Tried & Tested Tips to Wean Your Toddler Off Breast Milk (Part One)

Chiomah Momah

Breastfeeding can be an extremely rewarding experience for mother and child, but like most good things, there’s always an end in sight. While some babies self-wean, others are more resistant to weaning, especially toddlers who are older and wiser! Having breastfed all my children well past their first birthdays, here are a few tried and tested tips to help ease your toddler off breast milk.

1. Get help: Weaning a toddler is not easy and if you are a single mum or your partner is out of town, it will be even more difficult. Try and schedule weaning for a period when your partner is able to help or get someone close to your toddler to stay a few days with you while you try to wean. Dropping off your toddler with your mum for a week may or may not work as toddlers do not forget so easily.

SEE ALSO:Nursing Mum: 5 Tips on Boosting Your Milk Supply

2. Separate beds: If your baby still wakes up to nurse, then, sleeping in separate beds is the first step to successful weaning. Night nursing can be a bit hard to stop but be rest assured that once your toddler is eating properly he can actually go a night without waking up to nurse.

3. Don’t ask, don’t give: Try not to breastfeed your toddler unless she asks for it. Sounds simple right? Wrong! If you have been breastfeeding for a while, sometimes, you almost instinctively bring out your breast at the slightest sound your little one makes. If you learn to stop offering, along with other tactics, you may be able to wean faster.

4. Talk about it: Many times even when your child cannot talk, he understands a lot. Explain to your toddler that it’s time for him to stop taking mummy’s milk and it’s time for grown up milk. Once he gets the message, he will stop asking to be breastfed as often.

SEE ALSO:10 Reasons Your Baby Is Rejecting Your Breastmilk

5. Substitute: When your child asks for breast milk, try offering her yoghurt or toddler milk instead. Make sure the substitute you offer has full cream milk so that the full benefits of milk are gotten by your baby. Many milk brands have special formulas for toddlers, so, try seeing if your toddlers takes to them. If she doesn’t, try yoghurt, hot chocolate or some other calcium-rich snack.

6. Switch it up: Toddler love routine! They thrive on it, so, if you want to wean quickly try switching up routines. If you normally breastfeed as soon as you walk through the door from work then try and distract baby with either a snack or some sort of fun activity like going for a walk or playing with a new toy.

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