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7 Ways To Wean A Toddler

By Naomi Odes |

toddler in hat

Helpful hints to wean your toddler.

I’ve been nursing my toddler for the last seventeen months. I plan to continue for another month at least. I’m glad to see I’m not alone in my extended breastfeeding practice.  But, as I’ve said previously, my toddler likes to nurse A LOT. If it were up to him, he’d be nursing five or six times a day, minimum. I’ve been trying to cut it down to just twice a day, once when we wake up, and once before bed. The problem is, I’m around the little guy so often and he’s used to nursing on demand.

I’ve weaned before, why is this so foreign to me? Somehow it’s easy to forget all the things you did with your first baby.

I’m sure I was as perplexed then as I am now, so I decided to do a little research to remind myself how I did it the last time.

Here are 7 ways to gradually wean your toddler. nggallery id=’124680′

7 Tips For Weaning Your Toddler

Don't offer, don't refuse.

This means that if Fuzz comes up to me and wants to nurse, I nurse him, but otherwise, we don't discuss it (except when he wakes up and goes to sleep). This is the slowest way to wean, but also the most gentle.
Photo Credit: Flickr

Read more of my posts on Toddler Times.
Check out my personal blog. I Am Still Awake.
Follow me on Twitter.

10 Ways My Toddler Avoids Going To Sleep
Oh Yeah, I’m Still Breastfeeding. Here’s Why:
10 Arguments You Shouldn’t Have With Your 3 Year-Old

Another great source for this info: From The Hips by Rebecca Odes and Ceridwen Morris

More on Babble

About Naomi Odes


Naomi Odes

Naomi Odes Aytur is a blogger who's contributed on the parenting channel of Babble. She chronicles her experiences of being a new mom on her personal website, I Am Still Awake. Read bio and latest posts → Read Naomi's latest posts →

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8 thoughts on “7 Ways To Wean A Toddler

  1. Gwyn says:

    great suggestions. my older child weaned at 2years, 3 months, and was only nursing at nap and before bed at that point. we eliminated the nap, and then started a “drinking cows milk with dad” before bed routine to eliminate the night nurse and it was completely non-traumatic. With my current one year old, we’ve already gotten to the nurse only at nap, night, and early am (to go back to sleep for a couple hours) and i am hoping there will be just as smooth as transition with her. I do believe at this age it’s okay to say “nursing is only for sleeping” (or whatever you want it to be) and say they need to wait until such and such time.

  2. Mandy says:

    These are great suggestions. It just seems that every child and nursing relationship are so entirely different. With my first daughter she weaned at 14 months. She was never given a bottle or formula but was simply ready to wean. My 2nd daughter that I am currently nursing is now 2 1/2. I never in a million years thought I would still be nursing my girl. She LOVES nursing. They’re her BFF’s. I have honestly tried all of these suggestions and they have helped but I just don’t have the heart to take it away yet. She would be heart broken. I don’t offer and I don’t mention nursing but as you mentioned when you’re home with them and around them so much it’s hard! I hope to gently help her to wean now by age 3. Again I NEVER thought I would nurse my child this long. She has always loved to nurse where as my older daughter nursed to survive and that was it. She was never as passionate about it.

  3. Terri says:

    My daughter weaned at 2.5 years. A little surprise from “The Nan Ne Fairy” under here pillow did the trick. I acted so excited, when she found this beautiful silver bracelet with a trinket of a fairy and a heart on it. I told her it meant she was ALL DONE nursing and a BIG GIRL.
    Truth is Mommy was all done (100% Single Mom and 100% exhausted). I loved nursing but I beginning to feel resentful that I couldn’t have my body back and felt no end in sight. So luckily my initating her moving on to a new era worked.

  4. Chloe says:

    My son weaned at 18 months. My goal was to nurse him for at least a year, then keep going until he was ready to wean himself. Then when he was 18 months I came down with an infection and the meds I needed to take would have made my breast milk toxic for 3 days. If he’d been a younger baby at the time I would have pumped-and-dumped, then returned to our nursing routine. However, at this point he was over a year old and I was getting tired of him pulling my shirt up or yanking my swimsuit down in public. So I decided to wean cold-turkey. We nursed one last time, then I started my pills. The first two days were so hard! He kept pulling my shirt up and I’d have to tell him “No honey, Mama’s milkies will make you sick.” Then he’d cry, and it broke my heart! But by the third day he wasn’t interested anymore. It was like he’d forgotten he’d ever nursed! I was sad and relieved at the same time. Now I’m nursing his baby brother and so far it’s going well. Again, I’m planning to nurse till his first birthday, then let him decide. We’ll see what happens.

  5. Ann says:

    I weaned my kids when pregnant with the next [although the third I miscarried : ( ]; The first at 19 months and the second at 2yrs 9 mo; I didn’t initially plan to do this but went cold turkey with both; not in a mean way – just used the postpone technique over and over. It was so painful for both of us I didn’t want to prolong the agony. It really worked for us…

  6. Jaime says:

    I’m still nursing my little one, she just turned 1 a couple weeks ago. I’m planning on weaning her at 18 months unless she’s weans herself. Like one pp said, they are her BFF’s so I can’t imagine quoting now. She’s also my last baby, so I know this is the last nursing experience I’ll have. Sometimes I wish I was done already because id like my body back, other times I almost cry thinking of stopping.

    1. Naomi says:

      Thanks for all of your comments, everyone!

      I also weaned when I was pregnant. It was more because it was uncomfortable/painful for me than anything else, but yeah it was tough on me emotionally. The other night I heard him sucking in his sleep, so obviously, even at 3 1/2, it’s still with him! Ha!

  7. Gwendolyn says:

    My son is at 26 months and still nursing. It’s slowing down, but I would not intentionally wean my son. I’m just letting him do the weaning on his own terms.

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