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Any good tips on how to gentle wean a 2 year old off the breast?

(7 Posts)
whatawally Sun 31-Aug-08 17:27:56

DD3 was 2 in July. She still has at least one feed in the day (bedtime), but more often 3 (on waking up and nap time). I had been hoping she would give up on her own. But she is not that type of child.

She is still very attached to feeding. It's her comfort. I have said to her several times that it is time for her to be a big girl and stop feeding, I know she understands what I say coz she bursts into floods of tears every time. And I feel so sad for her that I give in.

The problem is that I am nearly 9 weeks pg. Yes still very early days I know. But she is very territorial over "her" boobs. I want to wean her off well before the next one arrives, so she doesn't cause probs for the new baby. (daddy's not even allowed to touch my boobs let alone another child)

I am going away at the beginning of october for a couple of days so thought this would be the perfect time to break the cycle. But just wandered if you had any good tips to wean her off softly.

Thanx for the advice.

idontbelieveit Sun 31-Aug-08 17:45:00

My dd1 was 2 in June and is also still feeding. I'm 18 weeks pregnant now and the feeds have dropped right down to 1 per day as my milk supply has decreased. I don't have any advice about stopping but thought you might like to know there are a few of us feeding while pregnant around on mumsnet and there is a support thread here
People on this thread might have some useful advice about stopping.

Do you really want to give up? Many people who have fed toddlers and new babies (tandem feeding) have found that it helps with sibling bonding. I've got no idea how my dd will react when the new baby wants "mummy mik" but I know she's not ready to stop feeding yet and I don't feel that it's the right thing to force her.

You know what's best for your family though and i'm sure someone who know more about stopping will be along soon.

Good luck whatever you decide.

whatawally Sun 31-Aug-08 18:12:07

Your're right dd3 is not ready to give up yet, I am just worried about how she will react to another baby wanting to feed, she is so possessive of my boobs. I had thought it might end up causing jealousy and might cause problems. Thanx for the link I will check it out.

mumoverseas Mon 01-Sep-08 16:19:09

So glad I saw this thread and I'm not alone! my dd is 2 next month and I've been trying to stop her feeding for ages! she is so territorial about it and I'm also pregnant, 14 weeks! boobs so sore and desperate to stop! really think I have to before baby comes along in February otherwise I expect we will have problems there! Am hoping to stop soon so she might have 'forgotten' by the time baby comes! watch this space and good luck!

Tapster Mon 01-Sep-08 16:40:57

I'm nearly 12 weeks pregnant and DD 21 months, I have recently cut her from two to one feed a day. Before getting pregnant I cut down from demand feeding (5 to 6 times a day) to defined feeds, dropping one feed every couple of weeks - as I was having very early miscarriages, the month I got down to two feeds I successfully conceived. There have definitely been some tantrums/screaming, I don't think you can do it without unless you wait until they self wean.

My tips are cutting one feed at a time, and waiting until the toddler has "forgotten" about that feed. I used chocolate buttons and biscuits as an incentive to be honest and it worked, quite easy to change that to cereal/toast/crackers at a later date. The other tip is to set up an alternative routine that doesn't involve breastfeeding for naps and sleep/waking - story and singing her set songs for me. Also I learnt that you can't just give in just once, as it ruins the new routine and the message. Also I say mummy milk is for babies and now she is a big girl etc... Also get other people to put her down for her nap following the same routine at the weekend.

I'm hoping after 12 weeks my milk supply will lessen, but no signs of it. I'm sure tandem feeding works for some but not something I want to do.

I did find it heartbreaking at times and still do when she asks for milk in the morning, but I didn't feel like I had much choice (i'm not young so I could't wait to get pregnant after she had self weaned). I actually think that giving up soon would be best, then she will "forget" before the new baby turns up.

Good luck.

mumoverseas Mon 01-Sep-08 17:35:49

Hi Tapster, really good advice. I did cut her down to 2 feeds a day, after lunch before nap and then at bedtime. Problem is we are away from home (in UK for what is supposed to be summer'!) and our normal routine out the window! Also hard as DH not here the last 6 weeks as he is working in middle east! Over the last week or so managed to get down to just the nighttime feeds which she demands. I've tried telling her mummy's milk for babies and she is a little girl. she repeats this like a parrot then tries to latch on! I think you are right about trying to give up sooner rather than later as don't want to risk any rivalry with the new baby! Good luck to you too!

RedHead81 Mon 01-Sep-08 18:19:40

If she doesn't ask for it then dont offer it. By telling her that she should stop feeding is going to upset her, so why not try some distraction techniques? Maybe keep the before bed feed for now but on waking try to do other things to keep her mind off it - get her to "help" you to make breakfast and to choose what drink she wants from the fridge - choose a special cup in the supermarket - and get her to choose which cup she wants her juice in - and maybe say it like that - "which cup to you want your juice in this morning darling?" Try to make it as fun as you can.

There are plenty of mums out there who tandem feed a toddler alongside a newborn and it doesn't do any harm to the milk supply - just make sure the baby gets priority by giving the colostrum. For some this is not an option and its all about chioce at the end of the day. You may find that your milk supply will go so low just before birth that she will self wean anyway - and the milk may change in taste so that she doesn't like it anymore (nature tends to do this for a reason to give the baby priority although some toddlers do carry on!).

Congratulations on your pregnancy and hope all goes well with the weaning.

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