How do I wean?

Courtney - posted on 09/20/2009 ( 1 mom has responded )

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I have been nursing for 9 1/2 months and want to stop at 12. I don't think she will self wean anytime soon, but I don't want to go anymore than 12 months. How exactly do you wean? I don't know when I should start and how I start.

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Tricia - posted on 09/20/2009

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If you *start* weaning before 12 months, you will have to wean her to formula. Before 12 months old, babies get most of their nutrition from milk (mama's milk or formula), so if you start weaning her now, it's just transitioning her to the bottle from the breast. The short answer of "how" is to replace 1 oz of your milk with 1 oz of formula every 3-4 days until she's eating all formula and you're not nursing anymore.



On the other hand, what I'd recommend is that you keep nursing her until she's 12 months, and then you can just wean her onto solid foods, instead of doing the yucky interim step of formula feeding. Reasons: formula is expensive, formula is not optimal nutrition, formula is a hassle (washing bottles and buying something separate from what the rest of the family eats), and formula only provides food and none of the other benefits of breastfeeding (comfort, easy sleep, relaxation for mom, immune system benefits, etc). At 12 months the simple answer to how to wean is to do one feeding less every week or so.

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