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Stopping breastfeeding a toddler

(11 Posts)
bluebellemeadows Mon 23-Jun-14 10:52:55


My little girl is 22months old and she is still breastfed. I am starting to feel that it is now the time to stop breastfeeding her. I was wanting to reach the 2 year mark and for her to understand properly when the time came to stop (or even for her to naturally wean) however I do think it is now starting to affect our bond rather than to compliment it as it had done in the past. She is still very attached to the breast, and now screams and cries to get it. She tends to feed when she is bored or instead of real food and when I am busy and say wait a minute (now she is approaching 2) it is causing huge melt downs. She spends 24 hours a day with me and has never been away from me as we own a business and therefore she comes to work with me every day which is great. We have a good strong attachment bond and I am afraid of damaging it both by stopping and continuing which is causing a huge battle almost daily. She still wakes up through the night at least once and though she has her own bed she tends to be in with us from 6am. My fells thinks it is time to stop as he thinks the battles are chipping away at the bond. If I an honest I am getting quite fed up with it - but this may just be a little glitch?

Any advice would be much appreciated for this stressed out mummy!

Xcountry Mon 23-Jun-14 11:03:19

Oh god, I don't know what advice to offer you - just a warning, it wont be easy. My DD1 had to be told my boobs had 'broken' and weren't working so she spent weeks suggesting ways to get the 'fixed'. Then her baby brother and sister came along and miraculously they were working again, she tried to feed when they did too.

abeautifulbutterfly Mon 23-Jun-14 11:16:25

No real advice as we are 29 months and counting (and I have similar issues, though not as bad, I think), but I did put my foot down with a firm hand when night feeds started going back up to NB levels.
I chose a couple of nights when I knew we didn't have to be on top form the next day (I have older DCs) and just went in, said: No more milk at night, darling, you're a big girl now, you can have water and a cuddle but no more milk. The first night was awful, screaming for ages, but I cuddled her and stroked her throughout but firmly repeated. Second and third nights she woke once, and since then has been fine. The gro clock has also helped (I tell her she can have milk when the sun comes up). On a normal day we have milk at 7.15 when she wakes, again after nursery at 4 pm and again at bedtime (but as part of a bedtime routine, she doesn't fall asleep with breast any more). At weekends it is more often because I'm a bit lazy and let her for a quiet life, but if I can be bothered to battle or if it gets too much then I am firm, say "milk at bedtime" and distract, distract, distract.
Perhaps invent a similar rule like "mummy milk only at home" and until you've got yourself into a routine, have loads of distractions to hand. But you do have to be 100% convinced in yourself that you're happy to restrict/wean otherwise she will sense the chink in your armour.

MagicMojito Tue 24-Jun-14 10:40:25

I was in this position less than 2 weeks ago! Dd (2.7) was still having comfort feeds a few times a day and feeding to sleep EVERY night. We tried to wean her off for months before psb was due but to no success. In the end we went cold turkey!

Dd1 found it difficult for the first 3 days/nights, think tantrums/screaming/upset and it was awful sad , however after the initial shock horror of not having boob on offer to her, she's now absolutely fine smile she even comes over when I'm bfeeding our Dd2 and tells me that milky moo is for babies, tbh I think I miss it more than she does! I just can't face bfeeding 2 of them!

Hth XX

HolgerDanske Tue 24-Jun-14 11:08:38

I went cold turkey with both of mine. One at one year, and the other at seventeen months. I told them that my milk was all dried up, and substituted with a little snack every time they asked for booby. With mine I used raisins but I don't think I would do that now as they're really a little too gunky and sweet to be offered multiple times daily. Maybe berries or some other snack

For nap times and bed times I just offered a bottle of water or a drink from a sippy cup, and we would cuddle to sleep. You can still have just as many cuddles without bringing breast feeding into it, and I didn't find that our bond or attachment was damaged at all.

My eldest daughter who was more independent right from babyhood was fully adapted in about three days. The younger one took just a little longer, maybe a week, before she was used to it.

bluebellemeadows Tue 24-Jun-14 13:02:03

It does sound like cold turkey is the way to go - she is very strong willed - I have tried other bottles and stuff before bed she is adamant for boob!

I still keep telling myself maybe she will self wean - don't know if I am kidding myself! Still unsure of waiting until she is 2 or not!

Glasgowmum109 Mon 29-Aug-16 06:21:58

Hi I'm a granma and don't look into threads often. My daughter is having trouble taking toddler (2/1) off breast. Reading posts has helped me to worry less.

ElphabaTheGreen Mon 29-Aug-16 06:42:30

If she's that boob-obsessed, self-weaning won't happen for another couple of years yet, unfortunately.

Cold-turkey is your only option or you'll just confuse and upset her more. Be prepared with biscuit distractors and possibly more screen time than you might like!

LifeIsGoodish Mon 29-Aug-16 07:27:04

Having been through this myself, I think abeautifulbutterfly's advice is spot-on.

My youngest was kissy and cuddly with all the family except me. I felt a bit secondary, like I was just his vending machine. When I weaned him, he suddenly started kissing and cuddling me - turned out that his drive-by feeds, when he would run up to me, grab a few sucks and run off, had been his kisses!

Imagine how you would feel if your expressions of affection were suddenly and permanently forbidden?

So I think it needs to be done gently. First get rid of the night feeds. They're the toughest IMO. Then the feeding to sleep (if she does). When you're settled on day times only, either go cold turkey if she'll accept explanation and substitution, or do it in stages by getting rid of the easiest feeds first, whether that's the 6am, or any other time. Have pocketfuls of distractions on you at all times! It will take a lot of energy from you, as just saying "Not now" will not cut the mustard with your determined dd.

Once you've cut down a bit, and no longer feel quite so hijacked by it, you may well feel happy to continue with a reduced level of BFing.

WLmum Mon 29-Aug-16 07:40:17

Another cold turkey here! Tried unsuccessfully to reduce amounts and reliance for about a year and did stop once it twice but then with illness or nasty falls I'd let her have 'just this once'. She was 3 when I stopped by wearing a sports bra that she couldn't wrestle under! She still tries to get to my boobs if possible.
I had originally thought I'd let her self wean but it was clear that wasn't going to be any time soon and she was also very demanding about it no matter where or when, it was obviously a comfort thing but I felt was getting I the way of her emotional development in the end - every time she had the slightest fall or upset she would bee line for the boob. It also made her v jealous of her 2 big sisters being on my lap, and I was feeling rather smothered.
Good luck!!

Mrsantithetic Mon 29-Aug-16 07:50:51

I'm in the same position except I feed my 2 year old in secret because the only way I could wean my four year old was to ssyn because DS had turned one my milk had gone. That was a year ago! My intention was to get DS off... so here we are a year on and he is still feeding over night several times. First and last thing.

With dd I explained to her milk was gone and she was OK with it and after a week or so I bought her a special toy to celebrate her being a big girl now but she was 3. My son is 2 and doesn't have much speech other than ma and da so I'm not sure how I'm going to do it!

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