How do i get my almost 2 year old to stop wanting to be breastfeed

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Laura - posted on 09/03/2009

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Hi Francesca



I just stopped breastfeeding my daughter on Monday and she is almost 2 and 3 months. It took about 10 days to gradually wean her off. I took my time and didn't rush her or me. I just restricted her to 10 minutes at bedtime and 10 minutes once in the night, then slowly reduced it to 5 mins, 3 mins then 2 mins. I kept telling her gently that milky is for babies and Caitlin's getting to be a big girl now. I told her only babies need milky and she'd have to say goodbye to milky soon. She'd smile and nod and repeat it to me, but would complain when I stopped the feed. I was in no rush to completely stop and then Sunday night she said she didn't want milky and wanted to go in her cot. So in the end she's kinda self-weaned. Thought I would find it hard but it hasn't been as much of change because in the end it was only for a couple of minutes a day.



I left it until now because I wanted her to be at an age when she could understand when I was explaining why we had to stop. She still asks for it some times but she quickly realises it's not going to happen any more.



I only offer her a toddler cup of water now which she has if she wakes in the night. I am hoping she'll stop waking now if she's not getting the milk! Can't remember the last time I slept all night....



It is taking longer to get her to sleep now though. We lie in bed together and I read her nursery rhymes and cuddle up to her, so that she still has the closeness, just not the milk. It's taking about 40 minutes, but I am hoping it'll get quicker with time.



I wish you lots of luck, take your time, just give water, cuddle up, and stick to your guns. You're in charge!

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Megan - posted on 09/11/2009

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I started to wean my 21 month old when she was 18 months. We started with night weaning, meaning she could have it before she laid down but she had to fall asleep without it.Then I gradually decreased the number of nursings per day. I would use the distraction technique, hey lets read a book or do a puzzle before we have mommy milk. Sometimes it would work and she would forget abut it for a few hours, other times it lasted just 10-20 mins. Eventually I started to tell her mommy milk is only for night time, before nap and bed time. Now we are down to 1 or 2 times in 3-4 days. She uses a sippy cup for water, juice and milk, or milk in a bup as she puts it! lol good luck just have patience

Sara - posted on 09/03/2009

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The more you refuse, the more they want it. Try distracting. At two years old you DO NOT need to introduce a bottle. Bottles should not be given to a child after the child is able to use a sippy cup.



Is there any particular reason why you want to wean by a certain date? The easiest and least traumatizing way of weaning is "don't offer, don't refuse". A modified version of that is "don't offer, don't refuse, but delay". You can also create "nursing rules" such as "we can nurse, but only for 5 minutes per side" or "we can nurse but only when it's dark out". Toddlers often are able to accept rules where they don't accept "no".



Breastfeeding is healthy at any age, though. So if you want to you can continue. 2 years is the minimum recommendation by the World Health Organization. But most kids will self wean between 2.5 and 4. And all the studies say it's a good thing, not a bad one. :) Might be worth looking into if you're not totally set on weaning. :)

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My dd is just barely a year and ever since she was old enough to eat on her own I have been giving her food, both toddler food and food from the table. She has now so many food sources that breast milk isn't such a big thing. She now only nurses when she is tired and it is more because it allows closeness to me than for the food. I think if you allow him to get full on other things, non liquid, than breast milk and offer him other things that will give him what he gets from you, in comfort or food, then he will gradually wean himself. You cannot force it and still keep that special feeling you two share. Just be gentle and don't try to put him on a bottle. He is old enough to use a sippy cup or a regular cup and I think that trying to switch him from the breast to a bottle will only make him want the breast....two sucky things...you see? Give him alternative liquids in a cup and encourage him to be a big boy. Leaving him will only make him more eager for what he sees as his special connection with you. You have to do all of this while staying with him....take his mind off of the breast while keeping the breast around. I wish you luck. I hope this helps.

Dawn - posted on 09/03/2009

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the only thing i can get my baby to take is a little juice popper with a straw you can squeeze the pack and little juice goes in he thinks its fun bit messy though lol and i dont know how long he feeds for but maybe you can cut the time back a bit and if he nurses to sleep like mine does lol you might need to find another way to get him to sleep so hes not relying on you to help him. im hoping my baby will just grow out of it like his older brothers did yours might to dont worry youll miss it when he doesnt want to anymore theyre only little for such a short time

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basically you have to be firm. you have to allow him to know what is acceptable and unacceptable behavior. At 2 he should know that hitting is a no, no. but by him doing this it shows he feels he is in control and you have to take back the control be firm (but nice) and tell him no.

If this is something you really want to do. He is old enough to understand no and then its up to you to be firm.

If he throws the bottle he goes to bed without it. Then if he is not in a cot and he gets back put him back in no eye contact, no talking. Just put him back in. It sounds like its a matter of being firm.

Francesca - posted on 09/03/2009

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I have done all of that. Well a bottle he throws on the floor and i have lefted him for a long as 8 hrs, my mom said she had no problem. When i got back hmhe attacked me. So wit him is like "Out of Sight Out of Mind". If u come up wit more let me know, Dec will be here soon Help Me !!!!!!!!!

Dawn - posted on 09/03/2009

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well darling ive got the same problem but my boy is only 12 months old and what im trying to do is make other forms of drinking more fun a special cup or drink bottle may help maybe go out for the night leave your baby with a babysitter or mum sometimes babies will do things for other people when we are not around. My book suggests that once you cut a breastfeed do not go back to giving it again and do it one feed at a time, thats all ive got so far if i come with anything else ill let you know lol

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