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Breast-Feeding: Weaning a Toddler - Topic Overview

Abrupt weaning

Some mothers prefer to abruptly wean their toddler from the breast. This approach may be best suited for a toddler who nurses fewer than 3 times a day.

When weaning abruptly, choose a time when you don't anticipate other major changes in your or your toddler's life and when you have extra time to spend with your child.

  • Say "no," and offer distractions. Try reading a book while holding your toddler on your lap. This provides the close contact your child wants. Or suggest a walk, a ride on a tricycle, or a trip to a playground or sandbox.
  • Make your breasts less available for nursing.
  • Let someone else take care of your toddler for a few days. Your child should stay with a trusted caregiver, such as a spouse, grandparent, or other family member. Since you aren't available for breast-feeding, your child will adjust to the other caregivers and over time will come to accept that breast-feeding isn't necessary. If you are gone for less than a week, your child may ask to breast-feed again when you return but will often accept a refusal without too much complaining.

This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: November 14, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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