How to Wean Your Breastfeeding Child...

~ Posted on Friday, April 19, 2013 at 7:58 AM ~

When I first got pregnant in late 2010, I panicked because my 2 years old boy was still nursing up to 4-5 times a day and ALWAYS before nap and bedtime. People around me keep telling me to quickly wean him off, else when he goes to nursery/daycare, he will have trouble then since he's used to my breasts. I also get people telling me that my breastmilk will be poisonous when I'm pregnant (old folks myth) so I actually started with reducing his nursing to before nap and bedtime.

What I did was, I replace the other feeding sessions with play and activities. We spend some time in the playroom, let him do some drawing or doodling, play his Lego, watch TV or iPad, anything to distract him from asking for his nen-nen (aka his breastmilk).

But honestly to tell you the truth, the only time I can rest during my tiring phase of pregnancy is when my boy nursed. I love that I can just lie down on bed with my bulging belly and let my boy suckle. I get my rest, he gets to nurse and comfort himself and we get to bond. Win-win situation, no?

I did however managed to cut down our feeding sessions to before afternoon naptime and bedtime but yes, I do occasionally let him nurse when he is fussy or having discomfort. I'm practising what we call the, 'Don't offer, don't refuse' method. You don't offer your child your breasts if he/she does not ask for it but you don't refuse him/her if he/she does ask for it.

In September 2011 when my girl came along, I had tandem nursing aversion for 1 month. I hated my boy so much when I got home from hospital with my baby girl. The moment my boy asked for his feed, I got so angry. Poor boy doesn't know why mummy is like that. Finally acknowledge I got problems in my head and tell my hubby and I even blogged about it. I felt a big relief after that cos it's all in my head and when my 2nd child is 1 month old, I got over the tandem nursing aversion and continued feeding both my kiddos. My boy, always before afternoon naptime and bedtime. My girl, on demand whenever she wants.

Slowly my boy will forget to ask for his feed when he sees me and my girl constantly nursing (I feed on demand) and sometimes when he asked for it, I will let him nurse. The last I asked him to suckle, he forgot how to do it. He was 45 mths old then ...

Now what I would suggest you to do if you are in the same situation, as in, you want to wean your child...

  • I'd go for gentle weaning if possible. Gentle as in, letting your child lead his/her way.

  • NEVER decide to wean when you are not in a happy mood. You might regret this decision later.

  • Go Google more on the 'Don't offer, don't refuse' method. I personally feel this method is more peaceful and gentle.

  • Slowly replace nursing time with other bonding activities to keep your child's mind off asking for feeds

  • Get your partner to accompany your child before bedtime.

  • You can do a count if you have to nurse your older child to sleep, probably count to 20 then tell him/her it's time to sleep.

  • I also patted my boy's back and gently rubbed his back to sleep, until today he needs one of my hand to be on his body/face - something like a comfort pillow for him to sleep.

I breastfed my boy throughout my 2nd pregnancy, tandem him with my newborn girl for 1 year+ and finally weaned him at 45 mths old. Maybe a tad too long for some people but I believe in letting my child lead his way. I am currently preggy with our 3rd child and is still nursing my now 1.5 year old girl and doing the same method. I'll let my child decides when they are ready to stop.

Me tandem nursing Ben at 3 years old and Alyson at 6 months old...

I have a beautiful breastfeeding journey with my 4 years old Benjamin and would never trade anything for it. I hope to repeat the same thing with my 1.5 years old Alyson now and continue on tandem nursing her and our 3rd child later if possible.

Picture taken of Benjamin nursing at 43 months old...

Here's wishing you all the best in your decision making and I hope you will have a memorable breastfeeding journey that you can treasure with your child for a long long long time!

Comments (4) -

Maria Iemma

I was very upset when I could not breastfeed my kids. Somehow my milk never came and I was frustrated for a while but then I saw the kids were thriving with the formula and I was able to relax.  I missed the bonding that nursing would have provided us.

Shannon J.

Hats off to you for choosing to do the tandem nursing. I weened my 2-year-old at 17 months because I was 6 months pregnant with my daughter and the thought of tandem nursing gave me anxiety. Haha. Seriously, that is amazing. My baby is 11 months old now, and this time, I am going to continue to nurse her until she is ready to ween. This post has some great information that I plan to implement, so thank you for sharing. Smile


i already feel so annoyed everytime my son sees me as his "nen nen" only... i cannot imagine tandem nursing will lead me to .. losing my mind? #respectyou!
definitely u are right. i can't wean him coz i feel angry or annoyed.i'm sure i will regret if i do it with anger

Darlene Jones-Nelson

Darlene Jones-Nelson says:

I decided to start weaning when I went back to work after 6 months (A long leave I know) It was well worth it tho. I was very comfortable to breast feed until teeth started coming in. And the weaning process started with my oldest, Just cause he was my first and I was scared.

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