Weaning From The Breast
Weaning from the breast to a cup should always be done gradually. Trying to do it fast will make your child angry, clingy, and miserable.
- First: Reduce breast-feedings to 3 or 4 per day. It may take your child a week or more to adjust to this change. When your child comes to you for extra nursing, offer extra holding and snuggling. Extra love is never harmful.
- Second: Once your child is content with nursing 3 or 4 times per day, start decreasing the length of each feeding. You are probably presently nursing 10 minutes or less per side. Reduce that to 8 minutes per side. Every 3 days or so, reduce each feeding by another 1 minute per side. Don't be in a hurry.
- Third: Follow each breast-feeding with a cup of formula. If your child refuses formula, offer milk mixed with some flavoring that appeals to her.
- Fourth: After the length of breast-feeding is less than 5 minutes per side and your milk supply is decreased, eliminate 1 breast-feeding session per week. The following order is usually most easily accepted: lunch first, dinner second, morning third, and bedtime last. We recommend this method of weaning from the breast because it will reduce your milk supply without causing any sudden breast engorgement and pain.
If you have other questions about weaning, consult your healthcare provider.
Disclaimer: This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. It is provided for educational purposes only. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information.
Author and Senior Reviewer: Barton D. Schmitt, M.D. FAAP
Last Review: 6/1/2008
Last Revised: 6/1/2000
Copyright 1994-2008 Barton Schmitt, M.D. Parent Advice Messages.