How old were your babies when weaned?

Vanessa - posted on 07/13/2010 ( 122 moms have responded )

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Ive been getting a lot of feedback from family and friends about when I should wean my daughter. She just turned 11 months and I don't feel she's anywhere NEAR ready to be weaned.
I've had people tell me that since she's EXTEMELY attached to me, that I should start weaning her now so it'll lessen her attachment.
I don't want to lessen her attachment to me.
I love our bond and love that she needs me as much as I need her.
Her doctor said to nurse her till she's at least 12 months but didn't mention anything about WHEN I should wean her.
So, I'm just basically looking for some advice from other BF moms out there on how and when you guys weaned your babies.
Thanks in advance!

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Emily - posted on 07/13/2010

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Still haven't weaned either of my kids and my oldest is 3 ;)
You are absolutely right... a baby SHOULD be attached to his/her mother. Follow your instincts and you can't go wrong. ;)

Lizelle - posted on 07/18/2010

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Firstly babies don't get less clingy and attached when you wean them, they usually become more so. Try to ignore all comments and do what feels right for you guys. The benefits of long term breastfeeding is amazing.

My son weaned when he was 33 months old and I'm still breastfeeding my 15 month old daughter and loving it. I'm also going to leave her to self wean.

Diane - posted on 07/18/2010

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There is no need to lessen her attachment to you, God designed babies to need their mothers and she'll become more independant on her own as long as she feels secure in the fact that you'll be there for her when she needs you. I would suggest weaning when she is ready, my daughter was 2 when she weaned and my 11 month old twins will probably nurse until they are 2 or 3. Many people frown on nursing past a year but it's actually completely normal and it's really on;ly the western part of the world that weans so early anyway. Go with your instincts and just tell your family that you'll wean when she is ready. Good luck.

Courtenay - posted on 07/13/2010

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I breastfed until my daughter was 15 months old. I wish we had never stopped. Your daughters "attachment" to you will decrease as she feels confident that you will be there for her when she needs you.

Jennifer - posted on 07/22/2010

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I nursed my daughter until she was three .. which was three months past the birth of my second child .. he is about to turn three in October and I plan to wean him then.

Don't let anyine pressure you - you know what is right for your child. She is still a baby at one and needs the security, comfort and nourishment that breastfeeding provided if she wants it!

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Brittany - posted on 07/22/2010

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My daughter is 7 months old & already I have people saying the same things to me. I get frustrated because I get tired of hearing it, especially since I feel I'm doing something great....besides it's the natural thing. Regardless of their "concerns" I plan to breastfeed my daughter until at least 12 months, then after that I'll let her decide. :) Everyone's different, you just have to do what's best for you & your baby. The WHO reccommends breastfeeding until the age of 2....if they pressure you too much you can point that out to them! Good luck!

Melinda - posted on 07/22/2010

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When your daughter is ready, she will wean. I nursed my son until he was 15 months old and only stopped because my OBGYN said that I might enjoy a break before my daughter was born just 5 months later. I then nursed my daughter until she was 25 months old. She weaned herself, but you cannot put a price on the bond you share.

Sally - posted on 07/22/2010

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Thhpppttt on those mean people. If your baby was ready to wean, she would have done so. YOU know what is best for YOUR baby. Don't let anyone else pressure you into making her life less happy and healthy just to meet someone else's standards. The fact that you don't think she's ready is all you need to keep going. She'll let you know when she's done.
My oldest weaned at almost 4. My youngest is 9 months now and still not showing much interest in solids. (She has food issues.) I have no idea when she will wean. SHE knows how long she will need it and she will tell me when she's ready.
Good Luck

Kristina - posted on 07/22/2010

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My Babies self weaned! My 31 year old was 2 years 8 months, my 29 year old was 2 years 11 months and my 25 year old was 4 years 5 months! when my 25 year old was 2 she had pneumonia and would not touch anything besides me for four days--I am confident she would have dehydrated and required hospitalization had she not been still breastfeeding!

Emily - posted on 07/22/2010

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Follow your heart!! You know what is best for your child. It is recommended to nurse for two years, and then as long as is mutually beneficial for child and mother. If you're ok with extended nursing, and your daughter is growing and thriving, there is nothing wrong with it. My son has severe autism, and he nursed until he was 4 years old! I didn't think he would ever stop, but he weaned himself when he was ready. My goal with him was to nurse til 12 mo, but then it was like, why should I stop just because he's 1? There are a lot of positives about nursing past a year. Go to http://www.kellymom.com/bf/bfextended/eb... to check out some of the many benefits.

Good luck!

Elizabeth - posted on 07/22/2010

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Ignore your family & friends. You are right that it is healthy for your daughter to be attached to you right now. That is the right thing for her at this stage in her development. It will pass--she won't still be so clingy when she's 15!

Both my son & daughter stopped nursing around the age of 2-1/2. Bear in mind that by that time the only "nursing" that was going on was in the early morning hours, and even then only once. Stopping nursing was mutual at that point and not a cause for battle on either side (I did need some help from my husband to distract sometimes, but it didn't take long and neither child felt rejected or hurt in any way).

Good luck--I think you are a great mom.

[deleted account]

The WHO states that breastfeeding should go on for a minimum of 2 years. The baby still gets so many great benefits from nursing even when they are toddlers. My son is 20 months and is still nursing strong. He gets comfort, nutrition, immunity, and more. The average age for weaning is 3-7 worldwide. Please, check out child-led weaning and see if you find it is right for you. http://www.llli.org/NB/NBweaning.html It may be helpful to check out a local La Leche group, too. You will find many women who are supportive of breastfeeding past one year.

As far as the attachment goes - enjoy it! You are creating an awesome bond with your baby right now. Have you checked out any of Dr. Sears stuff on attachment? His bottom line is that you can't spoil a baby. He also has some helpful tips on how to handle other people's criticism.

The bottom line is that you know your child. Other people can give you their opinion, but they don't have the same emotional and biological attachment that you have with your child. If weaning doesn't feel right for you then don't do it. Mothering.com may also be very helpful for you in terms of encouragement.

Tama - posted on 07/22/2010

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Children do not "need" cow's milk. If you want to switch to cow's milk (or soy or rice or whatever) once you wean, that's your choice. My kids liked milk when they were toddlers, and now my 7.5 yr old doesn't drink it at all and hasn't for years and my 5 yr old still likes it occasionally w/ meals. But they don't "need" it. They can get the nutrients they need from other sources.

Sheria - posted on 07/22/2010

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I ddnt knw much about BF wf our oldest son so i STOPPED nursing him @ 13 months; i learned a whole lot more about it @ WIC and nursed our second son THRU th pregnancy wf our daughter; she wz born wen he wz 2 1/2 yrs old, i nursed both of them from her birth until he weaned himself 2 months b4 turning 3; she weaned herself @ 3. i vowed tht if i ever have more children i would allow them to CHOOSE wen they would wean cz i learnd th HARD WAY tht STOPPN IS NOT GOOD! B BLESSED ALL IN THE PATH YOU CHOOSE WF BF.

Jennifer - posted on 07/22/2010

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i also planned on doing a full 12 months and then go from there. she ended up doing about 14-15 months. i started weaning after a year down to 3 times a day; morning noon and bedtime. from there, i just did nap and bedtime and then down to just her nighttime feeding. she quit on her own. i didn't have to do anything:)

Jennifer - posted on 07/22/2010

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...I was also working full time and going to school full time so pumping got to be difficult. Had I had the benefit of SAH them I might have gone longer.

Jennifer - posted on 07/22/2010

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#1 until she was 14m (I was 6m pregnant and needed a break and she lost interest).
#2 9m and she lost interest.
I pumped for 7m after that.

Rachael - posted on 07/22/2010

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my daughter is 18 months and she is extremely attached to me...she is still breastfeeding and is happy and healthy...she isn't anywhere close to ready to getting off the boob juice either...when your daughter is ready to wean she will let you know...i think its important to NOT LISTEN to your friends and famliy! it is your daughter NOT THEIR'S...you decided what is best for your child not them!

Rachael - posted on 07/22/2010

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my daughter is 18 months and she is extremely attached to me...she is still breastfeeding and is happy and healthy...she isn't anywhere close to ready to getting off the boob juice either...when your daughter is ready to wean she will let you know...i think its important to NOT LISTEN to your friends and famliy! it is your daughter NOT THEIR'S...you decided what is best for your child not them!

[deleted account]

I weaned my 3 1/2 year old son at 6 months cause I had trouble producing enough milk for him. He was a healthy eater and I just wasn't producing enough for him so my doctor had me switch him to formula and he transitioned very well.

Melissa - posted on 07/22/2010

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My DH is 26 months old and still BF strong. He seems to like breastmilk as his main source of drink which sometimes gets tiring on me but hey if he's more secure and it keeps him healthier, then I'm all for it. (He has not had any ear infections or any major illness, knock on wood!)

BTW why would one WANT to LESSEN an attachment to their child? I hate it when others want to tell a Mom when to stop BF. Trust your Mom instinct!

Tamara - posted on 07/22/2010

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I started going for work when my first was 5 months but continued breast feeding until she was 14 months. The second one is 8 months, Im still breastfeeding, plan to do it until after 12 months.

Natasha - posted on 07/22/2010

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Children are not attached to their mothers in a bad way, it is a good thing to have a strong bond with your child. I believe in child led weaning and my two daughters were two and three when they decided to wean themselves. They are now happy confident 15 and 9 year olds.

Joyce - posted on 07/22/2010

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I got that a lot about weaning my child because he is very attached. Hey there is nothing wrong with a child being attached to their mom. It's a very good thing. I weaned my children when they were 2 or near 2. I would have gone longer, but I was pregnant and contracting so I had to stop. I plan to nurse my daughter for as long as she needs it or until I am ready to wean. Listen to your heart. Wean when you and your daughter are ready to wean.

Jade - posted on 07/22/2010

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It's entirely up to you and your daughter! I beastfed my first til 17 months when he self weaned. I'm still breastfeeding my second at 13 months!

Marica - posted on 07/21/2010

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My first daughter we nursed until she was 18 months. That was when I felt it was time for us to try for another child. With second daughter I fully weaned her after she turned a year old, but only due to me having to enter the workforce once again. My second daughter was and still is very attached even though she is now 28 months old. The doctors do want them on cows milk after age 1 but the more you nurse the more antibodies they get. I would introduce her to cows milk.But nurse til you feel shes ready when she is ready you will know. I wouldnt go past 2 yrs though.

Jillian - posted on 07/21/2010

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Actually, attachment parenting leads to very independent children, which has been proven time and time again. My kids never took bottles, none of them, and they were never left without me for more than 10-15 minutes in their first 2+ years. Both left me for Kindergarten with nothing more than a wave.

Lori - posted on 07/21/2010

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My oldest weaned when he was 22 months, mostly because I was pregnant with his brother and my milk changed. My second son weaned when he was 24 months, same reason, I was midway through my pregnancy with the next child. My third son is 12 months old, still nursing. All three of my children have used breast milk as a primary source of nutrition past their first birthday. I wouldn't be in a rush to wean, they grow up fast enough on their own. ;)

Jillian - posted on 07/21/2010

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Janelle is my oldest and is almost 8 now, she was 4 years and 3 days old when she weaned.

Kincaid is next, he is 6 and was 23 months old when he weaned.

Travis is almost 3 and he weaned at 15 months, I'm positive he would not of weaned that early had I not of gotten pregnant...since Janelle nursed through my whole pregnancy with Kincaid, I just expected him to as well.

River is last, he is almost 15 months old and his still nursing about 6 times per day and sometimes 1 time overnight.

Melanie - posted on 07/21/2010

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tell anyone who thinks they know best as to when to wean that the La Leche League, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the World Health Organization just to name a few groups all recommend that you nurse until they at least turn 2. i have nursed 4 kids and have close to 6 years all together under my belt. some kids wean themselves before that and sometimes we have issues like premie babies that wont latch on so you have to resort to a bottle. but i have been very happy and switched pedatricians when the tried to force me to wean. good luck.

Heather - posted on 07/21/2010

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No one should decide for you or her. You know your baby best. When she is ready you will know. I have read a bunch of articles that say that the longer you breastfeed them the better!

Liz - posted on 07/21/2010

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You know what is best for the bond between you and your daughter. Continue BF until it feels like it is time to wean. You will know. Don't let anyone guilt or convince you otherwise to stop. My daughter is 20 months and still nursing. I plan to nurse until self weaning which she is starting to show signs of. She has been wanting her cup and requesting books read to her instead at bedtime. It is so gratifying to see her grow and become independent on her own!

Kim - posted on 07/21/2010

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I breastfeed my son and stopped at 21 months. I weaned him and I thought he would have a problem and I was the one that had the problem. He was fine and sleeps through the night. Wean your child when it is best for you and no time sooner.

Cheyenne - posted on 07/21/2010

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Hi! I weaned my boys when they were 16-19 months old - I waited until there either wasn't any milk left or they only used it for comfort/habit. If I could have kept nursing, or they needed to, I would have. The pressure that other people give is tremendous, but this is about the two of you and what you both need, not what society here thinks you should do.

Tama - posted on 07/21/2010

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You already have great advice from some other moms! My 1st I encouraged to wean at 28 mos. She nursed throughout my 2nd pregnancy and I weaned her about 2 weeks before my son was born b/c I didn't want to tandem nurse. She was totally cool w/ it and said "OK" when that night I said "Let's not nurse tonight...". She had already cut herself down to just morning upon awakening and before bed. My son is 5.5 and still nursing. He nurses usually before bed and one other time a day (usually morning when we get up though sometimes it's later like after lunch if he's particularly tired and we're home bumming around). I do get some comments from others asking how long I'll nurse, etc. I just tell them whenever he's ready to wean it's cool w/ me. He rarely nurses in public anymore but boy do I get some looks when he does! LOL

Re: previous post by Laurie... Babies don't "need" to be attached to anyone other than a parent. They do not pick up "unnatural or controlling habits" by being nurtured by their mothers. Children learn to have good relationships with others by being VERY close and attached with his/her parents -- not by being pushed into contact with other adults.

You do what feels right to you and don't worry what family, Drs, or random folks at the park say to you! :) Best wishes!

Natasha - posted on 07/21/2010

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I'm so happy to see so many breastfeeding moms out there!!! My son is only 8 months so we aren't too close to weaning. But I was wondering exactly how do you wean? Do you feed them solids first then offer the breast after if they want it? Or do you just cut out one feeding at a time? Or one day are they just not into it? I've always breastfed first then given solids so I'm curious at what others moms have done.

Amanda - posted on 07/21/2010

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My first son and I were ready around 19 months. I was 3 months pregnant. My goal was 18 months but we just weren't there yet. My second son is 8 months and we're still going strong!!

[deleted account]

You should listen to your own self first. There are guidelines, but every baby and mother are so individual that it is hard to answer your question with any certain answer. I weaned both my girls at 9 months, but I had begun cup feeding (without sippy cups!) at 6 months and they were getting all their real nutrition from what I fed them at the table. I had ended night feeding by 2 months. I wasn't excited to be feeding them when they just wanted to look around and weren't really concentrating on feeding. So ending it for both of us was no big deal. I do think though that a baby should get used to being held and played with by other people without the mother always around because the child may become so attached that they develop unnatural and controlling habits. A child that has good nurturing relationships with others will be able to relate, learn and play well with others. I have seen children still not weaned at 3 years old and it just has seemed a bit weird to me. As I began though, each mother must decide for herself.

Leiloni - posted on 07/21/2010

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The American Acadamy of Pediatrics recommends breast feeding until at LEAST 1 year old and the World Health Organization recommends until at least 2 years old. I breast fed one of mine until 15 months and the other until 17 months. At that point my supply was almost non existent and I felt that they and I were ready. I was right. They didn't even fight me on weaning since they were so ready. I feel that you should do what is comfortable with you and love the attachment that you are forming. Why would you want her to be less attached to you? That is what the first couple of years of development is about. Anyone who has studied psych or early childhood development knows that is when a baby learns if this world will be safe and secure place in which to live. A child needs to feel that you are safe and that they can return to you if they do venture out and explore the world around them.

Christina - posted on 07/21/2010

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hey hun you wean when YOU are ready! There is NO time frame and most of the time babies will let you know when they're ready and most wean themselves when they're ready. I was forced to start weaning my son last month when his father decided to sue me for custody (which he lost the case) so I've been lucky to prevent my milk from drying up completely. Let her nurse this time is so beautiful and sadly it goes by quickly in a blink of an eye. Enjoy your special time, this is about what is best for her and you, not anybody else! BTW my son is 18 months and going strong again!

Angela - posted on 07/21/2010

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I find these comments all very encouraging and I hope you do too Vanessa :)
My first was still having bed time feeds til he was 3, and I have no regrets.
My next was still feeding regularly at 10mths when our 'Health Visitor' said I ought to be reducing his feeds, she actually encouraged me to think about weaning! I was shocked at her lack of support for breast-feeding! I did not push him to wean, but when I became pregnant with my 3rd he self-weaned at about 14 mths.
My 3rd self-weaned at about 19mths (I avoided the previously mentioned 'Health visitor') which actually felt like too soon for my liking! lol
I'm now pregnant with no.4 and I truly hope he or she wants to keep feeding longer than the last 2 did!!

I wish they were as pro-long-term-breast-feeding over here as they seem to be in other countries (we are in Scotland)

Best wishes to you and your daughter, keep up the good work :D

Monika - posted on 07/21/2010

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I slowly weaned my daughter off breastfeeding when she was 17 months old and I was about 3 months pregnant with my 2nd baby, but I did so as she was starting to show signs of self-weaning and over the past few months, I had been gradually putting her on cows milk.

Go with your instinct and when it feels right for you and your baby

Lyndsey - posted on 07/21/2010

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I nursed my daughter until she turned 2. After her first birthday I cut back on some feedings, by 18 months it was just naps, bedtime, and during the night. Shortly after, just at bedtime and during the night. When she turned 2 she just seemed ready to quit the bedtime nursing so thats what we did. I liked waiting bc I felt like I didnt overwhelm her and that I could explain it to her by the time she was 2. My daughter has almost never been sick and I love our bond. If you decide to continue though I would be sure to see a dentist to make sure she doesnt get a cavity from nighttime nursing. Good luck!

Melanie - posted on 07/21/2010

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hi!! i weaned too early i think and that was 5months old, i wish i did what you have done and asked for advise as now i have a few problems, my littlin is going on 3 soon and hates food time and still loves her milk, so please go with your gut feeling :)

Cathy - posted on 07/21/2010

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I weaned my first at 13 months, I was about to have my 2nd baby so we had to do it, but luckily she was ready and it wasn't hard on her at all. but if you wean before THEY are ready, then it will be hard on them and you... my 2nd was 11 months, but she was only nursing to sleep, so we sleep trained and weaned at the same time and she was perfectly fine with everything. My baby is 6 weeks, and we'll just go with the flow until we feel it's time to wean him... it really depends on the baby and the bond that she/he has with you. :) good luck :D

Lana - posted on 07/21/2010

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Look up attached parenting. All three of our girls weaned themselves when they were ready.(around the age of three) YOU know your daughter better than ANY one don't be pressured by any one else to do anything, your her MOTHER. It's your decision!!!

Christina - posted on 07/21/2010

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22 months was the ideal for both my boys, now 7years and 4 years. My 17 month old still breastfeeds throughout the day and night. Still waiting for a full nights sleep...

Jacqueline - posted on 07/21/2010

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My daughter is 2 1/2 and still nurses. i personally believe in letting a child self wean research shows that if no pressure is but on the child they self wean around 3 1/2 to 4 years.

Merry - posted on 07/21/2010

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Tonya that must have been so stressful! I feel so bad for you, I cant imagine not being able to get to my boy. Im glad everything worked out in the end and I hope you werent too upset by her not wanting to nurse. *hugs*

Tonya Susanne Looney - posted on 07/21/2010

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That is a decision you 2 will make on your own. If you don't feel she is ready, don't do anything. In my personal experience, my daughter weaned around one year. I wasn't planning to do it so soon, but I was separated from her for about 2 weeks during a snowstorm that crippled transportation in the southeast and prevented me from traveling to pick her up at her grandparents' home. Althought my daughter was still drinking breastmilk during this separation, she didn't show much interest in nursing when I got back to her. I tried nursing a few times, but baby was more interested in looking at other things instead of mommy. -- I did continue to pump for a few more months, but everything just went in a sippy cup. -- My baby drank from a cup starting at 6 months.. so bottles were never an issue.

Misun - posted on 07/21/2010

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personally, i wanted my son to nurse as long as he wanted to. i was nursing and pumping. so i took the baby-led-weaning approach that says baby will tell you when they're ready to stop.

Michelle - posted on 07/21/2010

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The American Acadamy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding for the first 12 months, and that's the advice most pediatricians go by. However, the World Health Organization recommends breastfeeding into the second year, and many countries across the globe breastfeed for well beyond that. Bottom line is YOU are her mother. YOU know what is best for her. And there is nothing wrong with her attachment to you and breastfeeding for as long as she needs. And besides that, she is going to benefit from your milk for as long as she is willing to take it. Babies don't turn into baby cows when they turn one. Human milk is best for human babies. My oldest was done brestfeeding at 11 months, but my second wasn't weaned until whe was 2 and a half and my youngest was just 3 months shy of being 2. You will know when it is time.

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