5 Tips on Weaning a Toddler

5 Tips on Weaning a Toddler

Don’t get me wrong. I am a big believer that breast is really best. When your child is nearing three already however, it feels more like harassment. Truly, it does.

He’s old enough to get his nourishment from real food so I think he just does it more for getting to sleep than anything else.

Last summer, I was determined to work on weaning him and even before school started, I’m happy to report that my youngest is finally off of it.

Here are some tips to help you if you find yourself in a similar situation.

  1. Do it One at a Time

Cut the feeding one at a time. My son feeds only to fall asleep or to get back to it. That’s at least 3 times, one for his nap, one for the night, and one for when he wakes up in the middle of his sleep. We started with the one before his nap. It was the easiest. It was followed by the one for the night. The hardest is the one when he wakes up in the wee hours of the morning looking for it, waking the whole house up in the process.

  1. Set the Rule and Stick to it

The good thing about toddlers is that you can talk to them already. They may not really follow you but they do understand. I made it clear to him that there will be no more milk before sleeping. I placed a pillow in between us so he won’t be able to “smell” the scent.

It wasn’t a walk in the park, especially when he’s groggy from sleep and wanting his “milky”. I’ve got the husband hammering me to just give it to him so he won’t be fussy. And I did at times, when I wanted sleep so badly. Most times though, I had to stick through it, no matter how hard, or noisy.

  1. Play the Baby Card

Toddlers hate being called babies. At least mine do. I often used it to my advantage by saying that the breast is for babies only. Whenever I ask my son if he’s a baby, he’d adamantly say no. I’d then follow it up with him not needing the breast anymore because he’s not a baby. It’s not full proof but it helps.

  1. Find a Substitute

My eldest has found a way to sleep by holding a certain pillow. It’s his comfy thing, his safety blanket. While it is troublesome to bring the pillow everywhere we go, I was glad for it and had hoped that my youngest will find his own thing too. It’ll take his mind off wanting to suckle. The good news is, he found his thing, the bad news is, it’s my mouth! Ugh!

  1. Show lots of love

To compensate for taking something away from him, I gave my youngest extra hugs and kisses. I showed him lots of love just to let him know that taking away his milky is not an absence of my love. Whenever we reach a milestone in our journey, I also compliment him and remind him of what a big boy he is already.

I don’t know when exactly it happened but he just came off it one day. He was trying to get his milky out of its hiding place (see, I told you it feels like harassment!) and then I asked him what he was trying to do. He replied, “No, I just want to see!” He did see it and he did not ask for it. He later on added “I’m not a baby, that’s only for babies!”

20 thoughts on “5 Tips on Weaning a Toddler

  1. Nice tips on weaning a toddler. In my case, no more bottle feeding before three years old. We also set specific time na pwede siya magdrink so he can eat regular meals.

  2. My baby just turned 1 thus we still enjoy breastfeeding. I also plan to give him only breastmilk (of course with complementary feeding) until he says no na. Haha, it seems it would be me na mahihirapang maglet go of our usual feeding system kesa sa kanya.

  3. I didn’t have difficulty sa eldest ko sa bottle feeding, bigla na lang one day, he said, “I am now big boy (5 1/2 years old) so I can drink as glass na mommy”, accomplishment yun for both of us. Thank you for sharing your tips mommy Cheryl. Waah, weaning that early sign na they are growing fast 🙁

  4. My son is now 2 and 3 months and I still breastfeeding. And yes I agree, mas mas masakit na sya dumede now. Huhu. But like sis Berlin, I don’t think I’m ready yet. I love to, but the thought of it also saddens me. I will remember your tips, specially the “baby calling”. I hope that’ll work for my Nate too!

  5. My little girl is nearing 2 and we’re still breastfeeding. 🙂 I just want to ask, when your little one weaned already, do you still produce milk? Does your breast still engorge? That’s what I’m thinking if ever my little girl would wean already. And I hate when my breasts engorge bec of the milk. Ang sakit!

    1. The supply eventually stopped when he stopped. Hindi na din naman ganun kadami naproproduce also kasi he doesn’t drink as much na naman. More for comfort lang. Hope that helps 🙂

  6. Reminds me of the time when I weaned my then almost 3-year old from breastfeeding, over a year ago. I think the process was harder on my part! What worked for me was putting calamansi juice on my nipples haha. He stopped breastfeeding, just like that. I had anxiety that night, while he slept as he usually did.

    Then again, I was sure he was ready to wean even a couple of months before I did something – just putting out here for other mums because the process is much easier when a child is already prepared to wean.

  7. This is something that’s going to be useful for me. I wasn’t able to breastfeed my three kids for a long time but now that I’m pregnant again, I’m hoping that I’ll be more successful in breastfeeding.

  8. My kids were bottled after a month of breastfeeding because of intense pain when sucked brought my a cyst just under the nipple of my left breast. But, I didn’t have problems weaning them because they loved to eat. I remember they only need the bottle during night time after their first year.

  9. I remember weaning my baby. I let him take the lead. It sucked at some point cause I felt like I was gonna lose the one thing that made me feel like a mother, but at the end of the day, I had to. Thank you for these tips!! 🙂

  10. I breastfed my daughter for 4 years and 8 months, that was on May 8th, Mother’s Day this year. She weaned on her own (self-weaned). I had mixed emotions; part of me was happy that she had finally reached another milestone while at the same time I was sad that I cried. 🙂

  11. My toddler is turning 3 in 3 months and I also want to wean her. So far one of my attempts to wean her is to let her spend a few nights in her grandma’s house so she’ll be used to sleeping without her “dede.” Kaya naman pala niya without me (her human pacifier, hihi) and she also doesn’t know how to drink from a bottle so hug nalang siya sa stuffed toy niya or sa lola niya para makatulog :p
    I hope she self weans soon! Haha! My toddler likes to drink fresh almond milk from a cup (she’s allergic to cow’s milk) but still requests for dede whenever she sees me around. :p

  12. Tuwang tuwa ako sa picture ng baby mo heheh. I remember my bunso ang lakas din sa milk pero eventually, nung nagustuhan na yung food, nag wean din. Great tips for weaning kasi yung ibang babies struggle talaga.

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