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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.
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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: May 30, 2012
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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