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Weaning a toddler off breastmilk
how did you do it?


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18 replies to this topic

#1 Guest_divineM_*

Posted 20 December 2012 - 10:51 AM

My DD is 21 months and still has a BF first thing in the mornign and as part of bedtime routine (but not fed to sleep). she loves it and so do I, but I'm starting to think I might still be breastfeeding a 4 year old and that's not so appealing. I know if I just started to say no she would get most upset and we have had such a great breastfeeding relationship I don't want to end it on a sour note. she likes milk and i have offered it in a cup at feed times which she will have but always asks for breastmilk as well. how did you wean your toddler or if you didn't at what age did they self-wean?

#2 Feral timtam

Posted 20 December 2012 - 11:11 AM

My first self weaned off the breast at just past two years of age, my daughter is 21 months and is bottle fed, but she's beginning to act in a similar way to DS did when he self weaned.


#3 Tesseract

Posted 20 December 2012 - 11:13 AM

QUOTE (divineM @ 20/12/2012, 11:51 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
My DD is 21 months and still has a BF first thing in the mornign and as part of bedtime routine (but not fed to sleep). she loves it and so do I, but I'm starting to think I might still be breastfeeding a 4 year old and that's not so appealing. I know if I just started to say no she would get most upset and we have had such a great breastfeeding relationship I don't want to end it on a sour note. she likes milk and i have offered it in a cup at feed times which she will have but always asks for breastmilk as well. how did you wean your toddler or if you didn't at what age did they self-wean?


My DD is the same age and I sometimes think about this too. But like you I love it and she's not ready to wean, so I'm not worrying about what will happen in two years time! For me, my personal limit is probably about 3 years, and if we are still feeding then I'll probably wean her.

If you want her to wean nowish, then you could start with "don't offer, don't refuse" which is exactly as it sounds - you don't offer to feed her, and you might do some distraction, but you don't refuse if she flat out asks either. This can encourage gentle weaning. But if you don't want to wean her yet, and you did say you both still love it, then put the worry out of your mind. Don't worry about it until you actually want her to wean, then you can use the techniques best for the age group (ie a 3 year old can be reasoned with differently to a toddler).

#4 Guest_divineM_*

Posted 20 December 2012 - 11:18 AM

thanks for your replies. Tesseract I agree with personla limit of 3 except my original limit was 12 months, then got revised to 18 moths, then 2 years which we are approaching...have you ever not been there for a feed? i have a work function in Feb which will mean I can't be there at bedtime and a bit worried how she will go, I have always been there for both feeds.

#5 meemee75

Posted 20 December 2012 - 11:21 AM

My 21 month old has just weaned ( 10 days without a feed). I dropped Jim.back to 1 feed a day by changing our routine in the afternoon and didn't offer the breast or used  distraction of he asked.
Eventually the same happened with the morning feed. If I didn't sit on the couch after we got up he didn't ask & was happy with some fruit while I got brekky ready.

#6 Chelara

Posted 20 December 2012 - 11:22 AM

I weaned DD at 21 months. We went away for the weekend, the distraction helped. She asked while we were away but by the time we got back home she had stopped asking. It was pretty simple and not at all devastating to her or anything like that.  I Thought it would be a lot worse.

#7 sakura73

Posted 20 December 2012 - 11:22 AM

I am interested in this topic too: DS is 16 months and BF last thing at night and first thing in the morning. I could probably replace the night feed with a bottle quite easily but he is very eager for the breast in the morning and I often find I am feeding him at 5am after which he goes back to sleep: not something I can see happening with  a bottle.

on the other hand, i think that if I were not still BFing perhaps he would not wake so early wanting it!

I am a bit over it and would like to stop, so will follow this thread with interest.

#8 Chelara

Posted 20 December 2012 - 11:27 AM

Oh an I wouldn't worry about your work function. Chances are she'll cope just fine without you there. I worried about so many things with my dd (my first) it often turned out to be me who was over complicating things and pre determining how she'd react to change. I coslept with her and thought shed never transition, she was fine. She was fine without me laying beside her until she fell asleep, she was fine when dad looked after her and I went back to work, fine when we had DS. I worried so much about all of these things needlessly, she just took it all in her stride.

#9 jopha

Posted 20 December 2012 - 11:29 AM

For our last breastfeed, I told my 23 month old that they were empty. She seemed happy with that explanation and only asked once after that, a few weeks later. I explained they were empty and she was ok and moved on. She is happy to have milk in a sippy cup instead.

#10 IVL

Posted 20 December 2012 - 11:29 AM

I weaned DD 2 around this age also. I had to go away for work for a week and knew that she would be fine - she was an out of side, out of mind kind of girl. I had also left her with others many times when I couldn't be there and she would happliy take a glass of milk from the fridge in place of me. Maybe try and have your partner or a grandparent, someone she if comfortable with the to the bedtime of morning with her and see how she responds. If she is happy then maybe you could try being absent for a few days around bed time and morning until she forgets about it.

#11 Tesseract

Posted 20 December 2012 - 11:30 AM

QUOTE (divineM @ 20/12/2012, 12:18 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
thanks for your replies. Tesseract I agree with personla limit of 3 except my original limit was 12 months, then got revised to 18 moths, then 2 years which we are approaching...have you ever not been there for a feed? i have a work function in Feb which will mean I can't be there at bedtime and a bit worried how she will go, I have always been there for both feeds.


Haha my limit has been expanding in exactly the same way!

Have I ever been away for a feed? Honey I went away for 2 weeks! And I go out for the evening quite a bit, about once a week in the last month with all the Christmas festivities. DD feeds to sleep when I'm there, so obviously it's VERY different when I'm not there, but DH (or Grandmas) just find their own way with her. DH lays her in bed and lies next to her and reads her stories (in the dark, but he knows them by heart anyway lol) until she drifts off. Grandmas just put her in bed and sit next to her and sing quietly and pat her. She does cry a bit, but it's fine and she is never left alone. And she has never really wanted the expressed milk I've left for her, so I just don't bother anymore. Then the next morning she just gets back on.

DivineM I am ordering you to go and have a night out with your girlfriends!

Tess xx

#12 Bam1

Posted 20 December 2012 - 11:31 AM

My last 3 would not self wean so I ended up BF a 3.5 yo and 2 x 2 yos. I decided to go cold turkey with them just before the oldest turned 4.

Its up to you to decide to when to wean if your DD doesn't self wean but I just wanted you to know weaning my 3 addicts has caused no  major trauma, all 3 handled going cold turkey very well and the process only took a weekend.  Mind you all 3 would go back on in an instant if they could!

#13 Roobear

Posted 20 December 2012 - 11:42 AM

DD is 23 months and I am looking at weaning her in the next month or so... so far we have been doing the don't offer, don't refuse method which has not really worked as she is a boob addict. I will be trying a little harder with some distraction when we get back from our xmas holidays.

Good luck!

Edited by Roobear, 20 December 2012 - 12:06 PM.


#14 Bluenomi

Posted 20 December 2012 - 11:49 AM

I wean DD at 21 months since I wanted her weaned by 2 and needed to get back on the pill. She was a boob nut so I was a bit worried how it would go.

She was having a morning and bedtime feds and as it turned out it was so much easier than I expected!

I dropped the morning feed first, first day I distracted her with breakfast and tv, second morning she asked and I just told her she was a big girl and didn't need it anymore. She had a mild tantie and got over it quickly. 3rd she didn't ask.

A week later I dropped the bedtime feed. Offered her a drink of milk and a cuddle instead and she was fine with it. Second night she didn't even ask! The only thing is she won't let Daddy read her bedtime stories anymore, mummy has to do it so she still gets her cuddle/bonding time her feed used to be.

We did play up the big girl aspect and since she'd decided she was a big girl it was easy to convince her boobie was for babies so she didn't need it anymore.

#15 Guest_divineM_*

Posted 20 December 2012 - 11:58 AM

QUOTE (Tesseract @ 20/12/2012, 12:30 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Haha my limit has been expanding in exactly the same way!

DivineM I am ordering you to go and have a night out with your girlfriends!

Tess xx

Don't worry - I have had plenty of those. The feed at night happens around 6:30 - 7 and after she's in bed I have had many nights out with friends or DP!

#16 boatiebabe

Posted 20 December 2012 - 12:03 PM

My DD breast fed until she was 2. I was six months pregnant at the time with DS and I think the milk changed to colostrum and there wasn't much.

She was a complete breast milk/boob addict so it happened quite easily.

DS was 2.5 years and I would have loved to have gone longer with him, but he made the decision for himself. I remember it happened over one long weekend when all the cousins were staying with us. He was just too darned busy playing with all of them, that he didn't have time.

After they left I offered him a couple of times in the next week but he refused each time, giving me a sad look as if to say "be strong mum, you can handle it"  happy.gif .

From about 11 months with each of them I worked three days a week, so they were used to me not being around for milk quite a lot. I also worried about going out and them wanting milk before bed etc, but they were my fears - the children did fine with whichever caregiver they were with. They found a new routine for bed time and were fine.

Though they are 8 and 6 now the still often eye off my breast and try to make a lunge for milk. It's pretty funny really. I just tell them that ship has sailed!  biggrin.gif

#17 heatherdv

Posted 20 December 2012 - 01:01 PM

I am in the process of weaning my 22mo DS off the breast.  He doesn't ask for feeds during the day or evening, only when he wakes in the middle of the night and first thing in the morning.  Every morning at 6am i am greeted with 'more nilk peeez'.

I know he can be resettled without the breast, but at 2am I just find it too difficult to sit with him for an hour when i know i can knock him out in 10 mins with a bit of breastmilk biggrin.gif

As an experiment I left my partner and DS alone one whole night and they did just fine without me.  When DS asked for milk, DP got him an Up n Go which he loved so now he calls it 'daddy milk'.

He's feeding a lot less so my supply has really dropped.  After his morning feed he usually asks for more milk.  When I say there's no more mummy milk he jumps up, runs to the fridge and says 'daddy nilk?'.  I'd say the road to weaning is fairly easy from here wink.gif

#18 Feral-as-Meggs

Posted 20 December 2012 - 09:57 PM

Daddy nilk.   wub.gif

#19 *maddierose*

Posted 20 December 2012 - 10:10 PM

DS1 self weaned at 18 months, i was pregnant with ds2 and i found it uncomfortable and i think the taste changed as he seemed to dislike it.

DS2 weaned a week before his 2nd birthday. I just kept delaying it until one day he went 24 hrs without a BF and i knew he'd be just fine. Before that he had started to refuse one side saying it was yuck so i encouraged the process by saying the other side was yuck also.

He asked a few times over the following weeks but was easily distracted.




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