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  • Post last modified:June 1, 2020

Mom’s Question:

My son is about to be 1 year old in 9 days. I’m tired of this breastfeeding thing. I am an advocate for breastfeeding but now it’s taking a toll on me physically and emotionally. Why? Because my son refuses to quit. He loves the breast. He doesn’t sleep through the night and wakes searching for it.

I’m a single mother, but sometimes when my sister comes over. If she picks him up when he awakens, he will put his head on her shoulder and go back to sleep. Now if I pick him up, he wants the breast and makes a lot of fuss to have it. It’s wearing me out. Literally. I’ve lost too much weight and often feel tired from the pressures of my job and not getting enough sleep at night.

I’m at my wit’s end and don’t have any more weight or substance to give. How do I get him to stop breastfeeding?

He feeds in the late afternoon, nights and to a lesser extent mornings, this is only cause I have work during the day so I’m not available for harassment… ;-)

I love my son, but I also love me, so I need to find a way to start looking healthy again.

Baby Helpline:

Weaning A 1 Year Old From Breastfeeding

Since you’ve been breastfeeding for 12 months now, I really think you’ve done a great job in contributing to your son’s health through breastfeeding. Of course, it is time for you to wean as it is wearing you down so much. Don’t feel guilty!

For quick weaning, I’d suggest you talk seriously to your sister or anyone else that your son feels safe with. If there is any chance that another person can stay overnight even for a few days and completely take care of your son at night, you are likely to have quick results. I’ve done that with both our kids and I know many other parents that have been successful with this too.

Your son doesn’t need your breast anymore, but he sure wants it! And he knows where to find it! One of our children woke up to nurse every hour at the age of 10 months, searching for the breast. It drove me crazy from exhaustion. When I let her dad pick her up at night instead and I kept out of the way, it took 3 nights to get rid of the night time feeding. I couldn’t believe it!

So if you can; get help!

If having someone else helping out at night is out of the question, you might have to be a bit tougher with your boy and simply not let him have the breast, at least at night.

Make up your mind on what is most important for you – maybe you can accept him feeding in the morning and evening but not at night? Or maybe you’ve had it completely? Some moms have been successful with offering water in a bottle at night instead, and to their great surprise, the baby has accepted it.

It might be a struggle, though, and for your own sake you should probably try to plan the weaning to a weekend and maybe ask someone else to take care of your son for an hour or so during the day, so that you can rest if the night was tough.

I really wish you good luck! Your son is certainly old enough to be able to put up a fight, but he won’t be harmed by having to quit. Give him lots of love, cuddles, and contact to compensate for the loss (if he thinks there is one).


PS You can find more tips on how to wean a baby from the breast here.

Find comments below.

Comments for “How To Stop Breastfeeding A 1 Year Old Baby?”

May 13, 2011Thanks…Paula
by: Anonymous

I just read your response and right away I feel enthused…Seems there’s hope! Will start as much as I can throughout the week…maybe just limiting him to nights and/or evenings only, then this weekend I’ll try cutting out nights since its nights that take the toll on me mostly.

May 15, 2011You’re Welcome!
by: Paula

I’m glad to hear I gave you some hope! Please post back and let me know how you’re doing with the weaning!

Good luck again!


Dec 02, 2011Weaning baby from breast

by: Linda

Congratulations on breastfeeding for a year! Your child is the perfect age to transit to a cup. I would begin offering the cup and only breastfeeding at a designated time. You choose what is best for you. If the evening or before bed is the most comfortable for you, then that is all baby gets. During the day he gets a cup. Do not worry if he does not drink a lot at first, offer milk, juice, water see what he likes best. Remember you have been nursing him for a year! He is not going to stop in a day, take your time over a couple of months and then you can quit completely when he is more confident with the cup. Good luck!

Dec 11, 2011baby mama fr.hawaii
by: Anonymous

that advice was really helpful even for me. my little girl is 1yrs. and 2 months..it’s still hard to get her off of me. but I will try..thanks.

Jan 04, 2013WILL TRY
by: Anonymous

I am glad I found this site! These comments are helpful. I am going to have my husband read it too. Hopefully, he can take care of her for a few nights! My baby is 11 months almost and she is not sleeping through the night. Recently I (or hubby)have been in and out of her room for up to 2.5 hours in the middle of the night! I admit, at that point, we take her in bed and let her nurse. She has gotten better going to bed…but now it is the middle of the night that is a problem. I will continue to try.

Jun 04, 2013Gradual
by: Anonymous

Kudos on feeding for a year. For his sake, I would try to go gradual…and remember that the world health organization recommends 2 years of breastfeeding-obviously not for everyone, and if it’s affecting your health.

I agree if you can get help–it might be easier for him to take a bottle or sippy from someone else.

Otherwise…when I was weaning my daughter, I started saying-all gone. And also really cutting feedings down–both in quantity and duration. You might find that you can feed him for 5 minutes at night–enough to help him relax and then cut him off.

It’s worth trying different things–and remember that it will all pass soon enough–in a few months he’ll be a different baby!

Jul 21, 2013Thanks for the advice
by: Ayana

thank you to the poster for sharing your story. it’s so much like mine. I would love a follow up on how things worked out for you and your son. my daughter is a year and a week old and my efforts at weaning seem to have made her want to nurse even more!

I’m having a hard time figuring out if she wants the breastmilk or if she NEEDS it. she’s like a drug addict in withdrawal when I keep it from her. I’m going to try the suggestions posted here and hope for the best.

Jul 21, 2013Weaning my son
by: Anonymous

Wow! It’s been so long since this story…my son is now 3yrs and 2mnths. I managed to wean him shortly after posting. First I made up my mind that it was time for him to quit and that no matter how I thought it bothered him not to have the breast, it was time for him to move to the next stage (and it was also best for him to move on as well). Would you believe that the first thing I had to learn to do was to say no, mean no and do no? We had a few unpleasant moments until he realized I meant no. I also gave him tea in the mornings (he loved and still loves peppermint teabags) and in the evenings a cup of water and a stern and consistent no. It took about 3 weeks for it all to sink into both of us (see breastfeeding was the easy thing to get him off to sleep before I put him down to bed when a dreadfully tired mom could get some rest). Now this is the pretty picture. The ugly part is that some nights I left him and his 10yr old sister in their bedroom and locked myself in the bathroom till he got too tired to wait for me anymore and finally accepted the cup of water from his sister then put his head on the pillow and sleep. Honestly it was hard work, but it was accomplished mostly with determination and strong will.

My boy is now in his own words “strong” (both hands up showing off nonexistent muscles..lol…Thanks to everyone who got us here without me losing my nerves.

Share with your friends! :-)

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