May 11, 2006,
T.C. asks from Irving, TX on May 10, 2006
When and How to Stop Nursing
My son is turning one on Saturday and I would really like to start to wean him from nursing completely. He has been on both formula and nursing for a while now but I think that at one I would like to stop nursing him all together. (mainly cause his dad says at one....enough is enough). But I don't know where to begin to wean him. He really only nurses about once or maybe twice a day as is so I'm hoping this won't be a hard transition. I just don't know what to do if he absolutely wants to nurse to get his mind off of it. And what happens to my body? How do I stop producing milk without getting engorged etc. Is there something I can do to dry my milk up? This may sound silly but I just have no clue so any advice would be appreciated. Thanks!
10 moms found this helpful
C.M. answers from Dallas on May 10, 2006
Hi, I nursed my daughter for a year, she is now 13 months, so I just went thru this, for a year all she got was breastmilk. This is how I did it, we were doing 3 feedings a day, so a week before she turned 1 I subsituted the middle feeding for cows milk to see if she would take it and if she'd like it, no problem she loved it, I subsituted one feeding for a week. The first day my breast got engorged so by 6pm I couldn't wait any longer and nursed her. The 2nd day was alot better my breast did not get engorged like the 1st day, they did not hurt at all or get as full. I did this for a week until my breast adjusted. Then the next week I tried to cut the morning feeding out, but she didn't like that, so I nursed her and that day tried to cut the night feeding out. Which she did fine, she took her sippy cup with cows milk like it was nothing. Again did this for a week until my breast adjusted. Then I substituded the last and final feeding we cut the morning off, and this time she did good she didn't fight or anything, she just took her sippy cup and NEVER cried for my breast or begged for it, didn't even look at it twice after that. After that my breast did not swell up or get engorged since we had cut back so much. I did get lumps on them and they were a little hard. It took about two weeks for my breast to go back to normal. They did go back to their normal size pre pregnancy. It was too easy for me and I never had any problems with her wanting my breast after that. Good luck and I hope this helped. The thing to remember is to do it slow not cold turkey, you have to let your breast adjust. If not, it will be painfull to do.
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B.M. answers from Dallas on May 10, 2006
This sounds crazy. But to dry up your milk, you can wrap your breasts in cabbage leaves. That way, no engorgement. When my son weaned, I gave him the sippy cup.
M. answers from Dallas on May 11, 2006
I am in the same situation. I have a 15 month old and we have weaned down to twice a day, but he refuses to completely wean. Everything I have read says that the child will wean better on his own, but this has been going on for 3 months. I would like to stop nursing especially since he has a lot of teeth now.
If you learn something that really works, please let me know.
A. answers from Dallas on May 10, 2006
The best way to wean is to cut out one feeding a week. This is a good gradual transition for the baby, but also good for the mom because it slowly reduces the amount of milk she produces. So, if you're only nursing once or twice a day, the chance of you getting engorged is pretty low. I would simply give him a sippy of (cold) whole milk (assuming he has no dairy allergy) in place of that nursing session. I would not stop formula cold turkey at the same time, because switching from formula/breastmilk completely to whole milk could be quite a shock to his sytem. So, if you want to stop nursing now, replace that one nursing session per day with a sippy of whole milk. After a week, replace one bottle of formula with a sippy of whole milk. Continue replacing bottles with whole milk until he's completely on whole milk.
I would also advise talking to your ped about this.
My daughter was still nursing 5 times a day at a year, and I was actually surprised at how easy it was to wean her. A year is still typically young enough that babies don't start tugging at your shirt or literally asking to nurse.
R.D. answers from Dallas on May 11, 2006
It is really a matter of how strong u r ..as the child is always the adaptable kind..if one feed from u is replaced by formula..each time ..gradually..the child gets used to it as it happens..
And ur body gets accustomed to it too..as u r no longer feeding him..it's an auto process..the milk prodn ceases to occur in the same rapid rate..Eventually , when u do stop nursing him completely..the chges ur body wud occur is only that u may be prone to put on weight as u might keep up with ur food intake ..so just exercise at least 3 times in a week and perhaps u shall be back in shape ...
S.C. answers from Dallas on May 11, 2006
These are not silly questions but ones I went through with my first child as well. I would stop cold turkey and have your hubby give him milk in a bottle at the times when he want to nurse.
Re: engorgement, it was not bad for me as my child was on some formula as well. It will engorge a little but subside within 5 days if that.
M.W. answers from Dallas on May 10, 2006
First of all, I am sorry that your husband is not more supportive of breastfeeding. Your baby benefits from breastfeeding beyond a year. Secondly, you are asking the wrong people for help. Go to www.llli.org (La Leche League International) and you will be able to find a La Leche League leader in your area who can give you some advice on weaning.
I let my son self wean. By 16 months he was more interested in food than nursing and just stopped wanting it. I never got engorged and it happened so slowly that it was very easy for us both emotionally.
K. answers from Dallas on May 11, 2006
I don't know if this will be much help, or even possible for you, but I nursed 3 and am currently nursing my fourth.
I found that the easiest (and for me the only possible way) to quit nursing was to leave town for a couple of days. I just couldn't distract them when they were hurt or something and wanted to nurse. That also helped with the milk production, then I didn't have them around triggering let down or anything.
Also, there is a supplement made from vegetables like broccoli that dried my milk production right up. It also has the added benefits of being cancer preventing, and helps with hormone balance (weight loss, libido, PMS). The supplement is Indole 3 Carbinole, also spelled Endole. I know it's available online (I'm new and don't know the local stores). I was told to take 100 mg twice a day and it worked within a week.
I hope this helps. Good Luck!