how to wean a reluctant nearly 3 year old from tit!!?

Annie - posted on 05/06/2010 ( 12 moms have responded )

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Has anyone got any ideas to help me wean my daughter off the breast,she is nearly 3 and showing no signs of wanting to stop..?When i refuse her tit she cries and works herself up into an awful state which makes me feel terrible...this goes on for as long as i refuse.It seems she has a stronger will than mine...During the day i can distract her by going out but as soon as we are home she wants a feed.Also through the night.I think its the night time feeds i want to stop cos i am exhausted.If i refuse her a feed at night she screams so loud and wakes up the older kids who need their sleep cos they got to go to school etc..Help?

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Lea - posted on 05/20/2010

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I would highly suggest giving her a sippy cup of water in her bed at night. When you get home and she wants to breastfeed, offer her milk or watered down juice. Also, I just want you to know that you really don't *have* to stop completely unless you want to. There are moms that "extended breastfeed". You could make it part of the bedtime routine, and explain to her that that is the one time she can, but during the night and day she needs to be a big girl. If you do that, hold to it and don't give in and she will learn. The stories that I hear from moms that extended breastfeed is that the child eventually forgets about it and doesn't need it anymore, usually around 4. My son stopped wanting to sit still at about 8 months old so thats when I stopped. I do hear that girls like to cuddle more than boys, though. My son did need a pacifier and still has one for sleeping. That might be an option for you to get you through the weaning process at night. It sure helped me. Also, my son (28 months old) is able to help himself if I leave a sippy cup of juice or milk in the fridge. I don't like the idea of your daughter getting up at night, but during the day she might like to be able to be a big girl and get it herself. But, just remember, as shes becoming more independent, she needs you to be there for her even more so try to give her more attention and hugs and read to her to make up for the closeness she misses about breastfeeding.

Anita - posted on 05/20/2010

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I totally agree with Teresa, what a lovely reply. Mine both stopped at around 16mths. I had dropped the day feeds and just continued with the morning and night feeds. Occasionally if we were in a rush in the morning or had been out at night I would forget to BF feed them and they didn't even notice. My milk supply wasn't great by this stage anyway so they probably weren't getting much anyway.

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Sibana - posted on 11/03/2012

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My daughter is also still on the boob and is nearly 3. Im using the bandaid tactic and its slowly working. so im hoping shes off it before next year march when she turn 3.. good luck with and you daughter.

Linda - posted on 05/20/2010

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I just love the bandaid solution, what a great idea for an older child. I nursed all 3 of mine until they seemed ready to wean on their own. It naturally decreased as they found more interesting things to do and their food intake increased. In the ending it was just the way I would settle them for a nap or for the night and it was "our" time together, for singing lullabys, counting toes, telling stories, massage, or other comforts. I continued the "our" time even after they weaned. I found it was a good break for me in a busy day or after a busy day. Don't forget that nursing is a connection beyond the feeding, it is also nurturing; so don't forget to continue the nurturing when you remove the feeding.

Keri - posted on 05/20/2010

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I had to wean my second at 31 months. I was so sick from being pregnant and couldn't keep up with his nursing anymore. I just stopped. I would still cuddle him and offer a sippy cup, but no longer let him had the breast any more. I told him they were broken and the milk was all gone. It took a few nights, but he eventually got the message. He still asked on occasion, but was alright when I told him no.

[deleted account]

2 other weaning ideas..... about 2 months ago my friend (who's son will be 3 next month) put band aids on her nipples and told her son they were broken. Kept the band aids on for a week and he weaned just fine.



My mom weaned my brother while she was pregnant w/ me (he was 2.5ish) by putting something on her nipples to make them 'yucky' (forget if it was lemon juice or whatever). He tried nursing from them like that once and was DONE. :)



Oh, just in case anyone thinks my son only nurses once a day from my first response.... I only meant that's how much he nurses at night. ;) Days vary.... like today he was nursing for his 4th time by 10am... and nursed to sleep. :)

Rebecca - posted on 05/20/2010

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im pretty sure u can just make your milk dry up once its gone its gone maby ask the docters for help on that one?

Rebecca - posted on 05/20/2010

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u kno what i am a little confused i know they advise to breast feed for aslong as you can but they also advise to not bottle feed for to long and i have seen the negative effects from feeding a bottle to long im going to ask my home visiting nurse what the difference is .. when i see her next

Jodi - posted on 05/20/2010

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Well, apparently, if you follow the advice of those advising about a 3 year old and a bottle, you should throw your tit out in the trash or give it to charity, and you should never have let her go this long......

***please note this is total sarcasm and not at all serious, just in case someone decides to flag :) I am just in fine form this evening!!

Annie - posted on 05/20/2010

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Thanks for some good advice Theresa,I like what you say about leaving it till the summer holidays because I feel so inhibited by the fact that her screaming affects everyone!My partner wants me to wean but whenever I refuse her he accuses me of being moody and mean!I can't win.With my other two kids I was single by the time weaning came along and it was so much simpler!Maybe I will wait till he goes away for trip too.

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Good luck! My son just turned 2 the end of March and is no where near ready to wean. Thankfully he only usually nurses once during the night/early morning, so it's manageable for us.

3 is NOT too old to be breastfeeding as long as mom and child are both still ok w/ it. She's old enough to reason w/... at least somewhat, so maybe try reasoning w/ her and cut out the night feeds BEFORE the day ones. Maybe explain to her that you both need to sleep all night, but she can nurse again when the sun comes up. Then comes the being firm and sticking w/ it part.

Since it's almost summer... what if you start talking about it to her now, but wait to actually start the night weaning until your older kids are on summer break? Give her a bit of time to get used to the idea. Maybe offer a prize that she really wants after she's been night weaned for a week?

Lynette - posted on 05/06/2010

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3 is way too old to be breast feeding. Just tell her no the fountain is now closed. It is a control thing she controls you with her screaming. It will only take a few days to do this try it on a weekend

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