how best to wean a 23 month old toddler??

Heidi - posted on 05/10/2011 ( 1 mom has responded )

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does anyone have advice on how to wean a very dedicated 23 month old toddler from breastfeeding. we have recently moved back to south africa and he is settling well. is it best to cut down to bedtimes only? try wean on to a bottle which he hardly uses at all... or onto his drinking spout water bottle? not sure where to start. he has recently started waking up 3 or 4 times a night to drink and its exhausting both of us! any advice or pearls of wisdom will be welcomed. also, he is almost ready to start potty training... so which one first? weaning or potty?

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Kelly - posted on 05/10/2011

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If you can get him sleeping through the night first, that'll make it easier to cut back. At 23 months, he could probably understand if you calmly sat him down and talked to him about why. By that time, my son was mostly sleeping through the night, and if he woke up thirsty, I'd give him a drink of water. Then he'd nurse when we woke up, before bed, and maybe 2 other times a day. Also, potty training will be much easier after you stop breastfeeding. My little man decided at 2 1/2 he was "too big for nummies" (his name for bf) and very soon after wanted to wear "big boy underpants". We explained if he wanted underpants, he'd have to keep them dry and pulled out the potty we'd given up on 6 months before and he was pretty much "trained" in a week. For both weaning and potty training we let him take the lead - if it works with your family schedule and situation, it might be the best way to go. Good luck!

[deleted account]

I weaned my son at the same age for the same reason, it wasn't filling him up anymore and had to wake up repeatedly during the night. I slowly reduced the length of time he fed for when going to bed. Then layd him down and encouraged him to fall asleep. Every night I would reduce his feeding time a little more. I stopped bottles during the day and encouraged spouted cups. I tried my best to have him eat as much as I could get him to before bed and kept to my weaning process. After he stopped feeding during the night (only took 3 days) I started telling him that eating from momma was for babies and he was a big boy now during the day. Any time he asked to eat I would offer him food I knew he liked instead and a spouted cup. It took a week for him to stop asking and he hasn't asked since then. If he did ever wake up in the middle of the night after night feedings had stopped, I just coaxed him back to sleep. I had already introduced him to potty training before the weaning, but never pressured him on it. He potty trained off and on until this year, now that he's 3 he's started to potty all on his own.

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