Great tips from moms for making a smooth transition
Substitute a new activity: "A few of my kids weaned themselves at about a year old, but the rest clung fast to their breastfeeding routines. Bedtime nursing in particular was, for them, mostly a way to get special time with me. So I shifted the focus before bed to singing, snuggling, and reading together. Once my children realized that they would have that time even without nursing, they weaned more willingly."
—Julie Lyles Carr, mom of eight, Austin, Texas
Find a pace that works for you: "I weaned my daughter at a year-and-a-half old. In the first month, I took away one daily nursing, then two in the second month, and so on until I was down to only one nursing per day. At that point, I just chose a random day and stopped completely. It was a bittersweet moment for me, but she didn't cry—she had her trusty sippy cup to fall back on!"
—Erin Evans, mom of two, Dallas, Georgia
Offer comfort toys: "I weaned my son at 22 months. Each time he asked to nurse, I got Blue Bear, his favorite stuffed animal, for him to cuddle. It worked—he weaned in just a couple of days!"
—Amy Tucker, mom of two, Huntsville, Alabama
Pump it up: "All of my kids easily weaned at about a year old—they turned their heads away as if to say ‘Never again!' I only had to be thoughtful about weaning’s pace in order to keep my breasts from exploding. I pumped only enough for one feeding at a time, and then would drop a pumping session every few days until the milk disappeared. The results were no engorgement, no infections, no screaming babies."
—Wendy Hagen, mom of three, San Francisco, California
Make milk the appetizer only: "I slowly changed our routine when it came time to wean so that I nursed only before feeding my children solid food. It didn’t take long for them to become more interested in the food, and then they basically weaned themselves."
—Richele McFarlin, mom of four, Toledo, Ohio