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Inside: How to wean a baby from breastfeeding. Week by week process for gentle weaning.
I just finished weaning Kaitlyn from nursing. With Brayden, I was completely thrilled to wean him since nursing was such a battle to get him to eat rather than look around the room constantly. With Kaitlyn, however, I was sad. She was such a good nurser. Alas, I had to wean her when I did because my husband and I are going on vacation without our kids.
Yes, there are good things about nursing. I will have more freedom. When my husband and I want to go out to dinner, we can leave before her final nursing or be out past her final nursing. When she sleeps over at Grandma’s house, she can have her milk as soon as she gets up and I won’t have to be there at 7:30 AM sharp. If we are running errands, she can have her milk on the go instead of us stopping or coming home to nurse her. Yesterday we went to the park for lunch. I got her up and we just left–I didn’t have to nurse her first. I say these things just to make myself feel better :).
Kaitlyn weaned very easily. Here is a rundown of how we did it.
WEEK ONE: I dropped the 3rd nursing (happens at 3:30). Since she was not quite 12 months yet, she had formula instead. The first day, I fed her a 4 ounce bottle, then followed it up with nursing. I knew she wouldn’t nurse as much as usual and I wasn’t sure if she needed more than 4 ounces. I also knew this would take some of the edge off so I could more gradually decrease my milk supply. This week I was the most engorged. It pretty much took a full 7 days to get comfortable. It wasn’t as bad as when milk comes in, but not comfortable.
WEEK TWO: I waited a couple of days past me getting comfortable (from engorgement). Then I dropped the lunch time nursing (happens at 11:30). She continued to not mind in the least. In fact, after a few days of this she started to sign “milk” to me (which around here means milk in a cup, not in mommy) when it was time to nurse. We got through that, though, and she continued to nurse just fine. This week only took me about 3-4 days to physically get completely comfortable in regard to engorgement.
WEEK THREE: I dropped the evening nursing. I debated over which of the two to nurse. There are pros and cons to both. If you nurse at night, you can be more drained for sleeping. If you nurse in the morning, you can be more drained for your daily activities. Also, I have more milk in the morning than the evening. What decided it for me was that on Tuesday (the day I dropped it), I was cleaning the highway with the youth starting at 6 PM and she usually nurses at 7. I knew I would be home after her bedtime. So I dropped that nursing. This week only took me about 3 days to physically get completely comfortable in regard to engorgement. This feeding was probably the easiest for my body to drop as far as engorgement.
WEEK FOUR: I dropped the final nursing. It has only been a couple of days–I dropped it last Sunday and today is Tuesday. I am slightly uncomfortable; I assume it will take a day or two more to get more comfortable. Last night I could sleep on my belly for the first half of the night for the first time in a year and a half! For a tummy sleeper, this is exciting. Another perk to weaning. I haven’t leaked milk at all during the weaning process.
For more on weaning, see this post: