When to Wean?

Updated on March 13, 2012
A.A. asks from Tulsa, OK
17 answers

DS is going to turn a year next month! I can hardly believe it, seems like no time at all since he was a newborn. I was planning on weaning him at a year, but now that it is almost here I'm not sure we're ready. I know people have said their kids "weaned themselves" at certain ages, but my son still nurses 4 times a day (7ish, 10ish, 4ish, bedtime). He also gets baby foods and finger foods at lunch and dinner. I am not sure how to start the weaning process, or if we even should. Hubby thinks it's a bit weird to BF older babies, but he'll let me do whatever I want. It just makes me so sad to think he won't be nursing anymore, but I'm sure I'll feel that way at whatever age he is when we stop. How old were your babies when you weaned them or when they weaned themselves?

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

So What Happened?

Thanks for the great advice, everyone! I told DH that I didn't want to quit at a year just because he was a year. He gave me the one eyebrow raised "hmm" look, but that was about it. We will go until we are ready to stop and I know I won't regret it.

Featured Answers



answers from Cincinnati on

There is no reason you should wean if you don't want to. Keep going until you want to stop. I weaned my son at 19 months.

More Answers


answers from San Diego on

World Health Organization (WHO) recommends until 2 years old, longer if mutually desired by mother and child. In cultures where child led weaning is the norm, it is not unheard of for a child to be breastfed until the age of 7. The American Academy of Pediatrics is very behind in only recommending 1 year. American culture has a very outdated and wrong attitude towards breastfeeding.
My first child nursed until he was 3, through my pregnancy with my second and for 2 months I tandem nursed both of them. I think he would have nursed longer had I not gotten pregnant and my milk changed. He didn't like the change in milk and later his brother kicking him.
My second nursed until a couple months before his 5th birthday. I found out I was pregnant with my third days after the last time he nursed.
My third is 33 months old (so 3 months shy of 3 years old). I can guarantee she's not going to quit any time in the very near future. I have no reason to make her.
Of course they no longer nursed like newborns as they got older. Some days they nursed more than others. I could tell them to wait until we were done in the store so I could finish the shopping.
Ultimately it is a choice you and your child make, no one else has a say. If you do not want to stop then don't. There is no reason to stop unless you want to stop.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I nursed until my son was 2.5 years old, gradually removing feedings till we were done. I enjoyed it and the weaning was very easy on my body. Feed as long as you both enjoy it :)

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Kalamazoo on

I nursed both my boys until they turned two. I had planned on just one year, but then after making it that far, I saw no reason to cut it off because of an arbitrary date. I researched it and found that the World Health Organization recommends nursing until at least 2 years of age (after extensive studies demonstrating the benefits). Nursing naturally eased off to just before naps and bedtime. I recommend doing what feels natural to you. One of the benefits I didn't think of before continuing past one year is that I was able to nurse each of them through various childhood illnesses between ages 1 and 2 when all they wanted was the comfort of Mommy and nursing (ie wouldn't tolerate other food/drinks). There were a couple of times with each of them that I was so glad we'd continued. However, by around 2, I was done. I gently encouraged an end to the nursing by slightly changing the bedtime routine and gently explaining how big kids don't need to nurse anymore. Going to sleep without nursing became a huge sense of accomplishment and pride on their part. Do what works for you - I had a wonderful experience nursing past the first birthdays. Good luck with whatever you decide!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

Do what is best for you and your little one. If there is no reason for you to stop nursing, don't do it. You will get used to the slack you catch from people who think it is "weird" to nurse a baby after one year. My son turned 3 in January and I still nurse him, although I don't produce much milk at this point so it is more for comfort and only a few times a day, especially when I put him to sleep. I love the bond and the closeness. And he loves nursing, he's obsessed with it so why should I stop if we are both enjoying it? I too am praying that he will self-wean, but I can't honestly picture that happening. If it is tiring you out (sometimes it does get to be exhausting and demanding) as he gets older and is more interested in play and exploration, you can cut down to nursing a few times a day, like nap and night time, or when he needs extra comforting. If you stop before you are ready (not to mention him), I think you will regret it. This is the only time in your relationship that you share this bond, so enjoy it as much as you can and trust your maternal instincts. Good luck!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

My DD was 11 1/2 mos. when she kind of weaned herself. We were already down to 2 feedings a day (wake-up and bedtime). I just cut one out one day and handed her a sippy with milk. She didn't protest it. After about a week of one feeding a day, I just quit with the bedtime one and she didn't care. If she would have asked for it I would have given it but she didn't. We never looked back. If you or your child aren't ready, then keep it up! Nothing wrong with keeping it up for a while longer at all!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Erie on

ds1... 2 yrs, on his own, no problem lol
ds 2... 15mo abrupt weaning due to my health
ds 3... 3 years, we had a lovely party to say good bye to nursies
dd... 3 years, she had chicken pox and had them in her mouth, she lost the skill to suck by the time she was well enough to try again

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

I weaned at 19 months at the increasing pressure of DH, who also though it was weird. Neither myself nor my DD were really ready at the time. She basically became addicted to her binky because she still had a strong instinct to suck for comfort and I had major regret and resented my DH for quite some time for pushing me.
Wait until you are ready or your son weans himself.
Good luck.



answers from Spokane on

If you and your son are both happy, then you can continue for as long as you both want. It's a very personal decision that only you and your son can make :)

My first two daughters weaned themselves at 12 and 13 months; I decided to wean my third at 14 months because it just wasn't as enjoyable for me anymore and I didn't want it to feel like a chore, you know? She was down to just nursing twice per day to fall asleep, at bedtime and for her nap. I still snuggle her to sleep (as we co-sleep), but my "girls" are happily retired :o)



answers from Washington DC on

When you want to.

My DD weaned with some gentle nudging at 2.5 yrs old. At 12 mo. I looked at her and realized that she was still very small and it wasn't the right time for us. My DH gave me a look here and there about the extended nursing but I told him that until HE was nursing a child, he didn't get to tell me when I felt it was right. It started with "she didn't ask, so I don't offer" and then when we were down to morning and night, when she woke up and accepted food instead, I just went with it. The last to go was nighttime, and I made the sessions less and less and then one night the little bit was all of 2 minutes and she was done. She unlatched and never looked back.

When she was a bit over 1, we all got the worst stomach flu I've ever had. I was glad I was still nursing DD as breastmilk is a "clear fluid" and it kept her hydrated when nothing else would stay down. I also didn't have the energy to do anything but hold her so I was happy not to be fixing food or bottles for a couple of days.


answers from Dayton on

He's still so little.
Don't let that birthday feel like a stop sign. I let age dictate too much w/ my 1st...so much more relaxed w/ my 2nd.
No one could bully me now (like they did w/ my 1st).
Do what works for you.
There are so many benefits to nursing a toddler. It is like a giant band aid for all the owies they get while they're figuring out life.
My son is like Evil Knevil (sp?) and I've nursed him through his worst spills.
4 times a day on a schedule sounds very nice/ideal to me.
Do what works for you and bubs! :)
I have never regretted nursing my toddlers. I do regret making my 1st wean when I did and basically allowing someone else (my mom) to make that decision for me.


answers from Tucson on

My baby will be 1 in May and is on the same schedule as yours. HE really enjoys nursing. Specially at night.
I usually Start knocking off a feeding a week or 2 at a time.
I got to every night and morning with my last baby and quit cold turkey at 14 months because i got strep throat that knocked me in my bed. So thats how she was weaned, but this is my last baby and i kind of want to stretch it out as long as possible. I know how you feel. : (



answers from Albuquerque on

Time sure does fly doesn't it? My first was formula fed and he was weaned at 12 months. My second was bf and formula fed, she weaned herself from bf at 6 months and was weaned from the botttle at 12 months. Now my third never took a bottle, wouldn't even try and I always said I would wean her at a year. Like you, we just felt we weren't ready. She ended up nursing until 22 months.


answers from Houston on

My last feedings were morning and night. I just slowly started going longer between nursings during the day. i was very ready to stop though, since my boys started becoming aggressive biters! They were about 15 and 18 months when I was done. My husband would sometimes have to pull them off of me when I first started.



answers from New Orleans on

Just want to chime in even though my response is pretty similar to all the rest. I was going to wean at a year also, but I could tell we weren't ready. My husband gave me such a hard time, cracking jokes and just not being very nice about it. By the time my son was two, he was still nursing, but only at night and in the mornings. I planned to keep going until he weaned himself but unfortunately, I had to take antibiotics and didn't want him exposed. So we stopped when he was about 26 months. Keep on nursing until you both are ready. No reason to stop!!



answers from Asheville on

It sounds like you nor ds is ready to sstop nursing. So keep doing it. My youngest ds nursed until he was 3years 9 months old. I don't regret it a bit. You'll know when you're ready to stop. DO NOT let anyone giive you a hrd time, you are the mommy:)



answers from Seattle on

My little one nursed at a year at 230 am(she wasn't sleeping through the night yet), 0530am, 4pm and 730pm. At a year I cut out the 4pm one by just giving her a bottle right before nap time. Didn't faze her a bit. Then I cut out the 0230 at 13months. That was actually pretty easy. It was me waking up to her kind of waking and changing through her sleep cycles. After two nights of whimpering she hasn't woke up again unless her mouth is bothering her due to teething, then I nurse her and she goes back to bed. She is now 15months.
So we are down to the 530am feeding and right before bed. She enjoys these times and will wake at 530 if I don't because she also knows I won't be there when she wakes up for the rest of her day. Then at bedtime is our quiet time.
It is whatever feels right to you and you little one. We will probably start trying to give her a bottle at bed time in the next week or so just to get her used to it due to having to have a someone at bedtime be babysitting later this month. I have always been around for bedtime.

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions