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Need help knowing how to wean

My 14 month old loves to nurse before a morning nap, afternoon nap, and before bed. She also wakes up once during the night (when she's teething, twice) saying "na na na", which means nurse. The problem is that frankly, I'm ready to be done. Nursing is zapping my energy and I feel awful. At this point, she is only preferring the left breast, even though I always offer the right one. I tried cutting out the easiest one (morning nap)...but she screamed and I just didn't want to start my day off with a struggle. I really have no clue how to go about doing this. She never took a bottle as an infant and she knows how to drink from a cup and a sippy cup, both with a spout and straw, but she doesn't love doing it. So, please help me figure out how to do this? If I knew she'd wean herself in a month or two, I'd hold out...but honestly, I can't see her doing that.

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Asked by Anonymous at 10:28 AM on Sep. 15, 2010 in Toddlers (1-2)

Answers (3)
  • First I let my children self wean and my first that was 18 months while pregnant and my second that was 35 months. The average age is about 2-4 years so the likely hood of her weaning in a few months are slim. That being said if you are really insistent on weaning then you need to just drop one feeding at a time and put up with the crying and screaming. It is not easy and there really isn't any other way to do it. Personally I couldn't do that and that is the reason my children were self weaned.

    Answer by aeneva at 10:47 AM on Sep. 15, 2010

  • I weaned my son at 18 1/2 months. I was SO done by then. Here's what I did that worked for us.
    I started with nights. I kept a sippy cup nearby, and when he would ask to nurse, I would offer him the cup (with water inside). Sometimes he'd take it, sometimes not. Then we would cuddle. Sometimes he'd be ok, sometimes he'd cry, but it did work within a week or 2. FYI, we were still cosleeping.
    Next, we started eliminating feedings during the day. He had signs for eat and drink, so I would ask him which he wanted. Sometimes one of those would suffice, so we'd get him his water or a snack. That cut it way back. So then we were down to just the comfort nursings. I did kind of the same thing with nights- held him and rocked him until he was calm. We were down to about 1 nursing a day. Then he spent a couple of nights with the in-laws, and when he came back, the boob wasn't there for him. He was upset for a couple of....

    Answer by musicpisces at 1:13 PM on Sep. 15, 2010

  • days, but he then accepted it. I would try to distract him the best I could with something else instead, and it kept the tears down.
    This is what worked for us, but this doesn't mean it will work for everyone. If you decide to take the reigns in weaning, expect some tears.
    Keep it slow, and try to be patient.
    Just an FYI, the World Health Organization recommends breastfeeding for at least 2 years. That said, I know many of us (myself included) in the US don't do it that long. You have to do what works best for your family.
    Good luck!

    Answer by musicpisces at 1:17 PM on Sep. 15, 2010

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