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How to stop breastfeeding 2 year old?

(18 Posts)
hungryheidi Thu 30-Jun-16 21:18:43

Hi all

My youngest has just turned 2, and still breast feeds on demand. Some days she will feed almost as often as a new born!! She sleeps with me, so feeds regularly throughout the night as well. My husband is keen for the breastfeeding to stop (he has been since she was 1!), and gets annoyed with me when I give in to her demands and boob feed. My little one is showing no signs of wanting to stop, and gets very upset when I say no (as she pulls up my top saying 'boobie!!!!'). Offering a cup of water/milk or a snack usually just irritates her even more!

If it was up to me, I'd happily continue breastfeeding until she self weans, but my husband wants our life back and would like us to leave the kids with grandparents so we can have a short break sometimes.....which does sound tempting! I stopped breastfeeding my first two kids when they were 1 as I had to go back to work, but I don't have that pressure anymore. My husband has suggested I go away for a week so my littlest goes 'cold turkey'. I think that sounds a bit harsh, but perhaps it's the only way? What have other people done? Any advice is gratefully received! Thanks!

TroysMammy Thu 30-Jun-16 21:25:34

My sister stopped breastfeeding her 16 mo by going on an all inclusive holiday with her dd. The different routine, different experiences, different food, dancing in the kids disco made her dd forget about wanting to be breastfed.

Mummyto2bubs Thu 30-Jun-16 21:46:04

My DD was 2 and I went away so she had to go cold turkey. That wasn't the reason I went away, and I fully expected her to resume when I was back, but she never showed any further interest. I was a bit sad, but I know we couldn't have gone on forever.

hungryheidi Fri 01-Jul-16 16:48:25

Thanks for your responses. I've been away a fair bit with DD recently (mainly camping) and unfortunately the change of scene didn't make any difference to how frequently she wanted to breast feed. As soon as she see's me she yells 'boobie!' and grabs at my top, no matter how much I try to distract her. Even if she's eaten well, she still wants boobie as it's become a comfort for her.

Maybe going away for a week is the only way? I'm guessing my milk would have dried up by the time I get back, and perhaps she'll have forgotten about it in that time....though at the moment I still fully expect her to throw herself at my boobs hmm

DXBMermaid Fri 01-Jul-16 18:47:13

I fed my DD until she was 18 months. We gradually dropped feeds. Your DD for instance is old enough to understand a no feeding outside of the house policy. I struggled to drop the last two feeds (bedtime and first thing in the morning). I first stopped the bedtime feed by getting my DH to take her to bed. The morning feed got sorted when my SIL stayed with us and took her out of bed when she woke up.
How is her eating/drinking? Do you think it's a sustenance thing or more of a comfort? Can you talk to her and tell her she needs to stop, but that you will still have lots of cuddles instead?

tootiredforthissh1t Fri 01-Jul-16 18:55:16

I also went away for a weekend when DS was 22months and he simply forgot about it. He wasn't feeding as frequently as your DD was at that stage though.

starry0ne Fri 01-Jul-16 18:57:35

I also did it in stages...

Firstly only milk at home..Secondly night time then night time..

My Ds was 2 by the time he stopped and he showed no sign of stopping.. I wanted to stop because I was so tired.

By the time they are 2 I think they see you as a dummy. I thought about giving comfort in other ways.

DiamondInTheRuff Fri 01-Jul-16 19:01:50

I fed my son until he was 2.8 and tbh the only reason I was able to stop fairly easily at that point was because I was ready. It really doesn't sound like you are, though.

FWIW DS started having sleepovers at my mum's long before I stopped feeding him, he just waited until he came home. At this age she's not relying on it for nutrition so it won't matter.

Do you think she takes much milk or is it just comfort sucking?

Out2pasture Fri 01-Jul-16 19:11:24

My dd dropped her little one with us (grandparents) and went away with her dp for a weekend.
The little one fully accepted it was "all gone".

hungryheidi Sat 02-Jul-16 19:56:12

She sometimes uses boob feeding for comfort, and sometimes because she wants the milk.

Last night, for the first time (in her life!) my hubby put her to bed, so no boob feeding to sleep, and he settled her/ended up sleeping with her throughout the night. This meant she had a whole 12 hours without boob!!! And she survived!!! He offered her water instead, and when she realised it was that or nothing, took it.

Perhaps a good way to go would be to carry on with that for a few weeks so she learns to self settle at night, and then tackle the days? She does understand when I tell her no more boobie, but gets so unbelievably upset I usually end up caving in confused.

Thanks so much for all your ideas, and yes I'm pretty torn in two regarding stopping it...but I guess I have to sometime!!

AliceInHinterland Sat 02-Jul-16 20:10:37

What is his objection other than going on breaks? I have a non-breastfeeding two year old and we are not exactly filling our passport with stamps at this point! I would also imagine your daughter would just get on without feeds if you weren't there, and you could pump if you wanted to keep up your supply. I think it's such a shame to give up while both you and your daughter are happy so it would be great to understand your husband's real objections. Is it just a cultural thing - breastfeeding toddlers does seem weirdly taboo in the UK.

bobbinpop Sat 02-Jul-16 20:19:48

I started to make rules about when/where. At about 2 and a few months I said we would only do it at bedtime, night and first thing in the morning. Then dropped night feeds.
Finished completely at 3... My choice. I don't think they were anywhere close to 'self'weaning but I wanted to stop! I replaced it with cuddles and massages.

hungryheidi Sat 02-Jul-16 20:40:56

My other half thinks she's too old to breast feed and doesn't need to anymore. He says I'm stopping her from growing up (!) and that she'd eat meals better if I stop. Basically I think he just wants us to leave the 'baby' phase behind and move forward, plus work towards getting her to sleep on her own etc etc. He does have a point, but the boob feeding bond is still so strong i'm finding it very tough to break!

I know she would be ok if I didn't breastfeed, and I try and comfort her by giving cuddles but that usually ends up with her pulling at my top crying. I've been offering cows milk in a cup, and she mostly pushes it away saying 'no milk....boobie!'. I think I'm just gonna have to get stricter and try and distract her more. She's a very determined toddler though!

tootiredforthissh1t Sat 02-Jul-16 21:00:57

I suspect it will be harder for you to let go of bf than it will be for her. I was ready to stop bf DS at 22months but still missed it. I felt almost redundant when DD started pushing me away at age 1 when I tried to do her bedtime bf.

Mishaps Sat 02-Jul-16 21:09:43

I think that tootiredforthissh1F t has hit the nail on the head. I do not think that you are ready to drop the BF which is why you "cave in" when she refuses to accept any new rules about it. Caving in over any issue is a very bad idea and sends the wrong message about who is setting the boundaries.

Your OH's opinion has to be considered after all this time - he is entitled to have a view on it. You are a family; and whilst the mother and baby "unit" is important, you have the rest of the family to consider.

Work out a schedule between you for gradually dropping the BF and stick to it! Present a united front.

AliceInHinterland Sat 02-Jul-16 21:32:43

I agree he should have some input, just not the final say on the matter and his reasons just don't sound like anything other than a general sense that a two year old should not be breastfeeding, which is not true. She will still be two even if you're not feeding her. That means acting like a baby sometimes, possibly not settling or sleeping well, and fussing over her food - he needs to know that weaning is not a magic bullet to a fancy free adult lifestyle.

hungryheidi Sun 03-Jul-16 09:30:11

Yeah, thanks for all make very valid points! It would be so much easier if I felt ready to pack boob feeding in, but half of me thinks it's such a special thing that both dd and I enjoy, so why stop when neither of us feel ready? The other half of me agrees with my husband that by stopping breastfeeding we'd have more time for each other (not much granted, with 3 kids!) and I do have to think of the rest of the family.

I wish my DD would naturally show signs of wanting to stop! But yes, when I can get my head around the fact that the feeding will be at set times/then stop, I do need to stick to it. That's so much easier to write than do!!

Higheleven Sun 03-Jul-16 09:38:40

I weaned a 26 months old last year who was very into bf. Once I had enough and made the clear decision to wean, I applied some peppa pig plasters one on each breast and told dc that the boobies were bow sadly broken and there was no more milk. She went with this and we weaned without any issues. grin

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