5 Easy Breastfeeding Weaning Tips
I never thought weaning off breastfeeding would be an easy task, but after applying the breastfeeding weaning tips I’ll be sharing with you in this article, my beliefs have definitely changed about the weaning process. We all know that breastfeeding is such a magical moment shared between a mother and child and the idea of breaking that bond can definitely be difficult and depressing for most moms.
Stopping breastfeeding was a hard decision for me to make since I struggled to breastfeed my daughter after delivery due to my inverted nipples. (learn more about breastfeeding with inverted nipples here) As hard as the decision might be for us, we know that we don’t want our precious one hooked on us forever.
Before I share my breastfeeding weaning tips with you, it’s important I share how it went down for me and my family so you can have an idea about what to expect. But take note, you have to remember that the breastfeeding weaning tips I share with you today will only work when you put in the work, dedication and commitment.
Here’s my story
It’s the fourth night of sleeping next to my daughter without giving her my breast. What a transition. I originally saw this time in my mind as being super difficult and quite the struggle. A few months back, I tried this exact same technique and it didn’t work at all. However, it seems to work now. What’s different this time around?
Honestly, I believe it’s because Jakayla’s more ready. Giving her an extra couple of months has been quite interesting. I have seen huge developmental changes in her and I could sense that this time around she was more ready. She understands a lot more when I communicate clearly with her. Talking to her and prepping her for the transition really helped. I can feel I am more ready myself as well. Not to mention, my body naturally stopped producing milk a few months ago, now leaving my breasts much more tender.
Can Breast Milk Run Out?
If you’re anything like me you might ask the question, Can breast milk run out? The answer is yes. I am a perfect example of that happening to me. You may be thinking, “wouldn’t the tenderness lessen if the milk is gone?” I would think so too, but for me, the tenderness is more from me currently being in my second pregnancy.
So, recently the idea of weaning her has turned into more of needing to do it sooner than later for the sake of having less physical pain for myself. Selfish? Maybe but we’ve lasted 2 years and 3 months on the boobs so I am one proud of myself momma. Plus her growing sibling inside also needs less pressure resting on his little womb.
Everything about this timing just overall feels better and right to make the transition. Jakayla was beginning to want the boobs less and less throughout the day anyway, especially if she was distracted with fun, games, activities, and of course water and juice. So..here we are day 4. and I’m thinking “Wow baby girl you did it! We did it!”
Breastfeeding Weaning Tips
Well, let me start by telling you I have looked up so much information online about breastfeeding weaning tips. So I decided to just choose one to try. And like I said the first time I tried this I was like “Oh daaang okay that didn’t work.” So I tried another technique, but to be completely honest, I didn’t really try that hard. Partly because I knew I wasn’t personally ready.
What did I try?
Yup. Slap those suckers on and let your child see they can’t have access. I watched a video of a woman who did this and it worked wonders for her kid. Her son thought “Ouchy boobies are in pain so I can’t have them.” Clever, however, I also didn’t want my daughter to think I was hurt. So I tried the lemons instead. Well wait, I first tried…
- Aloe Vera
Pain in the butt let me tell you. Finding the plant, scraping it out every time. No thanks, too much work. I think I tried that like twice and was like ok nope. So…
- Lemon Juice
Putting lemon juice on the breasts was the one I really went after. I tried it during the daytime and the first few times around it actually seemed to work, but then I had another clue she wasn’t ready. She would just force herself on it anyway with the most disgusted look on her face and a few seconds later, BAM, she was back to nursing like usual. Talk about determination from my little girl. She knew what she wanted and endured that super sour taste to get it. So I of course caved, and we nursed another 3 months.
Fast-forward, here we are now and this time I decided to give the lemons another go. What do you know it totally worked! And yup, the very first time! She tried it, gave me the look, and said “I don’t like. I don’t like boobies.” This was awesome! It became her idea that she didn’t want them rather than a forced “No, you can’t have them.” This to me was amazing! I hate to see my daughter in any kind of physical or emotional pain and so I felt so relieved that she decided that it was best to not drink boobies anymore.
This made it so much easier than I was expecting. Luckily lemons for us are so much more accessible than an Aloe Vera plant because we have a lemon tree in our yard. Talk about free and easy. I keep a slice by my bed every night and apply them heavily right before bed. To my surprise, the first night it only took 45 minutes from the beginning of our nighttime routine to the end where she was in a deep sleep. The second night was even shorter. (25 min.) But the third we had a bit of a setback…It took about 1.5 hours. And tonight, the 4th night took about 30 min. Back to Progress!
After the first night, she woke up Wednesday morning and we were kind of on the fence about whether or not we should just do the “weaning cold turkey” thing for her daytime feedings as well, since those were already lessening anyway, or let her continue daytime feedings. Plus if it were her idea that she didn’t want them then it wouldn’t be that hard. So we kind of led with “Ok we’ll see what she does.” Surprisingly she didn’t want them like AT ALL.
She didn’t ask once on Wednesday. So I didn’t give them to her. Thursday day she asked for them twice, but even though I hadn’t put lemon on them, the moment she lifted my bra she just gave a look, shook her head and said: “No I don’t want boobies.” But, she couldn’t fall asleep for her nap.
I tried everything. Eventually, in the evening she asked, I caved, and within I kid you not, 5 full seconds, she was passed out. I then unlatched her and she slept soundly. Today she asked again during the day so I gave them to her. I have decided. If she asks during the day and takes them, I’ll let her, but just for a short time to give her comfort. But…I made sure to explain to her that she will not get them at night at all anymore. She can have them in the daytime only when she asks.
I figure with all the change she is experiencing it is nice to take it slow, allow her to adjust, and be there for her the best I can. However, I’m not sure how long my breasts can last for even daytime feeds, the pain feels like sharp knife pain deep in my boobs. We’ll see. But we have met our goal, which was to wean her off at nighttime this week while my 14-year-old nephew, Trenton, is at Disneyland.
I am so relieved that our plan has worked. We still have to work on the nighttime waking’s she has always had. Even with the boob, she would wake up in the middle of the night between 3 and 5 am to drink water and then re-latch for comfort. She usually can fall right back asleep within 5 min, but due to not having the breast, she hasn’t figured out how to easily fall right back asleep yet. She moans and groans, tosses and turns and it seems that Daddy’s hugs are the only things that seem to settle and soothe her.
I almost feel it’s as if she is having a nightmare at the same time or growing pains in her legs. She will wake up, holding her feet and legs and she seems like she’s in pain. When I go to rub her, she pushes me away saying “No mommy no mommy.” She wants nothing to do with me.
It actually hurts my heart, haha, but I know she’s experiencing so much change and I’m glad she can be comforted by her Daddy. Right now it takes her a good 30 minutes to fall back asleep. We are hoping to work on that gradually.
If you know any toddler night waking solutions, please let me know in the comments below. It will be so nice when she can sleep through the entire night without waking up.
So, that’s my next step…learning more about how to get toddler to sleep through the night. One step at a time right?
Tips to Stop Breastfeeding
Before I share some tips on how to stop breastfeeding your tot, it’s important to make sure your partner is on board as well. This is what we did, we began to introduce Daddy into our nighttime routine a couple of weeks before weaning her off the boob. I really believe that this helped her with this method of weaning.
I am glad to have met our goal this week. I miss our breastfeeding and secure attachment bond that brings such closeness and snuggles at night, I know it’s the right time for her and my family. Tons of emotions have flowed through me regarding this topic but I now feel ready and am so glad I waited and stuck to my gut about when is the right time to do the best thing for her, me and my family.
I hope my story has given you some ideas of what could possibly work for you too. Give the lemons a try. Let me know your experience in the comments below. I would love to hear about your journey and what your tricks to wean from breastfeeding are.
5 Simple Tips to Stop Breastfeeding Your Toddler
STEP 1: Observe and Decide
Take the time to observe your own family situation and decide when to stop breastfeeding at night. For example, you can ask yourself questions like; is my toddler ready? Am I ready? Have I communicated with my husband about how he will be involved in helping out in this change and transition?
STEP 2: Talking With Your Toddler
Talking with your toddler and let him or her know what is about to happen is key. They understand more than you may think. Example: “You are growing into such a wonderful little girl/boy. You’re going to be so great at falling asleep without boobies anymore. Pretty soon we will start a new bedtime routine that will be just as comforting for you. It may feel uncomfortable in the beginning but you will get used to it and enjoy falling asleep like a big girl/boy. I am so excited for you!”
STEP 3: Choose a Method of Weaning
Choose a method of weaning that you think will work for you and your family. Have a couple of ideas in mind in case the first one you pick doesn’t quite give you the results you desire. Some examples you could try: Aloe Vera to the breast, Band-aids to the breasts, Lemon juice to the breast, Have your husband gradually join in on the night time weaning routine and then have him take it over solo when you’re ready to completely wean depending on which method of weaning you choose. (You can be reintroduced once your baby has completed the weaning process).
Replace the breastfeeding time with another bedtime routine activity such as reading a book, singing a song, telling stories about sleeping animals, etc.
Helpful Tip: If you can get your toddler to believe in their mind that it was their idea to no longer WANT the breast, then the transition will be a much smoother process.
STEP 4: Stay Consistent
Stay consistent with whichever method you find is working best. DO NOT cave. Children love routines and the expectation of something following through. Be that example to them that with enough consistency and dedication, anything in life is possible.
STEP 5: Give Praise
Praise, praise and praise your child for completing this new task in their life. You might be thinking well, “How do I do that?”
How to praise a child with words
It’s simple…Recap and share with them how proud of them you are for them making this transition. The benefits of praising a child are phenomenal. It’s totally worth giving this step a go. Do not leave this step out! Celebrate your success as a family.
The breastfeeding weaning tips I’ve shared are those that we decided to stick with and go all in with. You can pick and choose what you want to do. Afterall, you know your child better than anyone else in this universe. if I did it, you too can do it. You got this Momma!
Leave a comment below if you found this article helpful or want to share your experience with weaning a toddler. We would love to hear from you!