Been there, weaned that.
For someone who’s been in a long-term relationship with my breasts, I knew it would be a traumatic experience to wean my son. He’d gone through his whole 20-months of life with these babies. But this mama was tired and if we’re being honest, my nipples were sore, okay?!
I knew it was time to make a change. As sad as I was, I was ready. So I reached out to my Smother Mother community with this video and asked for their best weaning tips and tricks without having to Cry-It-Out. Although I heard from hundreds of women, I found these six stories and experiences the most beneficial to me, that still remained under the attachment parenting style umbrella.
6 Nursing Mothers Give Their Best Weaning Advice (Without CIO)
Ailyn, Seasoned Smother Mother of 3:
“I’ve weaned 3 babies off breastfeeding without trauma lol- it’s not easy but it also doesn’t have to be dramatic. Mostly it’s about CONSISTENCY. Make a decision that getting a good night sleep is what his growing body/mind need to be healthy and grow strong. (Also as equally important is your sleep) and stick to it.
I think you should break this down into two parts, first- sleeping on his own room – while you and your husband take turns to go comfort him in his room when he wakes up instead of him coming to you. If he does come to you, then calmly walk him back and comfort him in his bed. This will be a no sleep week for you and him and your husband, but stick to it and it will get much better…
Quick tip: Kids are strong willed, and he will not want things to change and fight for his “rights” LOL so be prepared for day 3 or 4 to be the worst, with it getting better the days after that.
Sleeping on his own will naturally reduce the “feeding requests” – especially since he’s not feeding from hunger anymore right now, mostly comfort. (As long as he’s getting the recommended amount of calories, etc during wake times). Once he’s sleeping in his room better, then I would eliminate the night feedings all together.
Talk to him during calm, daytime moments about boobie time being done. That He’s a big boy now and whatever works for you, by the main idea is that he knows you mean it. I don’t think this is being mean, just a transition I am helping my kiddo with slow but determined patience.
In my experience, 7-9 days of doing the routine is all it will take for them to understand this is how it is now. Kids thrive in routines and consistency- but like anything new, learning a new routine is hard. Best of luck mama.”
Whitney, Newbie Smother Mother of 2:
“I started to wean my daughter at 13 months, because I started losing my supply (I was around 15 weeks pregnant), I didn’t want to tandem nurse her and the new baby and I wanted enough time to pass for her to forget about nursing before the new baby gets here, and everything was just so tender.
Anyways, I stopped offering it, food always came first and if she did ask it would only be for 5-10 minutes. I made sure fill her up at dinner. My go to (and her favorite) is Stoneyfields organic whole milk Greek vanilla yogurt. It is full of protein. I would even mix a little organic baby oatmeal in. Another go to is avocados. Fats are full of calories to keep them full longer. I also had to break the nursing to sleep association. I did this by nursing her and reading her a story at each sleep time. Unlatching her sooner and sooner each week until we were just reading books…no nursing! Then I’d lay her in her crib awake and she would go to sleep.
That was it…once we broke the nursing and sleeping cycle she never asked to nurse anymore and slept through the night. She now sleeps 12 hours straight every night thank goodness!”
Ouida, Smother Mother of 2:
“We actually started the weaning process a few months after he turned 1. Just your regular weaning process, we fed him more food, and eliminated “BooBoo” throughout the day. We stuck to only breastfeeding for naptime and bedtime. I say “we” bc I couldn’t have done the whole breastfeeding thing, if it hadn’t been for my husband, Rudy. He was there every step of the way, and he was very supportive.
It is eliminating the naptime and bedtime feedings that is always the worst. Our babies rely on us to put them to sleep, by the comfort they feel when snuggled up to their mommy while nursing. The best advice I can give is to change up his routine a little. Confuse the little stinker..if that’s even possible. It was pretty easy when it came to stopping breastfeeding with Reyland.
We bedshare, so I had to change up the routine. Out of site..out of mind. It really worked for us. Reyland got used to falling asleep with Papa, without BooBoo. That’s the first step. I wouldn’t move him from your bed..it’s too much of a change all at once, plus, you enjoy having him snuggled in your bed. Reyland sleeps between Rudy and I every night, and we all wouldn’t have it any other way.
If your child still wakes up in the middle of the night to latch on, I suggest you sleeping on the couch until the complete weaning process is over. Make sure your partner has the baby’s Sippy cup ready, we use Chocolate milk at night. It’s gonna be hard at first, but within the first week of using this technique, you’ll see improvement.
It took about a good month for Reyland to quit asking for BooBoo, but now, he never brings it up. I’m still sad, but I have found other ways to get in that special bonding time with our booboochookoo’s. We snuggle every night, he loves being all tucked in with his Mama, so we still have that special bond.”
Alex, Smother Mother of 2:
“I was literally a human pacifier. Lucky we had a weekend marriage conference to go to in Georgia and that was all it took. My poor mother in law was on first shift. We left for four days and three nights. He cried the whole night the first night, second night was better and third night he was fine. We got home and he dug in my shirt and tried but just got denied access lol. I wore t-shirts and sports bras so he didn’t have easy access and after a few more days… he just stopped trying.
I have Heard from many other Momma’s and can confirm that the best way to wean is to leave for a few nights. Now we were mainly night nursing but it worked.”
Hilary, Newbie Smother Mother of 1:
I had the sitter and eventually my husband rock Liam to sleep with a soft blankie over their chest for a little while. So if I had to rock Liam to sleep I would put the blanket over my chest for him to lay on. It kind of blocks access to you a little more & he started associating sleeping with that blanket. Liam also has to have a huge sippy cup of milk before bed and I wish he didn’t but it’s working for now!
I’m against CIO also so I know how you feel when that’s all the advice you get! It is possible to get them to sleep without having them cry it just takes time.. but in the end it will seem like it didn’t last long.
Brooke Smother Mother of 1:
I had to wean cold turkey with Gauge. It just confused him and made him more upset if I would give it to him only at certain times like morning & night. It took about a week of me being consistent and taking his mind off it when he would want to nurse.
It took about a week of me being consistent and taking his mind off it when he would want to nurse.
I would just rock him before I would put him to bed. I def think putting him in his own space will help too. I got Gauge sleeping in his crib then weaned him. You will get it! I thought I was never going to get him sleeping in his crib all night and off the boob!
Tell us your best weaning tips
Got a few weaning tips that weren’t listed above? Send us a message or comment below. Your advice could be featured on The Smother Mother.