Practical tips for stopping breastfeeding

Talking to your toddler about weaning

she may be able understand and respond to a simple explanation of what’s about to happen. Tell her, in language you know she understands (and you know your child better than anyone), why it’s time for the nursing to stop. (“You’re getting bigger and you don’t need to nurse now”). Reassure her that the two of you will continue to snuggle together, and list a few things that you might do more of, like play games, read books, build with blocks. That way she’ll understand that you aren’t abandoning her — you’re just saying bye-bye to breastfeeding.

  • Image result for breastfeeding a baby

Tips for gently weaning your toddler

So now that you’ve started the conversation, here are some tips to help move the process along.

  • Pick the right time. It’s best not to start the weaning process until your toddler is in a good place. Avoid weaning if she’s not feeling well or if she’s in a transition. Too much change at once could be hard for your little one to handle.
  • Drop minutes from nursing times. Got a tot who likes to linger at the breast? Gently and gradually shave a few minutes off her usual feeding time. That way, the sessions may become less satisfying to her. Take it slow by reducing the number of feedings and the lengths of those feedings each day. Ideally, you want to reduce your little one’s demand, in turn reducing your supply which will make the transition easier on your breasts as well.
  • Don’t volunteer nursing. gradually stop offering up your breasts at numerous times throughout the day. Cut down on the amount of sipping your toddler does and make it easier for you to stop nursing.
  • Dial back your nursing routine. If your toddler nurses at specific times of the day, or tends to ask to do so under certain circumstances (when she gets overtired, for example), be prepared to do other things at those times. take out a storybook instead of your breast.
  • Keep the drama to a minimum. Toddler tantrums, clinginess, anxiety and other behaviors may be a sign that the weaning’s going too quickly for your child’s comfort. If your toddler starts acting differently, slow things down. There’s no reason for weaning a toddler to be traumatic. A few extra days or even weeks of nursing won’t hurt either of you.
  • Make weaning feel special. Emphasize your toddler’s positive development rather than the fact that she’s giving something up.
  • Plan distractions. Distraction may become your best friend when weaning a toddler. Solid foods are an important one and by this time your toddler should be enjoying a wide array of them. Offer your mini her favorite foods during times when she traditionally asks for the breast and start to add in whole milk in a bottle or sippy cup when possible. When she starts to whine, offer her a favorite snack instead, pull out a special toy to play with together or head outside for a stroll.
  • Substitute lots of affection. Nursing is built-in baby bonding time. . During the weaning process, go heavy on cuddles and kisses especially during the times of the day when she was most dependent on breastfeeding.
  • Involve your partner. Sometimes it’s not so easy to wean a toddler when your breasts are front and center, especially when it comes to nap and bedtime. As often as is possible, have your partner put your toddler to sleep at nap or bedtime until she’s fully weaned.

    black family – mother nursing son
  • Set boundaries. Explain to your toddler that she can only breastfeed at home, in a certain room or chair, for a certain period of time. Set the timer and stick to the limits you established.
  • Stop nursing her to sleep. If your tot is using breastfeeding to drift off to sleep, kick the habit as soon as possible. Move nursing to earlier in the evening or the bedtime routine, and replace it with a snack and a cup of milk, stories, songs. Better yet, turn over bedtime duties to your partner if you have one.
  • Take off. It may seem drastic and a bit harsh, but going away for a few days while you’re trying to wean your toddler is sometimes all it takes to get her there. Without you around, she’ll have no choice but to do without breastfeeding, and she may not even miss it if there are plenty of fun distractions planned and cuddles to go around. By the time you get back, she very likely will have moved on. Just don’t offer the breast when you return, and distract her if she asks for it.

Caring for yourself while you stop breastfeeding your toddler

It’s easy to worry about your little one when you’re weaning, but don’t forget about yourself. A gradual approach is also easier on Mom physically to prevent engorgement.

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