7 Ways To Wean A Toddler

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. ┬áBut, 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.

  • Don’t offer, don’t refuse. 1 of 7
    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
  • Drop one feeding at a time. 2 of 7
    Drop one feeding at a time.
    For a slightly faster approach (one that your boobs will appreciate), pick a feeding that is the least important for your baby and use one of these techniques to eliminate it. For us, it's the one(s) between 8 and 11am.
    Photo Credit: Flickr
  • Change in routine or schedule 3 of 7
    Change in routine or schedule
    Do something different with your baby, so he's distracted from wanting to nurse. Have a playdate. Go for a walk or a ride. Go shopping. If you can, arrange for your baby to be around other people. He won't think about feeding.
    Photo Credit: Flickr
  • Postponement 4 of 7
    When your child wants to nurse, just keep putting it off. Tell him you'll do it in a little while.
    Photo Credit: Flickr
  • Shortening nursing session 5 of 7
    Shortening nursing session
    If your child normally nurses for 10 minutes, you can gradually cut it down a minute or two each day.
    Photo Credit: Flickr
  • Distraction or substitution 6 of 7
    Distraction or substitution
    I have found this to be the most useful tool. Try giving him a toy or a snack, or bring him into a new environment.
    Photo Credit: Flickr
  • Night-Wean 7 of 7
    If your baby still feeds at night, you might want to eliminate these feedings first. I'm not gonna lie, this feeding elmination was probably the hardest for me. Regardless, pick one feeding at a time. It will be easier on both you (for comfort) and your toddler.
    Photo Credit: Flickr

Read more of my posts on Toddler Times.
Check out my personal blog. I Am Still Awake.
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Another great source for this info: From The Hips by Rebecca Odes and Ceridwen Morris

Article Posted 5 years Ago

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