M.H. asks from Allen Park, MI on January 13, 2011
Weaning Ideas from Nursing
I have a 22 month old daughter in which I'm still nursing. My plan was to nurse her until 1 but it's worked out so well for me that I decided to keep going with it but she is going to be 2 in March and would like to get some suggestions as far as the best way(s) to wean her. I work full time and have been pumping twice a day at work. She pretty much only nurses once I get home from work and then at night, she also will wake up sometimes during the night to nurse as well which I think is more out of habit now. When I'm home on the weekends of course, she will nurse as she wants. What are you thoughts and/or suggestions?
So What Happened?™
Thanks to everyone for the advise as well as suggestions. It's been harder then expected but knew it would be a task. I'm just taking it slow and day by day:) I just love this site:)
D.W. answers from Gainesville on January 13, 2011
My daughter was 20 months when we weaned. I used distraction when she would ask to nurse. Sometimes she forgot other times she didn't. We just took it slow and she gradually didn't ask anymore. It was hard though because I really enjoyed nursing and she is my last :(
Also, you may want to read up on some ideas to help her with sleep like Dr. Sears Baby Sleep Book or I think the Baby Whisperer and The No-cry sleep solution have toddler versions since she will wake at night to nurse. As you get closer to weaning you can offer her a sippy with a bit of warm milk at night when she wakes.
Be prepared to stay busy on the weekends when she is more used to you being there and nursing at will. The busier you are the less opportunity she will have to nurse. Not saying go cold turkey but the idea is to lessen her opportunities to ask.
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H.*. answers from Modesto on January 13, 2011
As you introduce new liquids into her life via sippy cup it should be a fairly easy transition. Get her a cute "lovey" to take the place of the boob.
Awesome job nursing that long Mom. It's so much easier than dealing with bottles and formula. The money you saved and the health benefits for both of you puts a big smile on your face I'm sure :)
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G.B. answers from Detroit on January 14, 2011
I don't think you need to still be pumping unless it's for your own comfort. La Leche League always says to wean gradually and with love. This could take quite awhile but if she's only nursing here and there, why not?
C. answers from Detroit on January 14, 2011
Congratulation for your effort. Your kid got immunity which will help her later in the life. I know stopping is so difficult. If you have another caregiver for her that person has to make an extra effort. Stop the day feeding first and then the night. It will be easy for you and the kid. It was difficult to put her to bed so my husband played a very important role that time.
J.Q. answers from Anchorage on January 13, 2011
idk how much help I'll be, but my daughter will be 15 months on the 23rd & It has been a week today since I last breastfed her, I was planning to let her self wean and/or wean her gradually, but I got tired of it before she did, so I finally had to go cold turkey & I was expecting the worst, but she did great!! She still wakes up at night, but I just cuddle her & rock her back to sleep, she's even just laid down while I rub her back & fell asleep that way a few times, she's napping better & sleeping better at night now! she was also waking up 2-3 times a night out of habit just to nurse, now she wakes up once & goes right back to sleep!
I would just slowly start cutting back or just cut out the breast feeding & give her the bottle for a while, We started feeding our daughter more food too, I make sure she gets plenty to eat & she's doing really well with it! a LOT better than I expected, I think I held on as long as I did because I was attached & didn't want to stop, knowing she's my last & I'll never breastfeed again, it was hard for me to let go!
If you're willing, I'd even do as I did & go cold turkey, but it was very hard on my boobs that way!! I was in a LOT of pain up until yesterday, so I would slowly start pumping less, so it's easier on you as far as that goes!
I'm not much help, because the whole weaning thing didn't work well for me!
Good Luck though!!
C.M. answers from Detroit on January 14, 2011
The old fashioned way and recommended by Le Leche League is "don't offer/don't refuse" I had one that self weaned at 15 months...shocker. Another was 3.....I was not able to EVER sit down. LOL! If I did she wanted to nurse. The LLL way is, I think the way to go. She is still a baby...take your time. Sounds like you have a good handle on it already.
P.N. answers from Boston on January 13, 2011
Good on you nursing this long, especially while working full time. That takes commitment. Some will wean at that age as someone else mentioned, but many will want to hang on a lot longer if you leave it up to them. I left it up to my daughter (tho I did night wean at 28 mos) and she wouldn't have given it up anywhere near that age without direction from me. It depends on the kid, definitely! And different techniques work for different kids as well. When you do start, keep in mind that she may dig in her heels and start demanding even more nursing as she sees you trying to take it away. Also, you will need to offer other opportunities for attachment when you are decreasing nursing sessions.
Kellymom has a good description of the different weaning techniques http://www.kellymom.com/bf/weaning/weaning_techniques.html
You may want to tackle night weaning first. Dr Jay Gordon has a plan many people like, though his website doesn't seem to be working right now.
R.B. answers from Grand Rapids on January 14, 2011
Kudos for sticking with the nursing even while you work! I nursed my first until about 20 months and the weaning went well. I don't remember exactly what I did, but I think you would be wise to slowly cut out the feedings that seem "less important" to her (probably the ones that aren't before sleep). Then you can tackle the before bed and night time ones!
You have received some great advice here. One thing I remember when I weaned my second was that I always nursed her while sitting on the same couch each night. We were down to eliminating that difficult before bed feeding. I made sure I didn't sit on the couch, EVER, because that was a signal to her to nurse. This really seemed to help. Also, as many others wrote, I think your daughter is probably old enough to understand if you tell her you are "all done" with mama's milk. Just be sure to offer her lots of snuggle time to make up for it (and for you too!).
Blessings on this endeavor! I know I am not looking forward to it with my son although to encourage you, both of my girls weaned well.