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How to get your young off the breast

Wednesday, 21 December 2016  |  Mummy and Little Me


I'm currently still breastfeeding my daughter who is 2.5 on demand, I know that it isn't the norm to still feed into toddler-hood and I have been hoping that she would naturally lose interest and wean herself. It makes it harder because she has always refused cows milk and because I'm at home all day with her she can just come and help herself so she has never cut down that much, I can tell her a firm no but she can climb on my knee and help herself so it's hard. Recently due to medical reasons (I was diagnosed with Lyme Disease) I was told to stop breastfeeding due to the medication that I was given. I was prescribed 2 weeks of strong antibiotics and advised not to breastfeed at all. I thought great finally we can stop and I felt that 2.5 years was a good age to stop. Unfortunately Sophia wasn't ready and since I have finished the medication she has taken a step back and wants to breastfeed more than ever, she has been traumatised with trying to stop cold turkey and now she is scared that I'm going to take it away again so she clings onto it for dear life. So even though we haven't successfully stopped breastfeeding I have learned a couple of tips a long the way that might help you when you decide to stop.

  1. Make sure that you are both ready to stop if you can, try and do it gradually by dropping 1 or 2 feeds over a few weeks rather than stopping cold turkey which can be dangerous as it may cause Mastitis. If you are given any medicine and advised to stop breastfeeding then I recommend contacting the Breastfeeding Network who have a more in depth drug fact sheet and they can advise you which medications are safe and which aren't whilst breastfeeding.
  2. Put space between you both, when my daughter was with her Grandma all day she hardly asked for milk and didn't think about it because she was busy but as soon as she was at home all day with me it was a nightmare. She was constantly asking for milk and crying it was a emotionally draining time for us both. If you are going back to work or your little one is going to start nursery then that space between you will definitely help towards cutting down breastfeeding.
  3. Distraction is key, when I was at home all day with her and milk was on her mind I would try anything I could to distract her thoughts away from asking. I would take her out for a walk around the block or to the park just as a short distraction. I found that she would no longer have any nap in the day as she would feed to sleep so she was extra sad and cranky, any distraction is welcome even if it's just something like having a bath. The days definitely became longer though.
  4. Give them lots of cuddles so they know that you are still there to comfort them and to be close to them. They are probably feeling rejected and they don't understand why.
  5. Cabbage leaves can help to dry up your milk and to help you feel comfortable. Also wear a supportive bra at night.
  6. If your child doesn't like cows milk, make sure you try it warm as well as cold, try semi skimmed as well as whole. Try almond milk, or formula follow on milk. Just because it didn't work for me doesn't mean that it won't work for you.
  7. Don't worry if it doesn't work you can take a time out and try again in the future which is what I intend to do. I feel that it didn't work for us as we both weren't ready and having it sprung upon us brought emotional distress and caused Sophia to take a step back in our weaning journey. I won't be breastfeeding her forever but hopefully she will be ready to wean next year.
If you have any tips for cutting down breastfeeding please share with me in the comments box below. - Jodie x