Need help weaning my 18mth old daughter

User - posted on 07/04/2012 ( 5 moms have responded )




I am in desperate search of any advice that will help wean my almost 18mth old daughter. She has been strictly breast fed from birth as she has always refused to drink milk (any kind, breastmilk or formula) from a bottle. I didn't mind so much as I preferred to breast feed her exclusively but now that she's 18mths I would really like to stop.

She is in daycare all day (from 8am-4pm) and doesn't drink any milk during this time but as soon as she gets home she latches on for a feeding and then at night she must be breastfed to sleep. Then she gets up every 2-3hrs for a feeding or rather a comfort-sucking to fall back to sleep. (She refuses to take a pacifier after 8 mths!)

So is there any gentle way to get her to stop breastfeeding? I really don't want to do the crying-out-method so if there is anything else that worked for someone please let me know...Thanks in advance!


Celeste - posted on 07/04/2012




Have you thought of night weaning? I think I would start with night weaning first and go from there. You might feel better in continuing or you might be ready to wean even after that.

Here's the night weaning method that I used with my twin boys:

Also, you can set limits.
-Distractions. With my boys, I'd try to keep them busy and they'd "forget" to nurse
-I avoided the place that I usually nursed, which for us, was the couch
-Cut their sessions short. I told them that once I counted to 10, that "nah nahs" were done.

Good luck and congrats for nursing to 18 months!


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Debra - posted on 07/06/2012




are you saying she drinks nothing from 8-4? if so, that is why she is nursing at night! She needs to get her hydration from somewhere. Then the problem is that she is not drinking during the day and you can not stop nursing her unless you can get her to drink something- milk (cow's or goat's or soy), water or even juice. Water down the juice. Try her on a variety of sippy cups. My 22 month likes her sippy's that have straws- lollacup and zoli brand. Once you get her hydrated during the day, you can safely start to wean her off the feeds at night. Until then, you need to feed her or risk her dehydrating. Encourage water loaded fruits and veggies- cucumbers and watermelons.

Crystal - posted on 07/06/2012




I had the same situation. I weaned my 19 month old by placing a pillow or soft thick blanket over my chest n cuddled with him while he fell asleep at bed time and nap time. During the day I would give him a light snack when he wanted to nurse.

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when my baby was 6 months she was using my breast as a pacifier ever 2 hours at night. she also used a regular pacifier lol. the pediatrician told me she wasn't feeding and to just stop. so i just stopped. she was ok with it. if she got fussy i found other ways to comfort her back to sleep. start by cutting her sessions short, then less-often. unfortunately you may have to deal with some level of crying. as celeste said try other distractions. my daughter self weaned at 1 year and had no problem drinking milk from a sippy cup. my mother in law slipped her some ovaltine and she would only drink chocolate milk. when she was older she pointed at the strawberry syrup and now only drinks strawberry milk. try some cows milk with some strawberry syrup or a little ovaltine. something else that works sometimes (if she absolutely refuses to try something) put it in a cup thats not see through and tell her it's something she will drink. if she drinks some and likes it then you can break the news to her about what it really is. my daughter takes news like this really well. it's getting stuff into her mouth thats the problem. hope any of this helps!

Lori - posted on 07/04/2012




It sounds to me like she has reverse cycled on you. Instead of going 8 hours at night without milk, she's doing it during the day. Then she's making up for it by waking during the night to have her milk.

Does she drink any water or juice out of a cup or sippy cup or bottle? Is it just milk she's refusing to drink from a bottle. Have you tried an open cup? My 19 month old drinks from an open cup when at the table. She gets a sippy cup for wandering around the house with. Have you tried a straw? Many babies are fascinated by straws. She may drink just because she's getting to use a straw.

I do think you'll need to get her to drink some sort of milk from a cup or bottle before you'll be able to successfully wean her.

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