How to wean from breast? 16 month old?

Hey everyone. I want to stop breastfeeding my 16 month old, but its very hard and i don't want to stop cold turkey. He takes a sippy cup and bottle but only if there is water or juice on it. He doesnt like the taste of cows milk, he spits is out. I've tried cold and warm milk but he just doesn't take it. I've also tried flavored cows milk it doesnt work either. I only breastfeed 3 times a day. What can i do? How can i wean him from the breast? Thank you.

3 Answers

  • Ellen
    Lv 7
    8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    K has given you some excellent information. In addition to "don't offer, don't refuse", you can try changing up your environment so that your favorite and most familiar nursing area is either gone, or completely different. You can also change up the daily routine so that you are doing something different at the time you would normally be nursing. You can try delaying nursing, but if you do this, you have to follow up 'later'. And you can try limiting nursing by saying something like, "We can nurse while I count to (whatever). Don't try all this at once.

    I know that now that he's 16 months old, your toddler seems like a big boy, but he's really still a baby. Given the length of both of your lives, an extra month or 2 of nursing is really insignificant.

    And don't worry about the milk, and you can stop using a bottle, too. Give him water in a cup and make sure that his diet is rich in calcium and vitamin D.

    Source(s): hospital IBCLC and mothers' group leader 20+ years mom to 3
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  • 8 years ago

    First, K's suggestions are great.

    Second, don't try to replace nursing sessions with bottles or sippy cups. You don't say when those 3 nursing sessions are -- bedtime? naptime? first thing in the morning? Your best bet is to choose which one is least important to him, and drop that one first. Depending on when it is, distract him with something else, or have Daddy or Grandma tend to him during that time. It may be easier if you stay really busy during times that he would normally nurse -- get out of the house if you can.

    Finally, like K said, think about why you want to wean. With my oldest, I thought I was supposed to wean at a year, and I started the "don't offer, don't refuse" method. She was down to just 2 nursing sessions a day within a month, and she weaned suddenly at 14 months (when I was 6 months pregnant with baby #2) and never nursed again. I was always a little sad about how that ended because even though she refused to nurse, she would cry at bedtime, and it was so hard for my husband or me to try to rock her down and settle her.

    My middle child nursed frequently (day and night) up until age 2 when I finally night weaned her. She weaned fully at 2 1/2, when I was 6 months pregnant with baby #3. My son also nursed frequently until I night weaned him shortly before his 2nd b-day. After that, he gradually dropped daytime nursing sessions on his own, and he was down to just once a day by his 3rd birthday. He kept nursing that one time (right before bed) up until age 4 when he started skipping days. Just this week, I think he's fully weaned at almost 4 1/2. I never, ever thought I'd be nursing a 2-year-old, much less a 4-year-old, but I took things one day at a time, and I'm really happy with how it worked out.

    Good luck to you, whatever you decide!

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  • K
    Lv 6
    8 years ago

    You do know it's still really, really good for him, right? Have a read through

    & the essays here

    Have you tried cow's milk in an open cup, at the table with meals that go well with it? He may enjoy it as a beverage but not as a nursing substitute. But is not absolutely essential -- if he is getting lots of dairy from other sources he doesn't need it, particularly while he is still nursing.

    "Don't offer, don't refuse" is a nice gentle weaning method and lots of people I know have weaned their toddlers so painlessly this way that Mum likes to think the baby "self-weaned." Just stop offering, and when he asks, don't refuse, but don't show any particular enthusiasm (you are probably doing this already...?). You will have to commit to not offering, even when you know it would immediately stop the crying, immediately wind him down for that badly-needed nap, etc. (Another thing to keep in mind about weaning -- you will lose that magic mothering tool, and weaning does not get rid of the need for it.) It will not work instantly, but, given time, it will definitely work -- without tears for him, without engorgement for you.

    Source(s): Happily nursing a preschooler
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