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How to stop breast feeding a three year old??(17 Posts)
Its lovely to hear positive comments about gradual gentle weaning- i opened this thread with great interest - my dd turns 2 in dec and still feeds hourly at night if im home (work shifts) and lots in the day. i am from a non pro bf area and people think i am weird for bf my toddler - i feel pressure to stop but i love that she loves it so much and gives her so much comfort. I have very mixed feelings about stopping. i dont think i like the lemon idea!
I stopped bfing my 2.5 year-old this summer having been worrying about it in a low-level way since she had turned 2. We started by counting v slowly to 10 as she fed on each boob and at the count of 10, I would say that one's tired now, have the other. After a couple of days, she got it and would just stop on the count of 10. So then I started speeding up the count - occasionally she would join in and we would scream 8-9-10 really fast, which is obviously very hilarious in a just gotta be there kind of way. Simultaneously, I was encouraging her to have fruit, or cow's milk in a bottle during the day rather than having boob so bfs were becomign associated with sleep and waking. I would say within about 10 days I was feeling surprisingly positive about the wind-down process and none of it had involved us being at loggerheads. We then started to change morning habits so that she was not having snuggly feeds first thing etc, it meant she would often forget and then every 3rd day, ask for boob - and get it. Now she seems to have just grown unaccustomed to its presence. Every once in a while she will ask for some with a teasing look in her eye and I will put her to the breast and then we'll both start counting and laughing. It feels very much more happier a transition than I had feared it would be. So good luck!
I told my nearly 4 year old son, at around the same age ... "I've run out of milk. There is nothing left. You are such a big boy now. You will have to wait until bedtime." He was very doubtful at first and we had a few conversations during the wee small hours! Now ... He sometimes goes to bed without ... but will usually find me in the morning and make the suggestion ... adding that he didn't have any last night!! Hoping it will reach a natural end for us both. Thankfully, no more nighttime disturbances and we still co-sleep occasionally (me falling asleep on the job) but he sleeps right through. This was soooo not the case 12 months ago :D
DD had her last bf the day before her 4th birthday. She would have happily carried on but I wanted to stop.
I asked her if we could stop before that but she was very upset about the idea (I need it when I'm sad mummy) and so we agreed on the birthday as a cut off. There were no tears and drama and I'm glad I didn't push it. Nearly a year later she very occasionally has a wistful look and talks about how she used to have milk from me.
However... milk at night/early hours is different thing, are you co-sleeping or does she come in to you and ask? DD was booted out of our bed at about 2yrs as she was not a good bedsharer, really wriggly. At about 3yrs we got a gro-clock and she wasn't allowed to come in to us (and so have milk) until the sunshine was on. The waking up bf was the last feed to go for us.
Getting out and about helps. Ds 2 just turned three, he would nurse every hour if we were at home. But if we go out he rarely if ever asks.
I think the lemon idea sounds mean. Why turn such a trusted, familiar and beloved place into something sour? There are kinder ways to wean.
I think the lemon trick is truly mean.
I have just weaned 3.8yo ds2 and it was pretty easy, I got dh to put him to bed for a couple of weeks to break the association at bedtime, and then phased out the morning feeds. There really wasn't a lot of fuss, like Scooby mentioned earlier.
BUT it was a whole different story with ds1. I tried several times to get him to stop or even cut down, but it really affected him badly. His behaviour was terrible after a few days of stopping, and each time I went back to nursing him because the alternative was much worse.
They are all totally different, and what works for one might not work for the next.
I think I ll give the lemon a try!
Am following this post because I too want to stop feeding a 23.5 month old gradually by Christmas. Like the lemon idea and book.
I heard of a woman that.said her boob was sore and her milk might not taste nice, she then put some lemon juice on her nipple before feed, little one stopped feeding on that side due to lemon taste, then she repeated on tge other side few days later, wont work of you want to continue, but def something to keep I'm the bag if you want to wean totally,
That books looks wonderful Penelope!
Distraction can work really well at your DD's age Halfcups - suggesting another exciting activity when she asks for milk. Or giving her a choice - Well, if you have milk then we won't have time for a game/story/TV show/park. Might that work for you? Good luck!
There is a book called 'Nursies when the sun shines' which explains exactly that, might help get the message across?
Depends on how badly you want it to stop.
Saying no, meaning it and sticking to your guns will work in the end but there will be tears and tantrums. (Probably)
If you are prepared to stick it out she will get the message.
Have you tried offering drink in a cup instead?
I would just tell her, that's what i did with my 3.4 yr old son, told him he was a big boy now and he accepted it.
I like the pyjamas idea ( although knowing her she ll be changing into them to get a cheeky afternoon feed!). Thanks for the advice. I m nervous about beginning the end though!
Oh, and good luck! You have my sympathy. It was hard stopping at 2.5 (trying to convince her I mean). Got there in the end.
Put on the "wrong dress"/"wrong top" at any time other than the times you actually want to feed would be my suggestion. Although since you only want to feed her early morning/ last thing, maybe tell her you'll only feed her if you're in pyjamas? Will she buy that?
She s VERY wilful and has increased her feeding frequency from just at night to demanding through the early hours and during the day. Most of the time I m ok with it but I would prefer to feed only before bed and first thing in the morning. Any ideas how to?
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