14 Month Old Does Not Want to Stop Nursing

My 14 month old son does not want to stop nursing. I really need to go back to work. He nurses with the gusto of a newborn, every 3-4 hours plus some table food. Please don't say to take a feeding that he isn't interested in and try to eliminate that one because he's interested in all of them. My husband has been less than helpful in trying to let me out of the house and give him a bottle, mostly because he works a lot of hours. If I can't give him a bottle, then no one can watch him and that makes going to work kind of impossible. Feeling stuck.

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Pamela from IL

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June 27, 20080 found this helpful

This must be a boy thing! I had the same problem with my son. What I did was this. I gathered up all of his bottles (yes he was a bottle baby) put them in a bag and showed them to him and told him they were going bye bye and he could use the big boy stuff from now on. In a matter of a day he was off the bottle since there were none ( I gave them away) and I figured he was thirsty enough to start on the sippy cup and that is what he did.

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June 27, 20080 found this helpful

Hi there,

I think your child is definitely of the age where YOU are going to have to be the catalyst for the weaning. The next time it is your toddler wants to nurse, distract him with some snack (even if it's 'junk' like fruit roll up). Then go about your business and be firm and say NO to whatever gesture/words he uses for nursing. Tell him that the snack was enough and no nursing at that time. Don't attempt to get rid of all nursing sessions cold turkey at once, but delete one a week. It will take some time, but you will need to be the one to take charge. Make sure he gets lots of nutritious food during regular mealtime and eventually substitute good snacks for the bribe foods you're using as a distraction.

Hope this helps. I nursed both of my children for a year but our nursing support group leader helped lots of moms in your position.

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June 27, 20080 found this helpful

Just stop breast feeding him! Rather than getting the child to use a bottle, go straight to a cup of whole milk. Continue with the table foods for meals and snacks. The key is consistency, consistency, consistency! if you say no more and the child throws a fit, don't give in or the child will learn to press your buttons to get his way. if you stop, your child may refuse to eat for a while but if you stick to your guns and offer other options when he wants to nurse he will eventually give in. Good luck!

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June 27, 20080 found this helpful

I have 4 children and nursed all of them. As old as he is, he should really be eating table food. This will be a test not for him, but for you. He will not naturally learn to eat table food if you do not take the lead and challenge him. That doesn't mean that you are unloving, it means that you are guiding his development. Each meal, plus several snacks between meals should first be solids. He should be sitting in his high chair participating in family meal times. Once his initial appetite is being met with more solids, he will not have room in his tummy for considerable nursing.

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June 27, 20080 found this helpful

First, decide if you want to completely wean or not. I went back to work when my first was 18 months old. She was still nursing like a newborn and wouldn't take a bottle no matter how hard we tried. So, she went to the sitter's with a sippy cup and solid foods and did just fine. Even napping, although at home she nursed to sleep.

I kept nursing her in the evenings and at night. Because she was older, I didn't pump while I was at work and never had any problems.

If you are ready to wean you can get some great advice at http://www.breastfeeding.com. They have a forum where moms can post questions.

When I weaned my first I found that it is best to just go cold turkey and be firm. Of course I did this in steps. First, I night weaned. I just told my DD that the "nursies were sleeping" when she asked. It made for a difficult week, but after that she stopped asking. One time I "slipped" and nursed her to sleep because I was being lazy. Well, it was much more difficult after that. Just stay strong and consistent.

My DD was older when we completely weaned, but I essentially did the same thing. I discussed that we would be stopping nursing on her birthday because she was a big girl. Then we stopped. She threw tantrums about it twice over the course of three days and then she was done. Even though her baby sister nurses in front of her all the time, she doesn't seem to mind.

When you are ready, just hold firm, distract the little one with cuddles, games, and other "mom time," and he'll get the picture soon enough.

Good luck!

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June 27, 20080 found this helpful

Hi, have you thought of a breast pump to help with the weaning process? Your beast milk can be pumped and stored for the time you are at work. I'm sure that would help you out a great deal. Worth a try anyway.

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June 27, 20080 found this helpful

I could not get my daughter to take a bottle from me, she wanted to nurse. But when left at the sitter's house, she happily took a bottle. When mummy is not there, the baby knows that nursing is not available. When Mummy is there, the baby can smell her milk and demands it.

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June 27, 20080 found this helpful

I nursed 2 sons. The first switched to a cup at 9 months. The second was not compleatly weaned until 13 months old. I think the baby needs more solid food, he nurses so often because he is hungry. I suggest offering the child alternatives that are more interesting than brest feeding. My pediatrician told my husband to go in and comfort the baby when he woke during the night instead of me as the baby expected me to feed him.

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June 27, 20080 found this helpful

Everyone has given you GREAT advise. Now it's up to YOU, not your 14 month old. YOU are in control of this. Don't complain if you choose to go on giving in to a 14 month old.

Yes, I'm in 100% favor of breastfeeding. I nursed all of my children; the first for 12 months, the second for 18 months, the rest of them for 12 months; I stopped when I was ready to stop.

I have twelve grandchildren ages eleven years down to 6 months, they were all breastfed thru at least 12 months.

I've been a Professional Nanny for over 18 years; your son will be fine without your breasts at his beckon call. Pat yourself on the back for being such a great mom and nursing him for 14 months and realize that nursing isn't a forever "job."

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June 28, 20080 found this helpful

I just started giving my son a sippy cup. He threw a fit for a couple days until he realized that was it. Then took to the sippy cup, just stick to it. It's really hard but after a couple days, he will totally forget.

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June 28, 20080 found this helpful

I nursed my sons until they were ready to quit-- one was 2 1/2, one 18 months, and the third was just over 2. I think babies want to nurse for the closeness and the affection. With the methods described from the other posters, the baby is definitely learning that love and affection is going to be rationed out from now on.

I went back to work when my first son was 3 months old, and the other boys were 6 to 7 months old. But I still nursed them. When they were very small I came home at lunch to nurse them, but after a year old, they stayed at the sitters, and just nursed when we were all at home.

All babies have different needs and you need to let your little one show you what he needs. Remember, a baby's wants are a baby's needs. You are not going to spoil a baby with nursing.

I suggest you contact La Leche -- a mother to mother support group for nursing moms and babes. They probably have a website; hopefully, there is a group in your area that you can join. There are many good books available.

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June 28, 20080 found this helpful

Your child is completely normal. Most babies, if not given a bottle sometime by 6 weeks of age, will reject the bottle and it could take a lot to get them to take it (like the mother being gone a long time). Nursing till 2 or 3 was the norm for most of the world until the 20th century and bottles were developed. Also the idea that you were "spoiling" your child came along much later and is deeply ingrained in our modern, Western society, but is not the way it always was. You are doing the right thing. The World Health Organization recommends breastfeeding until age 2. If you need support with extended nursing or advice on gentle weaning, try http://www.kellymom.com and click on Forums, for a large, active international community who can help you.

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June 28, 20080 found this helpful

P.S. I meant to say that since you are going back to work, the kellymom link I posted in the last message can help you as well. Not only are there tons of articles, but the forums have lots of people with advice, from stay-at-home moms to those who pump and work to those who wean. I want to add that I nursed two of my kids till 39 months when they lost interest themselves. With one of them, I was working full time, and she took a cup at day care and I nursed when at home. You don't have to give it up entirely if you don't want to. I'm new here to this frugal site, so I don't know what gets written here about food, but just think about it: Your milk is practically free! Maybe a little extra food on your part, but not necessarily (if you have some extra "padding," it can come from there ;-) Good luck to you!

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June 28, 20080 found this helpful

Dearest Mommy,

You have within your power to make the best decisions for your family. We all feel "stuck" sometimes as we try to do what's best for all concerned. Talk it over as a husband and wife to see if this is the best time for you to go back to work or if it would be better to wait a little while longer.

I am the mother of 7 children who all nursed for more than 1 year. Weaning can be led by both the mother and the child. Decide which nursing you would like to give up first and replace a nurtitious meal with a drink from a cup, straw, or sippy cup. I had greater sucess with doing this for 1 week and then eliminating the next nursing and replacing it with a meal the following week. In about 1 month or so your child can be weaned without too much trouble or you feeling to full at times. I always started with the mid morning nursing to start and progressed to lunch, dinner, then breakfast as meals. I kept nursing at bedtime and that was the last feeding to stop. I would read to my children for 1/2 or so and then nurse them. One night when you are ready, just give him a drink before you read and put him to bed without nursing. He will be fine. By then both of you will be ready. I kept reading to all of my children at night until all of them were 10 to 12 years old. That way they knew the comfort and love that only a mother can provide and it gave me comfort as well to hold them close while you can.

Trust your own instinct and know that all will be well as your sweet darling grows into the next stage of development.

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June 29, 20080 found this helpful

Everyone has given great ideas for various methods of weaning, I'll just add my support. Sometimes you just need to hear that you are a good mom when it seems like something you are doing makes your child unhappy. Eliminating a feeding will not teach your child that love is rationed out as I'm sure you spend lots of time loving your baby. If you are providing table foods and milk or water in a sippy cup, there is no reason why the nursing shouldn't be stretched out to more than every 3-4 hours. That would eliminate some feedings right there. Talk to your pediatrician about how much nursing it is reasonable to expect at this age and what amounts of food are a good guideline at this age. Of course every child is different so you will have to trust your mom instincts, but you are a good mom and I'm sure things will work out. Good Luck!

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January 27, 20100 found this helpful

Hi. Currently, my second child, Luke, is 15 months old and he still nurses usually just 2X (nap & bedtime).

Your son, like mine, may in part like to nurse b/c he's teething. Understanding why he's nursing in the first place can help him cut back or aid him.

Some suggestions:

1. (if suspect nursing b/c of teething) Frozen bagel chunks, teething biscuits, or frozen banana in a fruit-teether: http://www.toysrus.com/product/index.jsp?productId=3505954

2. (like others noted) a consistent offering of cow's whole milk, especially FIRST THING in the morning instead of your milk because you know he needs something to drink then and he will take what he can get. He'll get used to it.

For extra support, understanding, and guidance, contact a local La Leche League (LLL) member/leader. A 10 minute phone call with a LLL leader can bring understanding and care.

And, if you don't absolutely need to work for the income of your household, then perhaps embrace this time with your young son.

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