17 answers

When to Wean?

DS is going to turn a year next month! I can hardly believe it, seems like no time at all since he was a newborn. I was planning on weaning him at a year, but now that it is almost here I'm not sure we're ready. I know people have said their kids "weaned themselves" at certain ages, but my son still nurses 4 times a day (7ish, 10ish, 4ish, bedtime). He also gets baby foods and finger foods at lunch and dinner. I am not sure how to start the weaning process, or if we even should. Hubby thinks it's a bit weird to BF older babies, but he'll let me do whatever I want. It just makes me so sad to think he won't be nursing anymore, but I'm sure I'll feel that way at whatever age he is when we stop. How old were your babies when you weaned them or when they weaned themselves?

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thanks for the great advice, everyone! I told DH that I didn't want to quit at a year just because he was a year. He gave me the one eyebrow raised "hmm" look, but that was about it. We will go until we are ready to stop and I know I won't regret it.

Featured Answers

There is no reason you should wean if you don't want to. Keep going until you want to stop. I weaned my son at 19 months.

More Answers

World Health Organization (WHO) recommends until 2 years old, longer if mutually desired by mother and child. In cultures where child led weaning is the norm, it is not unheard of for a child to be breastfed until the age of 7. The American Academy of Pediatrics is very behind in only recommending 1 year. American culture has a very outdated and wrong attitude towards breastfeeding.
My first child nursed until he was 3, through my pregnancy with my second and for 2 months I tandem nursed both of them. I think he would have nursed longer had I not gotten pregnant and my milk changed. He didn't like the change in milk and later his brother kicking him.
My second nursed until a couple months before his 5th birthday. I found out I was pregnant with my third days after the last time he nursed.
My third is 33 months old (so 3 months shy of 3 years old). I can guarantee she's not going to quit any time in the very near future. I have no reason to make her.
Of course they no longer nursed like newborns as they got older. Some days they nursed more than others. I could tell them to wait until we were done in the store so I could finish the shopping.
Ultimately it is a choice you and your child make, no one else has a say. If you do not want to stop then don't. There is no reason to stop unless you want to stop.

4 moms found this helpful

I nursed until my son was 2.5 years old, gradually removing feedings till we were done. I enjoyed it and the weaning was very easy on my body. Feed as long as you both enjoy it :)

3 moms found this helpful

I nursed both my boys until they turned two. I had planned on just one year, but then after making it that far, I saw no reason to cut it off because of an arbitrary date. I researched it and found that the World Health Organization recommends nursing until at least 2 years of age (after extensive studies demonstrating the benefits). Nursing naturally eased off to just before naps and bedtime. I recommend doing what feels natural to you. One of the benefits I didn't think of before continuing past one year is that I was able to nurse each of them through various childhood illnesses between ages 1 and 2 when all they wanted was the comfort of Mommy and nursing (ie wouldn't tolerate other food/drinks). There were a couple of times with each of them that I was so glad we'd continued. However, by around 2, I was done. I gently encouraged an end to the nursing by slightly changing the bedtime routine and gently explaining how big kids don't need to nurse anymore. Going to sleep without nursing became a huge sense of accomplishment and pride on their part. Do what works for you - I had a wonderful experience nursing past the first birthdays. Good luck with whatever you decide!

3 moms found this helpful

Do what is best for you and your little one. If there is no reason for you to stop nursing, don't do it. You will get used to the slack you catch from people who think it is "weird" to nurse a baby after one year. My son turned 3 in January and I still nurse him, although I don't produce much milk at this point so it is more for comfort and only a few times a day, especially when I put him to sleep. I love the bond and the closeness. And he loves nursing, he's obsessed with it so why should I stop if we are both enjoying it? I too am praying that he will self-wean, but I can't honestly picture that happening. If it is tiring you out (sometimes it does get to be exhausting and demanding) as he gets older and is more interested in play and exploration, you can cut down to nursing a few times a day, like nap and night time, or when he needs extra comforting. If you stop before you are ready (not to mention him), I think you will regret it. This is the only time in your relationship that you share this bond, so enjoy it as much as you can and trust your maternal instincts. Good luck!

2 moms found this helpful

My DD was 11 1/2 mos. when she kind of weaned herself. We were already down to 2 feedings a day (wake-up and bedtime). I just cut one out one day and handed her a sippy with milk. She didn't protest it. After about a week of one feeding a day, I just quit with the bedtime one and she didn't care. If she would have asked for it I would have given it but she didn't. We never looked back. If you or your child aren't ready, then keep it up! Nothing wrong with keeping it up for a while longer at all!

1 mom found this helpful

ds1... 2 yrs, on his own, no problem lol
ds 2... 15mo abrupt weaning due to my health
ds 3... 3 years, we had a lovely party to say good bye to nursies
dd... 3 years, she had chicken pox and had them in her mouth, she lost the skill to suck by the time she was well enough to try again

1 mom found this helpful

I weaned at 19 months at the increasing pressure of DH, who also though it was weird. Neither myself nor my DD were really ready at the time. She basically became addicted to her binky because she still had a strong instinct to suck for comfort and I had major regret and resented my DH for quite some time for pushing me.
Wait until you are ready or your son weans himself.
Good luck.

There is no reason you should wean if you don't want to. Keep going until you want to stop. I weaned my son at 19 months.

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