How Do I Wean?

Updated on October 18, 2007
L.M. asks from Olathe, KS
5 answers

How do I wean my 11 mos old that will not eat other foods? She'll eat foods but not to satisfy hunger. We've been working with her since 6 mos on that and she just won't do it b/c she just wants to nurse. She's never taken a bottle. She does drink out of a sippy cup, but only water. The last month I've cut down her nursing times and I know she's been hungry. She's been so crabby the last month and my dr keeps saying, "she'll eat if she's hungry." well, I think she's stubborn and holds out until she nurses. Now I'm pregnant and want to stop breastfeeding sometime soon. Any ideas?

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answers from St. Joseph on

Personally, I don't agree with weaning by 12 mos. UNLESS they are ready to wean. My son gave up the bottle when he was ready to do so at about 22 mos. It is perfectly healthy to nurse until a child is 2 years old, and some say longer (World Health Organization and La Leche). I don't agree with forcing them to go hungry if they aren't ready to eat. Babies mature at different rates, and some earlier than others. You might start with transition to a bottle, then dilute the milk down until till it's only water. That was what we ended up doing. A lot of people don't agree with me, but I'm an attachment parent, and also cosleep, which a lot of people don't agree with either.



answers from Springfield on

My 2 year old was like that. I wanted him to eat more food and nurse less, but he only really liked to nurse. Letting him "graze" helped a lot. I would let him carry a cup of food around the house or into the car. I had to watch for messes, but I was glad to get him to eat.
Do you know that you can nurse for as long as you want while pregnant? Some women end up nursing both kids after the baby is born. They call it "tandem" nursing. Not that you want to do that, but you can if you want. Good luck.



answers from Kansas City on

Hey L.!

My little girl will be 10 mos tomorrow (Wed.) and I nurse her. She's never wanted to take a bottle but like your daughter, she takes a sippy cup (filled with only water). She doesn't eat much variety in foods either b/c she sometimes doesn't want solid foods (but she loves her cheerios, finger food & sweet potatoes and avacado are favorite foods too)

She loves to nurse too (but at times she doesn't nurse well b/c she's so interested in other things) I've actually been wondering when & how I'm going to go about weaning her as well. I will probably continue to nurse her through the winter months to help cut down on sickness. And I'll probably let it be more her idea to tapper herself off the breast.

I'm not pregnant like you but I do understand your need and want for her to wean. I understand your frustration in her not wanting to eat other food and just wanting to nurse. Nursing is very demanding, especially when they won't take a bottle to give us a break, huh? :) I completely understand.

I'm sorry that I can't help much with suggestions ... maybe just keep doing what you're doing - keep offering her food, maybe even a little before you nurse. Like you said, she may be holding out to nurse so you may want to try offering her only food and her sippy cup & don't nurse for that session. Just try it to see how it goes. I've read that solid food isn't as important for them as BREAST MILK or FORMULA so I wouldn't worry too much. Just take one day at a time. Good luck!! And CONGRATULATIONS on your pregnancy!!! :)



answers from Kansas City on

My son, now 14 months, weaned himself at 9 months - just decided he wanted to try more "adult" things. I think this happened in part because at 6 months I started mixing breastmilk with infant cereal and fed him as much or as little as he wanted. It took a while for him to really like it, but once he got used to the "familiar flavor" in his food, he liked it a lot more. It just took patience on my part. I really think every baby has their own schedule, for lack of a better term, so try to be patient. I went through a similar process in trying to get him to drink formula (to get him from 9 months to a year) and whole milk (once he reached a year). A little bit at a time... good luck!



answers from Kansas City on

Hi there, I will give you my two cents and what has worked for me. I have 4 kids all of them were nursed until 12-15mths of age mostly because like you, I got pregnant with the next baby while nursing the previous baby. Did you cut down the number of TIMES you nurse or the LENGTH of time you nurse at each feeding? The doctor is right, babies will eat when they are hungry and though they may not like it, they will do it and not starve. The easiest way of weaning is to cut out a feeding completely usually starting with a middle of the day feeding and instead give formula in the cup if they won't take a bottle. (none of my kids ever took a bottle either) Now, not to say that baby will take that formula right away because it doesn't taste as good as breast milk but eventually they will or it is usually okay to start them on Vit D milk at 12mths (doctor will tell you when though)so if you wanted to just wait another month. ONce you have cut out one feeding about 2-3 weeks later cut out another one and so on....last feeding to cut out is usually the bedtime one and that's usually the hardest one.

This is the way I did it for all of my kids and it worked like a charm. Every baby is different and every mom is different though and it is a hard time for baby to be weaned as they are used to the comfort of mom. Take your time and you will do fine.


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