How do you ween a breast-fed 1yr old, that has never had a bottle?

Ruthann - posted on 07/21/2010 ( 19 moms have responded )

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What tips can I get to get my 1yr old to stop breast-feeding. She has never had a bottle and i have tried to put breast-milk in a bottle, sippy, nothing. She is very dependant on it, almost as if my breasts are binky's, on the go.

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Babies are supposed to breast feed until they're at least 2 years old. It's not just for baby. It offers more protection for mommy too!
The longer you breast feed the less your risk of breast cancer. And if you're breast feed a little girl it offers her protection against breast cancer as well!
Is there a pressing reason you guys are needing to stop? Or is it just the social stigma of a child older than what society deems "suckling" age? A child knows what he/she needs and breast feeding (even past 2 years) can offer lifetime immunity to diseases and helps children keep from getting allergies and asthma. I can't imagine taking that away from my children.
Kids at 1 year are still cementing that they can trust you with all of their needs. If your child uses you as a pacifier then take the time to enjoy it. There is not going to be another time in your life as mommy, that this will be the only thing to soothe him/her. Reinforce your child's trust in you. It's not like they're going to go to college dependent on your boobies. In fact just the opposite it will produce a much more secure, self sufficient adult.

Simone - posted on 07/27/2010

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I'm going through the same deal with my 1 yr old. What worked with my older son is cutting out one of the middle of the day feedings per week, saving the morning and evening feedings for the last 2 weeks. Then after his last feeding ever hiding my boobs and having daddy feed him baby food and sippy cup. Whole thing took 5 weeks but it was a gentle transition.

Kristy - posted on 07/24/2010

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I am on day three now of weening my twelve month old and I must say it has been pretty successful. He never would take a bottle (after numerous attempts) but after getting no sleep with him constantly wanting to sleep with my nipple in his mouth, I had to do something.. He wouldnt take formula so I expressed into a bottle and after quite a few tormentuous hours, he finally took it and my partner put him down and hence, more crying but eventually went to sleep. He still woke throughout the night and my partner got up to him then also. Night two was better, he had a boobie juice bottle and went down pretty easily and woke once and then slept til 7am. I cant believe it. I was feeling bad that I didnt feel like a "proper" mother anymore but then I think I have done the hard yards for the past twelve months and it is making my life so much easier. He now takes a bottle with watered down cow milk - still wont have formula. My advice is to try to stick with it and once you decide for sure, it is only a couple of terrible days but in the end it is so so worth it. And a supportive and wonderful husband helps. Good luck xx

Ami - posted on 07/21/2010

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i had the same problem and then my milk dried up so i only have very little. I just put real milk in a sippy cup. they have Nuby sippy cups at walmart and they have the soft spout so it isn't too hard for them to drink out of. Now I just have to figure out how to get him weened at night. I basically just had to let him cry it out durring the day. At night it's harder because I am tired too and i just want him to go to sleep. I hope this helps.

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Jessica - posted on 08/06/2010

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How are you going Ruthann?
I hope you've decided to keep breastfeeding, it is so good for them. Babies aren't designed to stop BFing at 1 year old, so of course she is still dependent on it! I know it can be tiring when you've been doing it for a year, but she will stop when she's ready. In the meantime just enjoy how much she loves you and your magic boobies :)

Heather - posted on 08/03/2010

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Do you want to stop breastfeeding? Try giving her a pacifier. Also, try giving her cow's milk in a normal little cup. She might like it that way better. You need to stop breastfeeding her if that's what you really want to do, but you don't have to, no matter what anyone else says. It's your choice. I think that if your daughter is that dependent on you and loves to breastfeed, then I say, let her. I would let her wean herself. It's healthier for her to breastfeed anyways.

DON'T Deloot cow's milk, that's not cool! You don't deloot breastmilk or formula, why would you deloot breastmilk? DUH! Some people...

Just don't let her use you as a pacifier. Tell her no, the only issue is listening to her cry, if she's your first baby, this can be tough. Good luck.

Kerri - posted on 08/02/2010

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i'm gonna sit back & take notes on this. as our DD has also hit one, i attempted to wean for the sake of me aiming to go back to work. all in all , it never happened as i was the only one getting her momma milk in a sippy cup & as much as she uses it to sleep, i keep trying to push cows milk during the day & thankfully down to 2 BF's during the day & 2 at night. i know comfort sucking must wear you down , but sometimes as the saying goes, you gotta be cruel to be kind. so just trial & error for what suits your situation & if she's hungry enough , she will have cows milk or what ever substitute does the job to fill her up..i used to feel like weaning my oldest was like trying to get her to go cold turkey like a alcholic , but 4 days of constant whingyness & preserving cows milk, got her weaned in the end, good luck & remember we all here for u :)

Vicki - posted on 08/01/2010

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I'm not planning on weaning him anytime soon. At some point over the next few months we will need to night wean as I will be goin g back to work one nightshift a week. Other than that we will continue breastfeeding.

Is there any reason you are wanting to wean or is it just because your baby has reached one year? I don't see that as a reason to be honest. Also remember a dummy or pacifier is a substitute breast, not the other way around. Not a lot of comfort when you want them off I know! I've been reading the no-cry sleep solution which has some good hints. Haven't really used it yet but I recommend it as a good read.

Susan - posted on 08/01/2010

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My little girl has just turned one and i too struggled with the " to wean or not to wean' scenario..(still am) I love breast feeding and Am happy to continue, but she only wants me for naps and bed time ( she puts herself to sleep) and wakes anywhere from 2 to 4 times a night. I often have a bad couple of nights and decide i want to wean but then I look down at her when she is feeding and my heart melts and She is so happy why would I want to deny her that comfort and all the goodness she is getting from me. Like someone mentioned before they are only young for a little while. I think its amazing I have lasted this long, so I can continue for a while longer. I feel like a walking dummy but she's keeping my body in shape! I can still eat whatever I want and the weight stays off! (For now!) Good luck!

Amanda - posted on 08/01/2010

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I too am up in the night but have made one time and one time only where I will breastfeed Ash and I am reasonably strict (within an hour either side) of sticking to the time. The other times I go in and put him back in bed and tell him its nigh nighs time and shut the door - aren't I brave!! At first he bellowed a little lol a lot but I just persisted at settling him and leaving him and now he waks but goes back down and rather then being up every 1 -2 hours will sleep at least 4 hours at a time. If I let him tho he will use me for a comfort suck!

Lenci - posted on 08/01/2010

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Maybe try having daddy or gramma or a close friend or family memver that you trust that doesn't have milk in their boobies give the bottle. This did the trick for us. When I tried to give a baba Abby looked at me like a loonatic and pawed at my breasts. So my husband gave it a shot. Although she fussed at first, she took and it has been great about it since. Hope that helps! Best of Luck!

Lissy - posted on 07/31/2010

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My 1 year old has never slept through the night. He has never woken up less than 2 times in a night. I have weaned him from day breastfeeding for a month in a half now. He use to be able to be soothed with a pacifier and now he will not take one at all. He has used a sippy cup with a soft spout since he was 6 months old but for the last 3 weeks or so he acts as if my breasts are a pacifier at night. He wakes up more now then ever. He can fall asleep at night with me rocking him in the rocking chair and some times he cries and I know it is that he wants to be breastfed in order to fall asleep. So i have been successful at having him fall asleep without breastfeeding but ..... during the night I am up normally 5 times like my breasts are pacifiers. It has to be a soothing thing for him. I have been at a loss too. He will not take a bottle either.

Kristy - posted on 07/27/2010

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I had my very first ever sleep through last night and what a feeling that is!! I know people dont agree with going from the boob to bottle but after my son only sleep at two hour intervals and only 15 minutes during the day - I dont really care. He takes a sippy cup during the day and it has all only taken a few days. Good luck to all mums. xx

Tiana - posted on 07/26/2010

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You never want to ween to a bottle because you have to ween them from that too. So ween to a sippy cup. Cut back the breast milk to only one time a day for 7 days then stop completly. At first my daughter didn't like it at all and always wanted milk but now she is fine and loves her sippy cup. July 12 was her last feeding. .

Alisha - posted on 07/24/2010

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I'm working on weening my 12 month old daughter too. I have only been nursing her at night for the past two months so I'm trying milk in a sippy cup. Find your child something that they can cuddle with (my daughter likes her little blanket that has a frog head attached to it, its called a cuddle blanket or something) then I cuddle with her in the same rocking chair that I nursed her in and give her the milk. It has worked for nap time and after a couple weeks she just laid on the floor with her froggy and fell asleep. Giving her milk and cuddling her worked last night. You can also try nursing for like half the normal time then giving milk and cutting down that way.

Kat - posted on 07/24/2010

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Try different types of sippy cups maybe....I was in the same position, and finally I found the Nuby sippy cups that have a straw on top, he is doing much better with it. In my opinion the straw is closer to how he drinks when he is bfeeding....I am giving him whole milk in the sippy though, not breast milk. Good luck.

Elise - posted on 07/24/2010

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I just weened my little man who is also 12 months old. I gave him a sippy cup with a straw and diluted cows milk. I have never given him the bottle...what's the point when he can handle cups?? I don't know what your duaghter is like with sippy cups?

Genia - posted on 07/22/2010

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is it just night that's bothering you? have you tried just night-weaning? then he could still get all that good nutrition and antibodies, and you could start getting a better night's sleep! Remember too that weaning does not = sleeping through the night (it can, but it's not a sure thing either). The no-cry sleep solution and kellymom.com both have night weaning tips. I've never actively weaned any of my 3 kids (first went on a nursing strike at 10 months that I misinterpreted as weaning, second and third are both still nursing) so that's all the advice I've got...I hope you find what you're looking for!

Amanda - posted on 07/22/2010

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I'm having the same problem, my boy acts heartbroken when he cant get mums milk and comes up all smiley once hes had a drink! How do you know if your milk is drying up? They say keep breastfeeding if they like it but he doesn't sleep well at night and its wearing me down! Think I'll try soft top cup as Ami suggested and try to cut out night feeds first

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