How to wean a one year old who still nurses at night/general tips about weaning?

I just found out I will be having spine surgery next month, and I need to wean my one year old off the breast before it. (Yes, I know the benefits of continued nursing and had planned to nurse her until she self-weaning but I simply can't.) I haven't introduced cow's milk yet, but was planning to do so in the next few days. She is great with the cup so I'm not too worried about that aspect, but I just don't know what to do about nighttime. She still wakes to nurse once or sometimes twice a night (right now she is in an extremely picky eating phase and usually refuses most of what I serve her for dinner so I don't blame her for being hungry)... What can I do? I plan to wean her gradually over the next few weeks with the nighttime feeds and first morning feed being the last to go, but what do I do if she continues to wake wanting to nurse? Just give her a drink of water? Thanks in advance, and feel free to give me any other weaning tips you might have!


K - I don't think you quite understand the scope of my surgery and the recovery it entails. I am having ten levels of my spine fused and will have a hospital stay of about a week, during which time (at least for the first few days) I will be very sedated. On top of that, I will not be able to hold my daughter until at least six weeks post-op.

3 Answers

  • 9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Aww, what a shame you have to ween before both of you are ready. I feel for you. I guess this is just going to be trial and error with your daughter. Maybe try and warm some milk in a cup for her to sip on if she's not happy with water or you think she may be hungry. Plenty of cuddles and some rocking or whatever you did while nursing. Maybe try and up the nutritious snacks in between meals to keep her full during the night. Is Dad in the picture? Maybe he could go in and try to calm her during the night. Either way, I'd be realistically prepared for a few long nights. Try and 'enjoy' them as much as you can and good luck.

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  • Ethel
    Lv 7
    9 years ago

    Start with having someone else get her in the night and rocking her to sleep. During the day don't remind her. Yes offer sippy cups with water and whole milk.

    But taking a month to wean is going to be horrible for you, you will not be able to avoid getting engorged - taking a few months works much better. See about using sage on food to help decrease milk production.

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  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    "I just found out I will be having spine surgery next month, and I need to wean my one year old off the breast before it"


    This makes no sense at all.

    You want to make sure you are getting up-to-date information from your practitioners.

    Why is it believed that you need to wean? Certainly the anaesthetic isn't a problem; it is safe to nurse as soon as you're conscious. Once it's out of you (eg, once you are no longer anaesthetized) it's out of the milk.

    Good reading _from reliable sites_ --

    You can also call Motherisk -- -- note the 'for professionals' part; they can also advise your practitioners on what is safe.

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