Pointers on Weaning from Breastfeeding

Updated on May 01, 2010
C.K. asks from New York, NY
7 answers

My baby girl is 11 months old. I started weaning last week. She was nursing 3 x a day. i am dropping a feeding per week. i dropped the afternoon feeding by giving whole milk in a straw cup which she is doing ok with except for one day when she got real cranky and i gave her the breast. is it too early for a straw cup? is she too young to not give a bottle for these feedings? i am a bit nervous for dropping the next 2 feedings. the 11 am feeding is right before her nap so i'm worried about her flipping out when i won't give her the breast. what do i do when this happens? don't get me wrong , i am REALLY looking foward to my "freedom" but i would be lying if i said i wasn't sad as well. how do you deal with the emotional component of weaning? Also, i havent had my period the entire time i've nursed, when should i expect that? i know it's different for everyone and my husband and i want to start trying to get pregnant soon . i heard some people don't get it for a few months after they stop. thanks!!!

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answers from Portland on

I read your post, and I was wondering why you feel like you have to start weaning?
I would suggest maybe keeping the 2 a day- before nap and I'm assuming before bed. These feedings do wonders for little ones- from giving them extra immunities to that special bonding and secure feeling they so very much need.
Once you go down to 2 times a day- even if you go down to one time a day- you should start ovulating again withing the month.
Even if you're trying to conceive it is still safe and good to breastfeed. :) Millions of women breastfeed through their second/third etc pregnancy and have wonderful healthy babies.
Why not check out a book at the library on either tandem or pregnant breastfeeding. There are many books that are very informational and can give you that support you might need. :)
I believe weaning is a decision a momma and a baby should make together. I'm sure that once you get pregnant she'll probably wean herself because the milk starts to taste differently. Thats what happened with my son when I became pregnant for the second time.
Good luck, and way to go for breastfeeding your little one :)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

I know how you are feeling. I was nervous and sad to wean my daughter but it went pretty smoothly. I think it's good that you're giving her milk in a straw cup and not a bottle. Most doctors recommend stopping the bottle at 12 months anyway, so you're a step ahead. I was also worried about getting rid of the before bed/nap feeding but, for me, it was fine. My daughter was just as happy with a cup of milk. She's 2 and still has a cup of milk before bed (and we brush her teeth after). I think if your daughter gets upset, you just have to be consistent and not give in. She'll adjust. I do think it's good that you are removing 1 feeding at a time. Slow transitions always worked well for my daughter. When I stopped nursing, my period started after a few weeks. My doctor said that everyone is different, though, so it's hard to predict when it will come back. For some people, it comes back as you wean.
Good luck!



answers from New York on

My daughter will be 11 months on the 1st and weaned 4 days ago. I started taking away 1 feeding per month starting with the morning feeding when she was 9 months old. I had to because I wasn't producing much anymore. When she got down to only nursing at bed time, I started giving her a cup of milk before nursing. This way she was already full. An hour befor bedtime I put the cup of milk on the coffee table while we play. Every few minutes I ask her "where's your cup?" she thinks it's so fun to go get it herself. Eventually she gets worn out and or full and I would put her on the breast. 4 nights ago she just kept pulling off and didn't want it anymore. So...now when she's done playing and drinking her cup I hold her until she falls asleep so that she still get the closeness of breastfeeding. I am a little sad the breastfeeding is over, but I'm sure that will pass.



answers from San Diego on

Why wean? Breastfeeding still provides your little one with nutritional aand emotional benefits,

You can still get pregnant while nursing and nurse two.

I urge you to listen to your emotions. They may be telling you that you (and she) aren't ready.



answers from San Diego on

Hi :) My son is 17 months old now & I stopped breastfeeding him at 13 months. I think it turned out to be more traumatic for me than him (which I'm grateful for). He never liked the bottle & I was so afraid that by weaning he wouldn't get enough milk. I weaned slowly, removing one feeding every couple weeks. For the breastfeedings that I removed I either gave him a bottle or a sippy cup. He did better than I expected. The last feeding that I kept was his bedtime feeding and when I transitioned him to the bottle he did great. Maybe he was just ready? He loved breastfeeding, but I could tell he wasn't getting much milk by the once a day feedings (he would bite some, ouch!). So I think when he realized he got everything he needed from the bottle & more, he was OK.
Like you, I loved breastfeeding (I even cried after my very last feeding) but I weaned him because we wanted to start trying for baby #2 and even with only 1 feeding/day I still didn't have my period. Once I stopped completely my period resumed (3 days later!). Everyone is different though.
Good luck! :)



answers from Grand Rapids on

I nursed my daughter until 15 months. I started her on a straw cup about 9 months and she did wonderful with it. We used the cup to give her some juice and water throughout the day. So your daughter should be able to use the cup no problem. When she was 12 months, i started giving her more whole milk as she needed to add on some weight. you will have some times when she is upset about not having the breast, but keep trying to push the cup. You could try the 11a feeding and see how she does with that. If she is resisting giving that one up, you can try the other feeding, which I am assuming is the bed time feeding, and see if she does better giving up that one. I nursed my daughter until 15 months, and when i stopped, she was ready as well to stop nursing.

I know for me, my period returned about the time my daughter was 6 months, and I moved her onto solid foods.


answers from Rochester on

I weaned my first at 11 1/2 months and I think we were pregnant within a month or two. I was on the mini-pill while nursing, switched to the combination pill right when he weaned, had back-to-back periods and couldn't take it anymore and we wanted another, so.... My second nursed well past 13 months and I only got my period right around when he was 12 months old, so I would not expect anything specific--you can still get pregnant. Many women get pregnant early on while nursing not realizing it is not always guaranteed birth control.

If you are sad about weaning, back off a bit for now. You can definitely give her liquids at snacks and meals in whatever form is easiest for her--sippy or straw cup. If she is not regularly getting bottles when away from you, do not bother to introduce them now because that is one more transition and you would have to wean her off the bottle soon anyway. My younger boy was more of an "emotional" nurser and had the hardest time with the afternoon nursing--right after I would get off work was when he needed it the most, soft of "at last! Mommy is back!!!" Bedtime nursing was easier to drop because I gave him a light snack an hour or two before bed. You can keep nursing another month or so if you are not physically uncomfortable and don't stress about it. Try adjusting her routines and have daddy put her to bed if that helps so she doesn't smell you. Don't rely on your cycles too much--my younger boy is over 20 months old and mine still aren't regular at all.

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