almost done breastfeeding

Barbara - posted on 07/25/2013 ( 3 moms have responded )

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My daughter will be 10 months tomorrow and her 1st bday is right around the corner. How do I slowly get her off the boob!. I feel bad about doing it but its almost that time and I don't want it to be too hard on her. help!

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Lori - posted on 07/26/2013

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I agree with Celeste on this. Wait till she has her birthday, and then if you want to wean slowly drop one feeding at a time. Usually easiest to start with something like a mid morning nursing and replace it with a snack. The before nap and bedtime nursings and sometimes the nursings just after baby wakes are generally the hardest to drop and should be saved for last.

Also - just because she's turning 1 doesn't mean you have to wean. Yes the American Academy of Pediatricians recommends breastfeeding for at least 1 year, but the World Health Organization recommends 2 years and beyond.

As my first baby approached her first birthday I began to feel very unsettled about needing to wean. I had planned on breastfeeding for 1 year. It was getting close to that one year mark. Most of my friends who do have babies didn't breastfeed more than a few weeks, or some a few months. I only had one friend who happens to live in a different state who actually breastfed for a full 12 months. But my LO just liked nursing, and I couldn't see taking away that comfort. It wasn't just about nutrition, but it helped get her to sleep at night, and helped ease any owies, and the occasional time she wasn't feeling well she just wanted Mommy and to be able to nurse. So, with my husbands support, I decided I wouldn't worry about having her weaned by her birthday. I started dropping one feed at a time, and she did great with the first few we dropped. Then when I dropped another one, she didn't handle that one very well. I decided to add it back for a few more weeks, and then try again. A month later she was ready to drop that one, and did so easily. For her, the favorite nursing time was right after nap time, and first thing in the morning. I was able to drop the nursings before nap time and before bed time with only a little complaint. But when we finally got down to only nursing once a day - first thing in the morning, again she didn't want to let that one go. So we kept that for another month. Then I finally insisted that it was time to be done. She wouldn't come cuddle in bed in the mornings anymore because I wouldn't nurse her, so we were getting up earlier than normal. And she was a bit extra cranky I think from both missing her morning nursing and from getting up earlier. But... it didn't last to long and soon enough she was happy to come cuddle in the mornings without being nursed.

Just remember each child is different, and what works for one might or might not work for another. Take your cues from your LO and trust your own instincts and you won't go wrong here. Good luck!

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Barbara - posted on 07/26/2013

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Thanks, Celeste. i love the idea of taking one feeding away a week. not harsh at all.

Celeste - posted on 07/26/2013

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Congrats on getting to 10 months!!

A couple of thoughts, you don't HAVE to wean at 12 months. If you're ready that's one thing but you can continue if you so wish.

If you're ready, I would wait until 12 months and then wean. If you wean before 12 months, you'd need to replace with formula. After 12 months, you can take one feeding away per week. Don't do cold turkey because that can set you up for mastitis or at the least, pain. Slowly will be best for you and her.

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