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How to wean baby from daytime nursing

How to wean baby from daytime nursing

My baby is almost one and I’m preparing to cut out the daytime nursing sessions. I’ve been an on-demand nurser and she typically eats 2-3 times during the day, mostly to soothe her when she’s tired and not as much because she is hungry. What’s the best way to drop these feedings when I’m ready? I haven’t put milk in her cup yet, only water, and wondered if that’s a start?

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  1. When wearing a toddler it is a good idea to offer lots of attention, eye contact and nutritious snacks.Water is good because it is hydrating. Nursing meets so many needs for a toddler so these things can help. It is a good idea to avoid saying “no” repeatedly. “yes, we can nurse, first let’s read this book or first let’s have this snack.”
    Is your plan to continue nursing at night?

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    1. Morning and night is what I was thinking.

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  2. Hi Charlie, Congrats on making it this far with nursing! Before I go into any weaning advice, I’d just confirm that you are weaning for the right reason – that it is something *you* want to do and not something you feel like you have to because your daughter is a certain age, or someone (family, friend, doctor) is telling you that you need to or that breastfeeding doesn’t have any benefits in older babies (all false, by the way!). The only reason I ask that is many moms are led astray by misinformation or think weaning will make life easier, when – as you mentioned – breastfeeding at this older age is often a great tool to help soothe a baby and deal with those lovely tantrums about to start up! However, if you are sure (and that’s totally fine if you are!), there are many tactics. I go into detail about them here (http://www.bundoo.com/articles/when-can-i-wean-my-toddler-from-nursing/), but I’d say the overarching goal is to try and follow your child’s lead. If she is severely distressed with the process it might be worthwhile going at a gradual pace, or only eliminating certain feeds (ie not before bedtime as this is often the last to go), or to allow her to nurse again and resume the weaning process in a few weeks or months. However you do it, best of luck and please come back if you’ve got more questions!

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    1. Honestly, I haven’t completely decided if I’m ready but I am getting there… I don’t mind night and morning nursing (I love breastfeeding, actually) but the daytime feedings are getting tough. My daughter is starting to claw my clothes off in public and gets really upset when I don’t feed her. It has nothing to do with hunger but everything to do with her love for nursing and association with bonding, etc. So it may be that I need to learn how to nurse a baby this age. I only made it to 6 months with my oldest, so this stage with nursing is new to me. The other question I have it nutritional. She won’t take milk from a cup, bottle or sippy, so when I am at work during the day she is on solids and water only. Is that ok?

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      1. Charlie,
        Many babies hold out for mama milk straight from mama. Your milk does continue to offer her good calories and supports her immune system so it is not for nothing.
        Many mothers find that setting clear limits and expectations is important to communicate. This teaches other skills but can help you navigate nursing the older baby.
        Nursing an older babies a different kind of adventure. Is there a local La Leche League group near you? Often yo can find a meeting specifically for toddlers.

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        1. A friend of mine runs one and I’ve thought about joining. I haven’t had any issues until now so might be time to make some friends!! Thanks.

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  3. That’s so great your friend runs such a group! I agree with Leigh Anne that they are so invaluable – especially when it comes to meeting moms who are nursing older babies, since we tend not to see that so much in our everyday life. I bet you will feel a lot of camaraderie there!

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