You may choose to wait until your child is a toddler (ages 1 to 2 years) or older to wean him or her from the breast. You may feel that your toddler isn't ready for weaning until later or that you both aren't ready. You may want to initiate it or just let your child stop breastfeeding on his or her own (self-wean).
You can wean your child gradually or abruptly.
One way to let a toddler control his or her own weaning is through the "don't offer, don't refuse" method. This means that you never offer to breastfeed your child but do not refuse when your child asks or shows a desire to breastfeed.
This can be a slow process. But when the mother is committed to weaning and provides encouragement to her child, a toddler can wean himself or herself successfully and happily.
The following techniques may help you gradually wean your toddler:
Some mothers prefer to abruptly wean their toddler from the breast. This approach may be best suited for a toddler who nurses fewer than 3 times a day.
When weaning abruptly, choose a time when you don't anticipate other major changes in your or your toddler's life and when you have extra time to spend with your child.
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerJohn Pope, MD - PediatricsAnne C. Poinier, MD - Internal MedicineKathleen Romito, MD - Family MedicineSpecialist Medical ReviewerThomas Emmett Francoeur, MD, MDCM, CSPQ, FRCPC - Pediatrics
Current as ofMay 4, 2017
Current as of: May 4, 2017
John Pope, MD - Pediatrics
& Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine & Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Thomas Emmett Francoeur, MD, MDCM, CSPQ, FRCPC - Pediatrics
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2017 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.