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How to Wean a Toddler from Breastfeeding

We recently asked for support from extended breastfeeding mums, for advice on how to wean a toddler.

Anon Mum asked:    "Any advice about weaning a 2.5 year old off the breast? It's starting to get a little bit annoying when we're out and he decides he wants to take off my top!!!! It's time for us both to move on, but HOW?!"

Here are the shared suggestions.

(ps well done on BF for that length!)

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My sister put plasters on her nipples and said they were broken. End of it

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When my daughter was that age I suggested other options for us to do instead of our special time disappearing completely. We ended up going for a walk around the house in the evening and looking at all the birds going to bed etc

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 I went away to Australia on holiday for 4 days when my daughter was about this age, I was really worried about how she would cope without me (and the milk) for this long. She was absolutely fine with her daddy, and slept the best she had ever slept. When I came back she wanted to carry on as we had left off, but I told her I left the milk in Australia and she was quite happy with that. It took a few days of reminding her that it had all gone, before she stopped asking.

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I've heard that the broken thing works well. Pretending they are broken. Hadn't heard of the plaster thing. Bit sounds like a good one!

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Plasters worked for me and my 2.5yr old and she helped me replace them while it was still fresh in her memory and I used cold cabbage leaves when they filled up and became uncomfortable. I told her they hurt so we had to be careful with the plasters hope this helps!

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 I have just weaned my 2.5 year old! We went overseas in a holiday and I told her the milk didn't come with us!!! Away for 5 weeks. Came back to NZ and she asked for it. I said she's a big girl now so doesn't need it as she accepted both times fine!!!

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 Used a bandage because they broke, no more milk, it worked

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Just say "It's gone!"

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I had to wean my youngest at 17 months as he was having sleeping issues because of continually wanting boob. We were also planning to go away child free for a weekend so I just went cold turkey. Gave him a bottle when he got up and one before nap and bedtime and that's it. The first few days were hard and he kept waking and wanting my milk but I stuck to it. It then fixed his waking in the night and he learnt to self-settle. Good luck! It's tough and you need support from partner if possible. But you can do it

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 I've just been through this with my 2 year old. We cut down to once or twice a day, morning/evening. And then I just stopped last Friday. I said there was no more milk, and bought him a special drink bottle. The bottle worked for about a day, but he only asks at bedtime now. I've just been to see a naturopath because my boobs are so sore and full, so my body hasn't got the hint that I've weaned!!

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 When my son was 18 months old he was only having it once per night before bed. I just went away for the weekend. He never asked for it when I got home.

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 Oh my goodness, just been thru this with my 22mnth old. His brothers weaned themselves during the day so I'd not had this problem before. Anyway, I found something he loved..... Collective yoghurt suckies and every time he came to me grabbing at my boobs I'd suggest he have a "yo yo" instead and he'd whine for a bit and then decide a "yo yo" was better than nothing. Eventually no boob during the day and now weaning the middle of the night comfort feed! Yay! He is now addicted to suckies tho

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I wouldn't recommend putting anything on your nipples. But I do think trying to explain to them why you are stopping. They are more understanding than we think at this age, and now I say Ferg doesn't have booby anymore, he laughs and says "nooooo booby hahaha". It's cute, so I make it a 'thing' that we hold hands whenever he reaches for a boob, so we can still cuddle and be close and hold hands when we snuggle

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 I got pregnant again!!! Only recommended if you're super keen... I'd be frank about it. Breastfeeding is a relationship between two people - you and your 2.5 year old and if you're over it, that is fine and they will have to deal with that. They can understand plenty about life so can understand you saying that you've had enough and it's time to stop. Plasters might be a good way of helping them understand though

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Mine kept feeding through pregnancy so it's not a sure-fire way of doing it. I've not been reading other responses but I'd be starting to enforce nursing manners - we don't take Mummy's top off or whatever they do. Then I'd be making sure that your child is being offered food before boob... so if its morning tea time and he's hungry, offering him a cup of water or milk and a snack. After that I'd be limiting feeds to certain times of the day, say morning, before nap, bedtime or whatever and offering food and cuddles at other times. When he asks then you say, yes you can have one at X time, now if you are hungry or thirsty you can have this or you can have a cuddle. Provide lots of distraction and whatever you do don't sit down! I used these to wean off my 2.5 year old and it did work and when my next child was 18 months I started to do that too so by the time my 4th child was born she was down to only a couple of feeds and then when she was 2.5 I was able to reduce it even more and the weaning was really smooth. It will take a bit of time to get him used to not being able to access boob all the time but it's okay, it's okay to say that you have had enough and he will adjust to that. What I found too was that once I was feeding less and at times that worked more for me, it was easier all around to continue to feed

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Four day holiday in Wellington without the kids. Best thing we did for our marriage since kids were born and was enough time to get the toddler weaned. Blessed to have grandparents that are willing to take the kids for that long, and trust them enough to leave my babies with them.

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All of these sound like they may work but what happened to the truth when enough is enough half the reason for telling your child some made up excuse is so you don't have to deal with the problem. Tell them that it all gone no more your big kid now and over a week or two cut it back don't want to end up sore.

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 I have just been through this!! 3 weeks and counting!! My wee guy was so attached I never thought it would happen... I appreciate that I could have told the truth but it's not that simple. I told him they were broken and he accepted that... still asks for them and likes to cuddle into them but it worked!! Surprised me!!

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 I told my girl that she drank it all and it was gone. By then I only fed when she asked for milk, never offered and tapered down to you only have mummy milk in the evening. I was surprised but she accepted that milk was all gone.

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 I only fed my son at night, just said it was only for bed time. then brainwashed him 'breastfeeding is good when you are two, but when you are three, no more'... then about a week after his third birthday I reminded him he's a big boy now.

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