weaning my baby from breastfeeeding

Hi Im a new mum, Im 19 and my daughter is 7 months old. i have recently stopped breast feeding and its so sore. I have lumps and blocked ducts and they wont go away.

I have tried to express a little bit to help with the pain but i cant get much milk out, i think its because the milk is drying up but it hurts so bad.

Iv tried cabbage leaves and that does soothe my breasts a little but i am worried about the lumps and blocked ducts because i don't want a abscess. Is there anything else i can do to help?

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Feb 04, 2011
Weaning engorgement
by: Tracy


Before I give you some advice on how to relieve the pain, I just want to make sure you know the following...

It is recommended to continue with breastfeeding for at least six months read here on the benefits of breastfeeding

If you had to wean baby because you had to return to work, you should know that you can continue to breastfeed while working.

It's also perfectly okay if you just don't want to breastfeed anymore, its a personal choice...I'm just mentioning the facts in-case it was for other reasons.

Things that will help with weaning so that you don't feel so engorged...

- Try weaning slowly, instead of leaving it all in one day...this will help your body signal a slow decrease in milk supply.

- Ice packs can be used to help with swelling and pain.

- You can continue to use cabbage leaves.

- Read more on how to deal with engorged breasts. 

- Read our page on how to wean a baby from breastfeeding

Hope this helps...please let me know how things go.

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Stopping breastfeeding/weaning

by Sarah M

This is my second girl. With my first breastfeeding wasn't easy. She was more of a bottle baby. It was easy stopping her night feedings. That's when she started a pacifier. She slept great too. My second little girl is ten months. I must go back to work in two.

I love breastfeeding so much. She depends on it emensly for morning and the many night feedings. She was eating solids well. I still give her options in the day but she's totally a breast babe. I'm trying to wean. At least getting her through the days without.

All websites are the same. Nothing seems to work!! I can't just go to work and leave her with a new sitter crying all day!!!! How can this be easier!!!!!????? Help!!! :,(

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Oct 06, 2011
It takes time
by: Tracy

Hi Sarah

There is no easy answer to this. I know how you must be feeling, my little girl is a "breast baby" too...she won't sleep at night unless I breastfeed her to sleep and she cries during the day if she doesn't get the boob. Luckily I'm a work at home mom...so I don't need to wean her soon.

The only thing that's going to help is time...she will eventually get accustomed to not getting breastfed during the day. Unfortunately, she will cry the first couple of days, but she will get over it...I know its difficult...I think its more difficult for a mom than what it is for the baby though ;-)

The transition can be made easier by pumping milk for her; she will most likely prefer this over anything else...also to keep breastfeeding in the evenings for comfort...until she decides to stop.

Good luck!

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Weaning and Sleeping

by Sarah - Rubys Mummy
(New Zealand)

My baby is 9months old and I want to wean her off breastfeeding as Im back at work and frankly sick of pumping!

She has formula and/or expressed breastmilk when Im at work so is used to either- and I have even feed her formula myself and she didnt ask for the breast.

However still likes the bedtime feed, and often still wakes at night and wont go down without a breastfeed.

another thing is that I still have her in an arms up swaddle (Love to swaddle up- similar in concept to the zipadee zip) as she still likes the firmness of this and can suck her hands through the fabric to self-soothe.

Should I be trying to get her out of this into a sleeping bag first, or wean her off breastfeeding first?

I also use a safe -t sleep at night as she wakes up if she is in a different position, like sideways or on her tummy!

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trouble weaning baby from breast

by Krystal Wiparata
(New Zealand)

I used to bottle feed occasionally when my baby was 4-6 weeks, now that I have decided to stop at 4 months old, she does not wanna know. I have tried everything, leaving the house, putting breast milk on the end on the teat, putting breast milk in the bottle... NOTHING WORKS! I really need advice as I do not want to breastfeed anymore.

I am happy to express milk for her to drink out of the bottle, but I just dont want to breastfeed anymore.

Any advice?????

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taking clomid and weaning

by Anonymous


We tried for 2 years and found out I had pcos. On our second round of clomid we fell pregnant. We now have a wonderful 19 1/2 month old boy.

He's loves breastfeeding and food. My gynio has told me I need to wean him before taking clomid again, but I feel I shouldn't have to punish him because we want another child. I've been told by the dietician to take metformin but doctor won't prescribe while I'm breastfeeding.. Ahhh!
. I've only had one af since having baby. Also down to couple of feeds a day but some times more or less.

Would love some advise on other things you would recommend

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please help - I'm so ready to stop breast feeding

by keeanna t

I'm a full time college student and my son is 11 months old. I'm so ready to stop breast feeding but he just won't allow it. We can make it through the day without any breast milk but at night its so bad that he'll yell and cry and fight at me if I try and refuse. Please give me some advice!

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Jun 14, 2014
not alone
by: sarah

I have the same problem! Unfortunately for me, the only times she gets my milk anymore is at nap/bedtime.

She has mentally connected nursing to sleep. No milk, no sleep. I know that the substitution of a habit is the best route, but I have no idea how to substitute this habit when I want to cut the eating part completely.

She is old enough that she eats chopped "big people" food during the day and drinks from a sippy cup or bottle, but I can't get her to sleep through the night without multiple nursings.

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Once I stop it's really over

by Karen

I had twin baby girls 2 months ago. They came early and by c-section and spent 2 1/2 weeks in the nicu.

The doctors asked if i was ok with them getting formula as be breast milk had not come in yet. I decided it was best for the babies to get the formula and helped that my breast milk would come in shortly.

I took 8 days to get anything. All the nurses and doctors said that it would come in and to just keep pumping.

I pumped every 2 hours for the first week and a half. It almost killed me. I was getting no sleep and was stressed about my babies health and not being able to produce milk.

They stayed on formula with me giving them what milk i got. After 3 weeks my milk just stopped. I pumped and pumped and got only drops.

I am now taking herbal supplements, pumping and putting the babies to the breast as often as I can, but am only getting about 4 ml a day. I am crying all the time and feel horrible that I can't provide for my babies.

I want to hold them to me and feed them, but the milk just isn't there. They are still small and on a high calorie diet to help them but on weight, so I worry about tiring them out by having them suck on a breast that can't give them nutrition.

My husband is very supportive of an decision I make, but I feel stuck. I don't want to stop trying to get milk. Once I stop it's really over and I'm not sure how to deal with that.

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Dec 08, 2015
I understand low milk supply
by: Michelle

Oh, I know just how you feel. All through my pregnancy I just expected to breastfeed, and it was quite a shock when that was not the case.

I have several nurses giving bad advice in the hospital

- nurses taking him from me after birth when I asked for help to attach him, saying that I needed rest,

- nurses not knowing about correct attachment that I later learned from a lactation consultant and instead of giving formula when I said it was painful (which I didn't want to do but felt bad saying no to the 'experts')

As I result, my son lost weight when I exclusively breastfed.

I would only get about 20-25ml each time I expressed. I never got engorged. I felt awful and was in tears all the time.

Your title describes precisely how I felt - that it was emotionally distressing trying all sorts of herbs and supplements and pumping around the clock, but not wanting to stop because then it was all over.

I don't know if this is something you are familiar with or is a helpful suggestion, but I used a supplemental nursing system (SNS). It is a bottle that can fill up with formula but instead of a teat, it has a two thin tubes coming out of it that are taped to the end of the nipple so that baby is happy to breastfeed because they are receiving milk, and at the same time, is helping stimulate supply from the baby sucking. I did this for three months and perhaps is something you might consider if you don't feel ready to call it quits.

I am now expecting baby number two and am planning to get off to a much better start.

I recently went to a breastfeeding class in preparation and learned that the most milk is made while the breast is being stimulated from feeding/expressing, so it is important to pump for 10-15 minutes regardless of whether the breast is still releasing milk or not. There are supplements and medication that you can take to help supply.

Whatever path you take, I can reassure you that while I felt guilty at the time having to supplement my son with 'second-rate' formula, and felt guilty when I decided to move on to bottle feeding. I now look back at that time and am quite proud of myself for the effort I put in when I had such a difficult start. I am still resentful towards the hospital for making it an awful start - but that's another story!

If you want any more support, feel free to email me [email protected]

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Stopped breastfeeding.. Now what?!

by Audrey

Ive just stopped breastfeeding, my lo is 6 weeks and im going back to work and decided breastfeeding wouldn't work out for when i'm there.

But everytime i go to sleep, i wake up with my shirt soaked with milk. Besides breast pads, any suggestions on what to do to help or prevent this from happening?!

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Mar 16, 2015
herbs that decrease supply
by: Tracy

Hi Audrey

Weaning should be a gradual process so that the transition for you, and your baby is easier. (A gradual decrease in demand of breast milk, will lead to less milk produced.)

If your breasts start to feel a little tight, you can pump them a little for comfort. Ice packs can also be used to decrease the swelling and pain.

Here are some herbs that can help decrease milk supply: Herb Robert, Red sage, Garden Mint, and Periwinkle.
(check with your doc before taking any of these, especially if you are on meds)

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How to wean from a breast shield

by Lisbet Ruiz
(Los Angeles, CA)

My daughter is 3 months old and she was born as premature baby. I could not breastfeed her because she could not latch on and if she did, it was with the shield.

At 2.5 I started feeding her without the shield, but she gets frustrated after 15min of nursing.

Is there anyway I can be helped or is it that she got used to the bottle and does not want to be breastfeed. (I do not use formula, I pump to feed her in bottles.)

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Jul 17, 2014
does not want to be breastfeed.
by: Tracy

Hi Lisbet

I applaud you for continuing to give your baby the best nutrition possible, even though she is not getting it directly from the source.

Your baby is struggling with nipple confusion. The two feeding methods used, namely bottle and breast use completely different tongue and mouth movements.

A bottle flows much faster than the breast, and this makes baby lazy. Therefore, the baby does not want to wait for the breast to start flowing, because she is accustomed to a constant fast flow of milk now.

A few tips

- Pump your breast for a few minutes before trying to feed your baby; this will get your milk flowing so that she does not need to wait for the milk to start flowing.

- Lots of skin to skin contact while breastfeeding should encourage her to stay at the breast.

- Carrying your little girl in a sling may encourage her to breastfeed through the day.

- Use slow flowing artificial nipples when necessary.

- If you have to use the shield, its ok. Here are some tips on weaning from a shield...

* Pump a few seconds before trying your own nipple, as this will elongate your nipple and make breastfeeding easier. A Lansinoh LatchAssist is a small device that can easily extend the nipple, just before a nursing session.

- Feed your baby before he/she gets hungry and impatient.

- Put some expressed breast milk on your nipple to encourage your baby to drink directly from the breast.

- While using the shield, after letdown has occurred, try removing the shield and then see if your baby will drink.

Hope this helps

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Two year old trying to breastfeed - weaned over a year ago

by breastfeeding again?

My son is 2yrs old and he had been off of the beast for over a year. Today he literally tried to feed and caressed my breast afterwards. I am not pregnant and don't have a younger baby, please tell me what's going on? He squeezes boobs frequently no matter who you are.

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Tips to stop milk production after losing a baby?

by Rachael
(LA, CA)

I was still nursing my 18-month old when she passed away unexpectedly.

It's been over a week and I am still producing milk and am increasingly uncomfortable.

Any suggestions on how to help stop milk production or dry up the milk?

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Feb 26, 2013
by: Tracy

So sorry to hear about your loss.

There are herbs you can take to dry up milk production namely:

Oregano, Parsley, Peppermint, menthol and spearmint, Sage (which is actually used for weaning or healing mastitis), Sorrel, Thyme, Chickweed, Periwinkle, Cocoa.

You can also eat anything (even sweets) containing peppermint or mint.

Hope this helps

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What does natural weaning look like?

by Muddy mummy

I wonder how often other mummies who still feed their 3 and a half year olds feed them ... what restrictions they place if any .... if they always feed enthusiastically ..... and what natural weaning really looks like?

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May 03, 2011
Nursing my 3 yr old
by: Anonymous

My daughter is almost 3 1/2 and not yet ready to wean. I nurse her 2 -3 times per day. Morning, naptime and bedtime. Only at home and only among my family ( Husband and 10 yr old and 7 yr old. It helps her sleep at naptime and relaxes me too.

I know she'll self-wean soon, but for now, I'm glad I can nurse her.

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help -- i've stopped cold turkey with my 2.5 yr. old

by christine
(rochester, ny)

she seems to be ok with it -- so far, but my left one is so engorged I look ridiculous. is stopping cold turkey bad for me?

Thank you for any advice.

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Oct 12, 2012
by: Zelda Behr

I would strongly suggest you start again.

Weaning is a very stressful and emotional proses for mom and baby.

It should be done gradually over a long time period, dropping one feed per week leaving the nigh time feed for last.

This way you don't get engorgement and there is no emotional stress on her.

Things that might help make it easier.

* You will have to give more emotional attention to baby, as breastfeeding is a very close bond. Snuggle up close with a story book or a chat.

* Offer her something instead of the breast cup of milk or a juice she likes.

Relieve from engorgement.

* You can bump a bit, just enough to get comfortable, pumping too much can increase milk supply.

* Cabbage leaves: cold cabbage leaves can reduce the swelling.

* Hand express some milk.

* Cold compression will help relieve engorgement.

* Peppermint tea, sage, and thyme help to reduce milk production.

Good luck.

Oct 13, 2012
by: Tracy


Weaning should be a gradual process, in which you drop a few feeds every week, to give your body a chance to adapt.

Read more on weaning here...


Oct 16, 2012
by: Anonymous

I'm checking out this site and your comment cause I've recently done the same, I have a 19month old and felt that it's been time to wean since last month so I've finally done it, we're in the 4th full day of, "Cold Turkey", I feel good about it and so does my child, however he'll have his melt downs every so often, but gets over them faster and faster each time so we're in the home stretch, I think, but my breasts are engorged and hurting, am I running the risk of mastitis....???

Oct 16, 2012
by: Zelda Behr

Yes you can get mastitis and if it is left untreated could turn into a breast abases, that will need to be surgically drained.

Here is some info on engorgement...


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how to stop breastfeeding?

by vr
(Baroda,Gujarat,India )

I am a mother of 2 year old baby I want stop my baby from breastfeeding please send me any suggestions regarding this.

My baby is a tough baby to get him away from this habit. Please give suggestions keeping such nature of his in mind.

I would be looking forward for your suggestions.

Thank you..

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Jan 08, 2015
2 year old and weaning
by: T


Congratulations on getting to the two-year mark!

I had the same thing with my little girl; she would breastfeed every hour during the day and at night...I think it was mostly for comfort at the two-year mark. Anyways, it got too much for me, because a person needs a good nights rest.

The best thing to do is to start weaning gradually; this is what I did...

I started cutting out the night feedings first. When she woke up, I would lie with her in her room and just hold her close...then get up when she was quiet. She did cry a bit because she wanted the breast, but I just held her until she stopped. Kept saying "the booboo is gone."

During the day I would not offer the breast but allowed her to breastfeed when she wanted to. I started offering more alternative drinks.

After about a week I would start saying "booboos are dry, there's no more milk." She cried twice that I can remember and was fine after that. Every few days she would ask, but I just stuck to my guns. Lol. Don't give in!

Now my little girl is three and a half and now and then she still likes to caress the boobs, lol, she's very fond of them.

Hope this helps! ;-)

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how to quit breastfeeding

by Hela


my baby is nearly 12 months and his teeth are coming out but he's still refusing any other milk but breast milk.

I love breastfeeding but this means I'm still having to get up all night to breastfeed and it's not enough for him. But whenever I tried formula or even normal milk, in a cup, bottle , with a straw , he's just having non-of it and pushes it away. ( even though he will accept other drinks in cups etc).

What can I do ??? I need to finally get some sleep. Also my 4 year old girl is very jealous of the breastfeeding and kicks up a fuss when I do it as she then wants a hug or something else to get me to stop breastfeeding.


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Sep 07, 2012
Breastfeeding weaning
by: Zelda Behr

For a start, you deserve a medal just for sticking it out till a year with breastfeeding.

Weaning from the breast is a long-term project so do not expect to be done in a week.

Weaning can be a very emotional thing for mom and baby to go through.

Try to give your little one some more attention, as it can make him wake more during the night for affection missed during daytime feeds.

Remember to keep the last feed before bedtime as the last feed to drop as this helps your little one sleep longer. You can even continue only with that feed if you like, your body will keep producing milk for just one feed.

* Drop only one breastfeeding session per week.

* You can use a bottle, but seeing that he is a year old I would say try a sippy cup otherwise you have to later wean off the bottle again.

* Mix breast milk with cow milk and decrease the amount of breast milk gradually, so that he can get accustomed to the milk.

* Put a small amount of breast milk on the teat of the sippy cup to entice him to drink it.

* Let someone else give him the milk, he associates you with breast milk, try to also not be in the room, as he will know then, that there is an alternative to the bottle (You).

Concerning your little girl, try giving her a few mins of attention before a breastfeeding session or after or let her spoon behind you or your little boy on a bed while feeding him and have a conversation with her. She is just seeking attention.

Good luck and remember you are a great mom.

Sep 12, 2012
by: Hela

This is a great help.

I used something call Milk flow, and that helped me produce lots of milk to breastfeed until now.

However, he's still refusing anything else

but I will keep trying

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Is this true? specialist told me I have to stop

by Reina
(Rialto, ca)

I have a newborn and a 24 month old.

My newborn was in NICU since birth and is on a feeding tube, but I've just been given permission to let him try to nurse.

I've been pumping for him and nursing my now 24 month old... Now, one of the specialist told me I have to stop because I'm contaminating my newborns milk... Is this true?

I stopped nursing my 24 month old immediately and I couldn't have picked a worst time, he got so sick and so I started nursing again.

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May 13, 2014
need more info
by: Tracy

Hi Reina

Could you be a little more specific about what your specialist said? Did he tell you to stop pumping breast milk or to stop breastfeeding? And why? I don't understand why he/she would say that you are contaminating the milk??

Are you exclusively breastfeeding?

May 14, 2014
More info
by: Reina

My son who is two months now is being fed through a g tube that is placed in his stomach due to him being born with a birth defect called tef/ea; his esophagus wasn't wholly developed, so they had to make it complete by surgical procedures, so he was in NICU for 33 days.

I am exclusively pumping for him while at the same time my 23 (at the time, now 24) month old wanted to still nurse (for comfort or at night) my 2-month-old was just given the ok to start trying to eat by mouth being the repairs that were done were all normal and or ok, and they don't want him to not desire the bottle or breast, so I started nursing him directly from the breast right away...

We went to the specialist, and I did inform him I was still nursing my 24-month-old maybe 1-2 times a day and how it was a blessing in disguise being my son needed a large supply being he was in NICU and he helped my milk supply stay up... he then said I needed to stop feeding my 24-month-old because I'm contaminating my 2-month-old milk...

He said they have two different germs and that it's like drinking from someone else cup.

I do understand that my 2-month-old has to be careful of getting sick being that can lead to hospitalization, but I thought that was a bit extreme.

Yes, I'm exclusively nursing and still pumping...

May 14, 2014
my advice
by: Tracy

Hi again!

I can't believe some people can be so ignorant, and this is coming from a specialist!?

You do not need to stop breastfeeding your older child; you can continue to feed both of them at the same time!!!

Breast milk will protect both your children from illness and will boost their immunity towards any germs. Breast milk will also help protect the gut lining from any bacteria or germs from entering.

Breast milk is antibacterial, so it washes away and kills all bacteria.

The following articles should put your mind to ease...

Here is a page on gut protection through breast milk.

The immune properties of breast milk.

The composition of breast milk.

Also, all the benefits of breastfeeding.

I hope this helps. Please let me know if you have any other questions. ;-) I would advise that you see a "breastfeeding friendly" specialist, who has some experience and training in the field of breastfeeding if possible.

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resume breast feeding?

by Rose Ejembi
(Makurdi, Benue State, Nigeria)

Pls, can I resume breast feeding after 24 hours of trying to wean my 13 months old toddler who adamantly refused any other food? Is the breast milk ok for him after 24 hours? Also what can I do to releive me of the pain I am feeling in my breasts while trying to wean my baby.

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Aug 06, 2013
gradual weaning
by: Tracy, CBC, CLD

Hi Rose

Weaning should be done gradually. You should only remove one feed at a time; this will give your body a chance to adapt and produce less milk.

It is also very confusing and frustrating for a child... to just take something so precious away so quickly. It should be done gradually throughout weeks, not days.

Yes, you can breastfeed again, your milk will be fine. It cannot hurt the baby.

Hope this helps

Aug 06, 2013
Still on weaning
by: Rose Ejembi

Your response on how best to wean my baby helped but I discovered that my baby has fully resumed breastfeeding after I tried to stop him. He now refuses to take any other food but breastmilk especially when I'm with him. He's 13 months old. What should I do pls?

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Taking pills to "dry" breast milk

by Archana

Is it mandatory to take pills to "dry" breast milk after you stop breast feeding?

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Dec 26, 2013
drying up
by: Lyssa

It is by no means necessary to take anything to dry up a mother's milk. Some mothers choose to take medications or herbs to help their milk ducts dry up due to infant loss or extreme circumstances, but it is not necessary.

It usually takes 2-5 days for a mother to lose almost all supply once she stops breastfeeding completely.

Engorgement is natural and can be painful; this can be treated with cold cabbage leaves changed every 2-3 hours and hot showers. The breasts should not be pumped (as this encourages supply), nor bound (as this can cause the milk ducts to become blocked and possibly a mastitis infection).

If you choose to take something, large quantities of mint, sage, or sometimes a few doses of Benadryl have suggested, but should NOT be taken without consulting your doctor.

Dec 27, 2013
Pressing breasts to remove milk
by: Archana

I already stopped feeding my baby before ten days. Still, there is milk supply in breasts. Is it required to press the breasts and remove milk while taking warm showers? Does breast damage by doing so? Does that remove milk ducts?

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needing a little reassurance..

by cj
(Peterborough, ON Canada)

My son is 22 months old this month.
He has been solely breastfed since birth.
I am not apposed to him breastfeeding longer, but I am ready for him too stop.

although he has been weaned to ONLY naptime & nightfeeding
I am finding this too be my mistake. My son will sleep throughout the night fine, until he awakes that once or twice a night.. he wont settle until he receives breastmilk. He sees the bed as "milktime"

I have tried reversing my nighttime routine for him, bath, bed, warm cows milk.. once and it worked, the next time it did not.

so i am getting frustrated and trying my damndest not too for his sake. I dont want to end this beautiful relationship we have formed on a bad note at all!

So i guess i am reaching out and looking for some advice, i have read through some of these articles and made some notes, looking forward to attempting some to see if we can do this the right way..

Are there any moms out there with similar delemas?? if so PLEASE respond.. :)

Thaaaank and wish me luck.

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Apr 11, 2013
recent weaning
by: Anonymous

Hi, my little boy is now 20 months and has been breastfed since birth. I have recently tried weaning him off the night feeds because he primarily associates feeds with sleep and cannot get himself to sleep without the boobie.

This week has been so tiring, but I have been persistent. He wakes at the sane kind of time every night. That is 1 am, and 5 am. Normally I had just co-slept and given him breast whenever he wakes up for it. Now I nurse him at bedtime then after that if he wakes for a feed in the night I tell him that boobie has gone to bye byes and is tired and he can have boobie in the morning. He gets cross and cries for me to give in but I have just done my best to offer him alternative ways to get to sleep such as putting the radio on quite and rocking him to sleep. He sleeps in my bed which I don't mind; I think a gentle approach and gradual but not to give in.

One night this week it took me nearly three half hours to get him back o sleep, but he is gradually getting easier to settle. I don't have my partner either to help share but I just try to stay calm, and he is beginning to accept a cuddle from me instead of boobie.

Apr 13, 2013
Responding too comment posted.
by: Anonymous

Hello there.
So now my son is 25 months old.
I was able to complete the final wean ( nighttime) finally within the same month he was ( 20 mo's).
I kept his nighttime routine normal, supper, bath, and then a sippy with warm homo milk. This worked wonders along with a book or two and cuddles with me.
I to do not have the support from his father, and he isn't a hands-on parent. This made it very hard for me, but in a way makes you stronger right. For every hurdle the reward is beautiful.
I hope your weaning went well !!
All the best .

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