Need help determining how and when to stop breastfeeding? There are three different ways decide when to stop breastfeeding. You have to determine which way is right for you, your baby and your situation.
There are benefits to delaying weaning your child for both mom and baby.For a list of these benefits, click here.
Most women wean their babies when they decide it is time. Sometimes it is based on a certain time period, sometimes it is based on work schedules and sometimes it is just because mom feels ready.
If you decide a time that you want to have your baby weaned by, you can gradually drop feedings (one a week or one a month—depending on your time frame.)
If your baby still needs a “feeding” at that time you can replace it with a bottle. If it is an older child, a snack or drink should do the trick!
The longer the time frame you have and the more gradual that you wean your sweetie, the easier it is on your baby (and less painful for you!)
Some women decide when to stop breastfeeding based on what their sweetie wants. Some mommies like me have a baby that decides she is done breastfeeding (whether we are ready or not!!!)
My second child stopped nursing when she was only 8 months old. I wasnot ready, but she had started eating solid food and drinking from a cup…and that is all she was now interested in. She would try to refuse each time I tried to nurse her. Finally I let her have her way…she was the boss!
Because some women value child-directed weaning, they find themselves in a situation of nursing two children at the same time. This is calledtandem breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding While Pregnant
You may think that you have to wean a baby because you have discovered that you are expecting again. However, there is no reason to stop breastfeeding while pregnant unless you want to.
You also do not always have to stop breastfeeding in order to conceive a baby.
Stop Breastfeeding Cold Turkey
Life happens. Sometimes, due to circumstances, mommies must stop breastfeeding cold turkey. Although this is not a preferred method, some moms find themselves in a situation where this is their only option.
Unless you are no longer breastfeeding often when you stop…this is also the most painful option. You will want to wear a tight fitting bra and may need to ice your breasts and take some pain relievers for discomfort. It will take a little time for your body to stop making milk, so be patient…you will get through it.