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10 Ways To Wean Your Baby Off the Breast

 

Breastfeeding is a wonderful gift to your baby, but eventually it will be time to wean. (Mom365 recommends exclusive breastfeeding for at least six months.) Weaning is one of the most frequently-discussed topics in the Mom365 Community, where many moms turn for weaning tips and advice.

We combed the Community and found these ten great suggestions from members who successfully weaned their babies off the breast around 1 year of age. Check them out now to find a weaning strategy that works for you.

1. Take It Slowly

a baby drinking from a bottle

"When I weaned my 10-month-old, I started by taking away one nursing session at a time. I refused to offer anything else besides the bottle. It took a lot of patience, but eventually he did begin to take the formula. He was completely weaned in about a month's time." –dawn r

2. Swap In a Bottle

Baby milk bottle

"When I was weaning my oldest son from the breast I would let him nurse for a couple minutes and then pop the bottle in his mouth...he was a year old at this point and I was switching to regular milk."  –Lindsay G

3. Reduce Instead of Stopping

Sleeping Newborn

"Something to consider is that weaning doesn't have to be an all or nothing thing.  It's easiest on baby (and on you physically) if you think of it as a process rather than an event. You may find that once you've eliminated some daytime feedings you might not be so overwhelmed with her needing to nurse at night. " –Sweetmama

4. Skip the Middle-Of-The-Night Meal

Cute baby boy sleeping at night

"When she woke up in the middle of the night, I would just rock her and she got the hint that the kitchen was closed. It took several days, but she usually doesn't wake up anymore at night. I think nighttime feedings at this age are more just habit than anything." –mouse388

5. Each Week, Drop a Feeding

a calendar

"I would not go cold turkey – that is PAINFUL!! Basically you should drop one feeding at a time and give your body enough time to catch on. I did a full week for each feeding and that helped, but still be prepared for some possible engorgement. I wore a sports bra for a few weeks." –MamaB

6. Let Baby Take the Lead

"I'd encourage you to try baby-led weaning. Offer more solid foods as he grows, but don't resist when he wants to nurse. As a baby growing into a toddler, developmentally they are trying to "control" more things in their life because they are learning there is sooooo much out there that is totally beyond their control.  If this is one small thing he can control, let him (as much as possible without becoming impossible) because the more you try to take it away, the more he may want it (like anything)." –Jennifer Curzon

7. Keep Nursing On the Downlow

First baby steps in the park

"One suggestion I found helpful was "don't offer, don't refuse." Don't go out of your way to remind him to nurse. But if he persists he may really need it so go ahead. Try not to sit with him in a way that reminds him of nursing, like in a rocking chair or cradling him. Also he will want to nurse if he's bored so keep him busy. This helped me a lot because my son was nursing sometimes just because he got hurt or was upset or bored, but since I tried this he only nurses when he's hungry." –Krystal Johnson

8. Offer More Solids

Round zucchini baby food puree

"As soon as I felt that she was getting enough nutrients from solids, when she asked to nurse, I'd give her a sippy cup with milk instead along with some cereal snacks to make sure her tummy was full. It took her only a few days to get used to not feeding during the day." –Teanie

9. Send Dad In

Napping time!

"We dropped the middle of the night feeding by having my husband go in at night when our baby boy cried. We kept a sippy cup full of water in the room, and my husband gave the baby some sips of water, because he was thirsty but not actually hungry." –Lindsay

10. Cut Sessions Short

an alarm clock

"Try making all the nursing sessions shorter little by little—maybe shortening by 2 to 5 minutes. Then choose one to eliminate completely. Then when you are adjusted and the time feels right, shorten the nursing time again and eliminate one more, etc. Instead of nursing, do something special with your baby so she does not miss out on her close time with you. Try not to sit or lie in the same place where you normally would nurse and try to distract with something positive. " –vivilane

 

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