A lady recently asked this question on our Facebook page:
“My one year old is still breastfeeding three times a day, which is wonderful, but I want to wean her before I get pregnant again. Any suggestions to encourage her to wean herself? She doesn’t seem to like cows’ milk or formula, is it OK if she only has water to drink?”
Well done feeding to a year!
In my opinion, I would suggest you start slowing, reducing one feed per week from the 3 that you do each day. Maybe stop doing the lunch time feed first, and the following week try stopping the morning feed. And then try stopping the evening feed. (that one will probably be the trickiest). I say to try it slowly as you will get a bit engorged on the first day or so, while your boobs adjust. (heat packs!)
Give your baby a good lunch followed by a yogurt and big drink of water. Then be active all afternoon and don’t think about it.
Tough when she doesn’t like milk or formula. Are you sure its the milk she doesn’t like and not just an aversion to the bottle? Have you also tried sippy cups and straws?
Some toddlers will self wean when their mums get pregnant as the milk changes flavour a little.
We had a reply to this message thread from three other mums, who shared useful information so I thought I would add their comments to this webpage”
“I dropped the lunch time feed first, and instead gave my 15 month old daughter yoghurt about 1hr after lunch. Then started giving her a bit of cows milk in the evening aswell as a breastfeed. Gradually she became familiar with the taste and just a few weeks ago I dropped the evening feed cause she was not really interested if people were around , but would take her water bottle with milk in it fine. She still has the morning feed sometimes.”
Another mum also replied and said:
“I weaned while pregnant with my second so supply issues may have increased his willingness to self wean.. I started offering a smoothie (fruit yoghurt and milk) in a glass with a straw before reading his bedtime stories, so he’d finish that be basically full and only have a wee breastfeed after… and then it didn’t take long for him to forget to ask. I actually found the morning BF easier to drop. Just because as long as I was out of bed I could offer a cup of water/juice and breakfast or even better if my husband was up some other distracting thing like a DVD and breakfast.”
The third reply we had to this thread was from a mum that said:
“My 2nd started “playing” instead of feeding at about 14 months. He was only feeding 2x a day and I had not been able to get him to drink cows milk or formula by any method. He loved (and still does) yoghurt and cheese, and was happy to have cows milk on his cereal so I just switched to giving him water to drink. I slowly introduced cows milk by giving him a plain fluffy whenever I made myself an espresso – and now he loves milk! Didn’t take long for him to change his mind about it!”