20 Month Old Still Breastfeeding!

Updated on February 07, 2008
B.B. asks from Lakeland, FL
17 answers

I would really like to stop breastfeeding my 20 mth old. Any suggestions on weening...he really has a fit when I try to withhold.

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answers from Tampa on

Have someone else give him a bottle of formula, or pumped breat milk, and you leave the room. I have found from past experience, Avent are the best nipples

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answers from Orlando on

well we have been working on cutting down. that it can only be done is a certainroom at a certain time. so it means no dora if you want "bebes" cause we have to go up stairs.. sometimes it works LOL



answers from Gainesville on

Nursing means love to a child, and at 20 months, nursing is meeting emotional as well as physical needs. It can be challenging to nurse a toddler but also very rewarding. When it is difficult to breastfeed, mom should think carefully about what it is that bothers her most about it, and brainstorm in that regard. (Too often? Too long? In public? etc.) The older a child is, often moms (and family members) tend to think that nursing is the cause of the problems. Actually he is probably just acting like a normal 20-month-old and will continue to do so even after he weans. But then you may have lost a valuable mtohering tool!

You have invested a lot of love and tiem into this relationship, and it is important that it ends in a way that does not cause pain to your child or regret or guilt to you later on. Weaning is best done gradually. I would recommend that you contact the local La leche league for specific guidance on different techniques such as distraction and postponement. They have a number of good books on the topic and also you can talk with experienced leaders and other nursing mothers of toddlers to gain from their experience and perspective. Longterm nursing is not the norm in our culture, and so it is harder to do for many moms because of lack of understanding and support. If for some reason there is no group in your area, you can still call and talk with a leader, or find support online at the International site. Some good books I recommend are "Mothering Your nursing toddler", "How weaning happens" and "Thoughts on Weaning". I urge you to try to move slowly and patiently with this for both of your sakes.

Good luck!




answers from Tampa on

Hi, this is what my cousin did and I followed; it worked perfectly and harmlessly.
I breastfed for 2 whole years! Once we decided to stop we used the Dijon mustard method!! He got up and wanted the boobie and I said just a second let mommy get a drink of water..so just rubbed a bit on and the moment he strated to drink he backed off and sais it's sour?! So we sat up and said oh, then mommy's milk must have gone bad and it's time for you to stop drinking it.
He totally understood and whenever he tried i just said no you're a big boy now and there is no more milk....But my breats hurt a lot after that for a week or so....
Good Luck!



answers from Tampa on

Hi B.,
I don't have a whole lot of advice for you but thought you probably don't mind hearing about my experience weening my 22 month old girl when I was about to give birth to my next one (a month later). I was putting it off b/c she is so determined to get her own way. But I was so exhausted and I didn't want her to go through that change at the same exact time as the change of having to share Mommy and Daddy (let alone her "boobies") with a new little sister. So I made myself do it a month before my expecting date. Night time was going to be the worst b/c that's how I put her to sleep usually. We got in bed, read a book, and when we shut the lights out I told her Mommy needs her boobies back and she's a big girl now so she doesn't need them any more...well, to my suprise, she whined a bit but then (as if accepting what I had said) turned over and went to sleep. The next night was the same (whenever she wanted them I'd just remind her). Then the third night (I thought I'd be going through it with her for at least a week)she pointed to my boobie and laughed like she new better and she wouldn't ask again and she never did except to point and laugh and maybe say "boobie".It was all over in just three days...and oh, so much easier than I had planned on!!!
Good luck,



answers from Jacksonville on

Good Morning,
My sister has had the same problem with her daughter. This may sound weird but the only thing that finally worked was she put vinegar on her nipples, the smell alone made it less appealing to my niece. Soon after she was happy to switch over to soy milk.

I had a similar problem, except my son was much younger, he wouldn't switch over to formula. I would drip some of the formula one me right before he'd nurse, he got used to the tasted and finally switched over.

Hope this helps, good luck!


answers from Ocala on

Gentle Weaning Techniques
Tips for When and How to Stop Nursing

When you get on this site, scroll down the whole page so that you do not miss any of the good information.


God Bless and take care. I wish you all the best.

From one mother to another. :)



answers from Melbourne on

first, figure out why you need to wean (working, deployment, etc.). then understand that you have options to continue breastfeeding! You do NOT have to wean if it is not mutually acceptable to you both. I have a 2 and half yr old and she is still nursing because we both want to =)

Contact La Leche League in your area or go to their website for more information.



answers from Tampa on

Hello B. B. I had that problem last year with my daughter who was 16 months old at the time and I was six months pregnant with my third child!!! Well, I'd decided to let her breastfeed until I gave birth, but the BIG PROBLEM WAS her sucking started to make my uterus contract!!! WHAT PAIN!!! It was right then and there I had to use the "cry it out method" See my now 2 1/2 old can be very stubborn and a little bit of a challenge ( I was still nursing her to sleep at 16 months for naps as well as night nursing). My husband had to give her extra love and attention while she was going through her "withdrawal period." Whenever she asked to nurse I would give her a huge and some water or juice, but told her Sorry and No! I stayed firm and held my ground. That's what worked for me. Plus you can also go onto ivillage.com and look up weaning or google weaning and you may get some less harsh tactics.

L., mother of three in New Tampa



answers from Melbourne on


I feel your pain! I have a little boy that was the same way. He weaned at 27 months. Forcibly. He wanted nothing to do with weaning. I didn't mind most of the time but we thought his nursing, as he still didn't sleep through the night, was the culprit in my exhaustion. It turned out I had a medical condition being masked by his nursing.
What we finally did was go to the toystore and let him pick out a big toy. We bought it and put it where he could see it, and every time he tried to nurse we pointed it out and told him he couldn't have nummies and that toy so he had to choose. It decreased the nursing but didn't stop it. FINALLY I started sleeping on the couch so he couldn't have easy access and just told him no more. It took about a week of my refusal and a LOT of fit throwing but we were successful!
I have times I regret letting him nurse so long, because he is still obsessed with breasts. He frequently when upset will ask. and when he gets none he will lay his head on my chest and put his hand in my bra. I don't know if thats good or bad for him but I will tolerate it for now. He needs the comfort. He has been weaned 5 months now.
I hope you are weaning for personal reasons and not because of what society thinks. I feel there is nothing wrong with nursing until the child is ready to wean as long as its before they go to school! =0) Congrats on doing it so long!

I wish you the best.



answers from Tampa on

I have had three children and nursed them all until I was done or they were done. My third is 23 months old and nurses, but I am ok with it. I do limit his nursing during the day by suggesting water or almond milk or something to eat because he may be hungry, but I do not limit night-time feedings.

Anyway, if you are done and really want to wean, I suggest a book that has a lot of helpful suggestions.
"Mothering your nursing toddler" by Norma Jane Bumgarner

It is a book that the La Leche League supports. I would also contact a La Leche League leader in your area and speak to her about what you can do and/or attend a couple of meetings and see if the other moms can be supportive or offer suggestions. Sometimes if you realize that other people are nursing toddlers and it is ok, then you will feel better about it and be fine with him still nursing.

The list of La Leche League leaders is on their website.

Peace to you,



answers from Denver on

O Boy was I just there. My son was 18 months in Dec and I was like enough already but I could not get him off of me. I talked to many people about it including his doctor and the lacation nurses and I came to the conclusion that I was going to have to just do it. I had to work the week before Christmas and he was out of school and his grandmother whom lives in another state was to care for him. I flew him there and left and that was it, a week later when I returned to get him he was weaned. He did try and still does every blue moon try to go back but I do not let him. It is over:) I am not sure if you this is an option for you because you might not want to actually leave him with a grandparent (I had to work) but maybe leaving him for a whole day overnight with them could start it. You will be amazed, my son never took a bottle and I thought oh my gosh he is going to starve to death, he is going to hate me, he is not going to be able to do it, and on and on I went, and it really did not end up to be that serious. He used a sippy cup I was told and he did ok because I was not around, he had to adapt. I hope this helps. I think it would be a good idea to ask your doctor for any other suggestions. By the way I bought a Medela one handed electric pump(waste of money-I'm not having anymore kids) just to relieve myself so I wouldn't explode while he was gone. Another amazing thing; I only had to use it twice and my milk just dried up. Must have been time:) Have a great day B. and good luck!



answers from Punta Gorda on

The best way is to cut our one nursing at a time. I nursed my first daughter until she was 3.5. My milk slowly dried up. That weekend we had a family weaning party w/ a cake. We asked her what kind of cake she wanted. She said a cake with nurseies on it. She got a dog cake instead. We said you are a big girl now. No more nurseies. She was saddened the first night but then moved forward. My second daughter loved nursing so much. She showed no signs of weaning at 3. My husband got cancer again for the third time in 14 months and the stress was so bad, my milk dried up instantly. Libby was forced to wean that night! I was not ready nor was she. It's been down hill since. This was last Sept. and she will be 3.5 next week. She is obessed with wanting to still nurse. I believe this is because she was not slowly weaned and she was weaned before her time. She touches my breasts at least 3 times a day. I tell her they are not nurseies anymore. They are now breasts because there is no milk. I wish I was able to of weaned her correctly. She misses them. If you choose to cut out a nursing at a time, try rubbing your baby's back. Libby loves this. Every night she gets a back and tummy rub. Good Luck. C.



answers from Panama City on

Your child is old enough for cow's milk now...try warming the milk like you would breast milk. Put it in a sippee or bottle whatever you are comfortable with, place in a sink filled with warm water until milk is luke warm. Slowly, by feedings, transition milk temp to where you will be able to take it straight from the refrigerator. You can also hold your kiddo close while giving the bottle. I agree using the "big" girl or boy technique and giving incentives or priveleges that "big" kids get. Most kiddos continue breast feeding because it is a sense of security and both mom and baby are "addicted" to the closeness breast feeding affords. When you are ready, YOU can make your child ready. Good luck.



answers from Gainesville on

I have weened five children all around 12 monthes. I take one feeding away a week. the last feeding to go is the one before they go to bed. Always the hardest one to stop but it always results in me getting pregnant again which I am seeking to do anyways. My youngest is a 20 month old boy and he seems to be such a mama's boy and a lot harder to say no to than my four girls. May God bless.



answers from Fort Myers on

I never thought I would bf as long as I did, but I ended up going until about 27 months. By then, I think both my son and I were equally ready to stop, but at the same time, as a comfort measure, he probably would have gone longer. What worked for us was that I gave him a timeframe, just like I do when we leave the park. I said, "Owen in 5 more days, we're going to stop nursing. The nursers are getting tired and they need a rest and you are a big boy now." Then, for the rest of the week, we counted down each night (4 nights, 3, etc.) He was down to only nursing for maybe a minute total at night, so it wasn't a huge issue, but it was a regular part of his going to bed ritual which he still enjoyed. I have to say, after that first night of no more nursing, he stopped asking at night. Since then, he's only asked twice and both times were when he was sick. It was a very smooth process, but that is why I think we were both subconsciously ready.

Best of luck to you.



answers from Sarasota on

My son was on a bottle until 2 1/2. You need to quite cold turkey and just offer him a sippy cup and that's it.

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