We are starting a long and hopefully gentle trek toward purposeful weaning. Today was our second day without a mid morning nursing session and it wasn’t terrible at all. It also helped to push nap time back to the afternoon rather than late morning.

So now, we have wake up and nurse, followed by nurse and nap, then nurse and bedtime. Any suggestions for how to transition from nursing to sleep to just sleeping? That will be the hardest, I think.

I’m naturally pretty sad about this, but it’s time for us. I don’t plan on being done in a week or even a month, but we will probably be done breastfeeding before they are two. Cormac has finally agreed to a few sips of cow’s milk and I’m pretty happy about that.

So tell me, how did you go about gentle weaning? They haven’t done anything wrong and I don’t want them to feel like anything bad is happening, so this needs to be a pretty gentle push.


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  1. Erica -  April 6, 2013 - 6:24 pm

    I took a similar approach by dropping the daytime sessions first. However, I stopped my son from nursing to sleep around 6 months while he still nursed during the bedtime routine until 15 months or so. We changed up the order of events and introduced new books to keep him distracted at first. I still rocked him until he was sleepy and then put him to bed. Though I’ve heard sometimes it’s best to avoid positions that mimic nursing positions if they’re resistant to weaning. We weren’t really weaning when I stopped letting him doze off while nursing. I don’t have much advice on how to go about it with older little ones but I would recommend trying to change it up and then drop the nursing once they’ve made the adjustment to self soothing (or whatever other method you’re going to go with). Good luck. In my experience weaning was bittersweet but liberating at the same time.

  2. Kristine -  April 6, 2013 - 9:09 pm

    My lil man is 21 months and we are attempting to wean slowly lol so far we have dropped out after nap feed and only nurse in the morning and before bed. Some nights he’s busy and doesn’t care to nurse and now I only nurse when he asks at those times and of he doesn’t ask then he just goes to bed or gets up etc. I know it will be hard but I think cutting out a feeding at a time so far has worked. Good luck!

  3. Eleanor -  April 7, 2013 - 1:42 am

    Good for,you for taking your time weaning. It breaks my heart when it’s an immediate action. My LO is two and still nurses to sleep every night and even throughout the day, it’s been the best way to calm and soothe and bring on sweet dreams. I can’t imagine what I’ll do when she self-weans. I think it will be bittersweet, but so many things are with kiddos. 🙂

  4. Kristin -  April 7, 2013 - 11:17 pm

    My son weaned pretty quickly and took to cow’s milk like it was his job. But I work 3 nights a week so my husband just switched his nighttime bottle of pumped BM to cows milk (he had transitioned to a sippy cup) and took charge of putting him to bed for the first week or so and that made it easier. The next week he didn’t even ask to nurse, just accepted the cows milk from me no problem. The bedtime feeding was the last to be cut out. I think the biggest thing was just acting like ‘this is what is gonna happen now’ and get them to just go with the flow. We did CIO and don’t co sleep because of my husband and my work schedules which I think made it easier too.

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