How I Weaned My Toddler Completely from Breastfeeding

Posted on Dec 14 2013 - 9:30am by Sangeetha Menon

how i weaned my toddler completely from breastfeedingMotherhood is a blessing its said ; to hold a baby in arms , to breastfeed her , to keep your flesh and blood close to you , all these are precious moments for us moms. As a mom, I vouch by breast milk , I was one adamant person when it came to my daughter’s food for the first 6 months. People started pouring in with advises on starting solids by 1 month for baby , but some how deep down in my mind , I wasn’t prepared for it. I had a good BM supply and wanted my daughter to be exclusively breastfed till 6 months. I continued breastfeeding till Anshika turned 1 year and 3 months. Then I started my weaning process, had many unsuccessful attempts but now I am glad to say at 1.5 years she is completely weaned off. This post is on how I weaned my toddler completely from breastfeeding.

My flexible office hours helped me well initially. Anshika was just on BM till 6 months. When she turned 1 , I resumed my regular timings. There started my difficult story.

9-10 hours of office work , cooking , cleaning , nursing , home , baby , daycare, grocery shopping a day of 24 hours wasn’t enough for me. At night Anshika started getting up frequently for night feeds. Like every 2-3 hours. I was asked to give her heavy food at night. I switched to daal khichdi and boiled veggies for her dinner , but those frequent night feeds never ceased. As days passed , I grew tired , exhausted. ┬áSleep deprived and working 24*7 , I started falling sick often , my immunity was down.

I consulted a nutritionist expecting that she would prescribe some healthy food charts for my schedules . Instead she asked me to start weaning my baby from breastfeeding at 11.5 months. I nodded and came back. My attempts were a mere failure , Anshika just didn’t want to stop !!

I used bitter gourd and neem juice to wean her off, but somehow Anshika felt even those bitter juices sweet and demanded more BM :P. I panicked , even hubby can’t help me here , I have to find a solution I thought , frustration , stress , sickness, you name it I had it.

How can I tell my boss that I haven’t had a good night sleep and that I can’t concentrate as I am drowsy ? How can I tell my baby that I am too tired to even play with her once I reach home ? How can I not clean my house for days ? All my “hows” remained unanswered until I consulted her ped.

My ped asked me about the pattern of night feeds and pointed out that 99% of the night feeds are not to curb hunger , but the security and comfort babies got used to right from their birth. He suggested cutting out the BM feeds gradually one by one and weaning off completely . He asked me to ignore the night cries and continue the same for the next 7 days until she stops asking for feeds.

The night began . Anshika woke up at 11.00 PM searching for milk . I slept . She started crying . I ignored . Her voice grew louder , I ignored . Couldn’t ignore more , anytime my neighbors could barge in to my house , I gave in . She had BM and slept , I failed, my techniques failed :(

This continued for all nights as we couldn’t see our baby crying at the top of her lungs for milk at midnight . The next week, we started taking her on our shoulder once she starts crying for feeds. Sometimes she cried, sometimes yelled , again I gave in ; second failed attempt !! In fact I had nicknamed my daughter as “Dhudhusaurus” , one kind of dinosaurs which preys on ” dhudhu ” (breast milk) :P Haha !!

After some weeks , we tried patting her back when she wakes up. Bravo!! It worked . We realized that she was seeking our presence each time she wakes up . So this gentle pats on her back confirmed our presence even while she is asleep. Our third attempt worked !! YAY !!

Gradually our pats reduced to a single gentle pat when she wakes up crying , it worked too. A few weeks later , we stopped that too . Now Anshika sleeps 8-9 hours without waking up even once asking for BM. My sleep returned , I regained my energy , immunity and focus. I started enjoying my 6 hours of uninterrupted sleep !!

I know there would be many moms who are going through / went through this phase of sleepless nights . Each baby is different , so is their pattern. Keep trying one or the other methods to stop frequent night feeds until you succeed . Hope this post helped you . Do let me know your thoughts on this. Also share with me which is your tried and tested method of weaning baby from breastfeeding.

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Sangeetha is the owner of Bumps n Baby and a super cool mom of a 2 year old princess. Her life revolves around diapers, laptop and kitchen these days as she is mastering the art of multi-tasking .

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18 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Liz April 3, 2014 at 2:17 AM - Reply

    Hi Sangeetha,

    I would like to wean my 2 year old but I wasnt sure how to go about it until I read your comments…..I am going to try your 1st technique and will let you know how that one goes…wish me luck!

    • Sangeetha Menon April 3, 2014 at 6:39 AM - Reply

      Yes please lIz..try it out and let me know how it went..

  2. Elizabeth February 5, 2014 at 11:28 AM - Reply

    Sangeetha,

    I am going through the same phase. My son is 8 months. He is demanding BF all through the night. Now a days , instead of feeding him I put him on my back and pat. He sleeps after sometime.
    He wakes up twice in the night. I hope he gets adjusted to the sleep pattern soon and sleepless nights ends as well.

    • Sangeetha Menon February 5, 2014 at 8:32 PM - Reply

      Oh patience is the keyword Elizabeth..All the best and I really wish from heart that your lil munchkin sleeps the whole night in the coming days :)

  3. Rose January 14, 2014 at 9:32 PM - Reply

    Hi Sangeetha Menon,
    I been following your articles for a while and i am amused by how can you juggle your life btw work, family, baby and of course this blog. Congrats girl!!!
    and yeah, I would like if you said which breast pump was that which you found to be efficient in order to pump out milk soon. I had a bad experience with one manual breast pump from Pigeon. Maybe a review on it will be more helpful
    I would also like a detailed post on your post-pregnancy diet so it will be useful for my next pregnancy
    Thank you dear. I would highly appreciate if you consider my request

  4. latha January 14, 2014 at 4:33 PM - Reply

    Hi Sangeetha, would need to refer this in future as i am planning to breast feed till ani is two years old

    • Sangeetha Menon January 14, 2014 at 4:37 PM - Reply

      Breastfeeding till 2 ? Awesome … Annika will def. benefit with this ..

  5. sangeetha December 26, 2013 at 8:20 PM - Reply

    Now my baby is 13 months old. Even i am facing the same problem as you sangeetha menon. I am also very tired and tired only through out the day and night even i am at home.i don’t know how i am going to start the weaning.anyway i should find some method then only i will get some energy atleast to play with her.

    • Sangeetha Menon December 27, 2013 at 10:55 AM - Reply

      Hi Sangeetha ,

      Welcome to Bumps n Baby . Weaning is such a difficult phase for moms , Oh my .. Just take your own time and weaning methods .. Am sure you will succeed :) Keep me posted on how it goes .. Tc

  6. ilivetoeatblog December 16, 2013 at 10:08 AM - Reply

    i am trying to wean my son. i think this is more tough on the mother than it is for the baby especially when there is no back up at home AND when your baby doesnt accept the bottle at all (dental carries notwithstanding). planning to do in when i go to my mums place. wish me luck!

    • Bumpsnbaby December 17, 2013 at 3:09 PM - Reply

      True that .. Its more difficult for a mom … all the best wishes .. do let me know how it went ..the whole process of weaning ..

  7. givingreadingachance December 14, 2013 at 12:53 PM - Reply

    I breastfed Aarya till 1.8 yrs, but I am a stay – at – home, so that was not an issue. He would just fight and not gotot sleep with the milk. For his afternoon sleep, I let him be. I would lie down and tell him it was time to sleep, after getting tired he would sleep off (meanwhile I just kept acting as if i was sleeping too). Night time, I switched off the light and patted him to sleep, he would resist- but something about the dark, he seemed to goto sleep. If he wokeup, I would do the same again, but if he was adamant – I kept a bottle of warm water nearby just to passify him – which he did not like but sometimes did drink. Somehow, I weaned him off in 2 weeks time (because we were seeing his teeth starting to deterirate too). Then we had trouble stopping the bottle feed (milk) – trouble switching to sippy cup, then to cuups …the struggles – they never seem to end :)

    • Bumpsnbaby December 14, 2013 at 3:50 PM - Reply

      Hi Veena , you are right , bottle feeding causes dental carries .. and thanks for writing down your weaning experience ..

  8. Waseema December 14, 2013 at 10:02 AM - Reply

    Aahh.. this was a much needed post…. will try this as i need to wean my 1.9yr old. thank you so much for this wonderful write up :)

    • Bumpsnbaby December 14, 2013 at 3:48 PM - Reply

      Happy that this article helped you Waseema ..

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