Weaning Toddler: 5 Easy and Natural Tips

Weaning toddler. It ain’t easy.

I knew I wanted to nurse my son Griffin when he reachedย 2 years of age. That what is recommended by the AAFP and WHO, and research shows the most benefits for mom and child nursing this long. But I also knew I didn’t want to be pregnant and nursing. In this post, I’ll show you how I weaned Griffin without much drama.

First, let me say that many, many moms nurse while pregnant with great success. Many go on to tandem nurse, which means they nurse both their newborn and their older child. And that’s great.

But I knew this wasn’t for me. Physically, emotionally, and spiritually, I knew I needed a break, and that managing a pregnancy was enough for me.

So, right around Griffin’s 2nd birthday, I started figuring out how to wean myย toddler.

Weaning toddler. Here’s how I did it.

1. Create a replacement

I remember when I gave up Diet Coke over 14 years ago. I drank six DC’s a day and loved the whole ritual of itโ€ฆ the crack of the can, the fizz down my throat, the little caffeine kick. To all of a sudden take that away would have been a huge shock and loss. So, I replaced my habit with another drinking ritual. I bought a fancy water bottle. Each morning, I filled it with filtered water and added lemon and ice. Then I drank it throughout the day. To my surprise, I really started enjoying it.

With Griffin, I used “hot teas” as a replacement for nursing. I made these “hot teas” with:

  • 1 cup of raw (from a trusted farmer) or at least organic whole milk
  • 1 tsp to 1 TB of raw honey or maple syrup (taste for the sweetness you like)
  • And a dash of sea salt

Then I steam it all to a froth in our espresso maker.

I introduced these slowly. First, I made it seem like it was a big deal and Griffin only got small sips of mommy’s. I then asked him one day if he wanted his own hot tea. He was thrilled. I then said, do you want hot tea or nummies (or word for breastfeeding)?

He chose the hot tea, sipping it while we read stories. By the time we were through, he was filled up, satisfied, and I put him down without a word.

So find a drink your kid LOVES – smoothies, sweetened kefir, hot milk with honey, even milk shakes can be healthy and nourishing – and introduce this as a replacement. Weaning toddler win #1.

2. Limit nursing sessions

At some point, Griffin caught onto the fact that he wasn’t getting the nummies at naptime, and he starting asking for them right as I put him in his crib. Sometimes I’d cave, but, when I did, I put a time limit on his nursing session. He accepted this because he was already so full from the hot tea! This was an important step because it shows the child that their days of unlimited access to the breast are over.

Some moms say 1 minute for each boob. Some sing a short song and the child has to stop when song is over. Be creative. And of course, it’s a whole other ball of wax when you’re co-sleeping with your child.ย Weaning toddler win #2.

3. Go slowly

I didn’t want to wean Griffin quickly, as nursing had been a constant in our lives for literally years. So, for several weeks, I just replaced the nap time nursing with the hot milk. Griffin still nursed before bedtime and first thing in the morning.

I took six months for the entire process. You could do it in three months for sure, or even two. But I wanted to take my time. And I had no major engorgement or other issues. Weaning toddler win #3.

4. Get daddy or others involved

After about 2-3 weeks, I replaced the night time nursing session with the hot tea. Here’s where daddy came into play. I had Mike put Griffin down at night. This was a big change, because I’d nursed Griffin down at night for years. And Griffin protested at first. But the stories daddy read him were good, and the hot tea was good, and soon he got used to it.

Several weeks later, we did the same thing for the morning nursing session. Mike was the one to get up and play with Griffin – and give him that morning hot tea ๐Ÿ™‚

Know that this doesnโ€™t go on forever and after a few weeks, I was able to put Griffin down at night or go in in the morning without nursing.

For co-sleeping mamas, I recommend weaning night feeding first, then daytime. To help you wean, you can have the child sleep near dad instead of you. Tell your child that the nummies went night night too, and that they will have to wait to nurse until morning.ย Weaning toddler win #4.

5. Make the decision

My final tip is to commit to the process. And this was probably hardest for me. After 3 months, Griffin was basically weaned, but I couldn’t end it completely. Griffin would get hurt and want to nurse for comfort. Or he’d get sick and I wanted to give him the extra nutrition and antibodies.

I said I wanted to be done, but part of me didn’t. I loved the idea of Griffin choosing when he would stop nursing, not me.

But then I got pregnant. At that time, Griffin was nursing every 3 days or so. But I found that, within 24 hours after he nursed, I had slight uterine cramping. Probably nothing too serious, but it freaked me out enough to decide I was done.

Once I made the decision, there was no turning back. When the moments came when Griffin wanted to nurse, I dug deep and found other ways to comfort him. Cuddling, singing, foot rubs. Especially the foot rubs. I give him one every night before bed.

Now nursing is a thing of the past. Weaning toddler FTW!

Weaning toddler. How did you do it?

Did you intentionally wean your toddler? Or did they self-wean? How did it all go down? And at what age? Share with us in the comments below.

235 Comments

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  1. Wonderful avice!! Thank you so much!!!

  2. When I found this article,I let out a HUGE exhale. Quality advice with kind understanding of the various reasons a mom might want to wean her toddler.. it’s rare on the Internet, and SO HELPFUL! Thank you so much.
    I nursed my first born until she turned two, and she naturally weaned very quickly when my milk dried up around 14 weeks into my second pregnancy.
    My son is now just shy of 2, and I need to wean for health reasons; the lactation hormones have been wreaking havoc on my body. Apparently this can happen for some predisposed moms. It has to do with how prolactin sensitivity affects cortisol, insulin, and estrogen/progesterone balance(or lack thereof). I’m sad to wean, but the time has come.
    I’ve been using the advice in the article, limiting nursing to 1-2 min or so and he has been okay with that.
    In line with the ‘hot tea’, I’ve been making him a ‘sweetie milk’; 1 cup warmed milk, tiny pinch of salt, 1/2 tsp coconut oil, and 1/2 dark brown sugar. He loves these!
    I found the amazing Comotomo soft bottle and that seems to be a just right substitute for my breast, because it’s soft and he can kinda ‘cuddle’ with it in a similar way that he does when nursing.
    I will be taking a 3 night trip soon where he will be 100% without nursing for the first time ever. I’m anxious, but maybe it will be just the right timing.
    I’m starting some No More Milk tea in advance to hopefully head off any engorgement issues.
    Anyone have experience with that?

    • We have a 3-day trip coming up, too…time to wean! You’re added 2-cents are helpful. Thanks!!

  3. I am trying to get pregnant again with no luck, doctor says it’s because I’m still nursing and my hormones are out of whack. She is 21 months old loves to nurse! I have tried replacing nursing with warm milk and she won’t go for it. I have always nursed her to sleep at bedtime and nap time and she won’t go for any other way. She is stubborn like her momma. ..

    • What did you end up doing to end the nursing??

  4. Thank you so much for this! My daughter is 2.8 years, my husband and I have been trying to get pregnant again and I’m suspecting I could be pregnant right now.
    The thing is, I love breastfeeding as much as my girl, but I happen to be very thin, I have a very high metabolism.
    We already did potty training, and she sleeps on her own bed since months ago; every time of the night she wakes up for any reason I would nurse her. She needs nursing for sleeping (for naps and bed time).
    If my husband tries to comfort her, she cries for me and that makes me feel terrible. ๐Ÿ™ Sometimes I think it makes things even worse, so I “take control”.
    I’m not sure daddys comfort at night help. My husband is the sweetest dad.
    Should I step back and let them deal with it or should I keep being the one to help her go back to sleep?

    • It was important fto me to be the one to comfort her at night but without the boob. We actually had my husband sleep in my sons room cause I knew we were in for a tough couple of night. It took 3 nights of her being upset and asking/crying for boob. It was soooo hard not to give in but after those first few mostly sleepless nights, all was well. No he sleeps without nursing. When she wakes up ill pull her into bed with us, but I just cuddle her back too sleep.

  5. Thanks for this video – it was so happy and motivating. I love your hot tea idea, I am going to try it today ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!!! Been looking for some good advice that is in alignment with our family values and this was it. I’m going to start weaning and keep you posted! Much love๐Ÿ™๐Ÿป

  7. My daughter is 2.5 in a week. She’s been strictly nursed from the breast since day one. We did infant potty training, still bedshare and plan to for a while yet and she’s unvaccinated and quick as a whip! She is a complete emotional mirror of me and I think it’s in part the way she’s built and in part diet and mostly because I’m a stay at home mom and she learns my behaviors. I feel I barely produce much milk anymore. Although, I do feel letdowns at least once a day/night when she has gone a long time without “mama milt”. I have noticed she is emotionally/psychologically attached much more than she is physically in need of my milk. I’m so grateful to have the continued nutrition for her because I do see its benefit through growth spurts and illness and so believe it benefits her in general. However, we are back on our extreme healthy eating and it makes a HUGE difference. Packaged food and conventional treats proved to really be mood altering and actually prevented either of us from desiring healthy tasting food anymore. Now that we’re both more evened out, and it’s only been a few days really since we’ve reintegrated our 90% whole foods only diet, I feel we’re both more emotionally stable to gently begin weaning for real! Your tips are so great but as a dairy free family and me not wanting tooth decaying habits integrated at bedtime, I need to find a replacement for the cow’s milk. I read one comment about chamomile tea. I may try that because she does like teavwith mom. One thing I’ve noticed is how much it completely backfires when I’m crabby because I hurt from having a 27 pound body in me half the night and I tell her she’s not having boobie anymore. I see the way this creates a fear pattern within her so I know I have to somehow get her comfortable with no more boobie. The part that will be most challenging for us I think is the middle of the night roll and latch thing she’s got going on. I allow it because I’m tired but it’s what’s really hurting my neck and back and I’m ready for more sleep in my life again! Her dad works evenings so when it comes to putting her to bed, I’m it. I don’t mind putting her to bed or naps with milk. It gives me a chance to rest too. But I’ve gotta figure out a way to keep her off of me in the middle of the night. She comprehends most of what I ever tell her so I think the talk we’ve been having is a good starting point. She knows big kids don’t have boobie and she is tossed between calling herself a big girl and still a little girl. She has gotten much more independent and rarely calls for mommy anymore when she is with daddy or grandma. She really only asks for me when she’s tired. She has fallen asleep in grandma’s arms on the rocker and she will fall asleep in the car and stay asleep when brought in, sometimes anyway. Lately, not as much. We are moving out of state in a week and I think with the change of that going on, she may need my comfort still so I think once we settle in, perhaps in a month, I will be able to really begin a new pattern. A bit like a new place and a new tradition for us all. But I do want her to feel comfortable because we will not know anyone and nothing will be familiar to her. I will post with updates as they arise to help out others but I just went into all this detail to provide a deeper aspect to nursing. One which we all must be very aware of. I’m certain most of us do know it goes deep, but pay attention to your child and talk to her/him and learn the specifics because I think it will help teach us all how to better do this for our specific child and family patterns. I’m now armed with ideas. I just have to tailor them to my situation. I will share anything I discover! An empowered mom is an even more super mom, and we are already pretty darn super, aren’t we?! Thanks to all of you for the support! xo

    • My situation sounds very similar to yours. My little girl never took to a paci or bottle so it’s been me all the way. She’s turning 2 in about a month. I have decided it’s definitely time to finally get this weaning thing done but the prospect is very daunting.
      I actually just wanted to say that I fully agree with you on waiting until after the move is done and you’re settled in. I think a month is maybe a bit optimistic, but wish you luck and would love to hear how you get along.

    • Hi there Maggie, Its comforting to read such a story so similar to mine and my daughters. Almost uncannily, we have also just moved out of town and have begun a much more in tune with nature sleeping time and daily rhythm. It feels like the time to start weening and after a week of trying to just stop her from the bed time boobie and the late night roll over I have found this article who h has really reminded ms that this is going to be a lengthy process, and that she has know boogie to bed her whole life, so its going to be a big transition, really worth respecting. Iam so excited for the time when I can have a whole night co sleeping with my little lady, so far its a whole night of waking me up asking for boogie. Tonight we are back to boogie in bed as we are at grandmas and tomorrow we will begin the teas with books before bed and still have boogie, but hopefully with a full bellly it will be a smoother process. Iam also vegan but my daughter eats meats and dairy’s, although we mostly keep that local. And I also see that reflection of myself so strong also and I pay that a lot of respect and a massive learning tool for us both. The journey of parenting is amazing Ns with potty training, weaning, moalers and moving house we have a lot to learn together:) thanks for sharing mothers, so great full to read your comments. It means a lot to me.

    • This comment could have been written by me, or situations are identical, except we’re moving out of state, back towards family. I do use chamomile but my daughters prefers milk so I get raw milk when I can or organic when I can’t. I also am hesitant to start weaning because we’re moving and I think she’ll need that comfort and consistency, but she does the same to me at night and I’m so ready to be able to sleep on my stomach again, which hasn’t happened since my second trimester over 2 years ago! I also recognize that fear aspect when I get fed up and tell her no more but am at a loss as to how I go about making her comfortable with other soothing methods. Let me know how our goes with you please! I’d love to give you my email and keep in touch

    • I am amazed at how many of us are in the same boat. We moved out of state about a month ago and I believe it’s about time to start the months process of weaning with my 20 month old. He mainly nurses for nap and bedtime (more if sick). Before the prospect of moving, i was able eliminate the middle of the night feeding. I felt it was easier to get him to return to sleep through cuddles, rocking and comforting words while in the half awake stage. Over the course of a few nights the protests decreased and returning to sleep became a habit. Yet he hasn’t figured out how to go from wide awake to asleep without nursing. With his little personality explanations will just make him want mama ‘s milk more – I still do them, but have to be very careful. He eats close to bedtime and wants to nurse regardless of how full his belly is. What worked for others?

      P.s. for fellow special diet people, my kids love “pumpkin steamers” – coconut milk heated on the stove whisked with pureed pumpkin, cinnamon and cloves – I add honey to mine

  8. I’m in the process of weaning a 29 month old and a 17 month old. The 29 month is harder even though she goes a whole week w/o boon at dads. I hate cold turkey but I think I’m going to have to for bed and nap before day time weaning. Mainly because yes I cosleep. Any suggestions would be great. I’m just so worn down I make sure to cuddle and sing alot to them both

    • Wow. I can’t even begin to imagine what it must be like to nurse 2! Hats off to you and good luck.

    • Me and my two year old are just starting to night time wen, it sounds like it will be lengthy process as I have tried to go cold Turkey but it seemed like I was rushing it. I hope you ha e smooth transition that suits your family.

  9. Hi, I really enjoyed this article.
    I’ve been trying to wean my toddler for the past 2 months or so. He will be 2 in 3 days. He was always breastfed on demand and I love everything about it. I had only planned to do it for a year, but when weaning around 10-11 months didn’t work, I caved and continued for another year. Trying to wean the first time was so hard. He was so little and cried so much when I would try to say no. However, these past few months, attempting it has been slightly easier. I have been able to diminish the number of times a day he has boob. If I’m busy or just don’t want to, he begrudgingly moves on to something else. Playing or snacking helps in distracting him. Mind you, his snacks consist of fruit, lots of broccoli, and some certain sweet items he loves. He is an exceptional eater. On the other hand, when it comes to going down for a nap or bedtime, he never wants a bottle/sippie from me. He will kick and scream until I cave. This can go on for 30 minutes if I let it. Come bedtime, daddy would try to give a bottle and go through the process and sometimes that works. But in the middle of the night, anything other than boob is impossible. I had wanted him completely weaned by his birthday, but it’s not looking good. I’ve tried smoothies, a variation of the honey milk, and even getting him attached to a stuffed animal to maybe provide the comfort, but nothing has helped. Cold turkey breaks my heart and his I’m sure but I don’t know what else to do. I love everything about it but for me I know it’s time to stop and I would love for him to be more independent. Any suggestions? Thanks much.

  10. I recently started weaning my 18 month old daughter off booby and I don’t know where to even start. She drinks her milk in the morning so I have got the morning weaned off but it’s the falling asleep without booby is the problem. She will not except a bottle, Sippy cup or anything of that matter. And when she wakes up in the middle if the night she again doesn’t want anything but booby. I need help! I have tried so many ways and nothing seems to work, and I am going back to school to finish my law degree and I need her to fall asleep by herself when she starts daycare.

    • hi,

      I am not sure if you havรช any help from her father or your parents.

      my daughter is the same (and she is 3) she only sleeps with boobies.

      but I left the house few occasions and she learned to go to sleep with Luke warm camomile tea.

      her dad gives to her. I slept on the sofa few occasions to have a break. so she woke up as for boobies and then dad explained only camomile tea. she is happy with that.

      I say good bye leave the house and when I am back I go straight to the living room. if they love some other adult (dad nanny gramother a good friend of you) they can settle.

      in our experience the first night she cried for 1hour. second night 10 min third night no complaint and slept throw the night.

      this will make you calmer – I learn my daughter she wants me and the boobies. but she is fine without. good luck xx

  11. Today is my 3 day of weaning my 17 month old daughter. Its so hard watching her going through all of this. First I did was I put a ketchup on both of my nipples and one morning she wanted to breastfeed and from there she tasted the ketchup.She scream so loud and cry so much. Since then she didnt want to taste on both
    Good luck

  12. What a great way to wean. Love reading this.

  13. I really appreciate reading about everyone’s journey. My son is almost 19 months and I’ve decided to wean him. It’s TIME… I’m ready and he’s starting to explore more with food, which makes me feel even better about my decision. He’s my one and only so there’s not a lot of distractions in the house and would love to nurse all throughout the day if I’d let him. Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been reducing his feedings, we are down to about 3-5 per day. Which have gone well, aside from me feeling all over the place hormonally speaking. My cycle hasn’t returned yet and my husband and I would love to expand our family so I am committed to seeing this thru. Since reducing our feeding sessions my son loves to nurse on my shoulder… as wierd as it sounds, I’ve been able to substitute the actual boobie for my shoulder. This tells me it’s just the comfort feeling he’s looking for. Today was my first day only nursing him once the entire day. Wow, what a surreal feeling and he did great! I’m feeling a little firm on one of my breasts… going to get some cabbage leaves and see if that helps. It’s so encouraging to be going down this road with others… I’m starting to see the light ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. Here is my situation, my daughter turned 3 december, and I hv started weaning for the last yr or so. Also I am no longer producing milk since she turned 2. She refuses to suck a pacifier, drinks her bottle, refuses to drink milk out of anything other than her bottle. She drinks a bottle b4 bedtime and then wants the booby. I tell her no big girls dont drink the booby and she refuses to listen to me, she will not go to sleep untill I put the boob in her mouth. Alternatively she throws a tantrum of note like last night, at 4… please help me

  15. That’s a very nice way to wean. I wish I could have done something like that. Basically I got my son down to only nursing at nap and bed time. I never used nursing for when he got hurt or to calm him during a tantrum accept occasionally. So we got pregnant again and I was going to keep nursing him till my supply dipped, but I just couldn’t emotionally handle it. It suddenly felt like nursing a new born even though it was twice a day. Anyway, one nap time I said milky is going away. And I didn’t nurse him and it lead to three sleep sleeps of crying and sobbing. And then the next night he didn’t cry at all and didn’t ask for milk. I’m sure he will ask again tomorrow, but I’m so done. I would have kept nursing him till he was two (we are just two months shy), but I couldn’t do it. I hope next time I can do it much more gently or get a baby that self weans. Here’s hoping. Haha

  16. Hi there ๐Ÿ™‚
    thank you for sharing this video i will definitely be using these technics! What kind of cup is that he has and where did it come from? i love the way it is shaped it seems like it would definitely help in comforting a nursing toddler!

  17. I will be taking your advice. Great ideas!!!!

  18. Sounds like a good idea and easy now did you fill up and did it hurt did it hurt when you dryed up or did you dry up since you was pregnant my son is 1year and 7 months and i want him off before he is 2

  19. I want to say that I stumbled onto this video tonight, but something or someone brought me to this video. My youngest is almost 21 months and still going strong. However, I want badly for him to be done. I am currently going back to school to become an RN and I need all the time I can get to study without little legs kicking my books or computer. I also have been co-sleeping since he was born and tonight we tried getting him to sleep in his bed without nunnies.
    My worry is that he is not a “big eater” to begin with. He loves his nunny time and it makes me feel better that he is being nourished. Any suggestions? I know that his internal mechanism will keep him from starving, but I worry about his nutrition.

    • I’ve found at 12 months and older if you reduce breast milk and or cow milk they feel less full and thus eat more food. This is not recommended for babies as in below 12 months breast milk is ideal, formula has needed iron therefore much better than cow milk if you can’t do breast milk. Do not wean a child from formula or breastmilk before 12 months!
      If your child is a picky eater don’t worry. As long as you eat healthy your child will follow suit eventually just expose them to as many textures, flavors different food as humanly possible. Also work on biting chewing and swollowing early the same musels used in chewing are used in speech. Also if they learn to bite and chew and swallow early they won’t be as likely to choke. I’d recogmend avoiding baby food all together and at about 5 to 8 months depending on how advanced your baby is giving them small pieces of food to eat gradually increasing. This is called LED weaning and makes for a much less picky eater later on!

  20. I have a one year old who doesn’t drink regular milk at all he digs in my shirt and demands I give him the boob. The easy way I learned to wean was by keeping him busy through out the day but wen night comes he askes for the book he won’t even drink the breast milk through the bottle neither he’ll rather latch rite on it gets really hE’s for me I need new ways to wean my baby becAuse I’m trying to stop cold turkey. He’s too big in my eyes a plus he got teeth so it really bother more

    • Sounds just like my baby girl. 14 months old. Trying to wean too

    • Replace their sippy cup and drink find a drink combo they like. Cold turkey when they don’t drink something else will only lead to dedydration! Most of the world nurses until age 2 but that’s ok. They need to drink though the first sign of dehydration is fussy, the second is dry pellet poops.

  21. My daughter is 3 years and 4 months and i have been trying to wean for months. Ive tried the milk and honey she likes it ok, but still demands her NIN. Its so hard and makes me so sad and feel like a horrible monster mom when i refuse her something thats so good for her and comforting, so i give in and figure i will just hang tough for a little longer, but jeez, i have a serious addict on my hands, lol! Ive got her down to only twice a day naps and nighttime, unless shes sick, so thats a huge improvement! She was a huge nipple twiddler drove me crazy! She too would have one boob in the mouth and use the other one to twiddle. I finally broke her of that, just consistently telling her it was hurting mommy and removing her hand, over and over, and she finally stopped. Ive got a very strong willed lil girl๐Ÿ˜Š also, this has been extremely challenging for me because i have been nusing her for 3 years on only one breast!! I had a blocked duct shortly after she was born and she never wanted to nurse on that side anymore so it just eventually dried up. I dont believe i have very much of any milk left so it starts to really hurt after a few minutes of her nursing and she sees my discomfort and a gently get her to release. Well at least half the time. Ive tried putting lemon juice on my nipple that kinda worked alittle but she still cried and was really upset. But all in all id say she will be weaned soon, i mean my milks not gonna last too much longer, right???

    • This comment made me laugh… out of identifying with it. My almost three year old girl still really likes nursing and she tries to twiddle as you put it with the other one as well. I stop her and stop her from doing that while she nurses and tell her no. She eventually stops. Usually if doesn’t stop, it means she is actually on her way to being asleep so I can ‘pop off’ and get up at that point and she zonks out. Anyway, the only one side thing made me laugh a lot — that’s rough!!!!

      I got pregnant with baby #2 when baby #1 was almost 11 months old and nursed through it all and am still going. The older girl turns 3 in February, and I am making it a cut off point. As it is, I literally time the nursies, as we call it. Five minutes at nap time, a few untimed, more nebulous minutes at bed time plus “two more minutes” if she asks for that, and then either 60 or 30 seconds in the morning, depending on how I feel and circumstances. We’re about to trim all of these times down, as it is now less than two months until she turns 3. Her little sister obviously gets priority as she is still more of a baby (14.5 months old). It’s been great to nurse and nurse and nurse two through this whole time, but I’m so looking forward to moving on with the older one. It is a little sad, but I think the upcoming “kid” era will be so much fun.

    • You are a very strong lady to live through what you said here! Very admirable I send hugs and wish you lots of luck

      • Hello, I am currently nursing my 3 and a half years old daughter and my 13 months old daughter, I really want to stop nursing both girls, but my oldest crys none stop until I nurse her. None of them will drink from a bottle or sippy cup. Thanks

    • It was so nice to read your comment and know that I am not alone, my daughter just turned 4, she only nurses at night, but since we have to co-sleep, night weaning has proven to be a bit challenging, and she is a total twiddler! When she was younger it didn’t bother me as much as it does now that she’s so big and I know it’s totally natural for them to want to twiddle but it’s starting to become very bothersome for me! I knew when I started to become frustrated with her nursing that it was totally time to move the self weaning process a long, it takes a lot of time but since I have started to be more reluctant she has actually gone to sleep on a few nights here and there all by herself or with Daddy tickling her back, however, most of the time she wants to nurse to sleep…I know we are on the right track but sometimes it just seems like it is going to take forever!! It’s also been hard because I am a total closet nursed, and the only people who actually know I still nurse her are myself and my husband..so it’s so nice to have other moms here to talk too! I laughed when you said “addict” because my daughter is a total teetee addict! Lol. With patience I know we will get there, I just hope that maybe we find something to help move the process along quicker because I’m so ready to have my boobs back and I know it’s time, I just can’t see myself taking it away from her and listening to her cry and cry, I don’t want to traumatize her, it’s definitely been a challenge but I think we might be on our way…I just know it’s time. Best of luck to you and your daughter!

      • Any update on the 4yo nurser? I’m sitting here with my 4yo daughter on my boob as I type. I just got back from being gone for a week helping my sister try to start bfing her newborn. While I was gone he was able to get to sleep with help from dad at bedtime.

        And she had her 4 year check up with her ped, who has been telling us to wean for two years now. She has my husband convinced that it’s bad for her teeth, in spite of the fact that her dental check ups have been better than my older son’s.

        I’ve tried distracting, offering her other comfort (back rubs & stories or snuggles). And she just won’t quit.

        I don’t know if I care when it ends, but I do feel it should be relatively soon (like before she starts Kindergarten!) – My husband and I disagree about it and I don’t know how to deal with that. Bc now I feel like I need to choose between my daughter’s screaming or my husband’s judgements — and I’m not even sure how I feel about it.

        Thoughts?

  22. This is a great article! I’m slowly trying to wean my 22 month old – we are down to 2 sessions a day (morning and night). Last week we dropped the morning session and it first it seemed like no big deal but since then she’s been exceptional anti-daddy and mommy-clingy. She won’t take any other milk… today out of the blue she said “no no milk all done, milk night night” (milk is for night night time) and it made me so sad to know she was thinking about it?? I’d like to get pregnant soon and also don’t want to be pregnant and nursing, but I feel selfish.

  23. I am taking your tips and advice to heart, as I want to wean in the next weeks. There is one thing that I wanted to say, and it’s about the raw milk from a “trusted” farmer. I am a food safety epidemiologist and microbiologist. It doesn’t matter how much you trust the farmer, it is no guarantee against microbial contamination. There are just too many factors involved. Contamination of raw milk with harmful bacteria is very rarely due to untrustworthy practices.

    • I agree raw milk is not for babies. I’ve seen a lot of people benefit as adults from raw milk though but they have a healthy developed immune system so even if they get a dangerous microbe they just just sick they don’t die or anything you know? Icky bugs live in our gut and make it healthy sometimes! So weird. So true. However not for babies. Organic toddler formula is also an option if you don’t want regular cow milk.

  24. My baby from day one would not take a bottle or a pacifier. And by 4 months, my mom supply dropped and so I had to nurse around the clock every 2 hours for her to get enough calories. We started her on solid food at 4 months which helped. Around her 18 month birthday, I couldn’t do the waking at night for feedings every two hours. We tried everything to have her sleep through the night once the DR gave the ok that her weight was OK. My pediatrician wanted my husband in the room to sleep on the ground to comfort her for two weeks. She screamed for hours. Finally we just had to let her cry after so many different tries. Eventually she learned how to sleep through the night and I finally got to sleep among with my husband. Now I’m 12 months pregnant, and nursing her in the morning and naps were painful. Along with being sick, I needed to wean. I tried putting vinegar on my nippers several times, but she still latched on. Then I eventually had to put bandages over my nipples and explain that mommy had owned. The first day, she understood. But the next two weeks she cries for hours that I have owies and no longer nurses. I’m afraid she will do her nap now that she no longer nurses to sleep. Any suggestions?

    • hi,

      I went to la leche league meetings and they suggest a transition. first you only feed her at mornings and going to sleep. then you count or sing a song and gradually gives her less.

      try to introduce something nice ….warm camomile tea ? milk? give to her before you give her your milk.

      it is so hard. I am with you. it is really difficult to stop.

      hope you find a nice way to you and to her!

      good luck x

  25. I so needed to read this! I also had planned on breastfeeding until she was two years old. I am 12weeks pregnant and I knew I didn’t want to BF while pregnant, but the cramping is what made me finally stop. She is down to nursing in the morning and night and she seems fine, hoping to cut it to once a day. Engormenet is killing me though. She is only 14m old so idk about giving her milk yet…her Dr wanted me to start giving it to her at 1. But I think the smoothie idea is genius!! Thanks!!

    • We seem to have the same life! How did this end up working out for you? I don’t know how to wean. My youngest daughter is 14 months and I’m 12 weeks pregnant with our 4th baby. In the past I would leave for a week, let my milk dry up, and it all worked out. I planned to nurse until 2 yrs old, but I’m absolutely exhausted. I have nothing left to give. I don’t nurse during the night. I stopped feeding between 11pm-5am. She is interested in milk, but only for a swig, not a full bottle. My toddler is very aggressive and highly mommy attached. I don’t know how to tell her no….,๐Ÿ˜‘

      • Hi Misha
        I know its a long time since u posted but im just wondering if it was difficult to get pregnant when nursing. My little girl is 10months and I still have no period. Would like to start trying in a couple of months. Would appreciate any support.

    • When you have a second baby please when you stop milk blame it on you the adult the mother don’t ever say to you kid no you can’t have milk because of the baby. As adults we need to foster positive realtionship with siblings if we can. As adults we already bonded with them they love us this new tiny being they don’t know about yet.

  26. So I want to wean my 2 year old and these were some great tips. Except the fact that i co sleep and i am a single mother. Any ideas on how to help me wean my daughter. Thanks.

  27. Our daughter has always been breastfed and is now 22 months old and I am currently 6 months pregnant with our soon to be little boy. Our daughter has been a struggle to wean completely off especially the night time one and I won’t lie it’s hard for me too some to let go of those special moments we have while she is nursing. I hope some of these tips will work for her and make it easier on me too emotionally.

  28. Is there any advice on weaning a co-sleeping toddler as a single parent from breastfeeding? Most of this involves dad.

      • I will look into it. Thank you!

    • My son was 20 months when I wanted to separate from my husband. I was still nursing him and he was not used to dad at all. But Dad wanted equal time. We saw a parent coordinator to help us plan the separation and the weaning. In the first few weeks of the separation I went to Dad’s house every morning and every night (distance permitted me to, otherwise would have gone nuts with all the travelling) to nurse my son. AFter a few weeks I stopped going there. When my son spent the nights with me it was very difficult because he wanted my milk after not having it for a whole day and night. I would try to gently tell him ‘no more milk’. he could drink water. Some nights I would give in (most nights). But gradually he became less insistent on drinking- and eventually weaned him after 5 months of the separation. Bottom line is follow the child’s ques and gradually phase it out. If I felt he really wanted it I would nurse him. It will be tough, but it’ll feel more natural. If Dad isn’t involved at all, is there anyone else who could help you with the night time routine?

      • Also, I would have to walk him to sleep at night if I wasn’t nursing him. Still have to do that. That was the comfort that replaced nursing or taking a sip of water.

  29. My daughter is now 2.5 yrs. I had to cold turkey stop nursing her when she was 2 and her baby sister was born in Dec. She had a stomach virus then and I didn’t want to get the baby sick so I had to basically stop nursing her for a week. It was so sad!! After a week my husband said it was a perfect time to stop nursing her and she wasn’t protesting too much so I agreed. My heart was breaking cuz I wanted her to make the choice to stop and she was obviously still interested. Over the next few weeks/month, she began to ask for mommy’s milk more and more. My midwife suggested just letting her ‘try’ thinking she was just curious watching baby nurse. Well, she sort of played a bit then really latched on and when she got a taste, that was it. At first I was letting her nurse whenever but that became crazy with tandem nursing so I gradually limited… 3x a day…. just a few mins in a.m. and just a few mins before bed….now I am down to just at night. I didn’t replace the a.m. nursing session with anything and she gets very upset. So I appreciate the tips and I need to come up with something!! I am so ready to ween her totally. She starts nursery school tomorrow and I just feel that its time. I’ll give it another month or so to make it a drama(less) transition . Thank you! And God bless all you mommas xoxo

  30. thanks for the post………. it really nice…… I will try it out

  31. Hi everyone. Thanks for the great article and all the great comments. My son just recently turned a year three weeks ago and I’ve been leisurely starting to wean him. I’ve cut out the afternoon nap feeding and I just take him for a walk to lull him to sleep. He is doing great with that but any attemp to cut out nursing in the morning has failed miserably. At night I feed him a sippy cup of warm milk to fill him up and after brushing his teeth and a few books, we turn on his aquarium and his nightlight ( mainly so I can see to lay him down and get out without running into anything) and I sit in the rocking chair and nurse him to just barely asleep and then lay him down. He wakes up once or twice in the night due to wet diapers and I usually have to nurse him back to sleep, I’ve tried just rocking him and he gets very upset and so worked up that he takes even longer to lay back down.
    I’ve attempted CIO ( at the urging of my husband and once my sister) but he just gets so worked up and sobs so much that he can barely breathe.
    My husband was really supportive at the beginning of breastfeeding, but he starting right at 4 months pestering me about weaning. His mom weaned him at that time because her supply was getting low and he cut his first two teeth at that age as well, so she moved him to formula. Also my own mom said I was weaned at 10 months and I did it mostly on my own without bottles or formula. So now my husband thinks this is the normal and has been pestering/shaming me to wean faster than I am going. I always knew I would breastfeed to a year and start casually weaning from there.
    I’ve tried bottles and formula. My son hates formula and doesn’t like any of the variaties I tried. He was ok with a bottle for a while with 3.25% milk in it for a while but he doesn’t like a bottle now either. He will drink it in a sippy cup tho and as I mentioned above I do use it as the bedtime ritual.
    Was anyone else’s husband so unsupportive of bf beyond a year?! He makes me feel like a hippy for not going cold turkey and everytime I tell him how unhealthy that is for me and our son and how it will make it even harder he just tells me how stupid that is and do I want our kid to be 5 five and still sucking on my boob. Sorry for the long post, I’m just really frustrated because he act like I’m not being a good mom and that im holding my kid back. I do want to wean, he has 5 teeth now and sometimes when he’s on the verge of sleep hell chomp down ( he know not to do it when he’s awake but I think it’s like when one jerks when they are about to sleep) and my poor nipples are starting to get a bit chafed
    Thanks in advance for any advice you ladies have

    • I should add that although my son sleeps in his crib in his own room he wakes up at 4 am most days and most of the time I’ll take him back to our bed to nurse so I can go back to sleep and he’ll stay there with us until it’s time to wake up. I’ve been sticker with myself lately and only nursing him in his room and lying him back down in his crib

    • Hey sweetie,

      I don’t have any good advice for you as I am obviously here trying to figure out how to wean my own lil guy (18mos). I just wanted to say I’m sorry that you don’t have more people supporting you, and you are doing the right thing. You are trusting your mommy instincts to know what is best for your baby. Your husband is likely worried about the weird societal pressure and what everyone else will think but your the one nursing, not him. Plus he is a grown man who can deal with his own emotions vs your lil one year old who still needs so much mommy support. You are being a great mom and I hope you know that in your heart regardless of what anyone else says. I bet your baby would agree. Hang in there and trust yourself, you’ve got this! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Hi Jessi, just wanted to encourage you that you are doinf great and there is no need to listen to those negative voices. Motherhood is hard enough. You need support not judgement. My husband wuestioned me as well because he just didnt get it. I could explain til the cows came home but it didnt matter. But when i started sending him articles to read about the benefits of nursing, the optimal duration of nursing and the scientific evidence of why breastfeeding was better than formula, then all of a sudden he came around. Maybe if the benefits are explained by a doctor or scientific study your husband will be more accepting of them. I wish you the best. Stay strong and know you are doing an incredible service to your child. I am starting to wean my 27 month old. Wish me luck!!

    • Jessi,

      You are doing amazing. And definitely doing the right thing for your baby. Way to trust your gut. My husband also struggled with nursing past a year because of societal pressure/norms. I gave him “mothering your nursing toddler” to read. There is a section for fathers. Cold turkey can totally be hard on your breasts (as I’m sure you know) and really tough for your babe. I say continue to trust your gut and find others who understand and support your decision. While gently educating your husband /family. That worked for me. Remember this will not be the first time in your parenting journey where you will be forging your own path different from your mother’s, mother in law’s, and others. Hang in there. Extended nursing is worth it. Weaning gently is worth it to. Good luck!

    • Hey Jessi.. I am too going through same and literally have same story,,
      my kid and husband are just like yours :p LOLs..
      but i guess babies learn to eat or drink alternate things, might have to go through guilt trip for a while, but eventually everything will be fine ๐Ÿ™‚
      and we’ll have to do it alone, but WTH guess we are strong enough to do it,
      reading your story, makes me feel that I am not the only one..
      I plan to try applying lemon juice or may be some bitter lotion(you can check with pedi), which i heard helps baby leave breastfeeding, will give it a shot and see if it works

      ๐Ÿ™‚

  32. My son is 2 years and 2 months old and we sleep together in the same bed with my hubby and he would also breastfeed when he wakes up at night. I just found out that I am 5 weeks pregnant so I had to like force him to stop. Let us see how long it takes.

    • Why did you have to force stop breast feeding because you got pregnant?

      • You don’t have to stop breastfeeding while pregant many people keep on going. It’s not easy, most get a lot of false contractions. Doesn’t hurt baby but makes mama super worried no good. Also you have to be drinking water literally constantly and going potty all the time. Or again increased false contractions.mits no fun! Baby needs tons of water to grow inside us also breastfeeding needs tons of water. Ugh. I understand why you don’t want to do both.

  33. Hello I have 18 month old daughter I’m a stay at home mom. We co sleep my daughter gets her nummies whenever she wants I never put her on a schedule despite what her pediatrician said . She eats solids OK but I would really like to wean her by two and a half I don’t know where to start she will only drink water no juice no milk of any kind only mommies . Dad works a lot so he wouldn’t be able to help with the night time feedings . She wakes a couple times at night pretty much just to use me as a pacifier day and night she won’t take a pacifier either . I really want to gradually wean her any suggestions greatly appreciated

    • This is my life!! Seriously exactly my life and I’m terrified we will never wean lol

      • I heat you on that this is my life my daughter will be 2 this month and weaning I would love to do but she nursing all day n all night and I’m like omg they need a break lol but the worst part is her pinching the opposite one she’s nursing on that hurts and makes me want to end our nursing, but she’s not ready

        • This is totally my daughter as well she is such a twiddler her other hand is always on my other boob she has so hold it smh I told her let’s try and nap with no nummies and mommy will pay your back and oh my gosh she cried and was so sad ๐Ÿ™

          • NM, my son is the same and the nipple twiddling hurts. So i block my nipple from him and tell him it hurts mommy but he can touch the soft upper part of my breast. He fussed a few seconds and concedes. He may try this a fre times while bf but i just do the same thing and eventually he stops attacking my nippple!

            Also, have you tried org soymilk or almond milk? You could see if she likes it slightly warmed and w cinnamon. Like a special treat. They are usually a little sweet like breastmilk.
            For weaning at night, i would weat a sports bra so he couldnt just help himself and when he woke up i would explain that there wasnt any milk left until morning. He would cry but eventually he would accept it and go back to sleep.

          • Oh gosh I am so in the same boat. My daughter Is almost 18 months old and I want to gradually start weaning. She nurses first thing in the morning, for naps and bedtime and anytime in between when I am home. I work in the day. Now she is getting up a t least 3-4 times a night and must nurse to go back to sleep each time. I send in her dad and she screams for me. I am so exhausted with the night wakings and dad can’t help. Plus she does the twiddling on the other nipple which hurts.

            I will definitely give these a try.
            Thanks!

      • I am in same boat as you my daughter is 18 months I nurse her to sleep and nap time and feeding in the morning when will she ever self wean and I also Co sleep with her

        • Raina ^ she will not drink any other milks just water she spits out anything that isn’t water or breastmilk she just turned 2 I Jan and she will not stop nursing I try distracting her she constantly pulls my shirt throws a huge tantrum

      • How’s the weaning going any luck ? My daughter just turned 2 and still same routine ๐Ÿ™

  34. My daughter is 1yr 8mos. I have Never given her a baba. She wouldnt take powder formula so I always just nursed. I never knew it would be this hard. Part of me doesnt want to let it go because of our bond, but it’s time for me to get back to work and I dont want to pump. That hurt. Me and my hubby and mother are teying to figure out a way to gey her to take something else. She loves juice and shakes and every thing else, but I don’t think she’ll want any of em for bed. When we lay down, I’ve tried to put her by my hubby, but she crawls right back to me between us. She’ll pull and pull ag my breast and try to move my sports bra until I give in. She’ll also cry and cry so I feel bad and give in. I try to put myself in her shoes because it’s all she knows. She don’t understand anything so I feel so mean. I just want to work and get her off of it tho it hurts me too.. Not sure how tho..

  35. Hello I have a 16month old boy and we have started the weaning process to where its before bed and if he wakes at night. I work full time and have been more exhausted lately I have also been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease and it has been recommended for me to take a certain medicine to help be better through out the day. This medicine can not be taken while nursing and I love nursing him and I am not really ready to give it up and he is definitely not ready either. But I feel that for me to be a better I have to take care of myself. I have tried weaning him at night to try and get his mind off nursing at bedtime but we co-sleep also. last night I tried to tell him no and cuddle him instead and even tried a sippy cup and he sat on his little knees and put his face in the pillow and started to cry and I gave in, it just broke my heart to see him upset. I need some advice on how to wean at night. any advice is appreciated. thank you

    • hi im in the same situation nw

  36. Hello Genevieve,
    I just wanted to say ‘thank you’ for this article. My daughter just the other day turned 2 and I had always planned to stop feeding her after her 2nd birthday. I am now expecting my second child (6 months in) so I am pleased that God willing I will have a few months off breastfeeding before God willing, baby number 2 arrives.
    On a personal level, to all mums who may read my comment, as I had planned to stop feeding my daughter around 2 years old i found stopping night feeds months ago really helped. I stopped giving her night feeds in January so 6 months ago and if little one woke up she would have a bottle of water nearby. I also found some weeks ago that reminding my daughter that one day we will stop breastfeeding (we call it dudu) has worked well. I have never talked about it as being something that needs to stop because she’s getting bigger (don’t want her to think she shouldn’t have any form milk at all) but that there are a lot of other things to try and that we have shared lovely moments and memories from mama being able to give her dudu.
    I too have bought a snazzy cup for my daughter and have been filling that each night with shop bought milk. I think I will certainly try some of the ideas that I have come across on this page by making it different on some nights and adding cinnamon (daughter loves this on porridge), making it into a smoothie or adding a dash of honey. Manuka honey is so good for you so this could be a good way of including it more in my daughters diet.
    Good luck to all of you attempting to stop night feeds/breasfeeding. I definitely agree with others that you need to be consistent and that explaining to your child sensitively is the key.

  37. Hi. Great advice- but I’m wondering how you deal with teeth issues with honey in a sippy cup. Has that been a problem?

    • I am wondering about teeth issues too.

  38. My daughter is 16 months and is still breastfeeding constantly. I feed her solids which she enjoys but typically likes to feed afterwards, I feel as if she mainly needs to feed when it’s nap time and before bedtime. I have tried giving her whole milk, 2%, fat free and even milk with sugar. She won’t drink it, I have also tried pumping and giving it to her in bottle form and she doesn’t drink it either. I am confused on how to wean her. Any mommies have any advice?

    • Have you tried putting the milk in a fancy sippy cup? Try making a big deal about the fancy cup, drink some out of it first and offer it to her. Or the alternative method would be to give her the cup and act non-interested like you don’t care whether she drinks it or not. Every child is different, but those suggestions worked for me.

  39. Hi … Super ideas for weaning. I’m currently nursing (right now) my 5th child and it’s the longest I’ve nursed any of my children. My daughter was 3 in December and I’m 45 and beat lol. There’s a huge gap in ages between my daughter and her siblings, as in 13-20 years so my girls had a break thankfully! I’ve reduced the frequency of nursing to nap and bedtime but illnesses are a must for nursing. I’m ready to be done, at least I think so, but Vera cries for mamma’s milk all the time. The replacement drink works but not at bedtime. I’ve nursed her to sleep every night since she was born so I know nighttime will be the challenge. The good thing is Vera got into her own room and twin bed last fall, and it’s the first time I’ve had more than 3 hours sleep at one time! Now she sleeps 12 hours, mostly straight through aside from the potty break.
    I really need some help with the bedtime weaning. Her father often comes home after she’s asleep so eh, it’s all on me lol any other suggestions? Most ideas I hear here (Turkey) is hot pepper or lemon to make her not want to nurse and that’s a common way here but I’d never consider it.

    • What did you do? My 22 month old is constantly on my boobs at night and cannot be satiated or comforted with anything else. I am his lovie. An exhausted lovie. No sleep for 2 years (and I work fulltime). Any tips? Thanks!

      • I also experienced no sleep for 2 years and have had to make some changes. So here’s what has worked for us. Slowly, I have reduced the duration of the nursing. Then have allowed her to learn to settle herself back to sleep (we have been co-sleeping, but I’m getting back in to my own bed now). So she is nursing less during the night and getting herself back to sleep. (that was the first step). Now; we have a ritual which she loves; a warm bath every night and then I heat up some milk with a little vanilla. She sips the milk while we look at books in bed. Then to get to sleep (without nursing), I tell her stories, or quietly hum songs until she relaxes. This has been a gradual replacement for nursing and it’s working wonderfully for us. Best of luck to all mommas. It is so helpful to have the internet to connect and learn and share with encouragement. Thank you.

      • I was in your unenviable position with my daughter who had developed a habit of nursing to sleep. I went over two years without more than 2 hours sleep at a time. We finally saw a nurse sleep specialist who developed a plan for us to night wean. Basically, my husband took over as co-sleeper. For the first three nights I had to leave the house two hours before bedtime and could only return after she was asleep (I just stayed with some friends to get some sleep!). It wasn’t as horrible a process as I thought it would be. It probably took about three weeks total but now she sleeps through the night without nursing. Good luck. It’s really, really tough to be where you are. You’ll get through it!

    • Rabia,
      I completely relate. My husband comes home late, and my son is 3. I have been talking to my son for a while about not nursing in the middle of the night. Last night we had a very difficult night of him cring (while I held him) and screaming for about an hour. Fortunately my hudb5was home and the only thing that helped was him taking my son to the kitchen for a snack, but then we don’t want him getting up either. Feeling at a loss. Not sure if I should even nurse him to sleep if I’m going to stop nursing in the middle of the night (4-5 times each night ). I’m tired, 41, and confused. I wanted the night weaning to be less tearful for both of us. I’m not ready to completely stop nursing and we are cosleeping, I just want to get more rest!

  40. I haven’t been able to breast feed my son since he was about 4 months old. He had allergies and we weren’t able to figure out what it was and the doctors in my area at the time were not helpful. Later we found out that something in dairy ( not sure still exactly what) causes him to vomit.
    He’s been on formula and a bottle and is 20 months. I’m due to give birth in 3 weeks and his pediatrician said he needs to try to be done with a bottle before that so he doesn’t get jealous or take the other babys bottle. We’ve been working on it. He only gets bottles at bedtime, nap time, and first thing in the morning. We are taking them one at a time with 3-4 days in between. I’ve replaced at bedtime with a cup with dairy free yogurt and an ounce of tart cherry. This makes it thinner and drinkable. The first few days was hard but we got through. Nap time usually goes okay without a bottle. We just have to completely drop nap time bottle and morning bottle.

    • Hello about the milk allergy it happen to both of my babies the first one (12 years ago) was able to nurse until he was 5 months on our case it was a number of things (milk protein m, wheat, eggs and corn!) really difficult with baby number too who is 19 months I did an elimination diet and I was able to exclusively nurse he is still nursing it’s worth the effort just takes a lot of work. At the age of 5 months I introduce him to probiotics (powder) and it made a huge difference I was able to stop the diet when he turn 9 months good look with baby number 2

  41. This was so helpful. Hopefully I this approach can work for me, soon! I am still feeding my 16 month old daughter when she wakes up in the morning (when its too early to really get up) and before bed. I know now for her it is a comfort issue because she is fine when other people put her to bed, its just because I am there and accessible. It is comforting to know I am not the only one out there, because honestly I hate telling people that she still nurses occasionally, because I can feel the judgement there sometimes, which isn’t fair. I think people really don’t understand how difficult it can be to wean if the baby hasn’t lost interest on their own, until they are in that situation themselves.

  42. I have a 17 month year old who breast feeds alot still, and I have never fed him the bottle and weaning him is impossible. I have alot of gastro issues and need to wing him off within a month I am due to have a endoscopy in which you can not breast feed for 72 hrs. I have put off my health for sometime and its time for mommy to take care of her. I am sad but it needs to be done.

    But I have tried diferent bottles rubber sippy cups, different milks nothing helps. I need adavice on how to wing him hes so attached to me he never wants anyone but me when in any discomfort. Any advice ladies

    • I’m in the same situation only not needing to wean for health reasons… Did you get any good advice you can share?

    • Heidi, It sounds like you might be forced to do cold turkey weaning. It sucks but if dad is involved and can offer a replacement or at least a distraction, it should help. You can also take Sage tincture to help dry yourself up quickly. I am doing this and applying peppermint oil topically to boobs to reduce milk now. Good luck, mama. It will be tough but it won’t last forever (even if he acts like the world is ending ๐Ÿ˜‰

      • You don’t need to wean for a colonoscopy or any surgery! It’s a huge myth. I had my gallbladder removed when my baby was 3 months old and nursed her as soon as I came out of anethesia. All the drugs are so short acting that barely any is excreted in breastmilk, and even if they do get a miniscule amount it won’t hurt them. They get the same medications if they have surgery as a baby. The 72 hour thing is definitely just anesthesia department covering their own butts, it’s nothing to do with the safety of it.

  43. That’s so funny you guys call it nummies. We call breastfeeding nummies too! It’s a combination of yummy and nipple I guess. Great advice. I will try the warm tea with milk. Thanks

  44. Thanks so much for this post, Genevieve. I have been gradually weaning my 16 month old son for many months and now I am entering in the final two weeks. I have a deadline because I am about to go through another round of IVF and I have been instructed to be finished with nursing by 12/18. Currently, my husband or a caregiver is able to put my son to sleep for naps and bedtimes without too much crying. The hardest part will be daytime grazing. My son grazes when I am home with him and it is definitely centered around comfort and closeness. So, my plan is to distract and to give him organic whole milk when he makes the sign for milk. I love the idea of hot tea, but do you have any suggestions for whipping one up without the expresso machine? Anything basic I could do by just stirring? My biggest fear is that when he needs comfort after a tumble or on the plane (we leave for a trip in a couple of weeks, it will be hard for me to get him to sleep). A lactation consultant suggested that I communicate to him that the boobies don’t work anymore.

    Any other tips would be greatly welcomed! I have a feeling this will be harder on me!

    • I am in the same boat. Did you get any good advice for the daytime grazing?

      • I’m currently trying to wean my son who just turned 2. To help limit daytime grazing, I’ve limited any breastfeeding to only take place in the rocking chair in his room. He will take my hand and lead me there when he wants it. And right now, I attempt to distract him sometimes but I do comply if he is persistent and it has dramatically reduced our daytime grazing.

  45. I am ready to wean my son but I just don’t know how since Daddy can’t help. My son usually only nurses at nap and bedtime but he wakes up in the night to nurse too. Lately the night wakings have increased a lot. He will let Dad put him down for nap or bed but in the middle of the night he will not have anything to do with him. If I send Dad in there when he wakes up our son will cry and throw a fit for however long it takes for me to come get him. He quits crying for a short bit after I pick him up then right back to the screaming when I try not to give him the breast! It’s so exhausting and frustrating. Especially because all weaning advice I find says to let Dad help. What can we do???

    • You can try giving lovies, rubbing back, rocking, or some other way to nurture and support him. It sounds like it needs to come from you for now and that’s OK. If you’re consistent, it should pass. Xoxo

    • I am right there with you! I am wanting to start weaning my son, because these night feeding are draining me!
      I wish I had advice, but that’s why I’m looking up and reading this!

      I stopped nursing my daughter at 15 months but it was different with her. I pumped and only nursed at night, so I was able to give her the bottle at night.
      With my son, he refuses the bottle when it is nap time or bed time!

  46. Thank you so much Genevieve, I was literally going nuts and trying to do 911 research on this weaning process. I was reminded that when I started introducing whole milk and honey to my baby girl I made her a recipe of “Golden Milk tea” practically what your talking about except a hinch of spices, *Tumeric/ Cinnamon, (Warm milk and honey) not only is it delicious but its super healthy for anyone and all ages.

    Anyways, i tried this today, the tea was great, But I actually tried a mean trick I heard in Mexico but that I think may possibly work, that is putting chili sauce on the nipples ( a drop is fine) it only took her a whiff of it to prevent her from getting all the nipple and she was smart to lick it lightly to realize it was simply YUCKY, she cried and fussed, but I would pretend to complain and say it hurt , and that it was spicy….

    So far, she only cries for a while while i complain and when I try to offer her again and she rejects it.. I am only hoping that if I can keep this up she will give up and sleep as she does with my family when they watch her.

    She is knocked out now– long day. I’ll try to post my results

    Good luck moms! DOn’t GIVE UP

    • My son likes spicy food. He’ll just ask for water ๐Ÿ™ lol

      • Jocelyn, me too! I even tried yucky tasting herbs before, but he just beared it till the yucky taste went away

    • Oh wow! I’d weaned by daughter when she was 26 months old, using a similar method. I’d used lemon juice on my nipple and had told her my milk was old and going bad. Lol. It worked!

      Now, I’m having the hardest time weaning my 33 month old son. He actually enjoys lemon juice straight from the lemon juice squeeze. I’ll have to try this chili oil.

  47. These are some good suggestions for toddlers who are already cutting back on their nursing. I have always had toddlers who have nursed all night, all day- round the clock- nursed in the Ergo in the grocery store (the whole time I was shopping!), etc. Certainly not as simple to follow these suggestions in order to gradually wean. My toddlers literally nurse more than many friends’ newborns. It eventually happens after some (difficult)setting of boundaries but not after feeling utterly exhausted beyond belief. Still, wouldn’t change it for the world.

  48. Nursing was difficult for me, for different reasons with each of my seven children. I did not know it at the time, but I have several metabolic deficiencies, which cause my body to not be able to produce milk for an extended period of time. 8 months is the longest I could nurse with any of them, either because I could not produce sufficient, or because I was already pregnant again (not planned, but not unwelcome).

    My first two children are only 11 months apart. I had gallstones when my son was just 2 months old, and discovered I was pregnant at that time. I nursed Sean for another month before being warned by the doctor that the hormones from nursing and the hormones from pregnancy both make gallstones worse, and that I needed to make it long enough into the pregnancy to safely have gallbladder surgery (major surgery at the time, not laparoscopic). So when he was three months old, I weaned him of onto a bottle. It was a simple process of replacing each feeding with a bottle. One more each day. By the fourth day, there was nothing left in me for him to nurse anyway, my body just shut it down. I did have to find a specific type of bottle for him to take it – we had to use a Gerber Wide Top. He would not take any other kind.

    My other children nursed anywhere from 5-8 months, depending on what my body was capable of at the time. With my 5th child, she began biting me (5 months old, my only child to already have teeth at that age), and I broke down in tears when my crying daughter could not manage to nurse. My husband got her a bottle, and I reluctantly gave it to her. For some reason, I did the same thing again that night before bed. I thought that I should be engorged the next morning, but was not. I tried to pump, and there was nothing there. She never nursed again, because I had suddenly dried up, with no warning. I miscarried a few weeks later… had been pregnant and had not known it.

    Weaning from the bottle to a cup was pretty easy. I waited until they were 18 months old, because we did not care for sippy cups (they were different then… but I still do not like them!). Right around 18 months, they finally have the coordination to hold a partially filled cup without spilling (they got practice before that, and I watched for that skill as the clue that they were ready), and I taught them to take a drink, then put the cup on the table until they needed more. My kids were close together (by the time my first was 2, I had three children), so I had to find ways to teach them to not require that I run to give them a sip every time they needed it. This worked really well. I simply eliminated one bottle a day until they were fully off. They would ask me to refill their cup when needed, and I’d rotate between milk and juice, with water when they needed extra.

    Our circumstances were certainly not normal, and I adapted according to our needs at the time. Knowing what I know now about the metabolic deficiencies, I am not sure if I would have been able to have changed the patterns if I had known then (they are difficult to treat). But I feel good about the choices we made, and I don’t think our children were cheated of love or affection. There are plenty of other ways to bond with a baby, and to make sure they have the time and attention that they need.

  49. My son self weaned at 14 months as I was pregnant with #2 so that was easy. My daughter is 22 months old and showing no signs of wanting to wean. Granted, she only feeds at nap time, bed time and during the night/early in the morning but she does seem to use my boobs as a pacifier as well. If I try and unlatch her after a while she goes ballistic or if I hesitate to feed her she screams for ‘boobie’. I’m not really enjoying feeding her anymore and she is deafeningly loud when she gets upset so I’m not sure how to go about weaning her just yet.

    • Hi Nae
      I’m in exact same position. It’s like I wrote the post. Did you manage any changes? My guy is 18 months and the challenge to weaning night feelings is my husband can’t deal with his crying for “Boobie” at night so the. I give in and feed him. It’s a lost battle and we don’t have a second bedroom to use for him or us.

      • I also am in the same boat! My little girl is 21 months and I am ready to wean as we really want to get pregnant soon. I have heard being consistent and taking it slow is good but I am afraid we may have some difficulties too. We night weaned when she was like 19 months but then went to the beach anf stayed with family, and she had a little regression being in a new place so up wanting to nurse a lot. My husband was like just give her nummies so she wouldn’t keep everyone else up!! Now she nurses a lot less at night but still wants them during nap and on her own terms during day depending on how she’s feeling…. Going to make a plan and take it slow I guess, letting her somewhat lead too.

      • Hi Tally,

        Have you considered that it may be too early for your toddler to wean? I did a course with Dr Michel Odent a number of years ago – he has been researching natural birth and baby/child rearing for years and years – and he sent a very clear message that breastfeeding for a number of years, not months, is natural for our species. You may, of course, have important reasons to wean you did not mention in your post, but I would only say no one should wean just because it socially seems like the “right” time.
        I’ve got three kids btw, each nursed a different number of years (one still at it).

        best –
        Iga

        • Thanks Iga,
          I think you’re right, but my son is 3 now. Will be 3.5 in October, I’m having trouble weaning, but I think he’s old enough. I know your comment was for someone else. I’m not sure when he’ll be ready

  50. My toddler is 2, plus a few months. I also have a 4.5 month old.
    Many professionals – my OB, his pediatrician said that they leaned toward me ceasing breastfeeding while pregnant – NOT because of any risk to fetus but because my nipples were sore and I was pretty damn tired anyway! By the time of pregnancy our toddler was sleeping through the night and nursing only at naps and night. I saw a lactation consultant with my toddler in my first trimester. She gave me tips for the nipple pain and because he was so attached to nursing, she encouraged me to not listen to the above people and continue nursing at those two times (but to shorten the length due to the pain). She also said it would decrease his jealousy after the birth and was so right! I had to increase nursing him to 3-4 times during the day/before bed but when the newborn was 8 about weeks I went back to “we get Milkies only at night night time”. It really really helped him to the initial adjustment though that he could still nurse. I got and read great advice that at that age the toddler wants to be assured they are a baby and special to you and haven’t been replaced. (I even had one pro tell me they said out the toddler and new baby and said who is my most special baby, “you are!!” To the toddler. Lol, I didn’t go that far but it gives you the idea of what a toddler might need to feel.).

    Anyway! We are now back to Milkies only at nap and night and I am now officially ready to went. I absolutely loved these ideas and love the encouragement to do it slow! Thanks tons!!!

    • This should say

      I even had one pro tell me they sat out their toddler and new baby and said “who is my most special baby, you are!!โ€ To the toddler. Lol, I didnโ€™t go that far but it gives you an idea of what a toddler might need to feel.

      Also:
      I am absolutely ready to WEAN!

  51. I am planning a trip away from my LO for a week in September (who will be 19 months). I want to start weaning now to avoid suddenly going “cold turkey” and any unnecessary trauma that might accompany that. I love the idea of having a substitute drink for nursing times, but my LO won’t drink from a sippy cup. Any suggestions?

    • Have you tried a cup with a rubber straw? That was all I could get my toddler to drink out of. Her doctor said that it is an easier transition from the breast to a sippy with a rubber straw because they seem so similar.

  52. I have nursed all three of my girls. My first last nursed at 19 months old. It was so easy to wean her, but I believe her Autism was a major part. She liked to nurse to sleep, but didn’t have any other emotional need for it. She didn’t get scared, hardly responded to pain, etc.

    I spend 4 weeks weaning her. It started with her setting a Boppie on my lap at 18 months, pointing to my chest, and going, “UH!” So I told her weaning would then commence. Made me uncomfortable being pointed at. Dropped nap time the first week, morning the next, alternated morning and night (every 36 hours) on week 3, and went every 48 hours week four. Midway through the last week I was dry.

    I conceived #3 while nursing #2 so my second I nursed while pregnant. I nursed her AFTER being pregnant. Sometimes at the same time as my third, sometimes she’d just get the leftovers. She weaned herself at 27 months. Or at least I think she did. She said no one time, and I told her, “Good. You’re done.”

    I found this article looking for a way to get #3 done. She is such a lap baby, and she just loves boobies. The girl is 19 months now, and she wants to nurse all night, every morning, several times a day, anytime she’s upset, whenever she gets hurt, if I come home from doing anything for any amount of time…you get the picture.

    She loves drinking my hot tea as well so that’s a perfect idea to replace it with! Weaning will now commence!

  53. So I have a soon to be 18 month old that I am wanting to try and wean. I love nursing so much and I feel saddened by the thought of weaning, but I need my sleep. I am away from him about 11 hours a day, so there is no nursing during the day. Except on the weekend I’ll give in sometimes. I no longer pump since he goes to a daycare and eats what’s served. But he wants to be nursed to sleep and then nurses throughout the night. He starts off in his bed each night, then wakes and comes to our bed. Once in our bed, he nurses on and off keeping me awake. I need help!! I have tried stopping nursing and replacing it with books, cuddling, singing and ALL he does is scream at the top of his lungs, will pull my hair and throws himself back over and over. I can’t stand seeing him upset like that so I give in. I mean he doesn’t know any different as he’s been nursed to sleep for the last 18 months.
    I’m looking for some advice on how to cut out night nursing. I’m going to try the warm milk and honey tonight and see how that goes. Thanks in advance!

    • I had the same problem. I found the book “The No Cry Sleep Solution” by Elizabeth Pantley helpful. Your baby has probably developed a sleep association with breast feeding meaning you need to teach him how to fall asleep other ways. I had some success with the methods in this book but it is by no means a quick solution.

    • Oh my Gosh – it’s like I am writing this – my son is 19 months and I am tired of breastfeeding – to put it simply – he goes to daycare and follows their routine so I am thinking he still to BF just for comfort and I do give in sometimes so that his crankiness wouldn’t escalate to full on screaming – I tried hot sauce on my nipples – I tried lemon juice with peppers – it only averts him temporarily and then he is back and licking it all off!! He is obviously capable of falling asleep without nursing – he does it at daycare and when my parents or my husband is looking after him without me around – I also co-sleep for half the night (he wakes up and comes to our bed) and that’s when it’s the hardest – I always give in coz I have to get some shut eye and go to work the next day…I am at my wit’s end ๐Ÿ™

      • Dear Tanzania,

        Try applying on nipples some bitter thing.

  54. I have wanted to go as natural as I can with my second daughter, cosleeping, breastfeeding untill 2 but now that she is 22 months and I can not carry on, she is very petite to begin with so I have health visitors and doctors on my case because of that, as soon as I say cosleeping and breastfeeding at this age they raise their eyebrows and I end up feeling like the worst mum, I suffer from recurrent depressive illness and this natural path is not helping! my daughter is very attached to me, I also homeschool my oldest daughter, my marriage is suffering and to be honest big part is the lack of sleep, I havent slept for more than 3 hours in a row in about 2 years, hot tea doesn’t work, if any ideas or encouragement I’d appreciate it. no harsh comments please.

    • Hi, I just wanted to say I give you air hugs. I know it’s not easy having people judge you for your choices. I get comments and looks about breastfeeding my 2 year old also. I am also co-sleeping and feeding on demand. I also work a lot of hours so I know the no sleep cycle can be harsh on the body especially with the emotional state. I say just do want you think is right for you and your toddler. I had a friend said she mixed milk and sugar to make the milk is sweet enough, and she warmed it up a little to mimic breastmilk. I hope that you will start seeing the brighter side of light. And know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Matthew 6:33

    • I feel I can relate to you in many ways. My baby girl is almost three and nurses morning and night, and we too co-sleep Up until about four months ago she was consistently night nursing, but none during the day. It got to the point I was a frazzled mess during the day, and lashed out at every one because I was so EXHAUSTED.I started blaming “natural parenting” saying ridiculous thing in the heat of the moment (like I should have never breast fed!) and perhaps we should force her out of our bed. And then I realized it’s got nothing to do with natural parenting at all! It’s all to do with my choices. Because you’re truly not enjoying, and benefitting from what you’re doing, it isn’t really natural is it? I Can relate 100% to having a little one who is unbelievably attached. But when exhaustion, and frustration from constantly putting your needs aside (homeschooling in itself is hard work!) it can make that beautiful gift seem like an unbearable burden. Mama, you need to take some time for you! And the only way I can “make” myself do this is remind myself, it’s important to show my kids that I respect my needs too, so later they learn to value and respect their needs. I value myself, so they learn to value themselves. This took some time for my family to get used too (especially my loving husband) but once they figured out I’m happier when I meet my needs, our home is a much better place. As for sleep at night, don’t expect change to come overnight. No pun intended

      • Im a first time mom of a very attached needy 19 month old boy. Im loosing my mind. Constant anexiety !!!! feel I cant enjoy him at all because hes so needy of my time . how did you make positive changes?

    • First, I just want to say to you, Wendy, that I really commend you for all that you are doing! Homeschooling a child and then already breastfeeding a second child for this long, as you seek your children’s good, are awesome accomplishments! I would say to those doctors and nurses that have raised their eyebrows at you – shame on them! From my reading, breastfeeding for the first two years truly provide benefits to you and your child and so no one should look down on you for doing what is good. Way to persevere in spite of their critical eye! As far as choosing not to continue breastfeeding, I really think you have to look at the whole picture and decide what is best for your whole family – and you need to keep your sanity and strength! My daughter is 16 months and I’m down to only feeding her twice a day – when she gets up and when she goes to sleep. I was planning to breastfeed for at least a few more months because of the health benefits for us, but I am already 3 months pregnant and have been so exhausted from that (plus needing to work part-time and handle all my other responsibilities and cares at home) that I have decided to continue moving towards fully weaning my daughter. It’s a hard decision for me, yet I know that my strength is very limited and that when I look at the whole picture, I really believe that I’m doing the best I can. Your marriage is very important and the foundational relationship of your family, so I would prioritize that as well. I know how hard it can be to be sleep-deprived as my daughter woke up 2 or 3 times per night (and would feed) until she was 14 months old and we could finally move her into her own room. I was desperate for sleep at that point with all my responsibilities and being pregnant. I would say that we definitely did what was natural and best fitting for our family life as a whole. Sleep has such a great impact on us, so I think for the benefit of yourself and your whole family, you are free to do what you need to do to care for yourself also so that you can then better care for your husband and children. May Jesus bless your family!

    • I know it’s hard I’m weaning now and she co sleeps with me and my husband. it seems the only person my daughter has a connection with is me. Though people tell me to wean now I’m taking my time. Just remember no matter what people say to you it’s your body, your experience, your bond. It won’t go on forever you’ll figure it out. Good luck love.

    • Hi Wendy, I know how you feel. I’m still breastfeeding after 3 years and I didn’t sleep much for 3 years. First, there is no other way to say it but you have to find a way to sleep. If you could find a way to get some sleep, you would start to feel better. I thought I was loosing my mind. I would also see if your husband could help you take over at night until your toddler can associate going to sleep without you. Just explain to him that this is urgent and you need his help. If you sleep, your depression could get so much better. I feel for you because I couldnt handle working full time and not sleeping much because my son would wake me up 5 times through out the night. I wish I had been more firm with my husband and told him he must help me at night. I would have avoided all of that sleep deprivation. Hugs and I hope things get better for you.

    • Hi Wendy, I’m currently co-sleeping with my almost 22 month old and we are still breastfeeding. I think more reason for you to keep doing what you’re doing is because you’re daughter is small! She’s getting the best nutrients from you that she can’t get anywhere else.
      My emotions have definitely been a little crazy, probably due to nursing and little sleep. As soon as I can I plan to night time nurse but continue nursing a few times a day. Maybe that would help you and your relationship with your husband so you can get a good night’s rest.
      Good luck! If nothing else, know you’re not alone and you are being a wonderful mother!!

  55. Well written article. Can you post your tea recipe/directions? I want to give this a try with L/O.

  56. Thank you. This is great.

  57. Thanks SO much for this post! I have a one year old, and my plan was to wean sometime before the two year mark. My little Lena LOVES to nurse. But I am going on a solo trip to NYC in two short months. I don’t know whether to spend the next two months weaning her. Or to pump and store breastmilk, and then pump while I am in NY to keep my supply up. She just loves it so much and has been so healthy, that I am hesitant to wean her. These suggestions were GREAT. I am going to have Dad start giving her a bottle at night so she gets used to him feeding her before I leave for sure.

  58. WE are going through the same things. I am 20 weeks pregnant and my daughter is 13 mo old. My goal was to try to bf to age 1, and we made it! I love the tea and milk shake ideas! Wondering….since I can’t give Josie honey until she is 2, what do you all put in your tea, how much do you give your baby, and what yummy things do you add to your milkshakes?? And how many time s a day do you give it?

    Also- until I read this today, I’ve just been giving Josie 1/2 a banana 1st thing in the morning when she wakes up. it fills her up and so far she doesn’t protest when I don’t nurse her right away. And sometimes she gets so busy playing she forgets she wanted to breasfeed. The last week I have decided to wean. This is too much and my breasts are so sore I can’t even stand her drinking from them and I grit my teeth the whole time. AHHHH

    • You can use 1 TB of maple syrup or coconut nectar to sweeten. Another option is natural stevia leaf… you’d have to read label for how much to add. I gave him 2 drinks a day to correspond with his nap and bedtime.

      Search my sight for smoothies to get ideas for “milkshakes”.

    • I am currently going through the same circumstance Susan. My nipples were tender, but thankfully it has passed, I wasn’t sure I was going to continue nursing through the pain. So Ive started to research for ideas to wean my Lil before the new baby gets here and I don’t want Lil to be upset that she doesn’t get her boob anymore.
      I wanted to suggest blending the half banana with Whole Organic Milk and serving that as a “milk shake”…. I share them with Lil and she loves them!
      Good luck, and I hope everything goes smoothly as I hoping the same for myself!

  59. I breast fed all 3 of my girls and they all weaned on their own at about a year. I definitely remember feeling sad about it, yet knew it was time. Now I have an 18 mos old boy who isn’t showing many signs of wanting to stop. We are down to just before nap and bedtime. My husband has been surprisingly supportive and has not pushed too much about his nursing still, but does frequently comment on how he needs to be in his own bed. I feel misunderstood because with 4 kids I feel like I’m in “survival mode” and this system just happened naturally. My other issue is work. I’m an oncology nurse and administer chemotherapy, however I haven’t been since I got pregnant, so I do other things at work. But about once a week I get ” your still nursing, how old is he now ” . I’m starting to feel the pressure of weaning, which I never felt before. I just hoped he’d wean himself like his sisters. I will definitely try some of the tips. My hardest definitely will be the commitment thing. Glad to read everyone’s story.

    • Hi. I am also in one of those circumstances. I had four children and I am still nursing my two year old. My other three weaned themselves. I am back to work part time, and I was confronted that I need to stop and it is gratification for myself and that I am making more out of it then it is. Also, my dentist has told me I need to stop nursing. I have no clue how to do this and why are some so cruel with their words. ๐Ÿ™ Any suggestions on to weaning?

  60. Hi, just wondering which tea did you use? Id like to give it a try.
    Thank you

    • I actually drink hot tea and my 18 month old son loves drinking it with me. I use Regular Lipton black tea. I add a little sugar and a tiny bit of milk. Just thought I’d share since we use tea too! ๐Ÿ™‚

  61. My lo is 3, im not sure how we got this far. But I’m done. At 18months she was weaned, I was pregnant but miscarried. Out of comfort, I let her back on. What was I thinking? I want out now.

    The warm drink great idea but im curious what kind of cup are you using for it.

    Thank you for any advice!

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  63. I have a three year old daughter and a four month old son. I tandem nurse right now and found this helpful because eventually I’d like to slowly wean my oldest because shes showing no signs of a desire to of give up her “milkies” or “boobie dates” with her baby bro. It’s just becoming too much. I haven’t found much if any encouragement to keep nursing her and I know I either need to wean her or find the will within me to keep going and make the decision. but I have to do something or this may ruin my reationship with my sweet sensitive girl.

  64. Thanks for an inspiring read! My daughter is 20 months old and I’m 11 weeks pregnant with our second. I’d like to wean her as I know I won’t be up for feeding both, and also would like for her to have “forgotten” about breastfeeding a while before the second is born. Also, I find it sore now, which I haven’t previously. Anyway, she feeds as part of her bedtime routine plus 2-3 times at night. No morning or daytime – she connects it with sleeping. Any ideas on how to nightwean gently – it’s harder to explain why when she half asleep just rolls over, says boob, feeds and rolls back to sleep. I’m stuck as to how to get started without hurting her feelings … But will definitely try the hot tea for bedtime.

    • Hi Maria! My son is about to turn 14 months old and i’m starting to gently wean him as i’ll be traveling for work and he also still associates nursing with sleeping especially at night. I thought i’d share this website as it’s a resource that i’ve been using. It hasn’t been easy because it’s really hard to fight how sleep deprived I am at night when it’s much easier to just nurse him and we all go back to sleep. But since i’ll be traveling soon I have no choice but to wean him to make it less traumatic for him when I’m gone even if it’s just for a few days. So I hope this helps.

      http://drjaygordon.com/attachment/sleeppattern.html

      • I had great success with Sandra’s suggestion! My son was waking up every 3-4 hours to nurse at 18 months. When I got pregnant, I couldn’t handle the sleep deprivation anymore! I used the method outlined in the link Sandra gave and it worked wonders! It took about 5 nights and he suddenly started sleeping for 6-7 (sometimes 8 or 9) hour stretches. I work full-time too, so this was AMAZING! He will still wake up and ask for milkies sometimes, but I just remind him that milkies are asleep and he can have them in the morning. I co-slept with him while night weaning, but he now sleeps in his own bed for most of the night. He still nurses once in the morning and once at night (sometimes once during the day on weekends). Good luck!

    • Maria, My husband and I recently weaned our son from nursing at night by telling him that “nanas” are asleep right now, just like every one else is at night, and that he can nurse again in the morning when everyone is awake. He had a really hard time with it for a couple of nights. We allowed him to let out his frustrations until he got tired enough to accept hugs and cuddles from me. It’s gotten much better, we can go a whole night without nursing. Every once in a while he’ll raise his head and ask for nanas and I tell him that they are asleep and he puts his head down and goes back to sleep with no problem. I have a cup of water for him on the nightstand if he’s thirsty, and sometimes he uses that.

      We haven’t figured out yet how to put him to bed without nursing if I’m in the house, but at least I know I can get a full night’s sleep without someone fumbling for my breasts!

      • Hi!!!! Help lol im ready for my nanas to be asleep at night too!!! Lol or as my lil guy whos 2 calls them his “boots” lol so sweet! We also cosleep and he nurses allllll night. But im goin out of town in 2 months for 3 days. He does fine during the day but all night im worried! Ive gotta night wean so its peaceful while me and boots are gone lol

  65. Thank you for this post. The replacement drink idea is such a good reminder. With each of my kids, I’ve hit a point where I just can’t do it. It is frustrating to me that it happens, but I just suddenly start feeling panic, like my breast is stuck in the end of a vacuum hose and I’ve just got to get it out!

    With my son, I felt so guilty and struggled with weaning. So I kept nursing far longer than I was comfortable and it was a miserable experience. It’s happening with my daughter now and I decided this time I’d do it differently. I’m going to wean her before my misery gets too bad. I think just knowing that I have some control over the situation will help.

    I started setting a timer while nursing the last few days but maybe I’ll try a song instead. I’m just worried about that song always being a sad one to her, so am having trouble picking one. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Thanks so much for your help!

  66. Today was the first day I said “no” to my 25-month old son for his morning nursing session. This is the last session he holds on to, probably because when he wakes up, we bring him into our bed for snuggles. It’s a nice, slow way for everyone to wake up. The weaning process for us has been slow and almost entirely led by my son. I knew I was getting ready to be done, so I stopped offering as much, but I would still pretty much give him “nannies” whenever he asked. He started to give up the night-time nursing just before his second birthday when we changed his bed from a crib to a toddler bed. I think this was mostly due to the fact that he associates the rocking chair with gettisng “nannies,” but once we had the toddler bed set up, I could sit next to him in bed and read books. Then I turn out the light, and sing him a song, and he’s still awake when I leave the room but he drifts right off to sleep in a few minutes! He gave up the pre/post nap sessions next, but more slowly. Before nap time is still rather tricky and he sometimes boycotts nap all together unless he nurses, which puts him right to sleep. He still sometimes wants to nurse after nap-time on the weekends (he goes to daycare during the week), but I can usually distract him with a snack. I know the morning session will be the last to go. Sometimes, I can turn the lights on and we can start playing or have some milk and he forgets about it. I love Genevieve’s “hot tea”! Someone told me to try chocolate milk, but that’s so much sugar, I don’t want to give him an unhealthy replacement. So far my experience has been that my son has moved onto the next phase just at the point when I’m really getting tired and ready for him to. Symbiosis!! Good luck, mamas!

  67. My kids both gave up nursing before bedtime first, pretty much all on their own and then gave up the nursing session before nap. They both like/d to nurse when they wake up in the morning and after they wake up from nap. My daughter is following the exact same weaning pattern that my son did, which I find so interesting. She hasn’t been asking to nurse after her nap the last few days. That morning nursing session will be the last one to go. She is 19 months, so I would like to make it to 2 years, but my son only made it to 22 months.

  68. Just saw this on my fb newsfeed as I was literally sitting here when a wave of sadness hit me and I had to have a little cry. My 17-month-old son is pretty much officially weaned after a short weekend getaway with my husband. Once he turned one, he was nursing 3x a day, then I dropped the naptime nursing around 14 months, dropped the morning session around 15 months, and then continued the bedtime one till just last week. He had seemed ready to give it up and has just been so busy the older he’s gotten, but I was holding on to it because I knew how hard it would be on me. We had a great breastfeeding relationship from day one and I will so cherish and miss those sweet moments together. I’m trying to be positive and excited about our new sweet moments, like just reading together, snuggling on the couch watching a movie, etc. Wow, what a journey…being a mama is tough on my heart for sure!

  69. I was in a car accident that had my back so tense and in terrible spasms. I ended up being on some narcotics and muscle relaxers, which were safer for nursing moms than some of the milder forms. The medication also allowed me to get out of bed and hold my daughter. It was so hard being stuck in bed for a while because I was refusing medication since I wanted to nurse. There was an investigation locally of doctors prescribing too many narcotics to people. I didn’t have a problem, but they were taking statements from anyone who was on them during that time. My doctor was cleared and didn’t have any issue but many doctors lost their licenses to prescribe. I stopped cold-turkey and just had bad sweats for a couple days. I had switched to pumping because I was still in a lot of pain doing PT and seeing a chiropractor. It hurt to sit, stand, lift, lay down, etc. My daughter seemed like she hated me or didn’t trust me anymore since I wasn’t the sole person to attend to her every need– which was very hard on me. I still kept pumping for her though. Then in January, I contracted pneumonia and almost died. It was kind of an eye-opening moment. It was like someone stepping in and saying enough is enough, you need to take care of yourself. I stopped pumping. My doctor even said I needed to take care of myself, but I really had a difficult time emotionally not nursing. I felt very guilty, but I was also reminded that pneumonia can cause quite a bit of depression in people. I still have trouble with my back and have to return to PT. I just hope I’m not out for the count again because my daughter has been so attached to me recently. I don’t want to lose that trust again. It’s such a frustrating thing. Balancing out taking care of yourself and your child especially through such a traumatic event.

  70. I weaned my 2 yr old when I was entering the second trimester of my second pregnancy. We got it down to just one feed before bed (I don’t remember how, but daycare helped) and then one night (when I was particularly tired) I thought to myself “I wonder what would happen if I just said no” so I did. She cried for about 15 seconds, stopped, looked around for a minute and then fell asleep! I was relieved, but I did go through a bit of a mourning phase after it was really over.

  71. I have just come across your site while looking for help with weaning my 2 year old. I have a pincher & after 2 years I’m ready now to give up. I have been doing all the suggestions in your piece & trying to make it as stress free for my daughter as possible. Thanks for your great article!

  72. I can not say enough how wonderful it is to read all your stories. There are days I feel alone and that I am the only one still BF my 16 month old. Often, I get the question “you are still bf”.. like something is wrong with that and in turn makes me feel like I am doing something wrong. Articles and threads like this help me realize I AM NOT ALONE nor am I doing anything wrong. I would agree with the one post where she said the hardest thing about BF is the weaning. My daughter is 16 months old. I never have had a goal on how long I wanted to BF her for. I just went with it and it has lead me to 16 months. She has been weaned during the day, however it is nap time and bedtime and whenever she wakes up a night that I need to work on. Love the tips provided. I have to remember to take it slow and will def try this other drink idea. She really loves shakes, so maybe we will start making that our night time thing. She can help make one after bath and we both sip on it. THANK YOU ALL for sharing your stories!!!!!!!

    • You are definitely not alone, mama! Take it slowly and best wishes to you! XOXO

      • Honestly, just saying take it slowly puts me a ease. THANKS again!! xo

  73. Thanks for sharing your experience. I’m about to start weaning and don’t have a clue how to get going. My son is 19 months old. I’m working full time and he stays at the daycare during the weekdays from 9 AM – 6 PM. We co-sleep so even when he feel like latching at night I let him especially these days when he gets cracking during the night coz he is expose more on playing time during the day. The only chance he gets to latch or breastfeed is during night time and during the weekend. I feel he is deprived so I let him. And now he has lots of facial expression when he ask me so I give in. The biggest challenge for my husband and I is that our son doesn’t want to sleep by himself when he is with us, he always want to latch. So when he is with my husband, he gets annoyed very easily when he is sleepy. My husband always has to carry him or go out with him in the stroller until he snooze. And when he move him on the bed, he easily wakes up and want to latch, so my husband couldn’t sleep with him or when he does it doesn’t last very long. So I have decided that I must start to wean him. I get the sense that it will be a very difficult process so all your tips are very helpful. I love my son so much. He is my baby forever but now we both need to grow up a little bit.

    • Just curious as to how the weaning process is going for you? Your story is quite like mine and I don’t know where to begin either. My daughter is 16 months and gets very fussy when she even thinks I’m trying to hold out on chacha (my boob) it’s super frustrating and since she sleeps with us it’s that much more difficult for us. I don’t work full time yet but I did just start working and I know it would be easier for her to be without me if she wasn’t so dependent on boob milk. I adore my daughter and just really want this to be easy for both of us.

      • I am in the same boat… I have a 17 month old who feeds on demand whenever she wants … Se pulls on my shirt and says “ehhhh ehhhhh” until I give her the boob. She also likes to pinch and twist the other nipple while she is feeding (not so much fun for Mommy!). She sleeps in the bed with me and pretty much nurses all through the night. When she is not latched on & wakes up – she screams until she is latched on again. It is very exhausting for me. My husband often times sleeps in the guest room bc of this. I feel so drained & lost. She does not like regular whole milk, or soy milk, or almond milk. She will have yogurt but that’s about it and has recently become very difficult with food… She loves bread and butter and rice but dumps the chicken on the floor and all the veggies and fruits …. She only eats the canned fruits and veggies. I have been avoiding this battle of weaning bc despite it being so difficult for me I know I will miss this special bond with her. At this point though, enough is enough … I am completely sleep deprived and can’t get much else done. I appreciate any advice. I don’t even know where to start.

        • Hi, I was wondering if you have had any luck with weening since you posted this, and if so how did u do it?? Our situation sounds identical my daughter nurses whenever she wants, and she almost always has to nurse to fall asleep. Durring the night she will sleep a couple hours after I unlatch and then like clock work she will relatch herself every couple hours or wake up screaming if she can’t. If I would let her she would stay attached all night. And she also twists and pinches my nipple and skin which drives me crazy! I’m at a loss and I don’t know what to do. I haven’t been able to go to work bc of this and I’m a single mother, I need to work! I just tried to let her “cry it out” when she woke up trying to relatch and she screamed to the point of hyperventilating and gaging for nearly an hour until I finally gave in. Everyone looks at me with disgust bc I still breastfeed my 16 month old. I feel a lot better knowing I’m not the only one, but I still have no idea what to do!

          • Hi Jessica, you are certainly not alone. I battle with this every single day and I hate to say it but I have not made any progress since my last post – lol! Yes …. Lol, bc what else can we do!
            I tried giving her some chocolate milk the other day and she took a fee spoon fulls of it (slight progress). I try to feed her as much as she will eat before bed in hopes of her being full through the night but it never fails… She still wants the breast. I keep hoping she will just grow out of it …. I will post any ideas or progress I come up with and welcome other responses and advice as well. Thank you!

          • I have just weaned my 24 month old baby. it wasn’t easy but i had to do it. What i didn’t like is people looking at me with disgust or sometimes condemn me or the baby for breastfeeding at 20 months or more. Just piece of advice to people who condemn the act of breast feeding long; Let mummies breast feed for as long as they want. if you want to breast feed your baby for 2 weeks, simple, have a baby and feed her the way you want to. You have no right to condemn my baby or me for breastfeeding at 20 months. This act will not affect your life in any way. So if you’ve never seen such s thing, just watch and marvel

        • I could have written your comment myself!! My daughter is 15 months and I finally feel like it’s time. I too am sooo tired and sleep deprived! She won’t drink any other type of milk. Tried them all. Good luck to us! ..we need it.

        • Hi Catherine,
          I’m a mother of 14 month old baby girl.
          Try to feed your daughter more solids during the day, you need to find what she likes which is of course the toughest part. This is a wonderful article that helped me, so try the Pantley’s Gentle removal method to catch up some sleep.

          http://babyparenting.about.com/od/sleeping/a/nightfeed_2.htm

          Good luck!!

        • I don’t have advise but I’m in the same boat! My 20 month year old daughter loves to nurse on demand and gets very upset when I tell her no. Her whole mood changes from my happy girl to a ball of tears and agitation. It breaks my heart so I usually end up nursing her when she asks again. She likes organic whole milk but totally refuses it from me. She only drinks it when I am not around. I’ve tried a couple different drink substitutes to no avail. Even though I will miss our special bond terribly when it’s over, I just don’t enjoy nursing anymore. In fact I get anxious because it’s exhausting, especially at night, but I hate to see my sweet girl so upset.

        • You just described my 14 month old in such exact detail, especially the night time nursing! Have you had any improvement? I even discussed my circumstances with my pediatrician and he just blew me off

        • I’m on the same exact boat! When I was reading your comment, “ah, that my exact life! My daughter is going on 16 months and I’m done nursing but she’s not ready to let go. :(. I hope you find success soon.

  74. thank you mama natural!! last night was my 2 year old son’s first bedtime without nursing, and it went 100% peacefully (much to my surprise) largely because of your ‘hot tea’ idea.

    thank you thank you thank you!!!

    • Did you build up to it or just go cold turkey?

  75. I just weaned my son at three. We also went slowly, cutting out the night nurse, then day nurse, then nap time nursing. The morning nurse was the last to go. I haven’t had engorgement, but have felt full . . . also, he still asks. Part of me wants to let him nurse, but the other part of me feels so so so done. This morning we talked about our nursing journey, and he seemed to understand. We have replaced nursing with milk and tons of cuddles. What a journey!

  76. First off, I love your blog, I find it helpful to find other moms who share some of the same feelings as myself. Anyway, my daughter, Olive is 23 months and I started sloooowly weaning at around 20 months. However, in the last two weeks I found out I have a hernia and need surgery in three weeks, so now I am trying to have her weaned by then because I will be very very sore and possibly on pain meds. I also have ruematiod arthritis and would like to get off the steroids and back onto my meds, the side effects are bumming me out. I am definitely going to try the “hot tea” idea she loves anything that she thinks is for big girls. My biggest problem is standing my ground, it’s very hard to say no to something that has come so natural to the two of us for so long, plus I feel guilty and selfish. I think weaning has been the hardest part of breastfeeding ๐Ÿ™

  77. What a perfect article, at this time in my life! My son is 15 months and my milk started drying up a bit so I’m trying to go with it. I’m done nursing him frequently. Last night, it felt like I had a vacuum with teeth attached to my boob. Not cool. But he does need the comfort still and hugs/snuggles just don’t cut it for him (he got so pissed when my milk started drying up that he started throwing massive tantrums all night long. Almost broke my nose flailing). I am not opposed to letting him keep on a little bit longer but I need to start helping him find other ways to feel close to me. He is always stealing my drinks (especially tea or flavored water) so having a special drink to share seems like a great bonding time for us! Thank you for the wonderful ideas!

  78. This was great! Awesome ideas for weaning. Thanks!

  79. OK, so Iโ€™m trying to find some information on the best natural bottle/nipple to use when I have my first baby this June. I will primarily breast feed, and continue to pump (as much as I hate the idea) but Iโ€™m the โ€œbread winner/insuranceโ€ with my job so after 3 months, I have to go back to work and my husband and family will be taking care of our baby girl. I donโ€™t want to use any only bottle, so Iโ€™m looking for recommendations from you.

  80. I’ve been in the process of weaning my 27 month old for a few months now. I knew we wante to start trying for our second and I felt similar to what you describe in nursing while pregnant. Basically we just followed the “don’t offer, don’t refuse” method and that took us to where we are currently. He only nurses to sleep, so, for his nap and to go to bed. These have been the hardest to take away. I’m definitely going to try your hot tea tip. Nothing I have tried to incorporate seems to help, he’s been very resistant to a change in our nightly routine. My husband works very crazy hours so I’m basically on my own with the nightly routine. My biggest challenge has been patience and compassion, at 16weeks pregnant I just get “touched out” so quickly.

  81. This was such a helpful video and some really unique tips – thank you so much! I’m a full-time working mom with a 17-month old daughter. I had a close friend whose milk dried up when her son was around 7 months old, and I was so terrified of having the same happen to me I spent the first year giving myself constant pep talks and pumping pumping pumping (blech). Once we hit the year mark, I did a happy happy dance and slowly phased out the pumping at work. I always expected my daughter to self-wean shortly thereafter (all of my friends/family have used that method and not nursed past 16 mos. at the longest!) and would have been fine with whenever she started to wean herself, but lo and behold, this kid absolutely loves her mama milk time. I’m still breastfeeding around 5 or 6pm (when I get home from work), bedtime, and again around 4 or 5am. She nurses more on the weekends – when I’m home she wants me to put her down to nap because then she can have the boob. I’m so ready to drop that early morning feeding, so I’m going to start there and then move to some of the weekend feedings one at at time. I also realized after watching your video that I think not having planned to nurse this long and having no mama friends or family who have nursed this long is making me feel a bit like I’d “better” stop, which isn’t the right reason to stop at all.

    I also love your “hot tea” tip – my girl is not fond of cow’s milk, occasionally likes almond milk, but isn’t the hugest fan of anything aside from water and the boob. I’m going to give that a try.

    Thank you so much for putting these tips out there – I’ve been scouring the internet for help and have so far only found the tip to have my husband step in (who works nights so that’s not an option for me). Thanks so much!

  82. Hi mamanatural I’ve been re-watching your videos about when to start baby on solids and such, (i have two boys a 28 month old and a 6 month old and i have been following you since you started making videos on youttube)…. so, I’ve noticed that you never got to post or talk about how you got your son to sleep at nights at 14 months old?..i would love to hear what you and Mike come up with

    • I’m gonna write a mini ebook on. The key is to teach child to self soothe in a very gentle way. It takes patience and trust but worked for us.

      • i would love this!

      • Did you write this Genevive? I haven’t seen it on your site. This would be so helpful for me I’d love to read it!

  83. Hi mamanatural i’ve been re-watching your videos about when to start baby on solids and such, (i have two boys a 28 month old and a 6 month old and i have been following you since you started making videos on youttube)…. so, I’ve noticed that you never got to post or talk about how you got your son to sleep at nights at 14 months ols?..i would love to hear what you and Mike come up with

  84. My 14 mo. Baby girl is breastfeeding constantly still. I have a few personal reasons that I need to wean her… But her Daddy has been away for quite some time and it is Just us and my other toddler sleeping in the bed together. She has never drank a bottle… Never drank more than an ounce from a cup. She is so attached to me, she pulls down my shirt all day and all night to nurse. She can’t be anywhere without me… She doesn’t let anyone else hold her… Thank you for the tips, but I don’t know how to just say no… And she will not drink very much of anything else or go to anyone else. Would you say just give it time or what should I do? I actually really need to find a part time job…. : /

    • I would start with limiting your nursing sessions. This can be done very gently but also shows her that there are some boundaries. She also is still pretty young. I would say it wasn’t until Griffin was 18 months that he started slowing down and being more independent. You could also take an afternoon off and have daddy on duty. Give him bottles and let him give it a try. It might fail miserably but you could keep trying once a week and I bet eventually she’d go for it. Keep taking baby steps and you’ll get there ๐Ÿ™‚ Also, the “hot tea” recipe is really delicious so she might fall in love with it and actually WANT it ๐Ÿ™‚

  85. Ooh almost forgot. Regarding the tasty warm milk beverage you make for your son to replace the nursing ritual. My concern would be with cavities from letting the honey and (cow’s) milk sit on his teeth overnight. I have only read limited information, but supposedly breastmilk isn’t as likely to cause dental caries when left to sit on teeth overnight due to the high levels of bacteria-fighting antibodies. I always brush my son’s teeth before bed time, then he goes to sleep after he nurses. I’ll be taking him to a dentist for the first time for a check-up, to which I’m sure they’ll advise against it.

    What are your thoughts?

    • This was my first thought, too! Breastfeeding over night seems to be ok, because of the properties of breastmilk and how the nipple sits in the mouth, but I have big concerns about anything else (other than water). Are you able to brush his teeth after his drink? Somehow that always seems to kill the moment with my toddler. I’m curious how you handle it?

  86. Thanks for the tips! I am tandem nursing my son, he’ll be 3 in September. It is only once before bed, and weaning nursing sessions to once a day I found very easy with him thankfully. I have a baby girl who is 6mo old. I keep contemplating whether or not I should wean my son soon… but I keep telling myself 3 is just a number. I still get some enjoyment from nursing my son, as it really calms him and centers him after a long day. I also like how he is still getting some level of protein, calciu, and antibodies from that nursing session. However, it is really hard putting both children to bed when my husband is away overnights, this happens frequently with his work. So it can be very stressful at times too! I just don’t know what to do. There was one point when my son was just over 2yrs old, and I was a few months pregnant. Working shift work I had missed a couple bedtimes and hadn’t nursed him for 3 days. I was getting him ready for bed and was waiting for him to ask to nurse. (My milk had dried up 8wks into my pregnancy, so it was dry nursing but he seemed very determined to continue) To my surprise, he didn’t ask! That made me really sad and felt I’d be ok if he didn’t want to nurse, but that I’d be depriving him if he was just simply forgetting the ritual. So I asked him if he wanted to nurse, to which he answered and enthusiastic “YES PLEASE!” So there you have it, I may have missed my opportunity… ๐Ÿ™‚ I don’t know what’s going to make me decide when to wean, but all I know is I don’t want to be that “weird mom” who is nursing her kindergartener! Not that I think there’s anything wrong with that, kudos to those that do but I don’t think it’s for me. Then again when I was first nursing my son my goal was to make it to ONE year. Then my next goal was TWO years after reading WHO’s stance on breastfeeding. Now I’ve nearly reached 3 years… now what?! ๐Ÿ˜›

  87. My only daughter is just about to turn 2 and there’s no end in sight! Most days, I’m ok with that! Of course if I did get pregnant again, that all might change quickly. But for now, the goal is self-weaning. I’m sure these tips will help when that time comes!

  88. what was the recipe you used for the hot tea? how much honey to how much milk? Also, any ways to make it like an espresso without buying the machine? My son is 13 months and I’ve made the decision to start the weaning process slowly. Sighh, thanks for any help you can offer!

  89. I’m sure parents nowadays would tremble in horror but my husband learned to love “vanilla milk” as a wee one. A luke warm glass of milk with a good slosh of vanilla extract comforts the belly and calms the nerves, perfect for pre-bedtime! Love these videos – they make me think outside the box and give me advice I wouldn’t have found in other places!

  90. I know this is off topic, but I really like your hair like this! So pretty! And love that you pray with your little one too. ๐Ÿ™‚

  91. Hi Mamas,I am french and for the moment we live in seychelles , we have 4 children and I am still nursing 2 of them , the 2yo and the 5yo:) , my eldest Lilo decided to stop at 6!:) but now I am really tired as my 2year old wake up 2 some times 4 times at night to be breastfead , and she refuses any kind of other drink , no milk with honey no juice or smoothly… Nothing I’ve tryed everything…we are cosleeping so I tried to put daddy in the midle so he would hug and kiss her and “try to give her milk” but she was crying so loud that she woke up all my other children!

  92. It was very similar with my first, she was 24 months when it started hurting to breastfeed and my breasts were sore. At the time I had no idea I was pregnant. So I told her that it hurts mommy to breastfeed and she was very understanding. At that time she was already down to just 2 or three short nursing sessions. I didn’t think of offering something instead of nursing, but she always liked drinking warm herbal teas. To fall asleep she would hold my hand at bed time after reading every night, it took a while for her to fall asleep at first but we quickly got down from 30 mins/an hour to 15 minutes and she was out. Then a few weeks later I found out I was pregnant and put two and two together ๐Ÿ™‚

  93. That was something else that he accepted it at two. I just weaned 4 months ago when my LO turned 3. It took months of discussing that when he turned three the milk would go away. He accepted it, but he’s quite breast obsessed and talks about about how much he misses ‘milkie.’ Ironically, he’s become quite a breast aficionado discussing which women he thinks would have more milk.

  94. It’s so nice to hear about pleasant weaning experiences for BOTH Mama and babe. We also had a smooth transition- I couldn’t have asked for it all to go any better. We stopped night nursing at 2 years and that on the contrary, was horrible. Full weaning happened just before her 3rd birthday and I attribute it partly to a diminishing milk supply due to being about 3 months pregnant, and the distraction of being on vacation in Hawaii!! ๐Ÿ˜‰ I never had side effects while nursing pregnant and honestly, I would have continued if she was still going strong and it seemed as though she was really getting milk (as opposed to nursing because of a 3 year routine of nursing!). I think one thing in our favor to weaning was that my daughter acknowledged that my breast seemed “empty” and she was asking for the other pretty quickly. This opened up conversation about how my milk was going away and getting ready for the new baby who really needs the milk like she did when she was first born. She seemed to understand this and accepted it rather well. Prior to this revelation, we actually started incorporating my hubby into the night routine MUCH more than he already was (which was considerable anyway). There were never any tears shed during this process (thank goodness!) and she only asked to nurse a handful of times within the next couple months thereafter. After a brief and simple explanation, she moved on without much ado! Thanks for sharing your story, Gevevieve!

  95. I am struggling with the thought of putting my toddler to bed without brushing after drinking milk, and also struggling with the idea of brining her into the bathroom in her rested state to brush (which is always a very exciting activity for her!) Any tips? Maybe I am being overly cautious about brushing but my family has a history of dental problems and weak enamel.

  96. Thank you so much for this. Like you, I want to nurse my son till he’s two (currently he’s 16 months), but I’ve been worried about the weaning process for a while now. Weaning isn’t the same for toddlers as it is for small babies and I want to do it gently. He’s so attached to nursing I was beginning to worry it would result in meltdown after meltdown come weaning time. So thank you for showing me a good substitution method that will hopefully make the process painless for my little guy.

  97. Thanks for sharing your experience, I’m sure many women will benefit from this. Personally, I am letting both of my daughters self wean, which right now means that my 6 year old still nurses for a minute or two before bed and upon waking, while my 2 1/2 year old nurses for longer at those times and also before and after nap time. Remember, the biological age for weaning is anywhere from 2 1/2 to 7 years, even though we happen to live in very bizarre times where it has become widely accepted that weaning should be done earlier. I know lots of women get worried that nursing an older child will be too much, but it’s really not a big deal and very easy to set limits on time, etc. I find that my daughters never had the whole sibling rivalry thing, which I attribute a lot to tandem nursing.

    • Amen.

  98. thanks for posting. we are just about to start this journey with baby #2. He will be 2 in September and I definitely have a love/hate relationship with nursing this time around, mostly because I’m still night nursing and I just really want some sleep. We’ll probably start with cutting back/out the “we just got home from daycare” nursing, then the early morning/pre-work session, then the dreaded night time. Little dude is very adamant about getting his “mama snugs and nee nee” before bed.

  99. Great information! I weaned my daughter at two and a half. We had a special weaning party in her honor with a few gifts and balloons celebrating her becoming a “Big Girl”. Before that we were down to a once a night nursing session to help her go to sleep. We prepared her a week in advance about the party and how she would no longer need to nurse. She did great! I made sure to keep all the cuddles and hugs.

  100. I think you mentioned that you pumped when @ work. How and when did you stop pumping? My daughter is one and I’d like to stop pumping at work (3 days/week) but nurse when we are together. Should I send a supplement to daycare?

    • I stopped pumping gradually at work at 9 months and stopped completely by 1 year. I started cutting back on bottles gradually, then introduced cows milk first in a bottle, then a cup. It was pretty seamless for both of my kids and I had no supply issues. It is soooooo liberating! I also work 3 days a week and I think that help with supply because they are nursing during the day 4 days a week, versus just two days if you work full-time.

      • HI
        My LO is 6 mos and I also only work three days a week. I’d like to wean her off by one year since because we want to try for a second one. Since you stopped pumping at 9 mos, how or what did you replace those meals with. Sorry, first time mom. I’m still learning.

  101. I want to start weaning my daughter around the time she turns 2 which is at the end of August. I like the idea of the hot tea but what is your recipe? And I was also wondering what the benefit of adding sea salt is.

  102. Thanks for the great post! My now 2 1/2 year old weaned (mostly by himself) at 16 months. I must admit, I was ready to be done whenever he was, so I didn’t push nursing…don’t ask, don’t refuse! He had been a difficult nursling the whole time. Fussy, distractible, and just plain challenging for me! Just like he still is ๐Ÿ™‚ And I have dealt with overactive letdown with both my babies, so our kids have never gotten into the habit of comfort nursing much. I practiced from about 9 months on putting him down while still awake. Which wasn’t hard because by that age he wasn’t falling asleep while nursing unless I prolonged the session for quite a while. That gave him practice soothing himself to sleep. Around 10 months, he started walking and got much more interactive and started trying to skip feedings by himself. I wasn’t ready for him to be done yet! After he turned a year, we started dropping one feeding a month. He dropped his early morning 4 – 5 am feeding by himself–just started sleeping through it for a while, and needless to say, I didn’t go back down that road… The bedtime feeding was the last to go, and I was hoping to keep that up until at least 18 months, but when we were on a long trip to visit our in-laws across country, he just started falling asleep on his own before nursing and didn’t seem interested when I offered, so that was that. He really LOVED to read bedtime books and snuggle on the bed, though, so we just gave him a snack of yogurt and fruit and read him some books and he never seemed to miss it at all.

    I think it might be harder to wean certain personalities than others, and also the older a child is, the more they can verbally ask to nurse, which would make it hard to refuse! We’ll see how my current nursling handles weaning. I hope to make it at least 18 months with him. But he already at 2 1/2 months old goes to sleep on his own in his bassinet, wide awake, and seems even less into comfort nursing than my first! He still loves to eat, but he just gulps it down in 10 minutes and then he’s done. Guess I just have little boys that like to grow up fast ๐Ÿ™

  103. Love this post! My daughter tuned 2 in April, we are down to before nap time, bed time and mornings (some harder days more often). Any suggestions on a dairy free recipe for hot tea?

    • Almond milk is what I use, mine is allergic to cow’s milk (and chamomile of all things…lol).

  104. Thank you so much for sharing this! The idea of weaning brings me stress! mainly because I dont have a good plan and I have a strong willed child! My son is two and still going strong; sometimes I AM DONE and sometimes I cherish this time. We decided to wait to try for a second child for the same reasons as you but i am approaching 40 and want to start trying and I don’t want to be nursing while pregnant either! Your post gives me hope, ideas, and a plan:)

  105. Thanks for this post…my little guy is 19 months and still addicted to breastmilk like its crack or something. Like you and many of the others who have responded, I am shooting for 2 years. I cut out the nighttime feedings and he now sleeps through the night – yay! However, I’ve tried introducing a milk “replacement” drink (coconut, almond, soy, hemp, and whole cow’s milk) and he just won’t drink it out of a cup. He loves water and I’ve recently introduced apple juice, just for something different. I know he can go without BF and be ok. If we’re out and he falls asleep in the car, or if I have to work in the evening, dad can get him to sleep with nor problems. But if I’m in the house and we’re just doing our normal daily routine, he will not take naps without BF and I know its just a pacification and not that he needs milk in his tummy. I’ve been looking for a new routine – I’ll try the hot tea idea and see if he likes it. But any other drink ideas would be appreciated!

    • Hi nrm,

      I felt compelled to answer your comment, just because you use the term “addicted” as though nursing is a “bad” habit. In fact, it is a really fantastic thing that is in no way harmful to you or your child so the comparison makes no sense. Every child is different, some are ready to wean by 2 and some clearly are not. Based on my experience and research, I really encourage you to follow your child’s lead, while gently placing limits on timing, duration, etc, so that your routine is comfortable for both of you. Don’t rely on what other’s tell you – ie. you “need” to wean by 2, this is simply not true (as you will find if you do the research).

      • I don’t think nrm intended for her comment of her little one being “addicted” to nursing to be taken badly or offensive. I can completely relate to what she is saying as my little man (almost 18 months) is the same way! He will not drink anything other than water either…except for milkshakes he LOVES them.

  106. For us, we made the call after I was just out of my first trimester of pregnancy. My milk took a huge dip and it became quite painful. My daughter on her own had moved to only really nursing before and after bed at night, and even at that it was mostly a time that she played and wasn’t getting a lot out of it. So one day when she asked right before bed my husband just scooped her up and tickled her and distracted her and kind of quickly said, “No, we don’t need that!” And she didn’t ask again that night. So we just did that for a few nights in a row until it had been about a week. Then we had a couple of nights where she would fuss for a few seconds about it, but never get really upset. Then she just stopped asking. So, it was a pretty easy transition!

  107. What a lovely story about weaning. I have let one child self-wean and I have weaned one child. Given the choice I would rather let them self-wean. But being in a similar situation (pregnant and nursing and not being up to the task of tandem nursing) we did proceed with the process of weaning when my second son was 20 months. It took us 4 months to complete the process and I wish I had thought of substituting with a hot tea. Perhaps if I reach the point with baby #3 we can do that. Thank you again for sharing your lovely and encouraging story.

    • Can you tell me a little about the self-weaning process? Ashbrook will be 3 in August and although I wish he was weaned, I can’t even imagine the process. Every time I have even thought of starting the process, it’s like he reads my mind and wants to nurse around the clock. He is extremely vocal and has the most imaginative reasons on why he needs to continue to nurse. Nummy num is his best friend, he even has conversations with “her”. I am a single Mom and live alone (no other living family at all), so I don’t have anyone to tag in and he sleeps with me. Thanks for any tips!!

      • I wish there was a weaning guide for single moms – that does not involve crying it out. I am a single mom as well to a 21-month old, and I’ve been able to re-direct her attention to other things when she wants to nurse during the day (ex. when we’re out in public and there’s no private place nearby – and I don’t feel comfortable nursing a toddler with the nursing cover anymore), although it is harder when she is very upset. She still demands nursing when she goes to bed, when she wakes up in the morning (otherwise she’s cranky all day), and if she wakes up suddenly during the night (nightmare or some loud noise wakes her up).
        She co-sleeps, maybe that makes it harder, but I have no issue with having her in my bed since I’m a single mom, there’s lots of room. But it definitely makes it easier for her to nurse.
        She throws a huge fit if I don’t nurse her to sleep, there has to be an easier and healthier way to wean.
        It is sustainable right now (except when she is sick, she wants to nurse way too frequently). My plan was to wait for her to self wean, but when I read posts like this about 3-year-olds who are still nursing, I’m wondering if I’m doing the right thing. They must, at some point, want to wean on their own, I can’t believe that they wouldn’t. But I’m not sure I’d want to wait until she is 5 or so. My parents have already made comments (“Are you going to let her do this until she’s 5?” I just say “as long as she wants” and I can tell they are horrified, that I’m the weirdo hippy they’ve been reading about), so have friends (but in a nicer way).

        I am trying to get her to completely wean for the day time since she does not nurse at all 5 days per week when I am at work. My nanny says my daughter doesn’t have big temper tantrums, and things are fine. Then I’ll deal with the night time, at least I won’t have to explain anything to anyone about nursing since it will only be my child and my business. But it is getting time consuming, at least 45 minutes to get to sleep, 1/2 when she wakes up in the morning, and 15 to 30 minutes when she wakes up at night (generally once or twice, more when she has a cold).

  108. I nursed my daughter to 19 months, we were down to once a day before nap. Daddy had taken over bedtime at night. It was my birthday weekend and I treated myself and my sister to a trip to Disneyland for nursing as long as I did. ๐Ÿ™‚ Daddy did nap time for 3 days in a row and we were officially weaned when I got home. Zero engorgement cause I’d dropped 1 a month over the last several months.

  109. Thanks for these tips! Were you not concerned about him having honey without brushing again before bed? I’m still paranoid about that kind of stuff. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • I was actually wondering the same… honey contains a lot of natural sugar, right? I always was told that before bed either breastmilk or water were good options, because otherwise there was a risk for caries.

      That been said, what a wonderful weaning technique! I’m really thinking about applying some of your methods, because our son will be 2 y.o. shortly and I would like to get pregnant again ๐Ÿ™‚

  110. We also do massages now that my daughter is weaned! It’s a great way to keep that relationship and ensure your little one still gets lots of physical contact. I weaned her at 19 months and she was surprisingly ok with it, we went from 3/day to none in a month. Plain milk was the substitute but it took her awhile to drink much of it but now she drinks 28ish oz a day! She sometimes still asks but is ok when I tell her no. I do miss it though ๐Ÿ™

    • Amen! Glad it worked out well for you and daughter!

  111. I saw a question from a Mama the other day on a BFing Facebook page. She had just weaned her toddler, and felt like she didn’t know what to do when baby was sick or hurt, and felt like her toddler was rejecting her. I didn’t have time to say to her that breastfeeding is a HUGE relationship, and when you are done, especially when you finish in a short period of time, you have to figure out other ways to have a relationship with your little one. This takes time, effort, and imagination, and it is okay to have a place in your relationship that feels like something is missing, because it is, and it is that feeling that spurs you to make a change and try something else. Like reading a book, or having “hot tea” together. Relationships change all the time. At some point you will be wiping your child’s butt, and later on, you won’t. It’s totally appropriate, and would certainly be inappropriate to continue that forever (college???). So it’s fine. Relationships change throughout childhood, and it’s a parent’s role to adapt.

  112. This is basically how I weaned the first time. I started weaning at a year because I had to start working full time at a job that didn’t have a good place to pump. Also I had been a bit underweight for six months. I was weaning fairly fast but within a month he got really sick and would only nursing and I realize I shouldn’t just totally give up. From about 18month to 21 month he nursed once a day. I finally ended so I could get pregnant again. My second is currently 2.5 I plan to let him self wean but he’s so different my same tricks wouldn’t work on him. He doesn’t sit still for books or really anything… unless nursing. He currently is not getting any milk from me so a substitute is not going to help. And asking my husband to help, I’d rather not. I don’t know if I’d nurse while pregnant but with my littlest guy I’m so busy I don’t think I’m be going for a third for such a long while that it won’t be an issue. : )

  113. My LO started to bite, HARD, every nursing session and nothing I did helped her to stop. I realized at that time it was time to start weaning because I didn’t want it to become something that caused resentment (bitten and bleeding nipples will do that to a mom). So I started to cut out the nap time nursing sessions as well, replacing it with “honey milk” as well call it (sounds a lot like your hot tea). Then we started to nurse AFTER eating BLW style instead of before. She was so full from eating her meals that she didn’t want to nurse much. This helped a lot with not getting engorged as well. Before long it was just night time nursing. Then Daddy took over and would help with bedtime routines and it was over in a matter of 2 months. I also didn’t want to nurse while pregnant, and found out about a month later our next little one was on the way. Surprise! So it worked out well for us. ๐Ÿ™‚

  114. Thank you so much for this! My LO will be two in September and, as much as I love nursing, I feel that it’s almost time to wean–like you, my goal was two years. These tips are wonderful!

  115. My wee babe is 15 months and still going strong, although I have started thinking of how this will go. I let my other two kiddos self-wean when they were babies, and we made it to 12 and 14 months, respectively, but his babe is ADDICTED to “boo”! So much so, that she wakes like clockwork at night still- not out of hunger, or even comfort, but habit! I’ve tried to comfort her back to sleep in other ways, because 15+ months of not getting a full nights sleep is making me exhausted, but to no avail. She doesn’t just cry…she flips. She shreiks. Give her boo and all is right with the world.
    Needless to say…not sure how this is going to go when it’s time. I do like the warm milk idea, thanks for that!
    I hope the little seedling is treating you well! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • LOL! I get the boob addiction thing! Hope it gets easier… try some of the tips ๐Ÿ™‚

  116. Weaning will soon be happening for my little one. What did you do about the engorgement?

    • Didn’t have any because I took my time ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Cabbage

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