I got an email recently from mom Michelle, who writes, “I’m still nursing my baby (who just turned 2) and I want to know a humane way to start weaning.”
First of all, way to go Michelle for breastfeeding for so long! As my babies got older, I sometimes had trouble keeping them interested in the breast, so it’s really great you’ve been able to keep it going. That being said, weaning a toddler from nursing can actually be more difficult than weaning an infant. It’s important to be patient and not get discouraged if the process takes longer than you planned. When weaning a baby from breast feeding, especially an older child, recognize that this doesn’t happen overnight.
The process of weaning should be gradual, both for the sake of your body and to help your baby with the transition. I found some great tips for you on KellyMom.com, a wonderful resource for nursing moms. This advice echoes a lot of my own experience weaning my five babies.
- Go slow. The first step I recommend for a baby of any age is to drop one feeding at a time, either at night or during the day.
- Postpone: A 2-year-old will understand if you say “later” — which is different from “no” — and then will get caught up doing something else.
- Shorten the sessions: Gradually make each nursing session shorter (the length of a song, or counting to 20 etc.)
Find ALL my weaning tips in this breastfeeding video.
Do you have any tips for Michelle or other moms on how to wean off breastfeeding? Please add your comments below!