Weaning Baby Off the Breast

Thinking about weaning? Around your baby's first birthday is a perfectly normal time to consider weaning from breastfeeding. But be sure to do so only if it’s what you and your little one want to do. There is nothing wrong with nursing into the second year of life.

In fact, the World Health Organization recommends nursing until age 2. There are many benefits to nursing in the second year, including the ability to comfort your toddler and provide quiet, restful moments in his busy day.

If you feel ready to wean your baby, plan to do it when your life is free of major changes (such as a vacation), and put it off if your baby is teething, has a cold or is starting childcare.

Steps for Weaning

When you feel the time is right, and your baby seems ready:

  1. Eliminate one feeding at a time. Choose the feeding your baby seems least interested in or one during a time you plan to be away.

  2. To give you and your child time to adjust, wait a few days before eliminating the next feeding. Allow 3 or more weeks to wean fully and slowly. Ideally, weaning is so gradual that neither mother nor baby is really aware it has happened.

  3. Morning and bedtime feedings are usually the last to go. Some mothers keep these for months after their babies are otherwise weaned.

This message is not intended to provide individual medical advice. Always seek the advice of a physician or qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have about your health or medical condition, your breastfeeding issues and your infant's health. Never disregard, avoid or delay contacting a doctor or other qualified professional because of something you have read in our emails, webpages or other electronic communications.

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