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How do I wean my baby off my breast?

My son is almost 9 months and he is still 100% breastfed (99% direct feeding). I do not know how to wean him off my breast because he looks for it to fall asleep. I plan to stop direct feeding when he turns 1year old but at the rate I am going, I do not know if I will be able to do it. Please help!


Asked by Anonymous at 8:26 PM on Jul. 19, 2010 in Babies (0-12 months)

This question is closed.
Answers (11)
  • You are already on track for weaning. Your baby is down to only breastfeeding 4-5 times a day. If you really want to wean at a year you can be down to 3 times a day at 11 months, and then 2 times at 12 months, and then wean off of those last 2 feedings.
    Personally, I always nursed my kids to sleep until they were over a year old. Why get rid of your best get-baby-to-sleep-tool? It is my silver bullet! You may even find that you wean are down to 1-2 feedings a day at one year and you keep nursing to sleep at night. It is a great bedtime routine.
    I encourage you to be open to the idea that it is still working at 12 months and you keep nursing a bit.

    Answer by maggiemom2000 at 11:11 PM on Jul. 19, 2010

  • No idea, I believe in nursing until ripened at the breast.

    Answer by BradenIsMySon at 8:28 PM on Jul. 19, 2010

  • I bumped this question. I bottle fed but have heard tons of different theories all at odds with each other. Mostly what I hear in response to this one is to not stop until your child is two and I think if you really want to wean your baby it's your business. I hope someone has good advice.

    Answer by wildflowers25 at 8:32 PM on Jul. 19, 2010

  • Honestly, you'll want to transition from exclusively breastfeeding to adding solids. If you completely switch all at the same time, it will be a stressful experience for you both.

    If you want to be completely done breastfeeding at 12 months, I'd start offering solids now. If you want to be exclusively breastfeeding until 12 months, I'd offer solids at that time and plan to have another three months at least of at least partial breastfeeding.

    We offered solids to our older daughter at 6 months, and at the advice of her pediatrician, gave her kid-friendly table food. By 10 months, she was losing interest in gaining all of her nutrition from the breast, and when we decided to stop at 14 months to try and conceive another baby, it was a very easy transition.

    We started by pushing back the nighttime feeding by 30 mins, then another 30 mins, until it ran into the feeding before it. That helped us a lot.

    Answer by tyheamma at 8:41 PM on Jul. 19, 2010

  • sorry for the misunderstanding. what i meant by "exclusively breastfeeding" is that there is no formula involved in his diet. he is on solids now but still feeds about 4-5times within a 24hour period. he uses this time to nap and sleep. i have a hard time putting him to sleep if he does not breastfeed. i have tried to give him the bottle instead but he refuses to sleep. what do i do???

    Answer by Gyn at 9:25 PM on Jul. 19, 2010

  • Keep in mind that 9 months is a major growth spurt. It's probably the worst time to try and wean. Most babies tend to need help falling asleep, so you may want to experiment with ways of accomplishing that. Keep in mind you may go from "nipple in mouth to sleep" to needing to take an hour of rituals to get him to sleep.

    I don't recommend stopping cold turkey at one year. Do it gradually that way you will have time to build coping strategies for things you normally would breastfeed for and it will be less stress for both of you.

    Is it because you are concerned with what other people think? If that's the case, find a La Leche League meeting in your area to get esupport.

    Answer by amileegirl at 9:30 PM on Jul. 19, 2010

  • If you haven't already, you should start your LO on baby food. You can introduce expressed breast milk in a cup or sippy, to get him used to the idea of milk coming from another source besides you. I started my DD on solids at around 5 months and she's been eating table food since 10 months. Around 1 year, you can slowly, over a two week period, start replacing nursings with cow's milk.
    What I do for my daughter, now 13 months old, is warm up her bottle of cow's milk that she drinks right before bed. I snuggle up with her and hold her almost as if she were nursing and she sucks the milk right down and starts getting drowsy. During the day she gets cold/cool milk from a sippy so she is only associating the warm milk out of bottle with falling asleep. Works like a charm.

    Answer by MommaofH2 at 9:31 PM on Jul. 19, 2010

  • Gyn:

    My motto is "if it ain't broke don't fix it" I don't see personally why its "wrong" to breastfeed to sleep (real nipple), but better to spend time preparing a bottle to give to the baby so they'll fall asleep (artificial nipple). I mean, realistically, by the time someone prepares the bottle my baby is asleep.

    If that's what you want that's one thing, but if you think its going to be easier or is bad, I would like to encourage you to rethink that.

    You could substitute rocking or have her father try a ritual. I've heard people recommend the no-cry-sleep solution so you could try that. But in my opinion, nipple-in-mouth is easier :)

    Answer by amileegirl at 9:47 PM on Jul. 19, 2010

  • I would say more solids? My DD is 8 months and, I plan on going until at least 12 months, hopefully longer- I get WAY more sleep in the mornings.

    Answer by MDT09 at 11:36 PM on Jul. 19, 2010

  • You're on track. He still needs the breast milk, but it will decrease on its own as he grows older.

    When you get close to the time when you are done, recruit Dad. Dad makes everything different. Dad doesn't make milk. Let Dad rock him to sleep a few nights each week. Let him get used to being soothed without the option of nursing. My pedi is a lactation specialist and this is what she recommends. All of my friends who nurse and use this pedi have had dad help during the weaning process in this way. It was worked very well, low stress.

    Answer by ecodani at 11:43 PM on Jul. 19, 2010