29 answers

Weening from Breastfeeding

My son is now 16 months old and he nurses for his one nap and at bedtime only. He doesn't seem ready to be off the breast. I have not tried to ween him specifically because I do not know if I am ready for the battle. Also, I do not know what steps to go through to even stop. He uses a sippy cup for his meals and snacks. I could use some advice. Is it ok to still breastfeed this long?

2 moms found this helpful

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

ok, more than ok. here is an expert opinion:
http://www.kathydettwyler.org/dettwyler.html
Happy Breastfeeding!
V.

More Answers

My daughter breastfed until she was 2 ( I was 5mos pregnant when she weaned). My son weaned just after turning 3. Yes, it is OK to breastfeed your child still. I'm not just saying it becaue I did it for as long as I did. My kids are 4 and 6 and I have no regrets. Both weaned when they were ready. Julie - if you are reading this - please understand that just because a child breastfeeds past one, doesn't mean they aren't eating table foods and drinking from a cup. Just want to clear that up now as some people I guess actually think when we nurse our babies at 2/3 years old that it means that is all they are getting. You are doing a great job P.. Change it if you are resentful or things aren't working out for you - if you and your son have a good nursing relationship than there is no reason to stop now. As he gets a little older, you'll be able to reason with him more, for example. Although my son nursed until 3 years of age, at about 18mos, I was able to slowly take away the night time nursing (he'd nurse all night if he could) I would tell him, pretty soon, we aren't going to nurse when Mr. Moon is out, only when Mr. Sun comes up, etc.. it took 4/6 weeks but it was very gentle and he totally understood. Eventually, he only nursed every few days - his way I think of making sure things didn't dry up! LOL! I'll tell you, it's a godsend when they are sick with flu like symptoms. I've said it before, I swear my son avoided a trip to the hospital and an IV because at the least I could get him to nurse throughout the night when he was throwing up, even if it seemed he was throwing everything up - he was still getting the good stuff.
Best wishes,
M.
*good breastfeeding resources:
www.kellymom.com
www.askdrsears.com

4 moms found this helpful

Are you weening him because you want to? because he wants to? Or because uneducated people have commented? I'm not saying you have to BF until he's 5, but he's only 16 months!

Check out these stats from the WHO (World health Organization):

 Babies who are breast-fed for at least 6 months have fewer health problems than formula-fed babies, including:
 3 times fewer ear infections
 5 times fewer urinary tract infections
 5 times fewer serious illnesses
 7 times fewer allergies

 Breast milk is so easy to digest, breast-fed babies spit up less often, have less diarrhea and less constipation. Breast milk actually starts to digest in 90 seconds.

 For every 87 formula-fed babies who die from SIDS, only 3 breast-fed babies die from SIDS.

 Babies who are fed ONLY breast milk (no supplementing with formula or solid foods) for at least 26 weeks (or 6.5 months) are 6 times less likely to develop lymphoma (type of cancer) in childhood.

 Babies who are breast-fed for at least one year are 50% less likely to develop diabetes.

Breast milk can begin a lifetime of good health for your baby
 As adults, people who were breast-fed as infants have:
 Less asthma, allergies, and diabetes
 Fewer skin problems, including dermatitis and eczema
 Lowered risk of heart attack and stroke due to lower cholesterol levels
 Less ulcerative colitis
 Less Crohn’s disease
 Protection from certain chronic liver diseases

 Breast milk is brain food. Studies show that children who were breast-fed have higher IQs that those who were given formula.

Breastfeeding is healthy for mom
 Women who breastfeed lower their risk of cancer.
 Nursing for a lifetime total of 2 years lowers the risk before menopause by 40%
 Nursing for a lifetime total of 6 years lowers the risk before menopause by 66%
 Nursing for a lifetime total of 7 years lowers the risk of breast cancer throughout a woman’s life to almost 0%

 Breastfeeding your baby also provides protection from cancer of the ovaries and osteoporosis.

3 moms found this helpful

It is absolutely okay to continue breastfeeding if that's what you want to do. My older son weaned himself at 17 months, and I had to work hard to wean the younger son at 3 years! If you're okay with it, let your son decide when he's done.

It sounds like he's almost done anyway; why not have this one special time continue until you're both done? Do what you feel in your heart is right, and don't let anyone else tell you different.

Good luck to you.

2 moms found this helpful

My son just turned two and we still BF at nap time and bed time. We are gradually weaning but I have decided to follow his lead. He has recently started saying things like "me no need Mommy milk. Me want big boy milk." So he is making the choice on his own. As I did more research on it I realized how good it is for both him and me. Do what feels right for you.

2 moms found this helpful

P.,

You can breastfeed as long as you and your child are happy doing so. I breastfed my first until he was 2 and my second until 18 months. There is absolutely nothing wrong with continuing to breastfeed. The immune benefits continue as long as you continue to nurse and so do the emotional benefits. It certainly won't hurt him or you.

:-)T.

2 moms found this helpful

What your are doing is called "extended breastfeeding" and there is nothing wrong with that.
MANY Doctors themselves, do that.

For me, I nursed my kids until they self-weaned. My daughter weaned herself at about 2.5 years old, and my son did at about 12 months old.

There is nothing you have to do... your child will wean himself.
Yes, he is on a sippy cup, and you can also have him use a straw-cup or regular cup too. He is 16 months old and can do this.

Your son is only nursing 2 times a day... so that is good. He IS weaning himself already....
Remember though, if you do want him to self-wean, then you must go according to your son's cues... not yours. When your son is ready to stop he will. My daughter- just one day out of the blue proclaimed "I don't drink (from you)anymore, I'm a BIG girl!"- and then she just stopped. Period. And she never went back, nor did I try to get her to nurse again. She stopped herself. With my Son- he used to literally slap my boobs away and scream/grumble when I put him to breast... and he just wanted a bottle. So, that was HIS way to stop nursing...and so I did and went by HIS cues.... nursing had begun to be a struggle by then and he was much happier with a bottle by 1 year old.

each child is different. BUT, NOTHING is wrong with extended breastfeeding.
You can research it online as well....

All the best,
Susan

2 moms found this helpful

The World Health Organization actually reccomends that a child be breastfed until they are at least 2 yrs and then after that for as long as mutually desired. You are doing a great job by nursing him this long. Allowing him to decide when he is ready will give him a great sense of accomplishment and will mean that you don't have any battles! At this point, your milk is chock full of concentrated nutrients and antibodies. For a toddler, this can be so important since as you probably know, some days they feel like eating, some days they don't.

Keep it up as long as you can! Here are some links with good information in case someone asks you:

http://www.kellymom.com/bf/bfextended/ebf-myths.html
http://www.kellymom.com/bf/bfextended/ebf-benefits.html
http://www.kellymom.com/bf/bfextended/ebf-refs.html

2 moms found this helpful

P.,
Good for you for sticking with it for so long! I nursed our daughter for 21 months. My initial goal was a year. Then at a year, I decided to go for the World Health Organization's goal of 2 years. We made it to 21. Probably could have gone to 24 months, but I was kinda done, if you know what I mean. Stick with it as long as you are both interested, is my advice. Our daughter has never had an ear infection and has never been on antibiotics of any type. She's rarely sick. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

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