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Weaning 20 month old from breastfeeding

(10 Posts)
Crazycoco Wed 01-Dec-10 21:32:19

I have one DD aged 20 months. We have practiced 'ecological breastfeeding' (I think that is what it is termed) - on demand feeding day and night, cosleeping, no dummies/teats etc... DD was slow to start solids but is now a reasonable eater and will try most things. She stills loves 'mik' but I am at the point where I have had enough and would like to stop breastfeeding. I have decided I would like to wean just after Xmas while DH has some days off to help out. My plan was to 'cut DD off' so to speak - that sounds awful to type but I think that because of the way we have fed cutting out feed but feed is not going to work for us ( I have tried it ). So I was going to explain the milk is 'all gone' 'no milk' etc and offer snacks, cuddles, solids, water or cows milk in beaker (depending on time of day). With regard to my milk supply, I have an electric pump that I was planning to use to slow my supply until it dries up by itself.

Mums in the know - does this sound like a reasonable plan? I think it is going to be really hard because of how attached DD is to the breast but I really feel that after 20 months, I have had enough. I was getting nursing aversions a few weeks back but am coping better now I have a date in mind to wean.

Sorry this is long, just looking for some support/ any words of wisdom. Thanks

fidelma Wed 01-Dec-10 23:27:34


I would try and cut back slowly.

Distract her as much as possible during the day to start with.I think going cold turkey will be tough for both of you.Slowly reduce the feeds up to Christmas then drop say the morning feed.This is easier than it sounds.Just get up give her breakfast and play.

I also at the very end would give my dc a feed every other slowly reduce my milk.iykwim

I have done this 3 time and will be doing it again in the spring.

All the best.It wont be as hard as you think.

Crazycoco Thu 02-Dec-10 07:48:51

I tried cutting out day feeds a few weeks back but the result was she woke every hour at night and the lack of sleep was killing me so I went bk to feeding when she asked.

AddictedToCoffee Thu 02-Dec-10 08:10:01

Crazycoco - I also have a 20month old who still breastfeeds but only once in the morning and once at night before bedtime. I'll be dropping these two by the time he is 2.

I found the best way to wean them off breastfeeding especially during the day, is distraction (as mentioned before). Try to take her out (if you can) so that the surroundings are different, and when she gets hungry (asks for milk), offer something solid instead.

If you are happy that she is getting enough solids during the day, then the waking up at night is out of habit rather than necessity. Up her food intake during the day and this should help with cutting out the night feeds.

Crazycoco Thu 02-Dec-10 08:44:47

Thanks for your replies. I do appreciate what you both say but I am not convinced the cutting feed slowly will work for us. As I say I had successfully stopped all day feeding a few weeks back and then she woke so many times during the night. Because we cosleep I am right next to her so she has easy access to the all night milk bar. This is very different from a baby who sleeps all night in a cot.

I just felt the 'the milk is gone' approach might be a better way to go for us both and would give me a cut off point rather than cutting a feed her - reintroducing one there etc.. As I say I have already tried this unsuccessfully.

Any other thoughts greatly appreciated.

Crazycoco Thu 02-Dec-10 08:46:05

Sorry that was riddled with typos! Very tired today - the all night milk bar was busy last night yawnnnnnn

Mareta Thu 02-Dec-10 08:51:19

Hi crazycoco,

Don't have any advice here really. DD (16 months) still breastfeeding on demand a total of 4 breastfeeds at least each day. I am very interested to see any replys you get because at some point myself I will be doing the same. However not at the moment as I am still happy breastfeeding her we still enjoy it.

Just wanted to tell you good luck and very well done for having brastfeed for so long. Well done again

bearhug Thu 02-Dec-10 16:30:53

Have you looked at Dr Jay Gordon's advice for cutting out night feeds? here It's really worked for us. Yes it takes a little persistence for a few nights, but after that you will wonder why you didn't do it earlier.

TruthSweet Thu 02-Dec-10 16:44:21

At the risk of coming on a bit bfing mad grin is there anything in particular that makes you feel you've had enough? Does your DD 'twiddle', or feed side to side to side to side, or ask 40 times a day or ? If it's behaviour that is grinding you down have you tried introducing nursing manners?

Natural term bfing doesn't have to be done on demand until 6 y/o, you can have the flexibility to say no or not now later with out having to totally wean.

Of course if it's the whole thing you are fed up to the back teeth of, then wean but try weaning gently first or try having a rule like 'If mummy sits in X chair you may nurse, if mummy is not sitting in X chair then no you may not nurse.' and then only sit in X chair twice a day grin

Hannispan Thu 02-Dec-10 16:53:37

1 tip especially if you still co-sleep - move to the spare room for a couple of weeks! DD1 was still feeding 4/6 times a night at 16 months at which point I was 8 months pregnant and desperate. My HV suggested I move to another room and leave my now ex with DD1. He complained mightily as he had never had to get up in the night with her but after 2 bad nights she slept straight through no problems. I think she was just waking up as she she could smell me and tbh if there was a nice person sitting by my bed with a cup of tea and a cuddle every time I stirred I think I would be getting up!
No help with the day feeds I'm afraid as my DD1 self weaned when DD2 reached 2 weeks and my milk 'went sour'. I think she was missing the sweet colostrum :-) Distraction is good though and bribery doesn't go amiss - my DD2 was tongue tied which made tandem feeding very difficult so if DD1 wanted a feed when I was feeding DD2 I would get chocolate cake/banana loaf/sweets for DD1 and make a big fuss out of only big girls being allowed cake and babies having boring milk.
Good luck and give you self a pat on the back for feeding for so long

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