Stopping breast feeding a toddler(12 Posts)
Posted in Infant Feeding but I haven't had any replies so I'm re posting here for traffic.
I'm still breast feeding my 2.7 year old and I feel like it's time to stop. He's been poorly over Christmas with a nasty virus and it's been like having a newborn all over again, even feeding him at night which I don't normally do, and I'm feeling really wiped out and resentful so I think it's time to call it a day. I work part time and he's fine on those days with no milk but if I sit on the sofa, he's all over me.
Any tips on making the transition easier? I did it with my older son around age two and he was fine but this one is even more of a milk monster and I don't think he'll take it so well.
Also, I'm planning on moving him out of his cot soon and Obviously doing both together will be too much. Any advice on which of the two to tackle first?
We tackled both at roughly the same time, within a few weeks of each other. Boob dropped first, then bed. Our dd seemed to accept that she was moving into a big girls bed so didn't need boob anymore as she was turning into a grown up. Maybe she was just v relaxed about it all though? Good luck!
No personal experience :
Have read others recommending either going away for a couple of days and letting DH do bedtime etc as if you're not there he want boob or just letting DH do bedtime but if he wants boob on sofa you might need to make yourself scarce to allow him to go cold turkey.
I stopped feeding ds in October and he took it really well, better than I thought and he was also a total boob monster. I started with dropping all day time feeds and saying mummy milk was for bed only. Just distract him if he asked during the day and don't sit on the sofa, be up doing something or down on the floor playing. He got the hang of that in a few days and then to tackle bedtime milk u would just say no more mummy milk and roll onto my tummy. Offer water, milk in a cup and cuddles but just don't give in. I wore high neck tops for that period, often with a vest and bra underneath.
Sorry op, I didn't give any tips or advice then - useless me, lol!
In the run up to dropping night feeds, I reduced day feeds. Dd loved boob first thing so I left that til last to drop, started with lunch time feed by feeding lunch a tad earlier than normal. Then for night time, one night she just didn't ask for boob so I didn't offer and she just went to sleep. A few nights later, she asked and I explained she's a big girl now so didn't need it - she was a few weeks past two so old enough to discuss it with.
I never forced her to stop at any time though and if she kicked up hugely, I backed off (non gentle parents would say I gave in/up but I don't view it like that)
Thanks all. Actually things are already improving here - as ds is starting to feel better he is definitely feeding less, and I feel a bit more ready to tackle it gradually.
Some did tell me to keep a balloon or puppet in my pocket to use as a distraction when he asks for milk so I'm going to try that as well.
I wouldn't stop breastfeeding just after they've been ill. Certainly mine were more needy at that point and would have struggled with giving up.
What I did was made it no big thing. I never had the "last breast feed" as such.
I reduced it down to just evening feed by distraction. When they asked I would offer something else, not really as a choice, more along the lines of "shall we <go to park/have lunch/something else>
Then the evening feed I dropped with a choice: Would you like milk or a story?
At first they always chose milk. Then they gradually changed to a mixture and eventually the story won every time.
It took the longest to stop with ds, and he was the oldest too, but he had a lot of ear infections (we're talking about 2+ a month) and it was the only thing that comforted him-and it was good because he was geting some nutrients in at times when he didn't want to eat or drink.
I waited until an age of being able to have a proper 'chat' about it, when I was sure they would understand that finishing really meant finishing iykwim. And that perfect age will depend on the child. Have done this at ages 2.4 and 2.3 with youngest two. There was a big emphasis on stopping because they were now a big boy/girl, involving rest of family in the excitement of moving on, and the presentation of a special present when they stopped (yes bribery is central to this! But it works!). Both times it went just fine, stopped overnight and within a week seemed to have forgotten all about bf!
Oh, and also a big fuss made of getting them a big boy/girl cup for bedtime milk (to replace bedtime bf). Just basically create excitement about growing up.
I gave DD the option of milk for a count of 10 or a cuddle with no milk for as long as he wanted. He eventually chose cuddle every time.
I despaired of my third dc ever giving up. Eventually cracked it at 3 - made a big thing long in advance about how milk would stop as is for babies and 3 is big.
This was magically accepted but 1 year on rubbing my boobs is still favourite comfort thing and they are regularly thanked for the milk they used to provide.
Consistency and determination are probably key. Good luck.
Thanks for all these replies. Really useful. I think it will be easier once I'm back at work next week and I'm going to do it very gradually.
I suspect boob rubbing may well continue for us for a while as well. I remember ds1 had his hand constantly down my top for ages after we stopped!
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