breastfeeding...start To Wean

Updated on February 04, 2008
H.S. asks from Omaha, NE
14 answers

Hello...My daughter is 11 months old and I need to start weaning her from breastfeeding. My plan is to do it until she is 12 months old and can drink regular milk. How do I begin to wean her? She does use a sippy cup, but I'm not pumping anymore, so I need to know what to do once she doesn't need formula/breastmilk any longer.

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

So What Happened?

Thank you everyone for the advice...I guess I didn't realize that nursing is promoted for up to two years. I think it's hard because it's just not as accepted here as it is in other parts of the world. Which is unfortunate. I'm glad that I have been able to nurse. I have had to nurse my daughter in public recently and it doesn't bother me at all, but I have gotten some looks.
Thanks again for all the great advice.

Featured Answers



answers from Salt Lake City on

I would recommend reading The Whole Soy Story before ever giving a child that young soy milk. It really isn't safe for a child that young.

More Answers



answers from Des Moines on

Here is how I did it, maybe it will give you ideas: At that stage, he got a breastfeeding when he woke up, before morning nap, lunch, before afternoon nap, and bedtime. I started by cutting out the afternoon nap feeding- which he really didn't seem to notice. After about a week of that, I felt my body had adjusted and I was ready to cut another feeding. I cut out the morning nap feeding- again, he really didn't notice. I waited a week for my body to adjust again. The next feeding I cut was lunchtime- but instead of feeding from the breast- I gave him breastmilk I had pumped and frozen. Once my body adjusted to missing that feeding too, I cut the bedtime feeding, again giving breastmilk I had pumped and frozen. After another week, I was ready to cut the morning feeding. Everybody does it different. You just have to figure out what works for you. While weaning, I did keep my pump handy in case I got too uncomfortable I could get some relief, but, it never got too uncomfortable. Good Luck and congrats on making it to your goal.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Madison on

I too also don't understand the need to wean at one year when the World Organization recommends at least two years and beyond that as mutually desired. People tend to want to wean at one because that is when formula fed babies are weaned and are put on whole milk but when you look at it, that is because formula is not as good as breastmilk to begin with. And now, you can actually find formula that goes up to 24 months in the stores. I think continuing to breastfeed is better than having to give the child things like pediasure or one of the other toddler snacks that is supposed to provide all of the vitamins they'll need. Toddlers are notoriously picky and breastfeeding ensures they get all they need not to mention they also continue to get the immunities from you as long as you breastfeed. This is good when cold and flu season comes around.

After my daughter turned a year old, I did start to discourage her from nursing in public as it was something I personally was not comfortable with. We chose to give her snacks/water instead or go somewhere for a meal while we were out. When I'm at home, she has ample opportunities to nurse and at 25 months, still nurses frequently.

Nursing beyond one is also great because toddler hood can be hard and nursing helps keep the temper tantrums at bay.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Kalamazoo on

I agree with Lisa, that is pretty much how I did it with my son at that same age and it worked very well. Just start slowly eliminating feedings starting with the midday and ending with either the morning or nighttime feeding. My son barely even noticed and it was comfortable for me. You could replace each feeding with either regular milk or a small snack. I was terrified of eliminating that nighttime feeding because I thought it would give him a hard time going to sleep but he was just fine. Good luck!



answers from Saginaw on

If she has already begun taking any other food by mouth, the weaning process is well underway...

I'm curious about the phrase 'I need to start weaning her' -- I've never heard of a reason why the earth going around the sun once since birth is related in any material way to ... well, anything. You do know that the American Pediatrics Association recommends breastfeeding for at least 2 years?

Anyhow... if she can eat and drink, you don't need to do anything apart from ensure that she is getting adequately nutritious food. Cow's milk is not a necessary human food (no matter how much the Dairy Bureau wants it to be otherwise) and there are good reasons NOT to feed cow's milk to human babies. A diet rich in healthy fats, whole grains, variety of vegetables and fruits, with or without animal products of all kinds (meats, milks and eggs), will suffice in place of human milk.

Cow's milk has many nutrients, but 'straight' (unmodified) it has too much sodium for human babies, and is terrifically difficult for small kidneys to deal with, it should not be considered a 'primary food source'. It is too low in the fats human brains need for development and too high in protein and calcium and too low in essential sugars.

There are no immunity benefits in cow's milk (for humans-- unpasteurized, there are plenty for cows), and it lacks the many nutrients human babies need to thrive.

Wean, if you need to, but don't feel compelled to add any other mammal's milk to your daughter's diet to 'compensate' as their composition is just too different to be comparable - the closest milk to ours is otter milk, which is awfully difficult to come by.

Every other mammal's milk is 'just another food' for people - and there are significant populations of healthy people all over the world who think the idea is as gross and strange as we think drinking dog's milk is...



answers from Green Bay on

I too agree with Lisa. That is how I did it, but I only waited 3-4 days in between eliminations - not a full week. It depends on how quickly you both adjust to the change! Good luck!



answers from Casper on

I agree that you need to take it slow, if you can. I have weaned a couple of children cold turkey and it really bites the big one. I found that, for me, it took about 3-4 days for me to not feel the feeding that we missed. So I would take out a feeding at that interval. And then replace that feeding with one of formula or regular milk. If you take is slow then it won't be as uncomfortable for you and less stressful on her. Good luck.



answers from Waterloo on

my son is 11- so it has been awhile but I would recommend you just slowly day by day missing a feeding- so if tomorrow you want to nurse in the morning and skip afternoon and do it in the evening and pretty much just keep on skipping till you feel comfortable- you dont want to get where you are so full that it hurts- just go with the flow and in a month you might just be doing it at night or not at all.
good luck



answers from Salt Lake City on

I probably can't add much to what was already suggested. Take it slow, eliminate/delay a feeding every 3 days or so (whatever you're comfortable with). Get down to where you only have feedings before naps, bed and morning. Then cut out the nap feeding (replacing feedings with milk in a cup). The last feeding you want to eliminate is the one she's most attached to. I started weaning when my daughter was 11-months and she wasn't fully weaned until she was 13-months.

When my daughter and I got down to one feeding, I just skipped it one morning telling her mommy didn't have any more milk. She was upset. Then I had to feed her the next morning, we skipped the next two morning and then she fed one last time and that was it. We always used a nursing pillow, so she would cry when she saw it or would bring it to me and I just avoided our usual nursing spots for about a week after she was weaned. Like I said, she was visibly upset, but I was ready to wean her and she got over it pretty quickly.

Good luck!



answers from Lansing on

I just weaned my 3 1/2 year old. She was ready. I was ready, so it just happened naturally.



answers from Boise on

If your child isn't allergic to soy products, try giving a glass of soy milk (silk plus is a great one to try because it has added omega-3's)in replace of one breastfeeding and slowly increase. By twelve months she will be well on her way. If you have any problems with engourgment put cold cabbage leaves (not lettuce) in your bra, right next to the skin. Don't know why but it stops the milk from coming in. It really works and is commonly suggested to most patients. I actually learned about it in nursing school.



answers from Salt Lake City on

When they are one they need 16oz of whole milk a day. I would start cutting out one feeding at a time and replacing it as needed with whole milk. Gradually cut out all feedings except right before bed and first feeding of morning. Those are the hardest to wean because it soothes them so much. If she already uses a sippy cup you're way ahead of the game. Most nursing babies will only nurse. You probably won't have much of a problem getting her to switch.

Good Luck!



answers from Bismarck on

I see you've gotten some good suggestions already. I would recommend the book "The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding" put out by the La Leche League; it has a good section on weaning. Are you asking what to give her in place of the feeding you are eliminating? Tap water (because it's fluorinated), whole milk, diluted juice (all in a sippy cup), or healthy snacks are all options.



answers from Milwaukee on

I would just start to cut down on the nursings. Maybe you do 10 minutes a side, cut it to 5. Or cut out a nursing all together - keep the morning and night and cut out the others. Then continue to cut down on timing. It seems like they wean too as they get more interested in other things to eat!

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions

Related Searches