Weaning a Toddler

I knew from the moment I found out I was pregnant I would breast feed my child. I didn’t know how much work it would be. Once she was born, I didn’t know if I could ever get the hang of it or if I could continue through the first two weeks. 

My major concern was feeding her, is she getting enough, will we make it through this part of our lives together?

Never did the thought of weaning her enter my mind. I always assumed she would wake up one day and just be done, leaving me heart broken and emptying my full breasts into containers to be donated.

As we came to the first year of breast feeding I was thrilled we made it through the hard times, nursing in public, nursing on demand at all times and continuing to nurse.

By 18 months I was still happy to be breast feeding her, but started wondering when she was going to let up a bit. She just seemed to love it so much I couldn’t bare to take it away from her and break her baby heart. 

Then I started feeling self conscience about nursing a walking, talking toddler… in public.

She is super demanding. When she wants “boo boo” nothing can take her mind off of it! She has never had an attachment toy, blanket or binky. It has always been me. 

Saying no, trying to redirect or offering food and water has NEVER worked. It only amps up her insistence.

So one night last week when I was particularly exasperated with this boob buffet system we had in place, my Husband and I discussed seriously weaning her. Just down to a few nurses a day with the goal of completely weaning soon.

I work Monday through Friday till five and attend night school 3 days a week and don’t get home until almost 8 on those nights. I decided to nurse her right when I get home,  before naps and bed time and at night if she wakes.

The first night, Thursday, did not go well. But that was expected. I got home around 7:45, let her have at it till she was done and than cut it off. No more boo boo till bed time. Bed time is at 8:30 p.m. She screamed hard until than.

The 2nd day she did better, but there were still lots of tears and pleads for her favorite past time. By Sunday she was marching around the house saying “no boo boo till night night” and smiling. She still asks frequently, but doesn’t throw a fit when she doesn’t get it.

This is something I did not think possible. Every outing, every new experience was a melt down if she didn’t get to nurse on her terms. And it was making me resent nursing so long.

Taking the steps slow and gentle and allowing her to grieve with patience and understanding is helping the process. 

How did you wean your toddler? Did she do it on her own or did you actively try to stop? 

An Awkward Mother


8 thoughts on “Weaning a Toddler

    • Harper will not fall asleep with me with out Boo Boo! My Husband, my mom and his mom can all put her down to sleep with in 10min, only at nap time. But when I’m home she wants to go to bed early just to nurse 😉

  1. I nursed all four of my kids past their first birthdays. Some longer than other for different reasons. But only my oldest fully weaned himself at 16 months. Second had started cutting back and then I encouraged it because I was pregnant and having a hard time gaining weight. He was 18 1/2 months when he full stopped. Third I forced at 14 months. And it killed me. She didn’t want to stop but I was five months pregnant with surprise baby #4 and headed for full bed rest. It still breaks my heart thinking about it, I still feel like I cheated her. I know I did what I had too but still it hurts. And #4 just stop six weeks ago at 27 months. I never thought I would nurse that long! lol. But she loved it, like your little one. I, like you, started to feel uncomfortable nursing in public, so it became an “only at home” thing. Sad that we feel embarrassed or a need to hide from judgment for doing something healthy for us and our children and that that mother smoking while pregnant didn’t think twice. Crazy this world we live in. Congrats for nursing for so long, regardless of what the world says! It’s a beautiful thing you’ve done for your daughter!!!

  2. I’ve thought about weaning Humnoy so so *so* many times. Gymnurstics is only cute for a little while, he’s really vocal in public about it, and not to mention I’m nursing another one too! If it weren’t for his sad little face and the fact I have two boobs, I figure it’s obviously not his time to wean.

    • I don’t think Harper would take it well if I tried to wean her while nursing another baby! I’m surprised Humnoy kept nursing thru the pregnancy…. Although I should say nothing in motherhood really surprises me much any more! Keep at it mama!

    • Weaning sucks! I wish she would just give it up completely! Have you read about Goats milk? The fat globules are smaller and easier to digest for little ones 😉 I haven’t given Harper any other animal milk but she really doesn’t need it at this point.

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