i bf my dd untill she was just over 2 1/2, i know exactly how you feel i really wanted to stop for months but did not know how to go about it. in the end we told her that after our holidays that boobies wont work anymore. we gently reminded her leading up tot he holiday but did not make a massive fuss. day one was horrible, she had such a tantrum and actually told her dad that she hates him ( thought she had turned into a teenager over night). day 2 she was still not too happy but no massive tantrum. after about day 4 she was fine. she still talks about my boobs and does hold them sometimes for comfort. i had a 9 month old at the time so i was still feeding her so did not have the problem of mastitis. good luck
my DD self weaned at 22 month, but my little sister was very much as you describe and my mum weaned her on her third birthday. She cut down a feed at a time over the course of a couple of months and told my sister from pretty early on that 3 year old girls didn't have milk and she would be giving it up wen she was 3. On her third birthday she did ask for milk, but my mum said no darling you're 3 now, don't you remember? To everyone's surpise my sister said "oh yes" and went to bed!
Although my DD did give up her final feed on her own I did night wean her from about 18 months with the help of my DH. We started on a Friday and whever she asked for milk he got up and resettled her and offered a cup of water. We had a couple of rough nights but much better by the third.
If you haven't tried this already it might be worth a try?
In the No-Cry Sleep Solution Elizabeth Pantley has the idea about writing a book for them which ends with the desirable outcome (she uses weaning her son as an example although she's suggesting you use it for sleep issues). It had photos of the LO in, and different stages through their life ending in weaning.
That's not a very good explanation, but she makes it perfectly clear.
We had to cut down gradually, starting at about 2. Cut down to morn and eve only (gave water at night - that went OK). Then to morning - took quite a while to give that one up. Some days she'd have nothing, then she'd need to re-attach. Finally made the break at 2y3m (was preg again by then). She still needed to cop a good feel of my boobs at times, but was reasonably happy to give up. By the time DS arrived she had pretty much forgotten. She asked to try it once, declared it yukky and that was that.
DS is now 15 months, and I'm not sure we'll make it as long as DD did - I'm more irritated by it this time around. His idea of heaven is me sitting on the sofa with my boobs out (not that I do LOL) so he can snack all day - he's a very snacky feeder.
I would like to cut down with my 2.3yr old dd too. I definitely want to nightwean her (she asks for milk every couple of hours from midnight til 8 and sometimes usually I give in) but might keep a morning/evening feed going a bit longer.
I'm wondering whether going cold turkey and cutting all feeds is easier for her to understand - as in there's no milk, all gone - but sometimes the thought of doing that makes me too sad.