Weaning 12 Month Old - Cleveland,OH

Updated on April 13, 2010
S.L. asks from Cleveland, OH
14 answers

My daughter is 12 months old. I have breastfed her exclusively since birth (no bottles) and she has been drinking water from a sippy cup very well since about 7 months old. I am eager to wean her from the breast. I offered her whole milk after her pediatrician gave the go ahead at her 12 month well visit. She has since refused every attempt at drinking milk. She pushes the cup away and shakes her head. I initially offered her milk in the same cup she drinks water from. She has also rejected milk in other types of cups---different sippies including ones with straws. I have tried nursing a bit and then offering the cup, and also the other way around, but no luck. It was recommended to me to try mixing breast milk with whole milk, but I really don’t think I am producing enough at this point to express much. I do still need my husband to give it a shot when he is home so the other source of milk is not right there.

I really try to follow my kids' leads when it comes to most transitions. If they push back on something or don't seem ready, I stop and revisit whatever it is a bit later. That said, I feel like she would nurse forever. Clearly she wants the warm breast milk she is accustomed to! Does anyone have any suggestions? I feel like I may have to play hardball with her a bit more than I usually do with my kids.

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answers from Cleveland on

Perhaps you could warm the whole milk just a bit for her - maybe that will help her accept it. Hope this suggestion helps

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answers from Barnstable on

I always, always advocate letting a child self wean. However, if you are determined to wean her, I would say that start by putting breastmilk in the sippy cup warm. Once she takes that, start mixing the warm breat milk with warm cows milk. Slowly start reducing the ratio of warm breastmilk to cows milk. Eventually it will be all cows milk and then you can start reducing the temperature.

Remember that the natural weaning age of a human child is between 2 and 7 YEARS of age. Most self-weaning babies do so between 2 and 3.5 years. And as I am sure you know, it is more than nutrition for her - it is a bond and a comfort. If you find she is having a hard time letting go of the boobies, don't race her along. She it only a little guy for a brief period in her life.


3 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

we had the same problem! My son was about 15 months when I started to wean him from breastfeeding. Our friends and pediatrician said to put a little ovaltine powder in his milk. I was reluctant b/c i didn't want to have to wean him from that too. But it proved to be the trick we needed. He started to drink, and actually ask for, milk after only a few weeks. I would only put a tablespoon or less in his sippy cup so it wasn't very much, but just enough to make it a little sweeter. Then one day i didn't put any ovaltine in his milk and i don't know if he didn't notice or didn't care...but he now drinks milk and loves it!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Indianapolis on

Natural age of weaning is between 3- and 7-years-old. Any attempt before that is fighting nature and can be hard. No child nurses forever and either will she:) If you want to follow her lead, wait, enjoy the bonding and know that you are providing something that no other person and no other food can provide her:

In the second year (12-23 months), 448 mL (15oz) of breastmilk provides: 29% of energy requirements, 43% of protein requirements, 36% of calcium requirements, 75% of vitamin A requirements, 76% of folate requirements, 94% of vitamin B12 requirements and 60% of vitamin C requirements -- Dewey 2001
Plus tons of antibodies. Anyone who tells you that extended breastfeeding isn't beneficial doesn't know what they are talking about.

I'm sure you're still producing quite a bit unless she's only nursing once or twice a day. Don't let the pump be your gauge of how much you produce, they don't empty the breast efficiently like a child's mouth.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Cincinnati on

I think you have two separate issues here. I started weaning my two exclusively breastfed sons at 12 months also. At that point they were nursing 4 times per day and eating a mix of baby food and table food. I took away one nursing time every two weeks. They both weaned very easily.

With the milk issue, I had a child that got an upset stomach from cow's milk. He could, however, eat yogurt, frozen yogurt, ice cream, cheese and veggies like broccoli and dark leafy greens. All of them are sources of calcium and the milk products have the vitamin D they need. If your child doesn't like the milk there are several ways to get the nutrition that the milk would provide. There are several vegan children that get no animal products that are very healthy.


answers from Lafayette on

my daughter was bottle fed when we switched to cows milk. after getting the ok from the dr, i just gave her a bottle of cows milk and she took it like a champ. but as for your question, i think the weaning and drinking milk are two separate issues. If you take away a feeding every few days or week, then she will slowly increase what she drinks from sippies. this is how i weaned my daughter from her bottle. now she's only taking sippies. She had problems taking cold milk, so i warmed it up, and now i'm working on getting her to take cold milk too. the other thing that might help you is to have your husband offer her the cup throughout the day when possible. definately have the cup available as much as possible so she can grab it when she wants it.

good luck



answers from Cincinnati on

Is she eating things like yogurt and cheese daily? If so, then she really doesn't NEED the milk. Docs recommend milk for the calcium, vitamin D, and fat content. ALL of which can be obtained other ways. Whole Yougurt or Keifer is a great source of calcium and the fat content, vitamin D can be given in drops available at most drug stores or Whole Foods (for sure) ... or now that the weather is getting nicer 10 minutes out in the sun daily (without sunscreen) will give her what she needs.

In addition, you can get good fats and Vitamin D all rolled into one by offering Cod Liver Oil. I started my daughter on Cod Liver Oil when she was about 1 year old because I wasn't going to give her milk. It took a couple of days for her to get used to the taste, but then everything was fine. Nordic Naturals (available at Whole Foods) is a GREAT brand and it comes in different flavors. My daughter still takes it and actually looks forward to her daily oil. :-) It's got all the goodies in it they need for good brain development.

If you educate yourself a bit and take some other steps to ensure your daughter is getting the nutrition she needs.... she doesn't NEED the milk. Quite honestly, commercial milk really doesn't have a great deal of nutritional value. The vitamins are added in after all the processing and our bodies don't absorb these types very well. Way back when ... when milk wasn't pasteurized and homogenized ...THEN it had lots and lots of good stuff in it that was very beneficial to us. But, now it's heated and processed until all the good stuff is gone...which is why they have to add stuff back!

So, relax.... do a little research.... find other ways to give your daughter what she needs and eventually I'm sure she'll come around. My daughter now gets milk when she has her morning cereal and when we bake the occasional chocolate chip cookies. :-)



answers from Stationed Overseas on

I am like you in that if my child does not seem ready for something than I wait and try again later. I would suggest that you put breastmilk in the sippy cup if possible or if that is not possible warm the cow's milk and put the sippy in front of your daughter at every sit down meal. Don't force her to drink it just put it there and let her decide when to drink it. This might take a while, I think it was about a week before my daughter would even take a sip. Remember this is a totally different taste than what's she is used to so just like trying a new food she needs to try the milk and acquire a taste for it. It won't happen overnight but eventually she'll figure it out. I wouldn't start to wean her until she takes to the cow's milk. I weaned at 17mo but she had already mastered drinking cow's milk by then.



answers from Cincinnati on

Did you try warming the whole milk a little? Maybe it's the chill?
I would definitely start when you aren't around. Have someone else do it instead of you.
You maybe be surprised how much you can express of breastmilk, if you just pumped out a little.
I wish you the best of luck!


answers from St. Louis on

Have your husband, a friend, a family member offer her milk at each meal (or time you usually nursed) and have you leave the room. (if this is possible). If not, I would leave the milk in the cup next to her - even if she doesn't take it - leave it where she can grab it if she wants to.

Warm the milk in the microwave - that way it would make it closer to the real thing.

She will eventually drink from a sippie cup - don't worry! Sounds like you are doing the right thing!



answers from Indianapolis on

I would recommend weaning her now and keep trying different cups for milk. This problem is far too common usually because parents wait so long to introduce a different form of drinking. Its good she has had water from a sippy, but she recognizes that sippy as her water cup. I remember trying different cups with my son prior to getting him off the bottle and the Born Free transition cup worked for him with milk. I watch a girl who had this same issue going from bottle to cup with her milk and she chose not to drink milk anymore, so she gets her calcium from cheese, yogurt and other dairy products. Keep trying, but don't continue to breast feed just to please her. She is not in charge, you are. Good luck!


answers from Gainesville on

I just weaned my 12 mo old, a few little tricks that worked well for him: he was already used to an occasional bottle, so he went right to it, no problem. I put cold milk and he would toss it down, breast milk is not cold! His little body couldn't take the chill, I would heat the milk up just until the chill was gone, not too warm though! Also, breast milk is sweet, I started putting little bits of karo syrup in it and then put less and less until now, he doesn't need it sweetened anymore. I H. this helps! We had terrible constipation problems from some formula I had first started him on, I H. this doesn't happen to you, we are now doing goats milk from a local supplier.



answers from Portland on

We did the mixing, but when we first did it, my husband gave it to our son because he WOULD NOT take it from me. Try that first before you go to hard ball!



answers from Toledo on

my daughter also didn't want to drink anything. She also really wasn't very interested in nursing so we were stuck. We tried mixing in Nesquick Strawberry flavoring and chocolate flavoring. At first we added quite a bit, but then we were able to wean it back. She started to drink much better and now really likes her milk. The only thing we didn't realize was that chocolate milk sold in the stores is low fat. We were giving her that for a little bit until we realized she was lacking the extra fat. Good luck to you!

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