Weaning tips from moms who've been there

Weaning tips from moms who've been there

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Gradually cutting back the number of times you breastfeed during the day is the weaning method of choice for experienced our site moms. Not only did a slow approach help stave off the breast engorgement and depression that can accompany early or abrupt weaning, but it made the transition to a bottle or cup an easy one.

While some moms had no problem nursing a toddler through a second pregnancy, many found the physical demands too much and opted to wean at that time. Teething prompted others to start cutting back on nursing. What wasn't recommended? Going cold turkey. In fact, those who tried it swore they'd never do it again.

Here are weaning strategies sent in by members of the our site community. We hope they'll help you with your own weaning decisions.

Snack vs. breast

I nursed for almost 12 months and started weaning around 11, by dropping a feeding out every few days until the evening meal was the last one left. I replaced it with a snack and whole milk before his bath and stories. Then after reading a few books, I rocked him and sang to him for a few minutes before placing him in his crib.

Let your child lead the way

In spite of my mother telling me that it was "embarrassing" for me to still be nursing my son at 18 months, I let him tell me when he wanted to wean and at what pace. We got down to just twice a day for a month or so. He was finally completely weaned at 20 months. I didn't even realize he was weaned until one day it dawned on me that he hadn't nursed for almost a full week. No emotional trauma, no engorged breasts. Just a happy and loving end to a very special relationship.

I'm still nursing my 22-month-old. He's been drinking out of a cup for over a year and eats a wide variety of solid food. The breast is mainly a comfort thing. People tell me I should wean him, but I'm in no hurry and neither is he. He'll probably be weaned by the time he's 2, but if not, that's okay.

Change bedtime routines

My then 26-month-old daughter Elise's favorite time to nurse was at night, right before bed. Instead of nursing, I read to her from her favorite books. She would then drink her milk, and snuggle into the pillows ready for sleep. It took a few weeks to get her used to the routine — and some crying — but we learned to bond in a different way.

Introduce the cup

I started giving my son a cup periodically at about 6 months. When I stopped breastfeeding him at about a year, he was so used to the cup that he didn't even care that I'd stopped nursing him.

A few months before my son's second birthday, he and I shopped for a special cup. He picked out a red one with a built-in straw. I began to substitute a cup of warm water for the breast and let him choose the times to give up nursing. He still uses his special red cup for his bedside water and we still cuddle in my bed every morning.

Avoid familiar nursing positions and places

When I became pregnant, my son was 19 months old. I started to cut down the feedings gradually until it was mainly at nap time and bedtime. As I became more pregnant, my breasts became tender and painful so I had to stop. I avoided getting into our favorite nursing positions and places so as not to trigger any breastfeeding associations.

Take it slow

I weaned my youngest gradually when she was 13 months old. First, for about a week, we substituted one nursing session for a sippy with cow's milk around lunchtime. Then we substituted a sippy for another feeding until we were down to two feedings a day, before nap and before bed. After a couple of weeks we were nursing before bed only. Then I cut the duration of the nursing sessions. We started with five minutes on each side. Then went to four minutes on each side for four days, three minutes for three days, and so on until, on the last day, we nursed for one minute on each side. By this time my daughter was ready to quit and I didn't have any engorgement!

Tricks are for kids

I weaned my daughter just shy of her second birthday. Bedtime was tough. I would say, "Mommy has no more milk," or I'd let her dad take her to bed. When she woke in the middle of the night, I would just hold her until she drifted back to sleep when she realized there would be no "nursy." I kept a cup of milk ready for her when she woke up in the morning, then we read, read, read until she got used to this pattern and not nursing.

A recipe for weaning

Here's a gentle weaning method to try: Finely chop a clove of garlic. Put chopped garlic and a tablespoon of olive oil in a small bowl. Let this sit for a few hours. Strain out the garlic. The oil should have a strong garlic odor. Put the oil on nipples. (You may want to protect your bra with a nursing pad.) My 2-year-old would ask to nurse and then tell me I was stinky and refuse. She'd check a few times a day, and lo and behold I was still smelly. I reapplied twice a day for about four days and then she stopped asking. We cuddled and read a lot of books during the transition time. There were no tears. I'm happy I nursed her as long as I did, but I was ready to wean!

Pros and cons of going cold turkey

I weaned my son on his first birthday because I thought that's what I was "supposed" to do. It was terrible! Neither one of us was ready to wean. The night I stopped nursing I was so engorged, and he was a screaming mess. Our lives were upside-down for weeks. With my next two children, I let them decide when to wean and it's been a much more pleasant experience.

My son was 2 years and 8 months old when I stopped nursing cold turkey. I just told him my milk was all gone and he accepted it. This was after almost two years of doing everything else I could think of to wean him from nursing.

I had to wean my 24-month-old suddenly because I'm taking some medications that pass through breast milk. We had given him boxes of organic vanilla milk when we traveled, and he always liked it. So I bought a case and explained that he could not nurse because of the medicine. He cried hard the first night, but Dad got him to sleep. Now he reminds me to take my medicine and we cuddle a lot during the day. Only go cold turkey if you absolutely have to. I know it would be easier on both of us if we'd had the time to gradually wean.

Watch the video: Baby Led Weaning. Basics for Beginners (July 2022).


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  2. Hakan

    Absolutely with you it agree. In it something is and it is excellent idea. I support you.

  3. Starling

    I apologize, but this variant does not come close to me.

  4. Vidor

    Are you not an expert?

  5. Acwel

    The perfect answer

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