Breastfeeding and weaning toddlers-Thinking of Weaning? - La Leche League GB

The verb "To Wean" comes from a Hebrew word meaning to ripen. So when the time is ripe or maybe when the child is ripe?! That process is designed by Mother Nature to be an organic, natural one, like any other kind of ripening. I know of many young children who stopped nursing when their mother became pregnant with another child, which changed the taste or flow of the milk. Others simply outgrow it, dropping first one nursing and then another until they are nursing once a day, and then not at all.

Breastfeeding and weaning toddlers

Substitute food, drinks, or comfort for breastfeeding. Best Double Strollers. Occasionally, he may be clingy or cross, or he may push you away for a short time as he swings between wanting to be a baby again and trying to be independent. In conclusion Young teen in pantyhose you are weaning because you have had enough, but your toddler is unwilling, you are likely to have times when you feel very Breastfeeding and weaning toddlers and even angry about feeding him. After he latches on, count from ten down to one, and then say "All done!

Swing dancing painsville ohio. Topic Contents

Help Me, Heidi! When you're ready to stop nursing, consider these simple strategies to Breastfeeding and weaning toddlers the transition go smoothly for both of you. If this is presenting an extra struggle in your weaning process, consider enlisting the help of your partner. Laura's advice on empathizing with your child definitely dissipates the conflict. Heck, I have been waiting for this, right?!?!?! When to start weaning your child is a personal decision. The next night I told her I had a special present for her for weaning, it Breastfeeding and weaning toddlers a pillow shaped like a cartoon she loves. Anthropologist Katherine Dettwyler concluded from her research that: "In societies where children are allowed to nurse as long as they Hammered brass pitcher they usually self-wean, with no arguments or emotional trauma, between 3 and 4 years of age. You can stay close by at first, in case you are needed. This isn't the time to wear low cut tops or sleep naked presuming that your child ever awakens at night, as many do. Find Dr.

I never intended to nurse that long.

  • Breastfeeding is a huge commitment, both emotionally and physically.
  • Weaning doesn't have to be difficult.
  • Toddlers and older children continue to receive nutritional benefits and immunological protection through breastfeeding, as well as the emotional security and connection that comes from a breastfeeding relationship.
  • The verb "To Wean" comes from a Hebrew word meaning to ripen.
  • Breastmilk continues to provide nutrition for toddlers and older children, together with support for their immune system.
  • But sometimes the decision to nix the nursing is your own.

The verb "To Wean" comes from a Hebrew word meaning to ripen. So when the time is ripe or maybe when the child is ripe?! That process is designed by Mother Nature to be an organic, natural one, like any other kind of ripening.

I know of many young children who stopped nursing when their mother became pregnant with another child, which changed the taste or flow of the milk. Others simply outgrow it, dropping first one nursing and then another until they are nursing once a day, and then not at all.

Anthropologist Katherine Dettwyler concluded from her research that:. So children often wean themselves when they're ready, and parents don't actually need to actively wean their nurslings.

But many parents do choose to encourage weaning at some point during the nursing journey, and even avid nurslings adapt. Breastfeeding is a relationship, which requires the good will of both people. Sometimes, mothers are ready to end that form of relating, eager to find other ways of meeting their child's needs for physical and emotional sustenance.

In that case, it's the parent's responsibility to find ways to encourage their devoted nurser to move toward giving up the breast, without traumatizing him. In the old days, mothers who had the financial means would sometimes go on a trip, leaving the baby behind.

When they returned, the milk was dried up and the baby was weaned. We now understand that this kind of cold turkey approach is traumatic for kids, depriving them of the person who is usually their primary source of comfort just as they're experiencing the major loss of nursing. And sudden weaning IS a major loss for little ones, one that can make them feel so overwhelmed with desperate need that they bury those cravings deep in their psyches.

By contrast, gradual weaning still involves loss, but your child is able to do her grieving in small, manageable doses as she learns to meet her physical and emotional needs in other ways.

In fact, gradual weaning becomes a series of healthy stepping stones in the child's development and in the mother-child relationship, in which the child "ripens. Your child is not just getting "food" from nursing. He or she is getting snuggles and reassurance and safety and love. Weaning is a transition from a specific kind of physical connection, but be sure you are offering plenty of other forms of physical connection. If she's getting most of her calories from you, weaning will mean she's hungry but hasn't become accustomed to seeing food as the way to satisfy her hunger, which will mean frustration all around.

Focus on helping her explore solid food so she learns to enjoy it. For some kids, this won't make a difference--they'll just ask. But for others, even those who habitually nurse at a certain time of day, if you simply move on with the schedule without offering, nursing won't occur to them.

The sight of your breast triggers your child's longing to nurse. This will last at least a year after she's weaned, and maybe longer. This isn't the time to wear low cut tops or sleep naked presuming that your child ever awakens at night, as many do. Don't worry, this won't last forever. Most little ones want to nurse after they fall and hurt themselves.

But that teaches them to "stuff" their feelings. Instead, when your baby or toddler gets hurt, hold him and empathize with him "That really hurt! Tell me about it If he asks to nurse, say. If you make a practice of this, your child will learn how healing his tears are. He won't ask to use nursing as a "pacifier" when he has big feelings, and so won't "need" it so desperately to manage his emotions as time goes on. Many kids ask to breastfeed when when they have emotions that they don't want to feel.

For instance, often kids urgently want to nurse when they feel disconnected, or they aren't sure what to do with themselves -- that transitional time that we sometimes call "bored" -- before they figure out what to do next. Or if you turn off the TV, your toddler may protest unless you offer to nurse.

Tell her. Then, roughhouse with her to get her giggling, so that she giggles out those bothersome feelings that she thought only nursing would soothe. Again, you're moving toward weaning by giving your child better tools to regulate her emotions, so she doesn't need to use nursing for self-regulation. Once kids don't rely on nursing for emotional regulation, they don't need it so desperately. For ideas of games to get your child giggling and fill her love tank, see Games for Connection.

The first feedings you'll want to eliminate are any night feedings, if your child is still waking up at night to nurse. But if he's doing this, it's probably because he doesn't know how to go to sleep without nursing.

You could keep nursing him to sleep, but just not nurse during the night. But then your child has to learn to go to sleep without nursing in the middle of the night when he's a bit rested and can stay awake longer. And you have to support him with patience to fall asleep in the middle of the night, which is when you have less patience and fortitude.

Instead, I recommend that you start the weaning process by helping your child learn to fall asleep without nursing when you put him to bed at night. You can keep nursing him to sleep at nap times for now. That skill will allow him to fall back asleep in the middle of the night much more easily. Explain that tonight you will nurse him in the living room instead of his bedroom, and then you'll snuggle with him to help him sleep.

You might want to act this out with stuffed animals, so he understands what you're explaining. When he finishes nursing, say goodnight to the nummies. Take him into the bedroom and start the bedtime routine. He will naturally ask to nurse again. Tell him that the nursies are sleeping, and that it's time for him to sleep, and you'll help him.

Expect lots of tears. Stay compassionate, and don't nurse him. Just hold him and commiserate. I'm right here You will nurse in the morning when the nonnies wake up. Eventually, he will sleep. Is this sleep training? You aren't leaving your child alone. You're setting a limit no nursing to sleep to teach him a skill falling asleep without nursing , and you're supporting him with compassion through all the feelings he has in response to your limit as he learns this new skill.

Often, learning to fall asleep without nursing helps kids to simply roll over and go back to sleep during the night without even asking to nurse. But if he still wakes up in the night and asks, there's no harm in nursing during the night, even after he learns to fall asleep at bedtime without nursing. Over time, though, you'll want to complete night weaning by explaining that the nursies sleep until morning light, and helping him fall back asleep without nursing.

Click here for more on helping your child sleep. If your little one has been managing her emotions with nursing, those feelings will now come up in other ways -- whining, grumpiness, reactivity, helplessness. Accept all your child's emotions with compassion and patience; she just needs to cry in the safety of your loving attention and those feelings will dissipate. Remember also that she's grieving. For your child, weaning is a loss. She's giving up something beloved.

She'll need to cry, to tell you how sad that makes her. Consciously spend even more time loving your little one in other ways -- with snuggling, Special Time , and bonding games -- to make up for the loss of love she feels from less nursing. If you tell your toddler or preschooler that he's too big to breastfeed, but he still wants to, he feels ashamed.

Instead, explain that the nursies need to rest. By now, you are only nursing during the day, and you're probably down to those ritual times -- upon awakening, naptime, waking from nap, and before bedtime although not to sleep. If you find yourself nursing more often, cut back to these times by giving up one session at a time. It's usually best to start new rituals at the times when your child has come to expect nursing.

For instance, start a new waking ritual that involves a soothing song and snuggle and maybe laughter. If your child is old enough to understand the concept of making a choice, giving her some choices about the weaning process will help her feel less "pushed around" by your decision to move toward weaning.

For instance, you might tell her that she can have three times each day to nurse. When does she want them? If you gently suggest other activities at those times when he wants to nurse, you'll find that the number of times you nurse in a day greatly diminishes. Offer a drink of water. Go outside to see if there are any butterflies. Discover a sticker that needs some paper. Become a bucking bronco who needs a rider.

If you reduce the amount of time your child nurses at each session, then giving up that session will be easier on your child. To do this, respond to your child's request to nurse by saying "Ok, do you want ten nummies? After he latches on, count from ten down to one, and then say "All done! Blast off! Your child has always nursed and can't imagine that someday he won't. Introduce that idea by reading books about breastfeeding and weaning. Many parents say that their child asked to nurse much less often once they began reading about weaning.

There aren't a lot of great children's books on this topic, but some links are below.

Change the routine Having friends or relatives look after a toddler during the day may help change the routine. Nap time rolls around and instead of telling her it was nursy nap time, I just had her lay with me in bed. Aim for a nutritionally balanced week , rather than a nutritionally balanced day. Those without children may not think about it, but when parents say that babies take… Share this article: Facebook. Plan distractions. Have u got any recommendations for me to help him get off the night boob? She really nursed around every 2 hours for almost 24 months.

Breastfeeding and weaning toddlers

Breastfeeding and weaning toddlers

Breastfeeding and weaning toddlers

Breastfeeding and weaning toddlers. Breastfeeding Information

Your breasts are a very visible reminder of breastfeeding, so you may want to keep them hidden for a while. Wear clothes that do not allow easy access, and that cover your breasts from sight. You may also like to avoid undressing in front of your child for a few weeks, until he has gotten used to the weaning process.

Some children wean easily and without fuss, for others it can be a more difficult journey. If you think your child is struggling to adjust, then take a step back, and try again in a few weeks time. Clingy and unsettled behaviour can also be the sign of a developmental milestone or an impending illness — many times I have been pulling my hair out wondering what on earth is going on with my toddler, only to end up nursing a sick little person in the days ahead.

If your toddler is teething or unwell, hang in there a little longer and the experience will be so much easier for you both. No matter how committed you are to weaning your toddler, after that final feed, you may feel sad, weepy and even depressed. Your hormones may take time to return to normal, although some women do not notice any change in their moods once weaning has occurred.

To help you prepare for the big shift in hormones, read our article on post-weaning depression. I will start off by presenting myself. Nourri-Source is a breastfeeding support group.

We are organizing a small breastfeeding event in my hometown. We are expecting approximately breastfeeding mothers. Good luck! This article has given me perspective and a nudge towards regrouping and belief that we will get there, and that baby steps will get us, eventually.

First of all I have to say that your website is a bible for me. It has got me through so much in my journey. I have a 16 month old son who still breastfeeds all day and night, we co sleep with our little man so he is usually very close to the boobie for easy access. Have u got any recommendations for me to help him get off the night boob? Please note: in order to prevent spam and inappropriate language, all comments are moderated before they appear.

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Updated: September 8, Related Articles. I am writing to request your written approval to use one of your photos. Thank you for your consideration of this request. By contrast, gradual weaning still involves loss, but your child is able to do her grieving in small, manageable doses as she learns to meet her physical and emotional needs in other ways.

In fact, gradual weaning becomes a series of healthy stepping stones in the child's development and in the mother-child relationship, in which the child "ripens. Your child is not just getting "food" from nursing. He or she is getting snuggles and reassurance and safety and love.

Weaning is a transition from a specific kind of physical connection, but be sure you are offering plenty of other forms of physical connection. If she's getting most of her calories from you, weaning will mean she's hungry but hasn't become accustomed to seeing food as the way to satisfy her hunger, which will mean frustration all around. Focus on helping her explore solid food so she learns to enjoy it. For some kids, this won't make a difference--they'll just ask.

But for others, even those who habitually nurse at a certain time of day, if you simply move on with the schedule without offering, nursing won't occur to them. The sight of your breast triggers your child's longing to nurse. This will last at least a year after she's weaned, and maybe longer. This isn't the time to wear low cut tops or sleep naked presuming that your child ever awakens at night, as many do. Don't worry, this won't last forever. Most little ones want to nurse after they fall and hurt themselves.

But that teaches them to "stuff" their feelings. Instead, when your baby or toddler gets hurt, hold him and empathize with him "That really hurt! Tell me about it If he asks to nurse, say. If you make a practice of this, your child will learn how healing his tears are. He won't ask to use nursing as a "pacifier" when he has big feelings, and so won't "need" it so desperately to manage his emotions as time goes on. Many kids ask to breastfeed when when they have emotions that they don't want to feel.

For instance, often kids urgently want to nurse when they feel disconnected, or they aren't sure what to do with themselves -- that transitional time that we sometimes call "bored" -- before they figure out what to do next. Or if you turn off the TV, your toddler may protest unless you offer to nurse.

Tell her. Then, roughhouse with her to get her giggling, so that she giggles out those bothersome feelings that she thought only nursing would soothe. Again, you're moving toward weaning by giving your child better tools to regulate her emotions, so she doesn't need to use nursing for self-regulation. Once kids don't rely on nursing for emotional regulation, they don't need it so desperately. For ideas of games to get your child giggling and fill her love tank, see Games for Connection.

The first feedings you'll want to eliminate are any night feedings, if your child is still waking up at night to nurse. But if he's doing this, it's probably because he doesn't know how to go to sleep without nursing. You could keep nursing him to sleep, but just not nurse during the night. But then your child has to learn to go to sleep without nursing in the middle of the night when he's a bit rested and can stay awake longer.

And you have to support him with patience to fall asleep in the middle of the night, which is when you have less patience and fortitude. Instead, I recommend that you start the weaning process by helping your child learn to fall asleep without nursing when you put him to bed at night. You can keep nursing him to sleep at nap times for now. That skill will allow him to fall back asleep in the middle of the night much more easily. Explain that tonight you will nurse him in the living room instead of his bedroom, and then you'll snuggle with him to help him sleep.

You might want to act this out with stuffed animals, so he understands what you're explaining. When he finishes nursing, say goodnight to the nummies. Take him into the bedroom and start the bedtime routine.

He will naturally ask to nurse again. Tell him that the nursies are sleeping, and that it's time for him to sleep, and you'll help him. Expect lots of tears. Stay compassionate, and don't nurse him.

Just hold him and commiserate. I'm right here You will nurse in the morning when the nonnies wake up. Eventually, he will sleep. Is this sleep training? You aren't leaving your child alone. You're setting a limit no nursing to sleep to teach him a skill falling asleep without nursing , and you're supporting him with compassion through all the feelings he has in response to your limit as he learns this new skill. Often, learning to fall asleep without nursing helps kids to simply roll over and go back to sleep during the night without even asking to nurse.

But if he still wakes up in the night and asks, there's no harm in nursing during the night, even after he learns to fall asleep at bedtime without nursing. Over time, though, you'll want to complete night weaning by explaining that the nursies sleep until morning light, and helping him fall back asleep without nursing.

Click here for more on helping your child sleep. If your little one has been managing her emotions with nursing, those feelings will now come up in other ways -- whining, grumpiness, reactivity, helplessness. Accept all your child's emotions with compassion and patience; she just needs to cry in the safety of your loving attention and those feelings will dissipate. Remember also that she's grieving. For your child, weaning is a loss. She's giving up something beloved.

She'll need to cry, to tell you how sad that makes her. Consciously spend even more time loving your little one in other ways -- with snuggling, Special Time , and bonding games -- to make up for the loss of love she feels from less nursing. If you tell your toddler or preschooler that he's too big to breastfeed, but he still wants to, he feels ashamed. Instead, explain that the nursies need to rest. By now, you are only nursing during the day, and you're probably down to those ritual times -- upon awakening, naptime, waking from nap, and before bedtime although not to sleep.

If you find yourself nursing more often, cut back to these times by giving up one session at a time. It's usually best to start new rituals at the times when your child has come to expect nursing.

For instance, start a new waking ritual that involves a soothing song and snuggle and maybe laughter. If your child is old enough to understand the concept of making a choice, giving her some choices about the weaning process will help her feel less "pushed around" by your decision to move toward weaning. For instance, you might tell her that she can have three times each day to nurse.

When does she want them? If you gently suggest other activities at those times when he wants to nurse, you'll find that the number of times you nurse in a day greatly diminishes. Offer a drink of water. Go outside to see if there are any butterflies. Discover a sticker that needs some paper. Become a bucking bronco who needs a rider.

If you reduce the amount of time your child nurses at each session, then giving up that session will be easier on your child. To do this, respond to your child's request to nurse by saying "Ok, do you want ten nummies? After he latches on, count from ten down to one, and then say "All done! Blast off!

Weaning toddlers | Australian Breastfeeding Association

You may choose to wait until your child is a toddler ages 1 to 2 years or older to wean him or her from the breast. You may feel that your toddler isn't ready for weaning until later or that you both aren't ready. You may want to initiate it or just let your child stop breastfeeding on his or her own self-wean. You can wean your child gradually or abruptly. One way to let a toddler control his or her own weaning is through the "don't offer, don't refuse" method.

This means that you never offer to breastfeed your child but do not refuse when your child asks or shows a desire to breastfeed. This can be a slow process. But when the mother is committed to weaning and provides encouragement to her child, a toddler can wean himself or herself successfully and happily.

The following techniques may help you gradually wean your toddler:. Some mothers prefer to abruptly wean their toddler from the breast. This approach may be best suited for a toddler who nurses fewer than 3 times a day. When weaning abruptly, choose a time when you don't anticipate other major changes in your or your toddler's life and when you have extra time to spend with your child.

Author: Healthwise Staff. This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.

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Top of the page. Topic Overview You may choose to wait until your child is a toddler ages 1 to 2 years or older to wean him or her from the breast. Gradual weaning One way to let a toddler control his or her own weaning is through the "don't offer, don't refuse" method. The following techniques may help you gradually wean your toddler: Make your breasts less available for nursing.

Stop wearing nursing clothing such as nursing bras and tops with nursing slits. Wear more layers of clothing, or wear clothing that is less easily adapted to nursing. The toddler may demand to nurse less often because of the lack of easy access. This technique is usually combined with other techniques. Shorten each breastfeeding session before stopping it completely. A toddler may just need a minute or two at the breast, more for comfort than for food.

When the toddler has had a minute or two, urge the child to stop and interest him or her in something else. Postpone breastfeeding sessions. Tell your toddler that he or she can nurse later, such as after you finish preparing dinner.

This will space out sessions until you can eventually postpone a whole nursing session until the next one. It may also allow your toddler to become distracted before the breastfeeding ever begins. Substitute food, drinks, or comfort for breastfeeding. If your child still uses breastfeeding as a primary way of satisfying hunger or thirst, be ready with other foods and drinks milk or water is better than juice because of the high sugar content of juice before your child asks to breastfeed.

If he or she isn't hungry or thirsty, encourage the use of a comfort object, such as a stuffed animal, blanket, or doll, and offer it often. Also substitute close cuddling without breastfeeding. A child may fear that weaning means losing that comforting sense of being held. Distract your toddler.

Make life so interesting and busy that your toddler forgets to ask to breastfeed. Read a book to your toddler while holding him or her on your lap which provides close contact , or suggest a walk, a ride on a tricycle, or a trip to a playground or sandbox. Distractions can be time-consuming but are very effective. Abrupt weaning Some mothers prefer to abruptly wean their toddler from the breast. Say "no," and offer distractions. Try reading a book while holding your toddler on your lap.

This provides the close contact your child wants. Or suggest a walk, a ride on a tricycle, or a trip to a playground or sandbox. Make your breasts less available for nursing.

Let someone else take care of your toddler for a few days. Your child should stay with a trusted caregiver, such as a spouse, grandparent, or other family member. Since you aren't available for breastfeeding, your child will adjust to the other caregivers and over time will come to accept that breastfeeding isn't necessary.

If you are gone for less than a week, your child may ask to breastfeed again when you return but will often accept a refusal without too much complaining. Related Information Weaning. Current as of: March 29,

Breastfeeding and weaning toddlers

Breastfeeding and weaning toddlers