Gently Weaning a Toddler

Two weeks ago I begged for your collective wisdom to help wean my two-year-old daughter. After implementing a few strategies from our readers, my daughter and I gently gave up nursing within just three days.

First I stopped the morning feedings, which did involve some screaming and sadness, but with a little distraction she quickly acclimated. The next day we nursed at nap again, but at bedtime we had a special discussion of how this would be her last time drinking my milk. We snuggled, talked and really enjoyed it. The next day, my husband put her down for nap and bedtime and she peacefully went to sleep. If I would have known it would be that easy, I might have started sooner!
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Are You Breastfeeding Your Toddler?

I had every intention of weaning my child at one year.  Breastfeeding while working had been burdensome and I dreamed of the days that my body would be fully mine again.  Then my son became very sick and had to be hospitalized for days.  The only thing I could do for him was offer the breast, and it was a huge comfort as he underwent endless tests.  After that I realized that I could feed him just in the morning and before bed, and wouldn’t need to pump ever again.  Since my supply fit perfectly with whatever demand we worked out, it wasn’t such a burden.  I ended up breastfeeding him until he was two.  I’m glad I did it as long as I did, and was also at peace with my decision to stop.
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The Benefits of Extended Breastfeeding

When I was still pumping at work and crawling out of bed for nighttime feedings, I clung to the dream of weaning at one year.  Although I loved my amazing ability to create food for my infant without a second thought, there were times where I longed for freedom.

It came as a surprise to me that I wasn’t ready to give up breastfeeding after my son’s first birthday.  Luckily, the decision to continue had many benefits for my son, for the environment, and for my own health.

For baby’s health:

  • Breast milk provides excellent immunity for toddlers so that they get sick much less often.
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