Posted in Breastfeeding, Parent's Health, Self Care

Quitting the boob

I apologize for the long and a bit personal text ahead but, Does anyone have any tips to help stop breastfeeding? I have a 16month old daughter who is attached to the boob and I need to quit breastfeeding altogether. Before I get any backlash for the age, I have to quit breastfeeding for my own health. I have a sickness(can’t be passed to baby by breastfeeding) and i need to cure the disease by taking a medication(which can be passed to baby), so the only option is to stop breastfeeding and get healthy or to keep breastfeeding and stay sick, depressed, and tired. I have been sick since I got pregnant and have accepted this illness trying to overcome all the negative because I wanted to do the best thing for my daughter and be the best mom but now it’s at the point where I can’t be the best mom I want to be when sacrificing my health. When she was born of course I would totally sacrifice my health to better her health 1000% through and through no question but she is older now and is eating solids though she would rather have breastmilk then food to be honest. I thought weaning would be easier and she would want real food more once she tried it but she’s actually reverted into wanting to breastfeed more. I’m so tired I just give in but I need to get over the exhaustion to get over the exhaustion!! She won’t take a bottle she just screams and cries when I tell her I can’t breastfeed but I can hold her. She also sleeps with me and breastfeeds through the night. Does anyone have any tips or recommendations on how to go about this daunting task? Thank you,

  • Mama
    Feb 14

    Hi hi there! Maybe you could try BABY-LED weaning? There’s a nutritionist on Instagram @babyledweaningteam. I think your 16month old would benefit from that. Also mama, the fact that you BF’d this long is AMAZING!! You. Are. Amazing. Baby needs a healthy mom above all. You can’t give baby your best if you’re not giving yourself your best. I also think there’s a transitioning time for solid foods. I’m not in the same time frame baby wise. But I’m sure you can do it! I think maybe moving baby to her own sleeping area would help as well. She may have to cry it would but from the research I’ve done that seems to be the advice given.

  • molly
    Feb 14

    I’m sorry you are going through this. You are the best mama to have fed your baby. It is natural and recommend by WHO to feed until 2 years. Don’t worry about what people say. This is an exclusive relationship to you and your baby. Now, speak to your baby’s Pedia he may have specific guidance. During the day time try to feed her purées or bottle feeds a little before her usual feeding time. That way she wont be hangry by the time it is feeding time. Wean her slowly during the day. first couple of days she will cry but eventually no baby stays hungry. Is there any one else who can give her her feeds other than you. Maybe she cries seeing you knowing she may get her way? For night weaning what worked for me was sleeping away from the baby and my husband co slept with him. After a night if crying he figured out dad was useless for BF so he started sleeping through the night and eating 6 square solid meals during the day. once he started tasting regular food he wasn’t so fixated on BF. good luck. this is hard but u need to take care of your health for both your sakes.

  • Rileigh
    Feb 14

    Thank you Olimpia! I will definitely look into that page.

  • Rileigh
    Feb 14

    Molly Thank you for the advice I appreciate it! But unfortunately I can’t separate myself from the situation as I am a single mom and it’s just me and the baby with no family near. I’ve been able to go the whole day without feeding her it’s just the nighttime and morning feedings she won’t give up. She’s very persistent lol but I will have to be tough and push through with the no’s. Our doctor says the same and just said to do whatever feels right and to replace feedings with snuggling and holding a bottle, what I have been doing. I guesss there isn’t an easy way and I just need to be more persistent.

  • Kaya
    Feb 14

    My baby is much younger but she is much more interested in solids when she can feed herself (baby led weaning). She refused a bottle but will drink milk/formula from a sippy cup. Good luck

  • J
    Feb 14

    i can totally understand how it is easier to give in! It is so hard to stay strong. You are doing what is best for your family and she isn’t old enough to understand that - so you have to be the strong one. best of luck!

  • MamaNukesYopolo
    Feb 15

    It it totally okay to stop breastfeeding whenever you need to. I choose to stop around 14-16 months so my children can learn to fall asleep on their own, as I cosleep and am usually pregnant with another child. I’m not embarrassed or ashamed and no one should judge that choice on how long or if at all you bf. My methods are: either daddy lays with baby in the bed baby usually falls asleep with or I do. Daddy preferred since nursing isn’t an option. Baby usually crawls around in bed so we lay baby down and explain it’s time to go to sleep. We do this over and over until they finally stop getting up, snuggle up and fall asleep. It is a bit painful but for me we were there for them. You could do a modified version by standing next to the crib and holding a hand or rubbing their back. Or even singing through a monitor. Hope this helps. Good luck! You are a strong momma.

  • Rileigh
    Feb 15

    Thank you everyone! I got through all of yesterday and last night without breast feeding! I rubbed her back and she fell asleep to me singing but woke up when I went to lay her down and stayed up for a few hrs so I decided to feed her food since she refused her dinner earlier and she ate! She went back to sleep but kept waking up and with my boobs being so sore from milk built up I had to hand express so I had a bottle for her when she was waking up but she didn’t want that, she wanted me to just hold her. But just when I was going strong and thinking it was over and I did it, she got really warm and fussier then usual so I checked her temperature and she had a small fever of 100.4 and so I freaked out and tried to lower her temperature and started breastfeeding her again. This was around 4am til 9am. This might sound silly but me being my worried self thought that maybe the fever was her immune system reacting to not being breastfed? And of course I was worried she’s only had a fever two times in her life nothing over 101 and I know isn’t a fever really but to me it is because she’s always usually really well and never gets warm and she felt so hot last night! Idk I have an appointment today with our nurse practitioner so I can have a better sense of ease. But nonetheless I am super hopeful as we went 20 hrs without breastfeeding!!

  • Kellie
    Feb 15

    That’s great! I weaned shortly after my son turned 2. We stopped during the day first. He was NOT happy about that. It took a few days for him to not throw screaming fits and a few weeks for him to not even bother asking. He sleeps in his crib from 8-2 and then with me the rest of the night. He would want to nurse on and off from 2-7 when we got up. We cut that off once he was adjusted to not nursing during the day. It only took 3 days of me tell him no and him crying himself laying next to me and he was fine with it. We kept our pre bedtime feed for a few weeks after that. Then one day I offered him milk and he just took it. Whatever you do— be firm! It will just confuse her if you let her nurse one day and not the next. Btw, my son wanted to nurse 24/7 for 2 months before we started to wean. It was like he could sense that the end was near and latched on and wouldn’t let go. I swear I didn’t get anything else done during that time. Also, my son only ever had one fever his first 2 years. Yes, nursing is great for their immune system, but when it’s time to stop, it’s time to stop. Don’t feel bad about that. My incredibly sore nipples from being pregnant again is what motivated me to stop. In my opinion, it’s much better for her to have a happy mama without nursing than a depressed mama with it. 16 months is longer than most and she will be totally fine!

  • molly
    Feb 16

    That’s great Rileigh! Stay strong for u and her!

  • Copeley
    Feb 17

    Go on a trip! You really only need to be gone 4 or 5 nights and she’ll forget she needs it! My first was 22 months and still nursing...I went on a trip for 5 days came home and she no longer wanted it. I just wish someone had told me months and months prior that all I needed to do was take a trip!

  • LB
    Mar 05

    Check out your local LA Leche League for other tips too - I found them so incredibly helpful when I was starting out - I haven’t weaned yet (my LO is 9 months). But I want to reiterate what a lot of others said - 16 months! You are AMAZING. That’s so much longer than most babies get, and I can imagine it IS hard, but you’re doing great!!!