Weaning a toddler

[deleted account] ( 1 mom has responded )

My baby is 18-months old. I'm interested in weaning him because I have a stubborn case of Thrush that I've been dealing with for 6 months. Nothing will make it go away. I've tried EVERYTHING. I'm finally at the point where I can't take it anymore.

Weaning hasn't been too tough because I've been focusing on dropping feedings that are at times when it's easy to distract him. So far, we're down to 2 BFing sessions a day. They both center around sleep. (Ugh.) Once before his nap, and once before bedtime. So I guess you could say that nursing is a sleep cue for him.

My question is this: How do I wean him off these two feedings without emotionally traumatizing him?

I'm foreseeing a lot of crying and protesting. Is this avoidable?

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Saraah - posted on 11/14/2010

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My son was 20 months when I decided we needed to stop b/c I was pregnant with my next baby and just too exhausted to continue. I sent him away to his grandparents' house for the weekend and stopped cold turkey, which is not something I suggest. It was very hard on both of us. Like you, we were nursing as part of bedtime routine. I found that replacing that time with reading books and lots of snuggles helped me feel better about weaning. But eventually, my husband had to do bedtime routine with him b/c my son is so strong-willed and could not handle having Mommy in the room without nursing. The first 4 days were the worst, but each day it got easier. He asked every single day for the next 5 months if he could nurse, but I just replied that he was a big boy and the nipples were going to be for the new baby. After the first week, even though he still asked for it, he expected the answer to be "no" and no longer cried or threw a fit. Once the baby arrived and he saw the baby nurse, he stopped asking for it for himself. Although weaning was traumatic for both of us, he knows how much I love him and is now a well-adjusted child.

So just make sure, you reassure your son with lots of snuggling and extra hugs and kisses during the day. Start a new activity during your bedtime routine to replace nursing. And stick it out. I also found talking to my lactation consultant about my fears, concerns, and struggles during the weaning process helped as well because she could make wise suggestions and reassure me. Good luck!

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