I Need Advice on Brest Feeding

Updated on January 11, 2007
K.D. asks from Ann Arbor, MI
15 answers

At what age do you start to ween your child from the breast? Realitives of mine say that once the child can climb on your lap and know to drink from the breast that it needs to be taken off. Any advice or opinions?

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So What Happened?

Thank you everyone for your advice...... What I got most out of it, is that I need to do what is healthy for baby. I do appreciate all the input and I will as long as he needs me to continue to feed until we are both ready to stop. Thanks again you have all been very kind! K.

More Answers



answers from Detroit on

I am a mother of 4 and have nursed all my kids till they weaned themselves at about 18 months of age. Going at least one year is best so you never have to give them formula. Also, I started my kids on cups at 5 months of age so I would never have to deal with taking a bottle from them. Just do what feels right to you. I have many frineds who nursed till there child was 2-3 years of age. Breastmilk is best for baby for several reasons. Go to your local library and check out the La Leche League Book, it is a great resource. Also remember that you are going to get lots of unsolicated advice from family and friends just take it with a grain of salt. Mommy knows best for YOUR child even when your a first time mom. You Rock Mommy!

Best of Mothering,
Mother of 4, M.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Lansing on


I am a graduate student working on a breastfeeding project. I have one daughter. The American Academy of Peds and the Who Health Organization both recommend that breastfeeding continue until one year and then as long after as mutally desired.

The is evidence to suggest that breastfeeding after one yr provides health benefits. Just to let you know, the world average for breastfeeding is until age 4. This takes into account the societies where everyone is under one roof and sometimes one bed (some African communities and Inuit communities, maybe some South American countries) and the low breastfeeding durations in countries such as the US. Unfortunately, because of poor maternity leave policies, lack of public support, and the thought that formula is just as good as breastmilk, the US has some of the lowest breastfeeding rates in the world.
Hopes this information helps. As always the choice is up to you and your child. However, comments from relatives can be influential. I would look at your local library or online for some solid information you can share with your family. You can always 'fib' and just tell them your Dr told to you continue or something.
If you do decide to wean it should be slowly and elimate one nursing at a time.

Good Luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

In this case you need to do what is best for you and baby and who cares what your relatives think. I am sure you and baby will both know when it's time. We weened at around 15 months since my son was such a good eater of solid food. If you need any help or advice the Laleche league has a couple of Ann Arbor chapters you can get in contact with. Good luck.



answers from Detroit on

It's up to you. Heck in europe sometimes they breastfeed til 3 years old (that's creepy to me though). I breastfed my first baby until he was 18 months old. I wasn't anxious too stop because I didn't know if I would have another one (I did). I just did it before nap time and bed time. He also took milk from a cup. Cow's milk. Whole milk is needed from age 1 to 2 years old then you can switch to 2%.



answers from Detroit on

I am a lactation consultant and Labor & delivery nurse. Your relatives are giving you premature advice . It is entirely up to you when you want to ween. Most mothers choose to ween at about a year old ,but some go as long as two yrs old . I think when they are going to kintergarden it may be stretching it a bit (hehe) but it is really up to you . When they start chewing and biting alot you may choose this time to start weening.
good luck



answers from Detroit on

I think that it really depends on how you feel about it. Personall, I don't agree with that advice about stopping when they can crawl up and seek the Breast themselves, my daughter ued to do that. Experts on Breastfeeding say they longer, the better for the child, or at least until the baby is a year old.
I Breast fed all 3 of my children and they were all different.

My oldest son, I was only able to berast feed until he was about 4 or 5 months, then I had to stop because of severe medical problems he was having.

My daughter was completely weaned by 17 months, I started cutting down the feedings by one feeding a day at a year old until it was once a day, then once a week, until she stopped entirely, but then we found out I was pregnant with my 3rd. She was also walking by 9 1/2 months, talking in full sentances by 12 months and counting to 12 by 18 months. She never had a bottle. She is now in 4th grade and an Honor Roll Student.

My youngest boy, I only Breastfed until he was 9 months because he lost intrest in it himself by then. He was very active and didn't like to sit still for the Breastfeedings and began to bite me and turn his head in every direct during the feedings. He loved the bottle, I think because he didn't feel restrained and was able to look around more during feeding.

My advice is to go with your instincts wabout your child and what your comfortable with and don't let others tell you what you "have" to do when it comes to feeding your child.

Good Luck :)



answers from Detroit on

I don't think your baby ever "needs" to be weaned. You know what's best for you and your baby. My pediatrician told me he hoped I would nurse my son until he was a year old (he's 11 months, and I just recently had to wean him b/c of some medicine I started taking.) I would ask your child's doctor for his/her opinion, and I would think about what YOU want.

People nurse for such a wide range of time periods (3 months to 3 years, and even longer!) that there's no one rule like your relatives are making it sound. Also, I don't know how old your relatives are, but alot of women from older generations tend to be less supportive about breastfeeding because their doctors told them it wasn't as healthy, etc. Luckily, doctors today know how wonderful it is for both mother and baby, and are more supportive. Anyway, I was wondering if that might be why your relatives were saying those things to you.

My own opinion is that there is a natural time for weaning for each baby - weaning my son went really well and was very easy because I think it was timed right. He was eating plenty of foods, was used to drinking formula, and wasn't needing the emotional part of nursing as much. So I lucked out there. I think you should look to your baby for cues about weaning, and not worry too much what your relatives are saying. They don't know your baby like you do!



answers from Detroit on


I just wanted to say good for you for nursing your baby this far! Great job mama! You are providing your little one with the best start in life.

If you and your baby both enjoy nursing there's no reason to stop. Other responders stated that the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding for AT LEAST ONE year. The World Health Organization recommends AT LEAST TWO years. You are providing your baby with immunities as well as many other health benefits.

Have you been in contact with a local La Leche League group? The group would be a great source for encouragement and information. Here's the link for Ann Arbor:


Best wishes,



answers from Benton Harbor on

I breast fed for five weeks. Most people go alot longer than that depending on their personal schedule. I just wanted my baby to get the benefits from the colostrum. It's your own personal choice. I wouldn't go past one year, but that is only my opinion.



answers from Detroit on

Hello Krists,
I had a feeling you would get alot of responses. As a mom and a dietetian I give you kudos (like everyone else). There are a few "things" you have to consider: Are you ready to stop, is the child ready, do you need to return to work, is your child thriving...I was ready to stop LONG before my son was but I am glad that I made the sacrifice to let him decide (which was about 2 weeks ago) he will be 2 in 3 weeks. No one (except my husband) supported me-all family members would make negative comments, but I did what I needed for me and my child. Use your resources and check for support groups at local hospitals
R. (By the way breastfeeding also helps you lose weight faster.)



answers from Saginaw on

Whenever YOU and YOUR CHILD are ready. A lot of people think that it's inappropriate to breastfeed an older baby. That is totally up to you and your child. Whatever you two are comfortable with. I got pressured into giving up breastfeeding before I was ready with my first daughter and I regret it to this day. Don't let anyone pressure you, you are giving him or her the best thing you can right now. Good luck!!!



answers from Detroit on

You should nurse your child as long as you feel its necessary. For me it was until I taught them how to drink out of a straw, which was a little under a year. That way I didn't have to depend on nighly bottles or feedings. If your looking to wean start with one feeding and slowly eliminate one feeding at a time. This way your baby wont feel abandoned. Theres a tight bond there for your baby so just taking the breast away cold turkey could make for a hard weaning process and one stressed out mommy. Pediatricians say that one year is optimum but really its all up to you and your child. If you have any questions feel free to ask, I breastfed both of my boys and had two sucessful weaning experiences.



answers from Detroit on

Last time I checked the American Pediatric Association recommended breastfeeding to 1year. But it is really a personal choice. I breastfeed my son until he was 4 mos and I had to return to work. I probably would have kept going until 6 mos otherwise. I don't believe that children who can walk around and ask to nurse should still be breastfeed-- but really, it is a personal decision.



answers from Detroit on

i would start weaning around a year old... (if you can go that long) my daughter weaned herself at 9 months; but you know you can't put babies under a year old on regular cows milk so why wean from the breast to formula?? that makes no sense; and as far as a child climbing into your lap and knowing to drink from you.... i loved it when my daughter would do that with me. but at the times that it was "inappropriate" i would tell her no and she was fine with that. it's up to you really on how long you want to breast feed. good luck!



answers from Kalamazoo on

The decision to ween your child from breastfeeding should be a personal choice. I weened my son at one year because we were both ready and breast milk no longer provides much nutritional benefit after one year. The best time to ween your child is when one or both of you is ready.

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