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March 12, 2006



Our three year old toddler still wakes up wanting a bottle with milk in each night. Sometimes it's two or three bottles. How can we get around this other than being tough and ignoring her pleas? Should we make her eat more before goiing to bed so she won't want it?


What a thoughtful post.

Josephine and I are still working on weaning. She's 25 months old, and still really likes to nurse first thing in the morning. As she says, "It puts me in a better mood!".

But, we tapered off a while ago, and I'd just tell her, "Not now, I'll nurse you at X-time." , and I'd switch activities. Then after we were down to bedtime, morning and nap, we cut out the nap and bedtime by just switching the routine gradually so that we didn't fall into the familiar patterns of nursing - and switching to a toddler bed made a big difference. It was hard to read to her and cuddle right before sleep through the bars of her crib.

Now I'm starting to switch off the morning habits - by getting up earlier myself I'm not in the usual place and having a milky-tea (passing a decaf teabag through a cup of warm milk) ready. When we do this, I find we can get past the nursing time and into the rest of the morning's routine easily enough. It's just that when it's nice, I'm not ready to quit. The drop in my hormones has affected MY mood. But when I'm sore and tired, I'm more eager to step it up.

The telling her that "big girls don't..." backfired on me. She said she "didn't want to be a big girl then". So now I ask her, "Do you need to because you want to feel close? Is there something else we can do?" and then I try to read a book or find something that will make her feel better. It's hard, because it's a reminder that nursing isn't just about nourishment for Josie and that while I want to stop because I want my freedom from it, she still wants that attachment even if she's not literally attached!

Warm wishes for all the best - it's a tough time for all concerned. You'll both do fine.


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My daughter is 27 months too and she hasn't lost interest on her own either. Her older brother forgot all about it after I was a few months pregnant again, he just stopped, but I had already been walking him to sleep instead of nursing. This one is very attached to my breasts. I went for the night times first starting a few months ago when we moved. She got ehr own bed next to mine and we would have one last nurse and then say ni-night nursing and brush her teeth and read a book. She threw a tantrum in the middle of the night for a couple of nights. (I knew they were tantrums because I gave us a back door bysaying she could nurse for two mintutes if she said please instead of crying and demanding it and she got quiet and went to sleep again instead.) When she wakes up at night now I just remind her that it's night time and we don't nurse at night she can nurse in the morning. She's in my bed for an hour as soon as the sun comes up, but she mostly sleeps through the night now. I tried to do this for day time naps as well but I realized that it's easier for me if she falls asleep right away so I lay down with her and nurse. She nurses a lot during the day, but I offer her food and water before nursing and I'm comfortable telling her she has to wait for a good time for me. One other thing that has worked for us is "tummy". WHen she really needs comfort at night and can't nurse she can rub my tummy which she has loved to do since ever, and she scoots down and snuggles her face into it to and goes to sleep and I go back to bed.


My son weaned himself at about 27 months (right as I was entering the 2nd trimester with this pregnancy and he said my milk tasted yucky). He hasn't had milk, aside from maybe that half ounce of breastmilk he was getting every night before bed, since he was 18 months old. It really isn't necessary for a healthy toddler diet, I promise. I'm just careful to make sure he gets plenty of calcium from cheese, etc. and he's fine. You'll be surprised by how much more food they eat when they aren't full of milk!


I have weaned four kids and it was never easy, however it usually wasn't as hard as I thought it would be when the time came. The first three were weaned when it became too painful to nurse during pregnancy. My first daughter seemed to miss it the most and asked to nurse for at least six weeks after I had to cut her off. The last daughter nursed until her third birthday at which point she agreed it was time to end it. She asked a couple of times after that but in truth I was the one who suffered the most then as it was so sudden and she was my last nursing little one.



I haven't read your whole post, but wanted to mention that some lactose-intolerant people are able to drink raw cows milk (Raw milk contains bacteria which produce lactase which, in turn, enables the human body to break down and absorb lactose. Pasteurized milk has had all of these bacteria killed off and is therefore lactase-free, but still contains lactose, causing problems for many people who try to drink it. From: http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/biology/b103/f05/web2/mmichalak.html) See also http://www.realmilk.com/where2.html .
Best regards, Christina


That is rough. My first weaned a little after age 2, mostly because I was pregnant and the supply dried up. I remember that it did end pretty suddenly, after months of negotiating and cutting back and so on, and she was fine; hardly any looking back.

I was prepared to go long-term with the second child, but he just quit on his own around 14 months. I noticed he was nursing less and less, and we experimentally skipped a couple of days and that was it. I was worried giving up night nursing would be a problem, too, but it wasn't.

Good luck.


Just wanted to comment about the lactose intolerent issue. My DD is as well and we've been using Lactaid (lactose free) milk since she was 1 and it's been great. Taste just like regular milk, just has an added enzyme that removes the lactose. Plus, the milk doesn't spoil as soon as regular milk, not that that's an issue at our house, she drinks so much of it. It's a little more expensive though. I think you can also buy the enzyme and add it to your regular milk, not sure though. Good luck with the weaning.


I don't know. I liked the breastfeeding, but wanted to quit once the boys' teeth really came in. The first boy made it past 12 months, the third was reaching for his brothers' cups over me by about 9 months old. He used a bottle after that.

We're still very close and cuddly. Well, moreso the three year old than the seven year old, I guess.


It was tougher than I thought it would be. I weaned them both at about nine months and though they took to whole milk pretty quickly, I missed the snuggling. Still, it was a lot faster to get out of the house when we had to go somewhere.


I loved breastfeeding my two children so much that I didn't stop breastfeeding either until they were three. By the time my daughter was three we were only nursing at night and in the morning.

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