Advanced search

Has anyone tried to dry up their milk to assist in weaning an older baby/toddler?

(13 Posts)
perfectlybroken Thu 02-Feb-17 12:04:07

I have a very enthusiatic bfing almost 3 year old. I have no emotional strength against his wide eyed and heartfelt pleas for breastmilk.
I am considering trying to dry up my milk (various suggestions by dr. google as to how this may be done), in the hope that if he finds the milk lacking he might just go off the idea.
Has anyone done this?

Ilovecaindingle Thu 02-Feb-17 12:10:49

Luckily all mine stopped on their own. .
But my friend put plasters over hers and told dd they were sore and she couldn't touch them!! Her boobs got loads of kisses and cuddles instead!!

perfectlybroken Thu 02-Feb-17 12:14:36

I didn't go as far as plasters but did try telling him they were broken, he insisted on trying them out for himself and informed me they were fixed! When did yours stop on their own? I was waiting for that to happen.

littledinaco Thu 02-Feb-17 12:23:53

Are you looking to wean completely or just cut down amount/length of feeds?

perfectlybroken Thu 02-Feb-17 12:29:38

Ultimately to wean completely, I don't mind if it's a gradual process, though if I successfully dry up my milk then I suppose it wouldn't be gradual.

Matchstickbox Thu 02-Feb-17 12:30:51

I feel for you Op my dd is similar at 2 and I'm shockingly bad at saying no, feel so cruel. I fear I'll be bf she's 10. winkconfused
Following with interest for advice.

perfectlybroken Thu 02-Feb-17 12:45:37

Glad it's not just me match, funnily enough I wasn't like this with my first, I decided it was time to stop and we stopped. This one seems to have me wrapped around his little finger!

littledinaco Thu 02-Feb-17 12:53:28

Not sure how you would go about drying up milk, a lot of women still have milk for months after they stop feeding.

There are some really good groups on Facebook for breastfeeding older babies/children if you're not already on them - you will get some really good advice on there.

Some people limit feeds to certain times (bed time, morning) and cut down gradually that way. You would probably have to be really firm with a 2/3 year old though and you may have a lot of tears/tantrums at them asking for milk.

What are your reasons for wanting to wean? Not judging or anything, just wondering. smile

perfectlybroken Thu 02-Feb-17 13:46:19

Google suggests cabbage leave in the bra (secretes an enzyme which prohibits milk production) and drinking peppermint and sage tea. A slightly less appealing option is to take sudafed, apparently has a side effect of drying up milk.
I'm not on facebook, mumsnet is my only social media!
Yeah, it's your point about limiting feeds which is where I get stuck, I don't know what's wrong with me, I don't seem to be able to cope with his emotional response to weaning. Perhaps it's me that isn't ready.
I have a few reasons, his appetite isn't great and I think it may be better if he wasn't having breastmilk, generally his age, and thinking he would eventually self-wean but that doesn't seem to be happening, and lastly, other peoples (including families) horror that I am breastfeeding a 3 year old!
Do you have any opinions on how/when to wean little, I'd be interested to hear and won't take your opinions as judgemental!

perfectlybroken Thu 02-Feb-17 13:46:49

leave = leaf!

littledinaco Thu 02-Feb-17 14:17:41

I had heard about the cabbage leaves but wasn't sure if it was an old wives tale! I may be totally wrong though.
Also, I'm not sure if drying up your milk would be the answer-a lot of toddlers will 'dry nurse' and not sure if you could get rid of your milk completely-it may make your DS nurse more as he's not getting enough milk.

I would definitely recommend joining the Facebook groups-I am not on Facebook properly but set up a profile (you don't have to use your real name) just for the breastfeeding groups.
I understand completely what you mean about other people's reactions and looking through the Facebook groups really helped me to feel 'normal'. It was helpful to read other people's experiences of self weaning and to see photos of mum's feeding their 3/4 year olds. You will probably get some good weaning advice too.

I wouldn't worry about his appetite, it's normal at this age to still be having lots of breastmilk.

At 3, he may be too young to self wean-some do but many don't until older.

I think you need to decide what you want-there may be ways of continuing that makes it easier for you. I think it's common to go through phases of thinking 'I don't want to do this anymore'. Also, be aware that there are disadvantages to stopping - you will need to find a new tool to stop tantrums,help when he's sick,possibly sleep may get worse,he may become more clingy,etc .
Not saying you shouldn't stop, just things to consider.

If you do decide to wean -
Probably how to go about it would depend on his nursing pattern now-how often does he feed?for how long usually?does he feed to sleep?feed during the night to get back to sleep?
It also depends on his personality, whether you would think he would be better with set 'rules' so no milk until after lunch for example, then no milk until after bath time.
Or you could try letting him nurse when he wants but taking him off after a minute or two so the feeds get cut down that way.

Some toddlers become quite anxious though at their milk getting taken away and can want to nurse more and more as a sort of panic response to you cutting the feeds down. Sorry, I don't feel like I'm being very helpful. There is no easy answer I don't think.

perfectlybroken Thu 02-Feb-17 15:27:06

Thank you for your thoughtful response, that's given me a lot to think about. I completely get what you are saying about making them more anxious, if I or anyone else suggests he shouldn't be feeding he gets very upset and determined not to stop! I think I also need to look about how much own feelings, and fears of what other people think, are contributing.
I'll try and have a look at those facebook groups.

littledinaco Thu 02-Feb-17 15:53:45

There is a method that you can try where you basically go overboard with offering milk so every time they ask, you say 'ooooh yes, lovely, lets sit down and have lots of lovely milk. Brilliant idea DS!' and you offer frequently so keep being all enthusiastic asking 'would you like some milk now?' 'are you sure you've finished, would you like the other side?' etc.
At first they do have it a lot more but then stop wanting/needing it as frequently as it rebuilds the security for them.

I had got into a bit of a resentful/negative phase with my DS where I felt every time he asked for milk I was either giving it begrudgingly which can't have been very nice for him or saying to him 'when we get home/in a minute/when I've finished this,etc' I think that, plus, as you say, other people's reactions meant he was quite anxious about if/when he was going to get milk so he asked all the time.
Once he became secure I was happy giving it and he could have it when he asked (obviously within reason) he cut right down on nursing. Not saying that will work for everyone but just an idea.

If your family have been asking when he's going to stop, making comments on him being too old etc then he's probably picked up on this and may be worried you will stop and this may be making him nurse a lot.

Hope you don't feel like I'm trying to persuade you to carry on feeding. The breastfeeding relationship is a two way thing and if it's not working for you for whatever reason then it's perfectly fine to stop. 3 years is amazing, you should be very proud.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: