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How and When to Stop Breastfeeding: Should I Stop?

Updated on September 14, 2012
So you want to stop breastfeeding. Or maybe your baby is turning away, but you wonder if it's the right time? Could be that you're already convinced and just need to learn how to do it? Weaning a child is an intimate decision between you and your baby. Trust your instincts and don't let anyone make it for you.

How Much Is Enough?

The American Academy of Pediatrics wants you to breastfed for at least a year. However, before we send mothers everywhere packing for a guilt trip, remember that the thick, nutrient rich substance known as colostrum is present in the very first milk produced by a new mother. First milk contains highly concentrated antibodies and helps to prevent jaundice and also makes your new baby produce that first adorable poopy. But remember, the good stuff is there at the very beginning.

If you breastfeed for even one day - congrats to you. Pat yourself on the back and go from there. After a week or two, colostrum gives way to regular breast milk. Continuing to breastfeed is one of the healthiest and intimate things you can do for your baby, but at some point, you've got to stop. There are no booby-breaks in Kindergarten.

Pregnant? Great overview of online resources here.

When Should I Stop?

There are only two people who can tell you it's time to stop - your baby and you. If it's your baby's idea to wean, he'll let you know. He may be restless at the breast, sucking for a while then turning away. He might play with the breast without latching on. If he shows interest in others while they are eating or drinking from a cup, he may be ready.

Even if your baby is still perfectly happy at the breast, you've may have had enough and that's okay. Breastfeeding gets old. Working moms suffer through pumps and uncooperative childcare providers. Moms at home may have other children to care for. Sometimes you just get tired, milk production drops, and baby needs a supplement. The best reason I know to stop? Nipple as teething ring.

Breastfeeding can be a grind. Whatever length of time you have offered the breast has benefited your baby and when it's time to move on, do so confidently.

Get This Kid Off Me!

A gradual decrease in time at the breast is best. Once you begin to supplement with a bottle, you'll be surprised how quickly the little traitor switches loyalty. Your baby loved breast milk, but the easier flow of a bottle is just as nice. If she rejects the bottle at first, try different nipples. You also may want to express some breast milk and mix it with formula, gradually changing the ratio until she gets used to the new taste.

Most children will self wean by age two or three, and much younger once they start eating other foods. If you're having trouble convincing an older child to give up the breast, appeal to her pride. Big girls drink from a cup. When she reaches for your nipple be firm and cheerful. All gone!

Still Leaking?

Weaning your child, whether your idea or his, is one thing. Stopping lactation may be another. Downsize the milk factory slowly to prevent engorgement. If milk is still plentiful, wear a snug bra and avoid stimulating the breast. However diligent you are, your baby's cry can send you streaming. Try letting milk out a little at a time to relieve the pressure. Or get into a warm shower and let nature take over. If it still hurts, apply cold packs and take some ibuprofen. Stay away from drugs that dry up the supply unless you absolutely must take them. Pretty soon your breasts will get the message that their productive days are over - at least for now.

Deciding when to stop breastfeeding is so personal. Talk to other mothers, get the facts, get support for your decision. Once you've made your choice, feel good about it. And if you still can't decide, consider this - if your kid can hold a cookie in one hand, and grab your breast in the other, it may be time!


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    michwheels 6 years ago

    I just want to reply to the comments of Upset Working Mummy who is upet with what she terms "breastfeeding Nazi's", a term that has become increasingly common in Australia as well. I wonder if you are aware of the pressure that is placed on Mums who do support extending nursing and wish to feed their toddlers to the ages of between 3-4 because medical science has come out with research that suggests that there are added health benefits that you give your child if you choose to nurse past what is viewed as the most common age to wean amongst general Western populations. Are you also aware that now we have some of the worst breastfeeding rates ever in the Western world. Do you think this is a good thing?

    I have chosen to nurse my toddler to age 3 and 1/2 and am now wishing to wean. But since the age my child turned 2, I have endured comments from friends and relatives, making snide comments about how inappropiate it is. I have read also that media does not televise in the popular press that medicine now supports, like the World Health organisation that we nurse our babies until a minimum of 2.5 and further if possible because of the health benefits. Why do they not televise such educational information.........because they don't wish to make mums feel guilty if they cant breastfeed. While I think that no mum should be made to feel guilty if they cant or do not wish to breastfeed, I think that we have gone too much the other way and walk on egg shells for fear of making mums feel guilty and are now too scared to say that breastfeeding is the preferred option to formula as far as health is concerned. However we still recognise that psychological health is important and that breastfeeding is still a personal choice that should be made between mother and child so both parties are happy in the long run! It is a very personal experience. But please try and remember there are two sides to a coin.

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    golub 6 years ago


    My son was 14 months when I stopped to breastfeed. He started waking up in the middle of the night, and never did that before. I figured the breastfeeding made him feel full so he would fall asleep on the breast, but only to wake up again because he needed food. I decreased breastfeeding gradually, mornings for a week , then only afternoon and evening and then only evening and finally at 14 months quit cold turkey.He would try to get me to give in, crying , but i explain to him that he is a big boy now and that big boys drink from a cup. As soon as `i stopped he has been eating better and he never wakes up in the evening.

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    kbridges 6 years ago

    My son is 13 months old and i still breastfeed, mostly at night to put him to sleep. Im not ready to stop and neither is my son he would breastfeed all day if i let him. But my family is ready for him to stop its hard for him to go to sleep without a boob, so it makes it hard for my husband to put him to sleep if i work nights. Im not sure how i should or when i should start weaning. From this site ive gathered to let him decide but what if he doesn't want to?

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    Mandy` 6 years ago

    Question... my son is 8 months old and has never accepted the use of a bottle. Now my milk supply is running low, and I cannot pump any out to mix with formula!! Any suggestions, please? I have tried Avent bottles, Dr Browns, and Nuk. Even tried a Nuby sippy cup.

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    marina 6 years ago

    my daughter never latched on me. so i express my milk and give it from the bottle. since she doesn't eat directly from me i will express my milk until i dry out

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    Samantha 6 years ago

    Angela, as long as she's not asking you to breast feed her 5 year old, I'd zip my lip

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    Angela 6 years ago

    I`ve been expressing and giving the milk to my daughter, I found it fun and so does she, when she sees the machine she laugh and wait patiently until I finish, I felt guilty not to be able to breast feed her, but the expressing became a game for her, she `s 3 months. I will stop when she`s 6 hopefully. But I have a friend who`s still breast feed her kid who`s 5 years, I felt that it was wrong I thing that there is an age where you should stop and let your kid grow should i tell her ? or shut my mouth is none of my busyness

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    Nneka 6 years ago

    I have a baby 4month old & I am two month pregnant, Do I stop breastfeeding?

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    Stephanie 6 years ago

    I am debating on whether to stop breastfeeding or not my daughter is six month's old and she only eats in the morning's I try to feed her during the day and all she want's to do is look around and spit bubble's I try pumping and barely get two to three ounces I am trying cereal and veggie's which she likes but still won't take a bottle what should I do

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    sandij 6 years ago

    I am ready to stop nursing my 9 month old, but she refuses milk (breast or formula) from a sippy cup or 4 types of bottles. She went 45 hours without any milk, and still wouldn't take it, unless from the breast. I've tried, my mom and my husband. She eats solids but will only take minimal sips of water. I know milk is important, but the doctor says she is too young for homo milk-not that she'd take that either from a bottle...what should I do???

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    millertime2130 6 years ago

    My son is 3 and i just had my daughter 4 weeks ago shes same as her brother on latches on one side i have to pump that side...Shes been feeding more then she should at night ever hour to 2 so i feel like shes not getting a lot from me so should i stop i had lots milk at first i pupmed over 30 bags i was so full to get my boobs to not feel full...But i plan going back to work soon...we are moving soon and just to much at once but the boy i did it for 6 months..i just tired of the ever 2 hours i want to eat

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    marbles15 6 years ago

    my son is 8months old now.i trained him from bottle formula since birth he is breastfeed.but since then i gained so much pounds,i really want to lose weight ,i cant control my appetite now,a suggestion?i start gradual trained him to bottle and my baby does cooperate ,the problem is during nighttime..i think this is the hardest things,his still nurse at night,i am so worried,my husband always told me that i am no longer sexy.

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    lisa 6 years ago

    my daughter is three and half years old she is still feeding.not bad during the day but she gets up a lot at light. really want to lose weight could i take slimming tablets.

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    Upset Working Mommy 6 years ago

    why stop at 3..why not go with them to college?? You boob nazis need to get a clue that breast feeding isn't practical for everyone and breast feedings does NOT make you a great mom!!! You make wonderful mothers feel like they are incapable of taking care of their own child because breast feeding was not an many of you feeding a toddler are stay at home moms?? If I was a stay at home mom breast feeding would be a piece of cake! But what did this pumping and breast feeding mommy decide to do....teach YOUR children...and what do I teach YOUR children in elementary be nice and kind and that it does not matter how different people are and everyone has a right to their own choices...and that IF YOU DON'T HAVE ANYTHING NICE TO STAY....DON'T SAY IT AT ALL! Let's hope that YOUR children don't turn into the bullies that are hurting other children because they feel differently about something!!

    PS...Thanking your writing this article about YOUR opinion! IT HAS helped others! And those of you that THINK you know everything....need to to take a reality check about how you HURT other people!!!

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    christine 6 years ago

    Thank u soo much for this site!!! My son is 18 months old and still breastfeeds.He will not drink milk at all! I keep offering it, but he just dosent like it. I have had so many people look down on me for still nursing him. I am more concered about his health than their comments. I even had someone tell me that all he needs is juice and gatorade. I want him to stay healthy and get all of the nurients he needs. He will stop one day when he is ready. This site has opened up my eyes to not worry about weening him. Rather, I will keep enjoying our special bond time. Besides, they grow up to quick. I plan to enjoy every minute with him. He is important, not what others thoughts might be. If they don't like me breastfeeding, then they can put a blanket over THEIR heads!!

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    erica 6 years ago

    My baby is 3 months old I was planning to stop breastfeeding at 6 months but recently been rethinking it. He is very plump and weighs about 16lbs already. Will switching to formula take a bad effect on his health?

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    erica 6 years ago

    My baby is 3 months old I was planning to stop breastfeeding at 6 months but recently been rethinking it. He is very plump and weighs about 16lbs already. Will switching to formula take a bad effect on his health?

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    ana 6 years ago

    I’m currently 8 weeks pregnant and still nursing my 16 month old before bed. I’m wanting to ween him, but if I don’t feed him before bed, he wakes up in the night for a nurse! Any advice? I’m super tired and wanting to rest as much as I can!

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    Eire 6 years ago

    I didn't find this helpful at all. It seemed to only focus on making mum not feel guilty (which of course is important), and so failing to actually give some good researched info. It also focuses on younger babies. What about the boob addicted toddler?

    This page needs to be taken down or re-written by someone who knows what they're talking about.

    Neha I'm in the same boat as you at the moment. Had an absolute joyful time feeding my son, but now at 17 month he wakes through the night (sometimes quite a bit) and cannot seem to settle back to sleep without latching on. This is really hard for me to cope with as I'm working full time.

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    neha 6 years ago


    my 20month old baby still breastfeed and i tried a lot to stop him i tried bottle milk at night but he wakes up and not take bottle milk what can i do

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    laura 6 years ago

    I stopped breast feeding my son a week ago he is almost 8 months and now I feel like it was too soon for him. I did it over a period of about two weeks and now he wont drink his formula milk at bedtime and is not really intressted in it in the day eather. He weeps at bed time and pushes his bottle away. He did really enjoy his solid food when I offered it to him when I was breast feeding him but now he dose'nt eat as much.

    I really don't know what to do I did really enjoy breast feeding my son but I start back at work next month so thought it would be best for both of us for me to stop but now I feel like it was the wrong thing to do. I feel really guilty what should i do. is it too late for me to start again and would it be the best thing for him. Please Help

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    ceecee21 6 years ago

    Hi im 21 and have a 7 month old and its my first baby, she has been breastfed from the day she was born, now i have been really cool about doing this and found great enjoyment. But i been losing a bit of weight and have come to find that she is teething and has her first tooth. She bites like crazy and get the munchy at night. she drinks a lot at night! i want to stop breast feeding but im afraid i will miss that personal time we have. And im not sure if im ready to get her on the bottle because im afraid i might lose my personal time with her now that everybody will be able to feed her with the bottle.I wish i was stronger in doing this but i feel like i may lose her. please help me.

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    Exhausted mum 6 years ago

    Hi, I have a 9 month old baby who has been exclusively Breastfed from about 2 months. I had a lot of trouble with breastfeeding at the beginning, problems with bubs latching on and i also thinking I had a low supply of milk which is the reason why i formula fed as well at the beginning because of the pressure of my mum telling me my supply is low and bubs is still hungry. I honestly thought breast feeding just wasn't happening for me but i was committed to persevere and eventually bubs latched on and my supply started to gradually increase to meet his demands. I also used an electric pump that helped. So to the

    Mums trying breast feeding and having a hard time with it, my advice is to persevere, you and bubs will eventually get it right. My only problem was that bubs would take ages to feed, I mean an hr plus, he still does now but only at nap times and bedtime. I'm currently looking into weaning bubs off the breast, so I can combine breast feeding and formula. My reason is pure exhaustion! Bubs still wakes up for night feeds and takes very long to feed him to bed and I'm finding it's just too exhausting. To the mothers who have babies that are 9 months and over and still breast feed, I would like to know how long it takes for you to breast feed your baby to sleep, how many times in the night does bubs still wake up for a feed, is bubs actually feeding or is it a comfort thing? Also have attempted to introduce the bottle before with breast milk and he refuses, he does drink out of a straw cup so i will try that and let others know how I went. I'm really looking forward to when bubs sleeps through the night.

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    Amy 6 years ago

    My baby is 6 weeks old and all I have been able to do is pump. Lately my milk supply has been going down and I pump twice a day. Also she has been more fussy when she drinks my milk as opposed to the formula. I am thinking of just pumping once a day til my supply is down to nothing and maybe giving her 1 bottle of breast milk daily so I don't waste it and she still gets the benefits. Does this sound good?

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    Mariam 6 years ago

    My problem is .i have a daughter who is 1yr and 1month old .she's on mother feeding but the problem is i am pragnant again and i should not give feed to her due to ma pragnancy and ma daughter is not taking bottle milk . and she crys a lot .. but she do take solid and other food ..but i am worried for milk .. as milk is essential ... plz sumone suggest me wat to do

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    tanya 6 years ago

    i have just stop feeding one day now and am in so much pain what can i do.

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    Lisa 6 years ago

    how can istop breasfeeding ma baby of one year

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    Pearl 6 years ago

    Its been 14 months and although the supply has been dwindling, our little girl is not into bottles or formular or cows milk so I'm holding on cos she's not into water much either. I've had some funny comments from family and the biggest deal at the moment is the lack of sleep as she nurses between 2 to 6 times at night for comfort and so there are days when it all adds up & I'm craving to just collapse. Hubby is busy with work on top of work (these are tough times) and a masters course. I feel so bad sometimes but when the pressure mounts up, its tough. Will be grateful for any ideas - epscially any night time tips that will help her sleep without a feed. Thanks!

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    Jolene 6 years ago

    My baby is 7 and a half months old, She is using me to teeth on I am soo sore. I breastfed by first boy to 10 months he started teething at 11 months which worked out well, I wanted at least the same for her and feel guilty but I have never enjoyed breastfeeding her she has a very little mouth and I have spent the past 7 and a half months with very sore boobs. Am I selfish wanting my boobs back? She takes formula from the bottle, the thing I will miss will be the feeding on demand when she wants some comfort. I do not know what to do..

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    Sharon Bidder 6 years ago

    My daughter is 8 months old and is breastfeeding. I have started giving her a little cows milk in the day from a cup.

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    Ashley 6 years ago

    I am a breastfeeding mama. I have one baby boy who is one and I'm still breastfeeding him, been exclusively breastfeeding(no bottles/Sippy) since day one:) He does get table food now, baby snacks, and drinks a couple ounces here & there of whole milk/juice/water. && don't forget LOTS & LOTS of breastmilk! :0) I love breastfeeding him, and he loves breastfeeding too. There is a strong bond between us, he's such a mamas boy

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    janne1 6 years ago

    First of all...most of these posts are wonderful, but give you no life whatsoever...and...create more of a problem when it comes to weaning...weaning a 16 motnh old? a 3 year old...Are you kidding me? This is more about you than your child. AAP says up to a year is wonderful, but most of the Pediatricians of the world don't have an opinion past one month, which is plenty. The colostrum is all gone after 2 weeks and anything after that is gravy. To each his-her own, but your posts make a new mom feel guilty and inadequate reading these unrealistic posts. NEW MOMS: Get real, get a life and do the best you can...One or Two months is plenty to breastfeed...Pumping is just as good and the "bonding" is still not fear these people here...

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    Ronni 6 years ago

    I Breastfed and still breastfeeding my 11months old baby,but i am returning to work and want to stop breastfeeding - Which Formula milk is best and can i give her some cereal with the formula milk? Any feedback will be appreciated!

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    Jessica  6 years ago

    I have a question for everyone my baby will be 3 mths on Dec 6 and I wanted to breastfeed from the beging but I just don't produce milk im still not completely dry is it to late to try to breast feed at this poing and dose any body know any thing about what i can do to have more milk supply

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    whitney 6 years ago

    I had my daughter nov 9 this is my second child when I bteast feed her she sucks good to the point where she will make me bleed and I want to know if I stop breast feeding now will that make me a bad parent need some help please thank you

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    Darwin Moseti 6 years ago

    my daughter stoped suckiling when she was two month old and her mother went to school so please advise me the kind of food she needs to eat.

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    sarah 6 years ago

    Something to think about:

    This article only addresses Mothering concerns about breastfeeding. It lacks in expressing the enormous benefits of breastfeeding your baby. It also gives little consideration to the baby's perspective. Breastfeeding is a personal decision, however when you make your decision it should be an informed one. If you are really considering weaning a baby you should refer to Le Leche League for some good advise. This lady is not qualified to answer breastfeeding questions as she has only breastfed until teething. Reminder that some babies get their first tooth between 4 - 6 months. Not very long to consider yourself an expert.

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    Margot 6 years ago

    I breastfed my daughter when she was younger and I swear

    when she sleeps she is still suckling. Is this normal?

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    Gigi 6 years ago

    My son is 7 months old and LOVES breastfeeding. However I have had to start supplementing the last month due to a drop in my supply. I have tried everything to boost my supply but nothing is working. It is gradually becoming smaller and smaller amounts. At work now I only pump 2oz. every 3hrs. It is breaking my heart. My baby keeps trying and trying to get full off the breast but cant. He will take a bottle but prefers my breast. Any tips, or advice? This is killing me. I just wish I could give him all the milk he wants.

  • MythiliK profile image

    MythiliK 6 years ago from India --> Switzerland

    Hi I gave a reference to this hub in my hub about "Breast Feeding - Dos and Donts". Thought of sharing with you :-)

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    babyedwin 7 years ago

    Hi , my baby boy is 1 1/2 and am really drained mentally and physically. He is my third child and not willing to let go of the breast. I need my energy back and my body too. My job is very demanding. Plse help how can i stop him from breastfeeding. It is beginning to get irritable and he feeds on a variety of foods but at night is another story. please help. i really need my boobs back the older you get the less stronger you are.

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    Paula Gomez 7 years ago

    Hi, I am trying to stop breastfeeding my 20 old months but is not easy.

    Now he wants to be feed just during the night but 3 or 4 times, I am tired!

    What should I do?

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    rajdeep 7 years ago

    mybbaby is going to be one yeer next month i want to quit brest feed but he don't like bottle give me cue

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    tina 7 years ago

    im 14 week and 4 days pregnant im still breastfeeding but somedays i just done feel like it because im losing lots of milk now is it normal and what to do

  • profile image 7 years ago

    My baby have 2yrs and 3month i want to stopped brest feeding please did you tell me the way i can stop it from now baby like to feeding at last night want mother to feed her.

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    sammy brown 7 years ago

    i stopped brest feeding after 3 weeks i really regret it and would like to start again is their any chance i could preduce any milk now ?? and how

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    Amy 7 years ago

    I exclusively BF for 6 months. My son was allergic to dairy and soy at 4 weeks. i went off of all dairy (ALL) and all soy (ALL). It was a difficult but rewarding 6 months. At 5 months I started soy products and it was fine, but when I began eating dairy he got sick again. So he is now on soy formula. I had to quit nursing cold turkey. He is fine. Did not bother him at all to just get a bottle, but I am in agonizing pain. I went 6 days with cabbage and motrin. Had to pump 3/4 off today, that was 12 oz. It was so painful. Bad milk it looked like. I feel better, but wondering how long it is going to take to dry up. I can hardly hold him because it hurts so bad! HELP!

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    DO 7 years ago

    I nursed my older son for over a year, and have been breastfeeding my younger son for nearly two years now.

    Margaret - from everything I've read, it should be possible to nurse again. can you find telephone number of La Leche, or some other organization that can give you nursing advice by telephone? Otherwise, it may be worth getting a breastfeeding counselor ("lactation" or breastfeeding consultant) to give you specific tips. Good luck!

    Mama3 - Similar advice. I'm not very clear on whether you would like to continue nursing. It must be very difficult having to take care of three children, so obviously you need to make decisions that will be best for both you and your child. I believe in nursing as much as possible, but if it's hurting you then that's a consideration, too. See my next post, for more on that issue... Good luck!

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    Mama3 7 years ago

    I nursed my baby for the first two weeks of her life. My breast were getting really soar, so I decided to pump and bottle feed her. She has been gaining a lot of weight which is great. She is now 1 1/2 months old. Just last week I started to try nursing her again because I couldn't keep up with the pumping. I think my milk supply has reduced a lot from being tired and running around after two other children. She takes the bottle and only nurses for 5 minutes to fall asleep. I am going back to work on a few weeks and I am thinking of switching to formula. I feel guilty of wanting to give her formula, but then again my milk supply is diminishing. Any thoughts?

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    Bobbie 7 years ago

    My son is about to turn a month old and I breastfeed only but the problem is i'm always emotional always crying and breastfeeding it making it worse and making me not want my child around. I'm always angry and sad. I was thinking switching to formula would take off some stress or something this is my first child so i'm a wreck help me please!

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    margarette 7 years ago

    pls help me i stopped breastfeeding about 3 weeks but i wanted to give my baby back breastfeeding,i still have milk supply on my breast..anyone can help me,can i still continue to breastfeed even though i stopped already for 3 weeks???pls pls help...

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    Miguelle 7 years ago

    How can i get my two year to stop breast feeding

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    brooklynmom 7 years ago

    After reading all the comments here I was surprised that no one has mentioned that it's quite an emotional transition between mom and baby! My son is 18 months old and his doctor told me to stop because he was too thin, despite eating table food. It's been 4 days and he still sometimes tugs at my shirt. He's very clingy and cries a lot.I've been holding close for 4 days now. He stopped eating food today and declared a hunger strike. I know he wasn't ready and neither was I but I hope that he'll sleep better now and gain weight. He's in the first percentile in weight and 57th in height. It wasn't an easy decision but I still think I made the right one. He should be better by next week hopefully.

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    MUSA 7 years ago

    His my first born and am so proud of my self, but now with work and nurcing its too much for me, come home tired and there he is he had a bottle in his had he will come for the breast just for few minutes and sometimes he bits me he just 9months now! i want to

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    Chiconna S. 7 years ago

    Today marks the day I have officially stopped nursing my son. He will be 9 mos old tommorrow. He actually weaned himself. When I was working he was given a bottle of breastmilk, and sometimes at night, not often, I would give him a bottle to ensure he got a full tummy to sleep better. I guess it didn't take long to realize the milk flows quicker from the bottle with less effort. His teeth came in a couple months ago and I was surprised he was not biting but 3 weeks ago he started biting. So I knew that if he didn't wean himself, I certainly was gonna. lol.

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    Stephanie Mangano 7 years ago

    It's really a matter of personal choice when it comes to breastfeeding and to "how long" but I am absolutely fabbergasted reading some of these comments. One lady said she breastfed her daughter until 3?!?!? Omg. That is wayyy toooo longggg...not only does a three year old have a full set of teeth, holding conversations, eating full meals, etc., it's ridiculous to breastfeed at this point. If you're getting 7-8 oz per session good for you. But I can't believe this. I think it's a matter of finally coming to "terms" with that fact that your baby is no longer a baby anymore because realistically at 2 1/2 or even 3, you will definitely get the "stares" and "comments" from strangers in public so expect it! If you can deal with it, then it's up to you unless you're in the privacy of your own home. I'm a mom of 3 and have breastfed but nowhere near 2, or 2 1/2 or even 3!! And to the mom who's daughter is over 2 and is only getting less than 1 oz per session, c'mon, your baby needs much, much more milk than that so I hope you're definitely supplementing. Yes, breastfeeding has wonderful benefits but at one point, you need to part with it especially for the sake of the child. As for the comment above stating that a lady breastfeeds a 9 year old, I sincerely hope this is a joke because that is just sick and demented. Additionally, when I read the comment below:

    BTW- There are many benefits of nursing so don't give up. My daughter hasn't had any ear infection and only had 1 viral illness. At 20 months she could count 1-10. At 21 she can identify her alphabets. At 22 she can pronounce the numbers and letters clearly.

    I'm not debating you or saying breastfeeding is not wonderful but I've personally known two women who breastfed both their sons until well over a year and STILL both grew up (one is 20 and the other is 18) and both have learning disabilities. The 20 year old was in special ed during his school years as well as the 18 year old.

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    kelley 7 years ago

    My daughter was born premature and was in the hospital for 2 weeks. With all of her medical issues, I was encouraged to give her breast milk. She didn't learn to latch, so I pumped exclusively. It is hard work, but it's been a year now. I just want to say to those who can't get their baby to latch, pump if you can. It's been worth it for me. It is very hard work at times, but rewarding to see how well she has grown.

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    michelle 7 years ago

    My son is 16months old and nurses 3-4 times a day. This is the only way I can get him to nap/sleep other than a car ride. He refuses plain milk. I did try horizon organic vanilla flavored milk (it only comes in 2%) but he LOVES it from a sippy cup. He does not accept a bottle and I have tried every nipple and brand.

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    Mehreen Afsar 7 years ago

    Really need some advice! Ive been breastfeeding my 16month old son and i really want to stop now because i soon start uni. Problem is he understands what boobies are now and that they giv him milk and he'll have his hands down my top pinching me til i give up and give him his milk. I tend to feed him in the morning and jus before bed. he wont drink any formulas, fresh milk and will not touch a bottle. Ive tried soo many different cups and beakers but he jus throws them down. I would go cold turkey and completely stop if i knew he would get the milk from a bottle but he wont so im worried he wont be getting all that goodness from milk babies need. Any advice would be appreciated..

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    robin 7 years ago

    Thanks for all your comments. My baby boy is 4 months old, rarely nurses (when he does it's with a breast shield) and I have been back to work since two weeks after his birth which means lots of pumping and bottle feedings. I have watched my milk supply go down each week, done many hours of research and taken so much fenugreek & blessed thistle that I don't think I'll ever want another pancake(the fenugreek makes your perspiration feel like maple syrup). After his 4 month check up today I turned in my breast pump rental, I can't handle the stress of worrying about the amount of my milk and getting disgusted with myself after a 30 minute pumping session with only 1oz of milk to show for it. I thought it would be easy to stop, but I feel so guilty. Your comments have definitely helped tonight so I thank you. We need to be less hard on ourselves and be thankful that we have beautiful healthy babies whether they are breastfed or not!!

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    Tasha 7 years ago

    The cookie comment has really helped me realise that I should take my son off the breast. He is almost 16 months now and it has been 3 days since his last feed. Thankfully, it has been an easy transition as he has been on a bottle too (he had this if he was ever babysat) since he was 3 month old. Breastfeeding is excellent for your weight, excellent for the baby but I do think when the baby is tugging at your top, it is time to stop!!!

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    Emily 7 years ago

    My son is going to be 2 next month. I never used a bottle on him, but he has been using a sippy since 9 mo and eating a wide range of food since then. He nurses at night and nap only, unless he needs extra comfort (it has come n handy when those 2 yr molars were coming in!). I plan on letting him wean himself, his maturity is progressing and I know it won't be much longer. He is so independent, confident, and fearless, I would like to think its because I gave him a strong foundation of security and comfort and mature when he was ready, not when a book says.

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    Chara 7 years ago

    I breastfeed my daughter for the first 11 months. It was the best experience ever. In the beginning I was working so I had to rely on pumping. I got the medelea freestyle and I would suggest it to any mother who needs to work and wants to breastfeed. My daughter switched back and forth from the breast to the bottle pretty easy, but that's not the same for all babies. I will tell you that without a good pump, you will probably not produce enough milk or be comfortable enough to continue breastfeeding. I was lucky and pumping didn't decrease my milk supply. My daughter started self weening at ten months, I continued to nurse her, replacing a nursing session each week with whole milk, then for the last three weeks I just nursed her before bed (more for her then me) everything I read said that since I cut down gradually I shouldn't have had problems when I totally stopped nursing, but I have become engorged on both breasts, with one side sweeling to twice its normal size! My OB suggested placing cabbage leaves on the breast, the coolness helps with the pain, and according to some sights I have run across say that if you cut into the cabbage leaf before placing them in a tight fitting sports bra, it will help to dry your milk up. Hope this works cause I'm in a lot of pain.

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    Amanda 7 years ago

    thanks for all your comments and stories. I'm finally feeling ok with my decision to stop pumping for my twins who are currently 5 weeks old. They never latched on and I have been pumping exclusively for them since they were born but have always had to supplement with formula because I am not producing enough. I have to go back to work in a few weeks and pumping has really been stressing me out because I feel like I spend all my time worrying about that instead of spending time with my babies. It's only going to get worse when I return to my 12 hour shift job in a few weeks. I have been trying to figure out the best way to wean myself off the pump. I am currently pumping 6 times per day for about 30 minutes and getting 4-6 ounces with each pumping. Should I cut out sessions or time or both? Thanks for your help.

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    Tiffany 7 years ago

    I mixed breast milk and formula for 2 weeks before completely switching my 6 month old to formula. I have mixed emotions, on one hand I feel a new sense of freedom and on the other I feel guilty.

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    tanzb 7 years ago

    Rebecca and others:

    I too am struggling and this my 2nd child. My son is 7 weeks going on 8 weeks and is having trouble latching and with my milk supply. I have:

    2 full time lactation consultants

    1 hospital grade brest pump

    take 12 pills a day (fenugreek 4 3X a day and blessed thissle 3 3X a day)

    Just got him off of the nipple shield since apparently I have flat nipples

    also I am reading just about everything that I can about these matters. I am a full time graduate student and also have a 3year old too.

    My point? I am doing everything possible and sometimes I want to just "throw in the towel". Still, there are people that will tell you "keep going it's best!~~". I know that this might be true that breast is best, bust sometimes you need to normalize your life and make things well for you too! I am at that point where I might have to stop the pump, feed, take pills, pump feed, take pill cycle. Some might say "you don't want this bad enough". I would say keep your opinion to yourself.

    Do what you can mommies, and just love your little ones. Breast is great if you can. If not it's not the end of the world.

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    Rebecca Newago 7 years ago

    I have three children Koresa 4, Alivia 3, and Nakodan who is turnind 1 on Dec.24th. I did not breastfeed my two girls but i did breastfeed my son Nakodan. My son was a month old when he was diagnosed with hydrocepalus caused by aqueduct stenosis. We spent two weeks in the Children's Hospital in Minneapolis after he had brain surgery. Since then he had 3 other brain surgerys Threw all of the surgerys I still breastfeed my son. It was very hard and stressful and I stayed strong because I knew it was the best thing for Nakodan at the time. Nakodan loved to breastfeed. Just only 3 weeks before hes birthday he made the decition to stop nursing. I fell that I should have breastfeed him longer because of what he went threw. I am hurting more then he is right now.

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    Cherry Lanter 7 years ago

    My child is 9 years old and she still instists on breastfeeding!

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    catrina 7 years ago

    im a mom to be and all this advice has helped me come to terms with breastfeeding. it was scary to think about at first, kind of awkward to talk about but im feeling more comftorable with the idea. i no that i don't want to breastfeed for over 6 months, the advice posted has helped a lot with learning how to switch from breast milk to formula. my mother inlaw said that it wasn't possible to switch b/c it would make the baby sick. but i am convinced that she was wrong. thankyou for the tips and helpful advice.

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    Linsey 7 years ago

    I have 5 children Emma-8, Julia-6, Olivia-5, Hannah-4, Paige-3. I stop breastfeeding Emma and Julia at 11 months,Olivia at 13 months,Hannah at 10 months.Paige is still being breastfed to this day.Paige is 3 and 4 months. I almost got her to stop but she starred again. I tried all the options up above plus more. She loves it i breastfeed her at 8:00, 12:00, also until she goes to bed

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    kimi 8 years ago

    ishi, i am having the same problem with my 22 month old son. he sleeps in bed with me. i haven't slept through the night since i was about six months pregnant because he wants to nurse at night for comfort to fall back to sleep three or four times per night still! i am tired from lack of sleep. i want to quit, but he does not. i try to offer something to drink in a cup and this occasionally works. i don't know if i should just stop him cold turkey since he just wont accept being weaned slowly.

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    Ishi 8 years ago

    My daughter is 23 months old now, as she is approaching 2 yrs of age, she is more inclined to breast feeding, I am suffering almost the whole night being a working mother. She easily drinks from the cup as well, but doesn't seem to leave the breast. will someone help me out what to do?

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    struggling mom 8 years ago

    Thank you helpful mom! I have tried your suggestions and even found that carrot juice is not as bad as I thought it would be. Now since he is starting solids how much should I be breastfeeding? Also, how much carrot juice a day did you drink? What about orange carrot juice (grocery store no longer has just carrot)? I honestly did not realize how much I would enjoy feeding my son. I am hoping to continue longer than I had original intended to do so. Thanks again for the advice.

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    Helpful Mom 8 years ago

    Hi, struggling mom. I had the same problem with my baby who is now 22 months old (and still nursing). Before nursing, try giving your baby 1-2 ounces of formula (just enough to satisfy his hunger) and then switch him right back to breastfeeding. Try this for 2 days. Carrot juice increased my milk supply. Try it. Good Luck!

    BTW- There are many benefits of nursing so don't give up. My daughter hasn't had any ear infection and only had 1 viral illness. At 20 months she could count 1-10. At 21 she can identify her alphabets. At 22 she can pronounce the numbers and letters clearly.

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    stuggling mom 8 years ago

    I think I am on empty and my son is only 5 months. He really seems to cry like he is not getting enough. I have tried some formula, but he seems to break out with everything. He started on solids, but I was hoping to nurse at least until 6 months. What am I doing wrong?

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    amypirnack 8 years ago

    lillian: YES! Your milk is very much still good for consumption! If you are still producing and baby wants to nurse then latch her on. You are just fine. :-) I hope all is well.

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    lillian 8 years ago

    can someone please help..... I stopped breastfeeding 3days ago but i just cant watch my baby cry endlessly and she wont take milk. Is my breastmilk still good for consumption? it still flows but im scared its sour.

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    lillian 8 years ago

    can someone please help..... I stopped breastfeeding 3days ago but i just cant watch my baby cry endlessly and she wont take milk. Is my breastmilk still good for consumption? it still flows but im scared its soured.

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    HappyMom 8 years ago

    So happy to hear that it is ok to breastfeed until 2 yrs and beyond.

    Just an observation though: When a child is old enough to physically pull out the mother's shirt, pull the breast out of the bra and .....we all know the rest, I think it's time to start weaning the child....specially when the toddler does not really drink the milk because he/she is on full solids for all meals + 3.25% milk feeds. And when you child is old enough to give each boob a unique name, it is really time to stop. My friend's child is starting to embarass her now.

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    resa 8 years ago

    I wish I could make some suggestions but I can't... I am also having the same problems I hav a 16month old, and she refuses to give up breast feeding. Sometimes I don't mind and other times I just can't function I feel like she is not even getting milk and is just sucking for comfort, I have to eat and especially drink more to produce more milk its just frustrating luckily I have a husband that loves us and cares for us so sometimes when it gets really bad and I can't do it he will take her and walk with her to comfort her. I will say this ending breastfeeding is a two person battle it helps if you have another half

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    sandy 8 years ago

    my son is turning 1 and i really want to stop breastfeeding.he drinks water out of a sippy cup and even sucks out of a a straw. i started to put milk in the cup and he wouldn't take it.. he hated it. he eats food like chicken nuggets, fruit, rice, and other things so i know he gets full.. its just heartbreaking to hear him screaming and crying in his crib knowing that he wants me. but i am not giving up.. this is my third time trying. i just want to know if there are any easy suggestions that my help

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    Ivorwen 8 years ago from Hither and Yonder

    That cookie and a boob thing... yep, that is why I am weening my 18 month old. He doesn't care for regular milk, but he will get use to it, I'm sure -- or he can drink water!

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    Caroline 8 years ago

    My boy is almost 9 months old and I plan to stop breastfeeding soon. These 9 months I have to eat A lot just to produce milk for him and im so out of shape. I feel very unhealthy too with my big tummy.

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    Miraphil 8 years ago

    Its been a while since I'm trying to stop my baby from breastfeeding. I thought she might be too old for that and I'm kinda pressured by the comments of friends and relatives. I'm so desperate that I even tried putting garlic and calamanci extract on my nipple, but to my dismay my daughter suck on my nipples as if it doesn't have a bad taste. She is now 2yrs & 3 months old, a this point she come to me twice a day to breastfeed, that is at nap time and at night time. After reading your article, I was relieved knowing that it is just ok as long as we both wanted to do it. Thanks!!!

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    Jessica 8 years ago

    I must say my 1 year old daughter is not trying to wean anytime soon. I can get her to drink juice from a bottle but milk, no way! It has been hard emotionally to see her breakdown so hard when I refuse her the breast and I just give in every time. I wish there was some magic button you cuold push to make them just I have enjoyed this experience but I am ready to bring it to an end.

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    Taffy 8 years ago

    Fatty boy : I would say that you should limit you feeding. Going cold turkey really does not work and it puts lot of strees on you and your child. I have tried that and did not work, I started breast feeding angain and now feeding her only at night. My daughter does not take bottle at all, she doesn't even like that teast of regular milk. I can tell you only what I know and I think limiting is working for me so far. Trying to stop breastfeeding is very hard for the mother and Child. So take it easy and keep trying.

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    fatty boy 8 years ago

    I am trying to stop breastfreeding my 11 month old son. I am having troble because all he know is my breast. I don't know if i should try to go cold turkey on him or just try to limit the breastfred to once a day until my milk slow down? The problem is that one of my breast is always much fuller than the other and the engorement is hurting so bad. I don't know what to do? I want to know how long does it take for your breast to stop getting milk and go back to regular again? I need a little help. Can somebody help me?

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    Taffy 8 years ago

    I am tring to stop breastfeeding to my 20 months old baby girl. It is very hard on her and me. I feel really bad for putting her in this position. I wish I never brestfeed her. My Milk supply is very liittle and I mean not even 1OZ. I don't think she is getting enough. She is not taking bottle and never have. I tried to ween her but it is not working. she cry and stop eating too. I am very confused and don't know what to do.

    Need little advise


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    Lisa 8 years ago

    I exclusively breastfed my son for the first 3 weeks of his life then pumped/bottlefed for the 4th week. I then went to bottlefeeding for the next five weeks. My son cried instantly when I took him off the breast after a feeding. I am now convinced that I was not producing enough milk. Stopping breastfeeding was very sad for me and when my son was 8 weeks I decided to relactate. However at that time, my son refused to take the breast. I have been on domperidone and fenugreek and have exclusively pumped breastmilk for him. I now wish to stop as he is approaching 6 months....however, I still feel guilty...WHY? I think people place to much emphasis on breastfeeding. While I think it is a natural choice, I don't think it is the only choice. Mothers should not feel guilty about bottlefeeding their babies. It has taken me many months and many tears to come to terms with the fact that I didn't want to exclusively pump breastmilk for a year.

    I think any mother who attempts breastfeeding has done so before she loves her child and should NEVER feel guilty about her decision to stop when she is ready.

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    Tamara 8 years ago

    I have been pumping since my son was born, he never latched on. My milk supply has decreased and he gets formula. I want to stop pumping for several reasons. I would like to start losing weight.Sometimes when I pump I only get a few onces so I feel like im wasting my time. I feel guilty for wanting to stop. I keep thinking he is going to be mad or think I gacve up on him

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    Thankyou  8 years ago


    I am so reassured to find out that so many other moms out there are just like me. I am having trouble weaning my 1 year old daughter. (I breastfed my first one till she turned 2&1/2.) People keep telling me that I am foolish for continuing to breastfeed for so long 2nd time too, nursing after 1 year isn't good for me, I am a sure candidate for osteoporosis and that it proves I am not a strong person mentally. God knows if all this is true but I simply freaked out. I tried to stop nursing, but eventually gave in when she cried sooo hard. I have decided to try it once again when she is 18 months old. But fpr now, I've decided against it. It saved me from agonizing so much over it. Thankyou so much for helping me decide.

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    Lela Davidson 8 years ago from Bentonville, Arkansas

    You're Welcome!!!!

    I'm so glad to hear this article is helping a few of you feel better about your choice of when to stop breastfeeding! There will be more to come soon.

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    Thank you So much 9 years ago

    Thank you so much - I was crying as I was reading your hub. I breastfed my son till he was 1 year and 1 was he that told me "No Mummy" when I tried to breast feed him and I was in tears, but thankful now that I could at least feed him till that age. He started walking at 8 months of age & out of nappies by 18 months. My son is now nearly 10 years and is a very talented soccer and golf player, excelling at school and is a size 16, not overweight, just very tall and well built. My daughter is nearly 5 months old and have recently started her on formula. I was not producing enough milk to satisfy her. It took a while for her to take to the bottle though, I had to keep persisting. Then one day she took the bottle in its entirety and loves it, sleeps longer and plays happily without whinging. I was sad the day she took it and still do feel bad for not maybe trying hard enough and keep comparing her to her brother & thinking she may not end up as smart. After reading your hub though, & other peoples comments I feel a lot happier about our decision and am looking forward to watching her become her own person. She rolled at 4 months and holds her head extremely well...I even give her farex and baby food (loves sweet potato), she watches so intensely when we eat and swollows. I have no doubt that she will grow perfectly and will stop comparing breast babies to bottle babies and take every day as is comes - Thank you

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    Hil 9 years ago

    This is great information.

    My son can stay on the breast throughout the night. He wakes up about 3 times and each time he's start searching for the nipple. Sometime I tell my husband to try soothing him to sleep but he refuses saying "he'll cry".

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    jlynch 9 years ago

    I really appreciate this hub, and the advice given. I am 5 months along and have really been stressed, wieghing the breast feeding vs. bottle feeding options. I know that breastfeeding is best, but I will be returning to the office after 7 weeks leave and really, it sounds like pumping isn't going to be at ALL practical. I'd also like to include my husband in feedings, and I know he wants to be included, so I'm thinking that we might pump for the first 6 weeks I'm home and do a combination breast/bottle breast milk feeding to see if that works. Then, I won't feel so awful about the exclusive bottle feeding when I go back to work. Honestly, I have friends who are still nursing their children at 4 years old and it sortof grosses me out--and (vanity speaking) their boobs and their bodies look awful. They have no time to themselves and they always feel stressed about EVERYTHING. One refers to herself as the "human milk machine". Not for me :)

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    Moon Daisy 9 years ago from London

    I still breastfeed my 2 and a half year-old. She's still very much into it, and I'm happy to do it for as long as she wants (well, within reason - and I'm not sure yet how I define "within reason"!) If she had her way she would still feed on demand and it would be for most of the day, but I've had to reduce it to twice a day as I wasn't getting anything done.

    It's true what you say about appealing to their pride. She's old enough to understand that she doesn't actually need to feed all the time and has been quite good about it. And if she wants to feed at a time when we don't normally feed, she will normally settle for a cuddle, which is nice!

    I really enjoyed your hub, thanks!

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    Cailin Gallagher 9 years ago from New England

    I breastfed all three of my children.  The first was for the longest---she was almost three before she gave up the night-time feeding...that was 9 years ago.  The second weaned himself off at 8 months.  The third nursed for 18 months.  With all, I supplemented with occasional bottles.  I was easier on myself after the first.   I worked full-time with the first and part-time with the second and pumped like a mad-woman while I was at work.  It was very stressful, but I'm glad that I didn't give up.  There is nothing like breast-feeding for enhancing the bond between a baby and a nursing mother, if possible. 

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    Sajec 9 years ago

    Very nice advice

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    unknown 9 years ago

    it was horrible advice!!!

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    Mommy Fabulous 9 years ago from Cincinnati, Ohio

    I worked full time from the time my daughter was 6 weeks old, but I pumped and she had no problem taking a bottle of breastmilk while I was away. The problem came when we took a vacation when she was 6 months old. I nursed her for the whole ten days that we were away, then when we came back she wouldn't take a bottle while I was at work anymore. Fortunately she was old enough to mix breastmilk in with cereal, so there were no worries about her not getting enough, we just started weening. It made me sad to know that was the beginning of the end of nursing..