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When is a good time to stop breastfeeding?(45 Posts)
I know it's always personal preference, but is there a 'better' time to try & wean? My daughter is 7 months & on solids now she only feeds for naps/bed. I'm not overly bothered about stopping right away but will she become more reluctant/difficult to wean as she becomes older? What are your experiences?
I breast fed my youngest until she was nearly 4. My eldest for 6 months. My others were morning and evening (expressed at work).
I breast fed along with solid foods xx
I found from my four that it was child led. They gave it up (apart from my first). Howver my youngest would've carried on breast feeding forever! She is six now and still talks about 'mummy milk' lol xx
Thanks @tinker what age were your babies when they self weaned?
I stopped at 8 to 8.5 months. I dislike it when toddlers come to mom and lift her top up to feed. So, I stopped before they were of an age to do that.
WHO recommends until 2 years old. I did until dc was 14 months, he self weaned due to my milk drying up from pregnancy.
I have the same plan with this one (minus the pregnancy) - feed until they want to stop. It makes them feel happy and secure so I'd have felt a bit mean stopping, even though I originally planned to breastfeed only for the first few weeks and then move to formula.
The best time to stop is when you want to. A day, a month, whenever.
My first weaned at 12 months, which meant I ha duly never had to worry about formula and bottles and the like (if i ignore the first few weeks of mixed feeding which by then we’re a distant dream).
This one is still going at nearly 2, although I’m pregnant again so I’m sort of hoping he’ll decide enough is enough and give my poor boobs a rest for a little bit.
With both of them I’ve used expressed milk and/or does milk to let dad do the occasional bedtime. The knowledge that I’m not responsible, or don’t have to be, for every feed helps me
Hm good question! I have been wondering the same. I am kind of hoping DS will wean when I go back to work (he will be 1). If it really upsets him I will carry on although have been reading about toddlers waking to bf at night and I just don't know if I can cope with that when I'm back at work!
will she become more reluctant/difficult to wean as she becomes older?
I doubt it - not the way you describe the frequency she feeds. At 7mo, mine were both around-the-clock 90-2hrly feeders. I stopped BFing at 17mo for each because I was broken, and naturally they protested because they were definitely in the camp where breastfeeding means SO much more than milk, but they'd have been outraged at any age. I'm quite confident DS1 would be one of those breastfeeding five year olds now and DS2...well, he only came into existence because I put the kybosh on feeding DS1 when I did (AF finally came back two days after I stopped feeding him, conceived DS2 two weeks later).
If yours is only feeding what sounds like three or four times in a 24hr period, she may well be a self-weaner, so I say you carry on as long as you like. There should be no repercussions for her or you.
Really depends on the child. I weaned DD at 14 months because I just felt done with it. She was only really feeding at bedtime by that point. I just stopped one day and she didn't give me any fuss.
I stopped at 6 Months but lots of my friends carried on for longer.
DS stopped just before 2nd birthday, but was only feeding once a day at that point. I was pg and encouraged him to wean.
DD stopped on 4th birthday, by mutual agreement.
Neither of them 'lifted my top' to feed. They both spoke quite early so were able to ask me.
I weaned very easily at 16 months. She was drinking cows milk from a straw cup during the day when I was at work and we were only BF morning and night. I replaced the morning feed first with a cup of milk, then the evening one. My milk supply dipped during my period, if you’re the same that’s an opportunity to stop as the child might not think the effort’s worth it for not much milk.
DS is 22m, I'm planning to stop just after his 2nd birthday.
WHO recommends till age 2 and as I haven't found it too difficult/liked doing it I thought itd be a good age to aim for. I wouldn't mind doing it for a little while longer but id like to go away for the weekend with DH once or twice before getting pregnant again.
Who recommends until 2 so you should ideally get as close to that as possible to give your child max benefits. But, mine naturally dropped to 1-2 feeds a day (bedtime and in night) at 18 months so I pushed them a bit and stopped at about 20 months for both.
It’s a myth that toddlers come pawing at you for milk - most naturally have it as their comfort thing and like ypurs already does just want feeds before sleep and at night. You don’t go from that to them suddenly demanding milk all day!
I stopped at just after 6 months as I was trying to stop DD just using it as a comfort particularly when she woke up in the night. I had been combination feeding though so she was used to formula.
I found that while I was breastfeeding she would only go to sleep by feeding to sleep and maybe it sounds selfish but I wanted for other people to be able to get her to sleep.
I tried to keep going until my little girl was night weaned as I didn't want the hassle of bottles in the early hours! So about 9-10 months.
Oh after 6 months by the way wean to cups rather than bottles - means you never have to then wean from bottles too
Thank you all. I guess I will just get to a stage where I feel like it is the right time to stop, or maybe she'll make that decision for me. I have to agree about the sleeping thing... I know she will be absolutely fine in the day but if I deprive her of it at naps/bed I'm not sure how easy it'll be to get her to sleep!
I did teach DC the sign for milk so he has been able to 'ask' for it since he was about 7 months old. He never really fed excessively unless he was unwell, but even then he just used it to help himself go to sleep so he could get better.
I must admit that it does get challenging when they're able to stand, he was feeding while standing, doing jumping movements, standing on one leg, trying to rotate around to feed at different angles. It was exhausting but also quite amusing
You may find that the feeds just get shorter and shorter until one day she rejects your offer. DC did that, feeds got cut to 30 seconds, 20 seconds, 10 seconds and then he didn't want anymore. I offered and over the next week he fed maybe once or twice before consistently ignoring me if I asked him.
I have done the extended bf - never once have my toddlers needed to feed in public by 'helping themselves'. By 2 is was mostly night time feeds for sleeping or if very poorly (again at home). In the day they were too busy and ate and drank well.
They are the most independent and secure children.
Op you will know when it's right. Sometimes it's sooner of it's going to be best for you and your sanity. Sometimes it's possible to keep going and let your child self wean.
Once they are talking really well it's very easily to gently explain that they are growing up and they can have a cuddle instead etc.
Theres no perfect time, stop when you and your dd feel ready
DD1 breastfed untill she was 2 1/2
DS1 untill he was 18 months
DS2 untill he was almost 2
DD2 untill she was 12 months
DD1 fed until her 2nd birthday, I instigated stopping but she didn't argue. Only on one feed a day by that point, and she never lifted my top up while we were out - I would never have stood for that.
DS was 10 months when I'd had enough. He'd fed every 1.5 hours every night of his life and I couldn't function back at work with that amount of broken sleep.
DD2 is 11 days old and I've nearly stopped twice! She has a tongue tie and has completely destroyed one nipple, so I'm pumping on that side to keep my milk going while I feed on the other and supplement with formula to give myself chance to heal. Knowing that I can stop when I want to is keeping me going!
@EekThreek have you tried using shields for a bit? Dc destroyed my right nipple with his tongue tie, using the shields allowed it to heal and also not destroy the other one. Took a few days to wean him off of them once they looked OK again.
Easier to wait till they don't feed at night but that varies hugely.
DD2 was a bottle refuser so was better waiting till 9+ months when she could drink a decent amount from a cup.
My LG is 1 on Saturday and still breastfeeds, she eats meals and snack and drinks water from a cup, but will not drink milk from a cup or bottle. She normally feeds on a morning/night and for a nap. I’m back at work so she normally has a feed when I get in too. I plan to just let her wean herself away from it x
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