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Weaning a Baby Off Breast Milk

Category Breastfeeding
As your baby begins to eat more solids foods, you may choose to start weaning them. This is a guide about weaning a baby off breast milk.


Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

0 found this helpful
February 3, 2008

What is the best way to wean a 10 month old baby from breastfeeding, when she refuses to take to formula?

Dayle S. from Central Coast, NSW

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
February 3, 20080 found this helpful

Doctors recommend breastfeeding for 12 months, so it's good that you want to begin the process of weaning now. Note: weaning is the process of moving from breast to cup/food not from breast to bottle. :]

Express your milk and let her drink it out of a sippy cup for one feeding. Then add on another feeding (probably the easiest would be when everyone else is also eating, one of the three square meals) And another. Many mothers save the night time nursing and/or naptime nursing as the last part of the weaning prcess. It's all up to you.

Talk to your pediatrician also and ask them for advice as to what you should be giving her when she is a year old.

Take care!

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February 3, 20080 found this helpful

Of course the baby hates cow milk! Breast milk is SO much sweeter, better for them & better tasting! (Breast milk is 3 times sweeter than cow milk!) You'll have to switch from the breast to breast milk in a bottle, then breast milk in a sippy-cup. Then slowly add a bit of ORGANIC milk to it. Organic milk taste SO much better than "regular" milk, Plus she (or he) won't grow breasts by the age of 6 from all the hormone additives in "regular" milk!

Unless you have a job, Why not wait to wean her for 2 or 3 more months (when the flu season is over)? My granddaughter never got sick one day in her life UNTIL she was weaned. But after weaning from breast milk, she caught every kind of bug that came her way! My daughter rented an electric breast-pump & pumped every morning & evening while she was watching TV.(the freezer was full!) She'd then give the baby breast milk, first in a bottle, then later when she was a bit older, a sippy-cyup. Then later on, switched to ORGANIC milk. Yes, Organic milk cost more, but if it's only the little one that's drinking it, I won't hurt the budget much.

* Don't make the same mistake I made with my first child. Don't be in a hurry to wean them, & don't be in a hurry to wean them from the bottle. The sucking is important & good for facial development.I wanted my son to grow up to quickly & they are only babies once. So take your time weaning them. And make sure to keep several bottles around (even after they use a cup full time) because when they get sick, A bottle is the easiest way to keep them hydrated! Because it not only comforts them, but they can drink laying down.

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February 3, 20080 found this helpful

I don't want to discredit any of the other advice given, but as for keeping bottles around and letting the child have them while lying down--having a bottle while in bed, etc. can contribute to tooth decay. The milk sugars, etc. can pool in the mouth and cause tooth decay over time. This happened to a child I know who had the bottle with her in the crib every night, and her baby teeth actually had black spots in them over time! So a bottle while lying down may not be a good habit to get into.

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February 4, 20080 found this helpful

A couple of my children were in the same position as your daughter--wouldn't take a bottle with breastmilk or with formula. I went directly to a cup when they were about 10 months old. I put water in it (just a little) and gave it to them to "play" with at meals when I had them in a high chair. I still nursed at the other times. Gradually they got the hang of using a cup and once they were past a year, I introduced whole cow's milk to them. I never did use bottles with those particular children.

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February 4, 20080 found this helpful

I agree with the post above about weening from breast milk to cows milk when age appropriate. Try getting the baby used of breast milk in a cup/sippy cup and then switching to cows milk either gradually or all at once depending on how receptive the baby is. This way you will not only have the baby weened but you will skip the bottle weening stage to. Good luck and remember that consistency is the key no matter which way you want to do it.

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February 5, 20080 found this helpful

If you've ever smelled or accidently tasted formula, you'd understand why your child refuses it. I think anyone - given the chance - would refuse that. If you're absolutely opposed to offering her your breast anymore, give her a cup, first with breastmilk, gradually transitioning to whole milk. It'll be a bit time intensive, but lots of breastfed kids don't like the feel of a hard bottle nipple. My son wouldn't take a sippy cup - didn't want the spout in his mouth. He went to a small, lidless cup - just have to watch how quickly you allow the her to get the liquid until she gets used to it.

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February 6, 20080 found this helpful

Please don't allow any child to lie down to sleep drinking a bottle. Besides tooth decay, it's the perfect recipe for ear infections--a child's eustacion tubes aren't matured, and lying on a side while drinking doesn't allow the tubes to drain and will allow bacteria to enter and travel to the inner ear. Unless you like a screaming child in pain and have extra money to throw to medical bills, it's not the best idea.

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April 21, 20080 found this helpful

I am having sooo much trouble weaning my 10-month old son from the breast to the sippy cup. I am desperately trying to get him on the sippy cup so I can finish up school on campus. Is there anything anyone could say to help me in this situation PLEASE!

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August 19, 20080 found this helpful

Why do you women push breastfeeding longer on women that are asking for weaning advice? I keep running into the same problem myself when I have been asking for advice on how to wean my 11month old son and a lot of women are pushing doing it until the baby is ready. And this is where we get our 4 year olds that are still dependent on the boob b/c mommy is waiting until he is ready to stop?

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August 25, 20080 found this helpful

I also am seeking advice. My 10-month-old daughter already has been drinking water from a sippy cup since she started solids at seven months. However, I am hoping to have her fully weaned in two months and am trying to get her used to drinking other milk from a cup. She refuses both goat and cow milk from the cup. I understand the concept of gradually adding whole milk to breast milk, but the whole idea is to decrease my milk supply, not increase it with pumping. I never had much luck with pumping anyway. I am lucky if I can get an ounce or two a day! Any suggestions?

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Read More Answers

0 found this helpful
December 10, 2009

I would like to know how to wean a breast fed baby to cow's milk?

By equuslove from Gulf Breeze, FL

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
December 10, 20090 found this helpful

Article, How Do I Wean My Baby:

http://www.llli  Q/weanhowto.html

Frequently Asked Questions About Breast Feeding: (go down to "Weaning" there are many articles)

http://www.llli  ect.html?m=0,0,3

* For more information contact the La Leche League via e-mail. They are free & have many knowledgeable breastfeeding counselors:

The La Leche League:

Florida Chapter (go to this URL then click on your region):

http://www.lllf  roups/index.html

Here's a few tips from me: (someone who raised 4 kids)

Wait until the child is at least 1 year old, then substitute organic cows milk. Organic milk not only tastes much better (so the child may like it more), but organic has none of the nasty chemicals & antibiotics that "regular" milk does. Even if nothing else in your kitchen is organic, buy organic milk for the baby & try to use it until they are at least 5. Most grocery stores have it.

If your drink less liquids, you make less milk. An easy tip for YOU to not feel as full is for up to 1 week for you to drink less liquids. This way, you'll make less milk & reduce your breast feeding &/or pumping little by little. If you stop breastfeeding all at once you very well may be in pain.

Most children after 1 year can easily switch from the breast to a cup or a bottle. If it's a bottle, make sure the nipple has a tiny hole in it because breast-fed babies tend to suck harder.

Some children like to nurse, not just because they are hungry, but because it makes them feel loved & secure, so it sometimes may help if you at these times offer them a favorite soft blanket, pacifier or special toy. Also, offer lots of praise if they successfully drink from a cup.

Babies & small children need sucking. Don't be in a big hurry to take the bottle or breast away. I gave my kids a bottle when they were sick, even when they were 4 years old. I figure that when they are sick, it's an easy way to get liquids into them & also easy to have them drink while in bed & laying down. With my first, I removed the breast & also the bottle way too early. They're only young once, unless it's super-important (like you need to go back to work or have an emergency) let's not force our little ones to grow up fast. You're not competing with anyone, so listen to your own inter voice, not to your friends or your mother-in-laws. Sheesh! If I would have listened to my mother-in-law, I would have weaned my youngest from the breast at only 3 months. She'd say "Oh my gosh! you're still breast feeding! (& he was only 3 months old!) Take you time to wean from the breast and the bottle!

Now a days they know how giving our kids solids to early can cause allergies, back in the day, the pediatrician would tell you to start baby food at 2 months. Now we know that breast milk is the perfect food & they can be healthy with nothing else but breast milk for a year or so.

If you have more questions post them here or send me a note. Like, what are your exact concerns & questions & how old is your baby?

* Be sure to read the top URL on "How Do I Wean My Baby? It's put out by the La Leche League. The people who have helped breastfeeding moms for decades.

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December 11, 20090 found this helpful

Wait until your baby is at least a year old before introducing cow's milk. As you get closer to that time, *if you can*, drink more milk yourself; what you eat flavors your own baby's milk. Pay careful attention to your baby's health and behavior, and be ready to back off at any sign of allergy--milk is one of the 8 most common food allergens.

With those in place, you can offer your toddler a little bit of cow's milk at a time and see how s/he take to it. There are some good tips for getting a reluctant toddler to try cow's milk at  ce-it_1334703.bc .

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December 11, 20090 found this helpful

Absolutely wait till you ask your Doctor! If baby is too young or has a family history to milk allergies, you could hurt the child's sensitive stomach. Cow's milk has some seriously hard to digest enzymes for children.

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December 13, 20090 found this helpful

Good grief? Is this your own baby? If so, you should be asking your doctor this question. Don't take advice about your baby from anyone but your doctor or your baby's doctor. We are strangers to you.

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December 13, 20090 found this helpful

Well, yes this is a complicated question. I can tell you what I've done with four of mine. I nursed for roughly a year, then started them on fresh goat's milk. It's MUCH easier to digest for a child than cow's milk. The doctors will say that there's not enough B vitamins in goat's milk, so fill in the gaps with a high quality infant vitamin from the health food store.

Good luck!

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January 11, 20120 found this helpful

I am extremely stressed out about weaning my son because he is 15 months old. He is my first child and I was practically peer pressured into breastfeeding by my husband's dad and my husband and a few others in the family. However, I wanted what was best for my son. So I did just that.

Well now they are talking to me about when I'm going to stop and it is extremely overwhelming to me. But I do really want to stop now regardless of what anyone says because I want to go back to college and get my life together. So I really need some tips that I can print out so I can keep them on my wall in my living room until I successfully complete the weaning process. Please help.

By Karey

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
January 12, 20120 found this helpful

You can call the birthing unit at the local hospital and ask if there is a breastfeeding instructor. Some hospitals have breastfeeding classes and the nurses are very helpful for all sorts of problems or situations. The La Leche League is a great organization that helps mothers all over the world with breastfeeding. They have been around for a long time. Go to their website and check it out. As a last resort, check out your local library for any books pertaining to breastfeeding. Weaning doesn't have to be stressful and with my four children it went very smoothly and didn't take long at all. Good luck.

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January 13, 20120 found this helpful

I know breastfeeding can be stressful, but you have done a good thing for your son and you should be proud. :-) Does he take a bottle at all? You might try to replace one feed at a time with formula and go from there. Stopping cold turkey can put you at risk for mastitis. If he doesn't take a bottle then you can try feeding it to him from a cup. If he refuses it's sometimes helpful to have someone else give it to him. Good luck!

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