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How do I encourage a three year old to consider giving up breast milk?

(10 Posts)
BurningBright Wed 23-Sep-09 16:46:59

DD is three. Breastfeeding has been a very happy and important part of our relationship so far but I feel that now is the time to gently and gradually stop.

But how?

A few weeks ago DD was really only nursing at bedtime and occasionally first thing in the morning and I was merrily thinking that it was going to peter out of its own accord.

I suspect she read my mind because in the last three weeks there has been a massive resurgence in her demands for 'miltside' (her name for it). She asks for it constantly when we are together and has even started occasionally waking at night again wanting to nurse.

Any thought or ideas? Please?

mawbroon Wed 23-Sep-09 19:47:06

Have a read of How Weaning Happens which is a LLL book.

I have no experience of weaning a three year old because any attempts at weaning mine were met with such resistance that I made the decision just to go with the flow.

He is still feeding at 3.11yo but it is something we are both happy with so no problem there for us.

I have thought many times that he was going to stop, but like your dd, he suddenly would ramp up the feeding and we were back to square one!

Good luck. smile

babyboos Wed 23-Sep-09 20:16:02

she maybe is getting ready to stop often a surge preceeds stopping so don't dismay good luck and hope you manage to stick with it

Mummy369 Thu 24-Sep-09 02:13:54

My DD1 stopped breastfeeding in June - a month after she turned 3. We had a nice busy week going out and about, a few nights where I had to disappear out the bedroom after the first feed of the night, then went on a family holiday - my Mum, my sister, niece and DD1 in one hotel room, and poor old me with my 2 DS's and my nephew in another - for a whole week!

My daughter was such an avid nightfeeder that, for us, it was the only way it was going to succeed. So we cut down gradually over a week, then went 'cold-turkey'. Felt full for about a month, but no soreness or engorgement.

We talked a lot for about 3 months about turning 3 and becoming a 'big' girl, going to nursery in September etc.. Only drawback was when she would turn round and say to me (very clearly and articulately!) "I'm not a big girl, I'm little!" hmm

TanteRose Thu 24-Sep-09 02:32:52

We stopped cold turkey on DS's 3rd birthday. We had discussed it for a couple of weeks before. I said that his best friend (who had his 3rd birthday just two days before DS) had stopped having milk, and now it was time for him to stop. He sobbed very loudly at bedtime, but didn't actually ask to nurse. The next night he was fine - no tears, and no pleading...
He then was potty-trained 3 months after that, in his own room with his sister 5 months after, and started nursery two days a week 6 months was a very busy 6 months for him!

Babieseverywhere Thu 24-Sep-09 07:36:02

I am hopeing to do the 'don't offer, don't wean' version of weaning later on with my 3 year old, assuming she doesn't naturally wean in the meantime.

At the moment at just 3 years old DD is still breastfeeding on demand especially with the introduction of nursery and she needs the support ATM.

If my DD increased her need to nurse, I would wait to wean at a later point.

BurningBright Thu 24-Sep-09 09:34:55

Thanks for the replies.

We have talked about stopping a number of times, but DD seems to think I'm just being a silly mummy. I once asked her if she thought she would still be having 'miltside' when she is grown up and has babies of her own. She laughed and nodded.

Whenever I suggest that big girls don't need to have 'miltside' she insists that she is only a little girl. Although whenever I won't let her do something the battlecry is 'But I can Mummy, I'm a BIG girl!'

We have been doing 'don't offer, don't refuse' for some time and she hasn't taken that hint!

I'm in no rush - I would prefer that it happened naturally and I know that 'cold turkey' would not work for either of us. But I would like to gently encourage the natural process, IYSWM.

BurningBright Thu 24-Sep-09 09:36:28

By the way, really nice to hear from others who are nursing children of three and older. I know I'm not the only one, but I don't actually know anyone else who continued for more than a year. Mostly it was a few months, if that.

Mummy369 Thu 24-Sep-09 21:54:02

I hear echoes of my DD1 in your daughter's battlecry! grin

There are lots of Mums on MN who have BF in excess of a year. My DS1 BF for 2 yrs 8 months (I was 3 mths pg), then DS2 BF for 2 years and a week!

Angifi Mon 28-Sep-09 00:35:40

My daughter was close to three when my DH and I went to an overnight party and she stayed with her grandparents.So she missed her bedtime feed and morning feed.When we got home she asked for a feed and I explained that she didn't really need it because she was big enough to do sleepovers at Gran's now, and that we could just cuddle instead.I expected a fight, and she just said "ok".I was amazed!
Having said that, I think I would have quite happily continued if she'd insisted!

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