Weening 18 Month Old

Updated on October 28, 2008
S.D. asks from San Diego, CA
9 answers

Hi Moms. I have an almost 18 month old boy who has been breastfeed since birth. Of course he eats regular food by this point, but still gets breastfed in the morning and at naptime (1-2 naps a day). He has been weened from nighttime feeding for several months. The morning and naptime feeding is probably more for myself since I'm now 15 weeks pregnant with my second child and I like getting a nap in myself so we take one together. But since I will be having another one before I know it, I feel that I should stop breast feeding this one now, so that he doesn't feel suddenly torn from it when I want to breast feed the second. Any suggestion for the best way to ween him off? I have a lullaby cd that I put on at night when he goes to bed and plan to try that at naptime but I would like to see if you all have any other suggestions. Thanks for the help!

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

More Answers



answers from Los Angeles on

I just gave birth to my second daughter (DD1 is 19 months and DD2 is 5 weeks). When I was about 4 months pregnant my daughter started losing interest in nursing. I know my milk supply really started to diminish and they say it even starts to taste differently, so she weened herself (I had a harder time letting go than she did)! Since your son only feeds a few times a day, he may do the same thing. Is he drinking any cows milk or soy yet? If he is, just offer him some in a bottle or sippy cup in the morning and before his nap. If he takes a pacifier that also helps, but if not any sort of comfort toy or blanket (my daughter likes to hold onto my shirt collar) to help soothe him to sleep. Good luck and congrats on #2.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Dear S.,

Congratulations! I just had my second and it's wonderful to be the mother of two!! :)

So, have you heard about mothers tandem feeding? You can breastfeed both of your children then your first baby won't feel suddenly torn from it when you feed the second. It's really not as difficult as it may sound since your first will feed less & less. My understanding is that doing this also helps to prevent sibling rivalry. There are a lot of changes coming in his life perhaps he'll handle them better if he doesn't feel (unnecessarily) usurped in this area. If you allow your son to ween when he is ready he will! Here's a very good article all about the issue~


1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

My sons were 18 months apart, and I BFed my older son until he was 17 months (and I was 8 months pregnant with DS2).

My lactation consultant assured me that there was no danger to me or my baby if I continued to breastfeed while pregnant, as long as I continued getting the proper nutrition. But apparently the flavor changes slightly at the beginning and drastically at the end.

DS1 weaned himself, I think because he didn't like the way the colostrum tasted.

I totally understand if you're not into the idea of tandem nursing (I wasn't) and that you don't want any association for your son between the new baby's arrival and stopping the BF sessions. In addition, toward the end of your pregnancy, BFing can bring on contractions (did with me). So although you could continue BFing if you want to, stopping could be a great choice for you.

Here's what worked for me with my second son, who was a determined nurser until he was almost 3! Put band-aids, 2 each criss-crossed, across your nipples and tell your son that the boobies (or nummies or whatever) are broken. Leave them on for a while and he'll get the hint.

It does mean stopping cold turkey, which could be uncomfortable for you. But otherwise it works just fine! :)

Good luck with this and your new one!

P.S. I read all the other advice after posting mine, lol. Such good advice! Tandem nursing could be very good, and gradual weaning is also better than what I recommended. My advice is ONLY if he hasn't weaned himself by the time you think it needs to happen, and you really don't want to tandem-nurse. Enjoy this time. :)



answers from Los Angeles on

I went through this same experience. I weaned my baby from the night feeding first. She was about 15 months old. Then I discovered I was pregnant. And my boobs were just too sore to continue. So I decided to wean her altogether. I just dropped the morning feeding. Then I eventually dropped the afternoon feeding.This took almost 2 months. You already did the hardest part (night weaning). Just understand that when you stop nursing it'll be harder on yourself than your son. I felt lost and I missed it, but since my lil one has been off the booby (about 6 months now) it's been really nice have my body back to myself. And now that I have baby #2 on the way in a matter of weeks, I look back and I'm really glad I weaned when I did because my body needed the break. And my dd is almost 2 now and she has no interest in nursing. Good luck.



answers from Los Angeles on

Just another thing to think about S., tandem nursing can be a really wonderful way to have a very close, personal time with your toddler after the new baby arrives.

Believe me, as a mom of two kids less than two years apart, your older child will feel jealous of the nursing going on with your new baby, and being able to let him have a go at it after the newborn can help him to feel that he is still important to you.

That said, if you want to wean it will be easy. You'll be amazed at how fast/easy it is. The kids move on way faster than the moms...I have a HARD time letting go of it, but I can tell you that you will still have lots of snuggles and hugs, he'll just transition on and won't really think about it much after a couple of times that you don't offer it.

Good luck and enjoy that new baby!!!



answers from Santa Barbara on

Congrats on nursing for 18 months! Also, congratulations on your pregnancy! I'm a mom of 3 and I have weaned 2 children so far. (I'm still nursing #3). My second daughter weaned herself, but my first daughter needed some help. Weaning her was the most challenging, since I had expected to wean by her first birthday. She really was not ready by her first birthday, and would use her sign language for milk frequently. By 14 mo though, I was pregnant with my second, and I really was ready to wean. BTW, I had stopped offering the breast by this point, only responding to her requests. At 14+ mo, I started watching Baby Einstein videos with her during the typical nursing times with her snuggled on my lap, hoping that it would distract her sufficiently and provide the closeness she needed. She really enjoyed them, and I would point out colors, shapes, and animals, which she really responded to. I was so tired with my pregnancy, that I welcomed the down-time with her and the snuggling. Anyway, by the time she was 15 mo old, when she asked to nurse (using her signs), I tried to distract her. If she asked again, I would nurse her. During her 15th mo, she went 3 days being easily distract-able or not asking, so I decided to hold firm and declare our nursing relationship complete. When she asked on the fourth day, I told her that she was getting so big that we didn't do that anymore, and offered her the sippy cup, which she was used to getting water from. She was a little sad, but was receptive to taking cow's milk from a sippy. (She had been taking cow's milk for a month or so from a sippy, so it wasn't a total shock).

It sounds like you've done a great job weaning your son slowly, so you should be able to eliminate these last feedings gently in the next month or so, which shouldn't be traumatic for either one of you. Good luck!



answers from Honolulu on

If anything, seek the advice of a Lactation Consultant and see what they say. I'm sure they deal with this concern all the time.

Try transitioning him with a bottle?

Some Moms still breastfeed during pregnancy... this is up to you. But, your OB/GYN may recommend otherwise. Did you tell your OB/GYN you are still breastfeeding?
Try researching it.

Once, I was pregnant when my first child was still nursing... very infrequently by this point, but I let her self-wean, and she did "stop" by the time she was about 2.5 years old. But, my OB/GYN, although he was very pro-breastfeeding, told me to stop when I was pregnant. With this pregnancy, I had a miscarriage at 6-weeks. It wasn't because of the breastfeeding though... I don't believe. It was just not developing well. I did get pregnant after that, with my son, and by this time my daughter had stopped nursing. Once my second baby was born, she was fine and didn't regress... and even though I was nursing my 2nd child. BUT, it also had to do with her age... she was more mature by then and old enough to understand.

Since you DO want to wean him...then it's just a matter of doing it. Try the lullaby CD since that worked for you before.
Mostly, with weaning... you just try to replace it with something else (ie: a bottle or sippy cup), or a lovey of some kind, or another activity..... THEN shorten the duration of it.. .don't let him just stay there at the breast indefinitely.

You are lucky he has stopped his night-time nursings, since this is usually the most difficult one to stop. Perhaps also, instead of just putting him at the breast when he wakes up or naps... just try "not" doing it. THEN SEE if he "forgets" about it, or asks for it. Usually, as you wean... (I let my kids self-wean... but also "let" them ask, and did not "automatically" put them at my breast) you can just try going according to HIS "asking" you. Don't just do it automatically.
And then, he may not ask for his morning or nap breastfeeding. That is what I did with my 2 kids... they self-weaned but it ALSO means letting THEM "lead" it, not my deciding "when" and "if" I nursed them.

Since you said that his morning and nap-time nursings are probably more for "you" by now... then just make these nursings less prominent. Only do it if he "asks."

Mainly, it has to be something that you do want to do. And once the baby comes... hopefully he is comfortable and feeling secure about it all, and he will be almost 2 years old when your 2nd baby comes. So prepare him for it... eldest children need to feel "informed" about their sibling... and still in the loop and a part of it all. Having a baby, ALSO means, preparing your eldest child for a baby too. It's big deal to them. You want them to "like" the new baby and their "new" role in the family etc. When I was pregnant with my 2nd child... I mostly spent the time "prepping" my eldest child for the baby... so she felt good about it all... and not so "shocked" then her little brother came home.

Well I'm sure it will be fine. It will all work out. But do what you feel is best.

take care,



answers from Los Angeles on

Be sure to check with your doctor because I was told that I should not nurse my second child when I was pregnant with my third child.

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions

Related Searches