Weening from Breastfeeding

Updated on April 25, 2008
M.B. asks from Huntington Beach, CA
9 answers

I am a 31 year old mom to my son who is now 13 months. He has been breastfed from the start and quite a fan. He doesn't really love the bottle but will take it with my pumped milk when Im not home. When I am around though, he wants it. Its mostly when he wakes up in the morning,when he gets tired and its time for a nap, and then at bedtime he goes to sleep while breastfeeding. He doesn't like milk, I try to give it to him and he sucks a little and then makes a mess everywhere biting the nipple and spitting the milk out. I think I am ready to ween him off, and my milk definitely is not as full as it used to be. But Im not sure he is. I am worried about how to handle naps and bedtime without a bottle and how do I keep him from getting upset when he wants to breastfeed. I don't have a problem breastfeeding, in fact I enjoy that time, but people are starting to ask how long I plan on breeastfeeding and treating me like its time for him to stop. Any advice would be great!! Thanks...

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answers from Los Angeles on

I decided that I would breastfeed for a year as recommended. Then a year came and neither of us was ready. At 14months I decided to transition my daughter to a toddler bed(climbing out of crib and she co-slept with us this whole time)so I thought this would be a good time to stop the night feeding too. It took 3days to get her in her bed, but it worked. It was easier to do the night time feeding first since I KNEW she was tired. I would leave a sippy cup of water in her bed at night. Don't give him a bottle since you would just have to wean him off of that too. My daughter went straight from the boob to a sippy cup. I would recommend NOT giving him milk at night since you then have a whole set of other problems with dental decay etc... The first nite of nite weaning really wasn't that bad. She was tired and I just read her a book and held her and rocked her until she started to drift off. She asked a couple of times to nurse, but she was eay to distract. Then I did the morning feeding next(a few months later...I liked sleeping in and just giving her the boob hoping she would sleep a little longer). I would just get up in the morning with her(only if the sun was up)and give her soy milk. Nap time for me was the worst since I didn't know for sure if she was tired so sometimes she would just want to nurse and not sleep. The only way she could sleep was to nurse so she wasn't learning to self soothe. That is why I did it at nite so she could learn. Now she just turned two and isn't napping anymore so I kept her busy everyday for a week and she forgot about it and she has been weaned now for 3weeks!!! I thought I would be happy she is off, but I'm a little sad. Time to have a new baby!!! Don't worry what people say, if anything you are just giving her immune system and extra boost, keeping the weight off yourself and creating a great bond between you two. When people would ask me why I was still nursing I would just tell them that the doctor recommended it since allergies run in our family.(Which is true) Hope this helps



answers from Los Angeles on

As long as you both enjoy breastfeeding, why not continue? Yeah, you get pretty rude comments from other people, sometimes. It bothered me a little at first, but I didn't let it stop me. I even got comments from a nurse about it. I breastfed my first one until she was twenty months old. I only stopped because I was pregnant again and my nipples got tender. I'm still breastfeeding my 17 months old. It helps them a lot when they're sick. From my experience with my first daughter, she loses interest gradually, until the end when she only nursed to go to sleep. To wean her, I just told her big girls drink milk from a bottle. She wimpered a little and I held her until she fell asleep. It took 2 nights and she stopped asking. I was more surprised than anyone how easy it was to wean her. I guess she was ready to be weaned.



answers from Los Angeles on


You said it best.. You don't mind breastfeeding, in fact you enjoy the time, but people are starting to ask how long you plan to breastfeed...

Don't worry about what others think. As a Mom who breastfed my first to 26mos and my second just turned 3 and still breastfeeds (although hardly ever). I understand. I was fortunate to not care what others think but I know that can be hard, especially the first time around. From experience, let me just tell you how nice it is to be breastfeeding when your little one or toddler for that matter gets sick! Flu/cold/teething, etc... this is one of the reasons I didn't mind my son not weaning, he got the flu or a stomach virus twice and all I did was nurse him as much as possible and although he threw up a ton, he never got dehydrated and was well in a day or two. Colds too, as soon as they start, I let him nurse a lot and the cold doesn't linger. Many benefits for both Mom and baby. If you want to wean, do it for you.



answers from Los Angeles on

Hey M., First of all, don't worry about what everyone else says about breastfeeding him at 13 months, he is still a baby, right? I know people can be mean and insulting when it comes to this subject, but go with your heart and what you and your husband decide. I have 4 kids,(15, 13, 2.5 and 8 months) and I nursed my 2.5 year old until she was a year and 5 months, I stopped nursing because I got pregnant with my 8 month old and it broke my heart to have to wean her. You might try to only nurse him at nap times and then to go to bed at night and then let him cry ( I know this sounds horrible) thru the night, or just keep nursing him and eventually he will stop, probably closer to 2 years old. I plan to nurse my last one until he is ready to stop, and some people are not comfortable with that, oh well. It is my decision, and my body and my last child, so I will do what I feel is in his best interest and what I am comfortable with. It will take some getting used to, for your son, to stop nursing, but he will eventually get the hang of it. What about water in a bottle? Try that instead of milk. He will eventually get used to that, too. Take one nursing session away at a time for about 2 weeks, and then he will forget about it and then take another one away, and another one until he is done. I wish you the best of luck! M.



answers from Los Angeles on

Hello. I am a 39 year old mom with a soon to be 15 month old son and I am in a similar situation. I have breastfed since the beginning and nurse him in the morning when he wakes up, before he goes down for a nap and before he goes to bed. At this point I'm planning to let him wean himself. Hopefully it won't take him until he's four to do it!

The main point I want to make is that whether you choose to wean your son or let him wean himself is completely up to you. Please, please do not feel pressured by other people's opinions. Breastfeeding is a special and personal bond between you and your son. Other people's opinions shouldn't intrude upon that.

Here are a few things that I've done that have helped free me up a bit from breastfeeding "duty". Now that I'm a stay at home Mom our son doesn't drink from a bottle. I offer him a leak-proof cup with a straw but not before a nap or bedtime. He drinks all of his liquids from it - including cow's milk - and only at mealtime or snacktime. Maybe it's not the milk your son doesn't like. It may be it's the milk coming from a nipple other than yours. Try different types of cups to see if he'll take to one. Mine prefers one with the straw rather than a sippy cup. I've realized that as my sone began eating more solid foods he shouldn't be hungry and that my nursing him is more of a comfort than a necessity. It's important to put your son down for his nap or bedtime before he falls alseep while nursing. He should be drowsy but not asleep. This will encourage him to learn how to fall asleep on his own and not use breastfeeding as a crutch. Some nights I let his Dad rock him to sleep - without a bottle, cup or otherwise. Other times in the afternoon or evenings we're out during his naptime or past his bedtime and he falls asleep on his own. So I know he can do it without me nursing him.

I can say honestly though that we have not yet tried to put him to bed without either some sort of comforting or him already being alseep. I am baffled on how to do that but I feel confident that it will work itself out eventually.



answers from Santa Barbara on

Don't worry about others but be more concerned about what's best for you and your son. My mother in law just asked me this past weekend when I planned on weening our son, 13 months old too. I basically ignored her ignorant comments and didn't respond, but instead put on a friendly gesture.

4-4oz servings of milk per day is all your baby needs right now in form of milk, cheese, yogurt, etc... The rest is supplemented by food. Try a straw, spillproof sippy cup, my son dislikes other cups without straws.

I also enjoy the time I spend breastfeeding with my baby, as I am a full time working mom, this is our bonding time. Before you know it our babies will be grown and not needing their mamas as much. Give it a little more time, you will know when your baby is ready to ween.

I feel bad that I wasn't able to breastfeed my 2 year old daughter longer than 1 year - as her baby brother arrived when she was 15 months old. She also yearns for this bonding time and cuddles on my chest between baby and I while I breastfeed.

A few words of encouragement:)



answers from Los Angeles on

I think it's wonderful that you're breastfeeding your son at 13 months. If you both are enjoying it, then just don't pay attention to those who think you should stop. Ask yourself "Why do they care?" and "Is it really any of their business?". My hunch is that the answer to both these questions is probably no.



answers from Los Angeles on

Hello I am a 28 yr old mom of two who were both breastfeed, and I had to ween them off. I started by taking one feeding away at a time. For you the easiest would be nap time first. I also had the problem of them not drinking milk and my pediatrician said to try mixing a lil chocolate or strawberry syrup in the milk. She said the sugar level will be more but the benifit of them drinking the milk out weighs the harm. Also I used to water down apple juice for my kids. I used like 2 ounces of juice and 4 to 6 ounces of water. it allowed me to be able to use more juice bottles during the day. Once you ween a feeding time off, you can move on to the next time and then it will all fall in place. The night time feeding when going to bed was always the hardest. Both of my kids were resistant so I started putting them to bed with a water bottle or sippy cup. Both of them were weaned by 1 month after I started. Good luck I hope some of this helps.



answers from Honolulu on

Don't let others "decide" when you should stop breastfeeding. I let my both children self-wean. My firstborn weaned by herself at about 2 to 2 and a half years old. My boy weaned himself before 1 year old. This was the best decision for me and them. And my Hubby was proud of me too. And yes, I nursed on demand.. .day or night.

My boy also did not like cow's milk. You can mix half milk, half breast or formula and try that. Gradually, increase the proportion of milk to breast or formula, until the bottle is all milk. Remember, just keep offering every so often. From 1 years old through 2 years old, they need WHOLE milk, the milk "fat" in it is essential for brain development and a necessary nutrient for them.

Good luck and do what is in your heart. Breastfeed for as long as you and you children want to. The longer the better, if you are able to.

All the best,

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