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How to tell 18mo she's stopping breastfeeding?

(8 Posts)
mugginsalert Fri 11-Mar-16 22:44:43

….even though she doesn't want to!

My dd still loves breastfeeding and is taking loads especially whenever she is teething, feeling poorly, tired etc. It's getting too much for me though and I'd like to stop or at least really reduce feeding within the next couple of months.

I'm feeling nervous - I know she's going to miss it and be quite sad and upset for a bit. Just wondering if anyone's got any advice on what to say and do to help her understand and make it as easy as possible for her? All the advice I've read in books seems geared towards younger babies (substituting scheduled feeds etc,) and not relevant to this age group.

Ikabod Tue 22-Mar-16 21:06:40

I'm in a similar place. My DD only has a feed before bed now, and I've been gradually reducing the time she has by 1 minute each side every 2 weeks. We're now down to 4 mins each side but it's very much part of her going to sleep routine and I don't know what to do when we stop! Any advice from anyone?

Dalmatian2017 Tue 22-Mar-16 21:10:18

Can you just cut it down donuts manageable for you, say morning and before bed? Then maybe at 2 just morning and then do something exciting each morning so she forgets.

Dalmatian2017 Tue 22-Mar-16 21:11:04

I weaned my eldest 2 at 3.5 and 2.5. The 3 year old I bribed with a trampoline and the 2 year old I just stopped.

zoemaguire Tue 22-Mar-16 21:13:03

Things change really fast at this age. I couldn't imagine stopping feeding DD2 at 18 months - she was feeding morning, evening and multiple times overnight! And really extremely attached to the whole thing, much more so than my other two children who were pretty unfussed by that stage. By 20 months, she was sleeping through (of her own accord) and had dropped her morning feed. By 22 months I started offering cow's milk in a sippy cup + a story at bedtime instead of a breastfeed. She eagerly accepted the idea when first offered (I was a bit offended at how eagerly smile ) I think it was the story that clinched it! She did ask a couple of times after that but was always happy enough with an explanation of 'milk all gone' and an offer of sippy cup and story instead. I think I could have gone through the whole process faster in fact, but I had mixed feelings about it as she's my last baby.

AlleyCatandRastaMouse Tue 22-Mar-16 21:13:56

I would suggest a gradual withdrawal. I have heard people talking about a don't offer font refuse method where it is more about cutting back and distraction than immediate cessation.

PacificDogwod Tue 22-Mar-16 21:15:48

I have only ever fed to 1 year, so may not have the best advice, but here goes:

I don't think you can reason too much with an 18 month old tbh.
I'd try to distract and defer: offer something else exciting to see or do whenever you can.
Decide how many feeds you are preferred to offer and then gradually reduce to that. Can you arrange for her to spend some hours away from you? Can you offer a lidded cup with warm cow's milk as a substitute? Would she accept cuddles without boobs?
If it is part of her bedtime routine can somebody else help bring her to bed?

My 4 still had bedtime milk drinks from bottles (with teats!) until they were about 3 grin - neither their speech, nor their social development seems to have suffered and they are perfectly capable of drinking from normal cups/glasses now - aged 13, 12, 8 and 6.

mugginsalert Thu 31-Mar-16 20:46:10

Thanks (belatedly) for the replies. Have a week off work soon so am going to try a combination of your suggestions - distractions, cutting down, and getting dh to help during the night. Really encouraged to hear that other little ones have got less attached to it themselves over time - hopefully she'll adapt as she gets a little older.

Part of me doesn't want to stop completely, I just can't take the endless night feeding with work the next morning!

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