and after that instead of trying to nurse he would bring me the cup when he was thirsty.

Brenda J

1 mom found this helpful

Hi. I have just been going through something very much the same with my 2 yr.old. I have been going through the weening process for the last two weeks with him. He started out pretty much the same way as your 1 yr. old, except for the biting. My 2 yr. old can be VERY verbal about wanting to nurse and how he feels about not getting to. And there is kicking and screaming. This is new to me too. My other two weened alot more calmly, there were some tears, but they accepted that we could still cuddle and hold and feel loved and comforted by doing other things then nursing. Not my 2 yr. old! At first, and still sometimes now, he refuses anything else I am offering in place of nursing. And I understand, he is not being deprived of nutrition. I think it is emotional. The best advice that was given to me, was that no matter what system I was going to use to wean my 2 yr. old, I MUST be consistent. I give him a little more extra attention, hugs and holds and tickles, through out the day, trying to recondition his mind that there are other ways to feel those same wonderful feelings from nursing. I realized I was depending on my 5 yr. old to play and entertain him mostly, so I started to play more with him, rolling a ball, blowing bubbles, building with blocks. More ways to show him that we can connect, other then nursing. At night he has to lay down on his pillow and blanket and I will offer my arm or hand to hold, sometimes he pushes it away and gets mad, but I tell him its ok and that I love him and good night. Usually after a while he cuddles up (but that took almost 2 wks before he would do that). I also, when we first started weening, would talk to him about it. We even had a good-bye moment with the "nursies", telling them we loved them and thanking them for all the nourishment and comfort they had given him. He has been alot harder to ween then the others and it sounds like your 1 yr. old is the same. Again just be consistent, take every opportunity to reassure him (by talking, playing, hugging, etc.) and also sometimes, which is something I have had to let my 2 yr old do, let him throw his tantrum (as long as he is not hurting himself or others) and just be there close by when he is done so you can hold him then. It might take him a while but he will come around. I would also tell him "no biting" and tht it hurts. Be firm but loving. And the key is to be consistent. It feels like he will never ween (it has been a long process and we are not totally over it with my 2 yr. old!)but keep an eye out for progress as you go along. You will see it sooner then you think. I hope I have offered at least some encouragement. I wish you and your son the best.

S., mother of 5 (14, 10, 8, 5 and 2-who, I like how you put it, also seemed unweenable, lol)

1 mom found this helpful

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