Nighttime Weaning

Written by Anna Choi, IBCLC

A few months ago, when my youngest daughter was between 15 and 18 months old, I found myself hitting a rough patch in terms of sleep deprivation. After almost a year and half of waking up throughout the night to nurse her back to sleep, I was exhausted and frustrated. “It’s time to night wean,” I told my husband. I had been hoping and hoping she would start sleeping through the night on her own after her first birthday, but it hadn’t happened yet and I was at the end of my rope. I loved the amazing breastfeeding relationship we had built and was nervous to make a change, but knew it was needed.

Breastfeeding the Older Baby: What to Expect at 9-12 Months

Written by Anna Choi, BS, IBCLC

Welcome back to our blog series, Breastfeeding the Older Baby – What to Expect and How to AdjustLast month we took a closer look at what breastfeeding might look like for a 6-9 month old, and tackled some of the most common questions and concerns we hear from parents with little ones in that age range. We hope you found the information helpful and relevant and are happy to have you join us again!

Toddler Nursing Part III - Super Breastfed Baby!

Written by guest blogger, Andrea J. Blanco, IBCLC

My seven year old is really, really into the Super Diaper Baby series. So much so (embarrassing story for which I will pay for dearly in 10 years coming up right now) that the other day, he fished through all the dirty clothes to find 8 (yes, 8!!!!) underwear to put on simultaneously along with a cape so that he could reenact parts of the book. I’m not entirely sure why clean underwear couldn’t be used, but hey, welcome to the gnarly world of 7 year old boys. I’m still getting adjusted.  Anyway, whenever he yells “SUPER DIAPER BABY!!” all I hear is “SUPER BREASTFED BABY!!!” (you better have read that in your booming announcer voice; if not, please go back and reread).

Gentle Weaning: Techniques and Resources

In this third article in our Gentle Weaning series, we will start the conversation about different techniques you can try to gently wean your baby.  If you are wondering about how to pace the weaning process, check out our last article, Gentle Weaning: What is the Process?

Every breastfeeding mother eventually weans her child.  It is part of the evolutionary process.  Whether your baby is a few months old or a preschool-age child, there comes a time when the act of breastfeeding no longer occurs.   When the time is right for both you and your child to wean, there are quite a few techniques you can use to help make the process go more smoothly. 

 I have searched books and the Internet to find some of the best resources out there.  I would love if you would please share your own resources and experiences, as well, so that we can all benefit from them!

What is Weaning and When Should I Wean my Baby?

Weaning is a very personal and emotional topic for all breastfeeding moms.  My personal experience with weaning my two boys was not what I expected nor anticipated.  As my milk started to dwindle when my boys turned three months, I didn’t have the breastfeeding support or knowledge I needed to ramp up my supply.  At that time, I was not a lactation consultant.  Instead I was a full-time working mom, breastfeeding while with my son and pumping, 2 times a day, while at work. 

I was devastated that my milk supply was ‘failing’ me, but I did the best I could to eek it out as long as I could.  I made it to 7 months with my first son and to 8 months with my second son.  I had hoped to breastfeed until my boys were at least a year, but my body had another plan in mind.  I weaned as slowly as I could, for I didn’t want to let go of breastfeeding completely.  The emotional tie was too great for me to let go of.

So, what is weaning?  What does it really mean?

Gentle Weaning: What is the Process?

In this second article in our Weaning series, we will start the conversation about how to gently wean your baby and why pacing is so important in this process.  If you are wondering when you will know when to begin weaning your child, check out our last article, What is Weaning and When Should I Wean my Baby?

At what pace should you wean your child?

Very slowly.  The weaning process can take several months, as you want to make sure that both you and your child are adapting well to this new pattern of breastfeeding.  Drop one feeding at a time (for example, from 6 times a day to 5 times a day) and try this out for a week or two. This will give your breasts time to acclimate and hopefully not become too engorged.  This will also allow your child to get used to doing something else, or get his/her nutrition from another source at this time.

This process will most likely take a month to several months; depending on how many times your child is breastfeeding in a 24 hour period.  Remember, weaning can affect you and your child physically and emotionally, so it is best to take your time and wean very slowly.