Re: Looking to wean at a year....when and how do I start?
with Shannon. Weaning is best done after 1 year, and is always best done sloooowly! If you wean cold turkey, you set yourself up for possible problems with engorgement, plugged ducts, and mastitis, because your body doesn't understand that you've weaned. It expects the baby to come along and nurse at any minute, so it keeps making the same large amount of milk. To encourage your body to gradually cut back production, you drop a feeding, replace it with solids if the baby is >1 year old, or with formula if the baby is <1 year old, wait several days, and then drop another feeding. Most moms have the greatest success if they drop the least-favored feeding first. That often means that the wake-up, pre-nap, and pre-bedtime nursing sessions are the last to go.
Some things that can help you wean:
- Enlist helpers. The baby expects to get milk from you, but not from daddy or grandma! If they can take her when she wants to nurse, she may forget about nursing and skip a feeding.
- Distraction is your friend. When you're out and about, looking at new and interesting things, the baby may forget to nurse.
- Keep snacks and sippy cups of water available to the baby. Satiate her thirst/hunger with a solids or a sippy, and she may not need to nurse.
- Avoid your customary feeding locations. If you've always nursed in a particular chair, avoid it like the plague, because if the baby sees you in it she'll think "Nurse!"
- Expect setbacks. Sometimes the baby will really need to nurse, and it's okay to let her. When it comes to eliminating nursing sessions, you're aiming for consistency, not perfection.
Are there any nursing issues that are making you feel like you need to wean? If so, perhaps we can help you solve them, or at least provide confirmation that they're normal and will pass. Speaking as a mom who thinks that toddler nursing is the best part of the nursing experience, I'd love to help you continue on if you're interested. No pressure, of course! If you're feeling done, that's fine.
Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"