How to Gently Wean a Toddler: 4 Steps - MakeSureHow
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Offer your toddler drinks and snacks throughout the day to replace nursing sessions.

At some point in your nursing relationship, you may decide you are ready to wean your nursing toddler. Even if your toddler shows no sign of wanting to wean himself, you can successfully wean your toddler. Mother-led weaning can still be gentle, loving and respectful toward the needs of the toddler.


  1. 1
    You may be offering to nurse your toddler when she is hurt, tired or fussy more than you realize. A natural and gentle way to slowly start the weaning process is to stop offering the breast. When using this method, you don't need to refuse to nurse when your toddler asks. Over time, your toddler will ask to nurse less often, and you may find days will go by before she asks to nurse again. At this point, many mothers find complete weaning to be easy and natural.
  2. 2
    If your toddler asks to nurse, you do not always need to offer an entire nursing session. Instead, tell your toddler he can nurse while you count to 10 or 20. Then count while he nurses and when you reach the decided upon number, cuddle your toddler and end the session. Gradually shorten the nursing sessions and they will become less satisfying for your toddler. Your toddler will eventually lose interest in nursing all together.
  3. 3
    Around the time your toddler may usually ask to nurse, engage your child in a fun activity such as a nature walk, building a tower of blocks or sticking stickers to some paper. This may distract your toddler enough to make her forget to ask to nurse. If your toddler asks to nurse, offer a snack, some water or even some cuddle time with a book on the couch. Often toddlers are seeking comfort or something to do rather than the actual milk from nursing.
  4. 4
    A toddler can be told "no" if you do so gently and make sure to respect his feelings. Never make your child feel embarrassed about wanting to nurse. Instead, explain that he is getting bigger and he no longer needs to nurse. You can also say that your breasts need a rest. Talk daily with your toddler about when and how nursing will end. Some parents and toddlers choose a final nursing time and then celebrate the end of nursing with a special party or an outing.

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