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Your experience on cold turkey weaning a toddler


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#1 MakeItHappen

Posted 15 August 2015 - 11:52 AM

So I have the aversion now, my daughter is 21montsh and is totally addicted to boob. I've had enough I get angry and irritated when she wants to feed. Nope I'm note pregnant.  I've restricted the day a lot although that doesn't stop her asking and moaning for it all day. She's a terrible sleeper and wakes a million times and mostly needs it back to sleep. "Gentle " approach does not work, I've tried loads of thing to help with her sleeping etc and I feel this is likely the best option for her. Breastfeeding is becoming more of an issue than a benefit.
I will have to do this alone as my partner will not help(he can't handle it and makes thing s worse) and I have no family here.
I'm after advice or experiences from those who have had to wean a strong willed boobaholic cold turkey.
I work somewhere that has school holidays off so I'm thinking September school holidays

#2 Guest_canadianmum_*

Posted 15 August 2015 - 12:04 PM

This is a little 'out there' but one of my Aunties painted her nipple blue with blue food colouring and told the child her milk was 'off'. Gave it a few days and the painted the other.....

#3 BusyAs

Posted 15 August 2015 - 01:53 PM

Distraction distraction distraction! Go out, try to do things where she won't be thinking about feeding, or associating the place with feeding.

The only way overnight will be sending your partner in, I know this from experience.

My three all would have fed until they were 10 I think :) But, I too had to go cold turkey at about 2 years.

Your partner needs to help you out here because otherwise your little one will just associate you with boob.

All the best x

#4 The 8th Plum

Posted 15 August 2015 - 02:08 PM

I did this when my DS was 2.5 and gentle methods didn't curb his thirst for 'mummy milk' in the slightest. No help, it was just him and me at home.

During the day distraction was ok - he asked a lot, but I had new toys and art supplies and DVDs and it wasn't too bad, but the first night was miserable. He cried and cried and begged and said sorry over and over, it was very hard to say no. I cuddled him all night. The next day he was tired and cranky. He got lots of cuddles but no feeds from me. That night he was still crying and unhappy. At 2am I cracked and did let him feed. He slept for a few hours then back to asking, said no, cuddles, etc., the third night was much easier. Then I got mastitis.

He couldn't self settle for another year, and I would sing and cuddle him off to sleep, then I started saying I had to just go and do a few dishes and then I'd come back and sing again, and I repeated that until he fell asleep. I'd make the gaps lomger and longer and by the time he was 4 he could just be tucked into bed, kiss and lights out.

It is possible but be prepared for a few nights of little sleep and a lot of tears. After a week it was wonderful - no one twiddling my nipples all day, I was hating every feed and I'd had enough.

#5 Shorty78

Posted 15 August 2015 - 06:58 PM

I went cold turkey with my daughter when she was 22 months.  I hadn't planned on doing it, but cracked it one night when she had woken up for third time by 10pm.

I just bandaids and stuck them across my nipple for a week.  Everytime she asked I would show her the bandaids and told her that I had sores on my boobies and that it hurts too much.  After a week, my milk had pretty much gone (used sage tablets? I think it was safe to help dry up my milk) and just told her the she had drunk all the milk and they were empty and she had to drink milk from the fridge.

All done with minimal fuss (no crying which would have happened if it just told her no).  Though at 4.5 yrs and occasionally still asks if my boobies have filled with milk yet and stares longingly at then when in the shower.

#6 MakeItHappen

Posted 15 August 2015 - 08:16 PM

Thank you.
Overnight is definitely going to be the hardest, there is no way my partner can help, after 30 seconds of her screaming he's swearing and yelling so it will be 10 x harder with him.
I have thought about cold turkey night weaning then doing the day but I think with her it's all or nothing. It seems like she doesn't want to accept the restrictions during the day but only does with distraction.
I want her old enough to understand but not at the point where she can say sorry etc as that wil break my heart! I have tried vinegar on my nipples and she was like hmm then carried on drinking! She likes lemons and soy sauce so they are out. Haven't tried band aids but I imagine it won't go down well! Will have a go though.
I'm terrified to start as I know how painful it's going to be for all of us then what if I fail and all the pain is for nothing?

Edited by She So Toot, 15 August 2015 - 08:17 PM.


#7 Riotproof

Posted 15 August 2015 - 08:26 PM

Gosh, what a hard situation. I feel so badly for you. No direct experience, I was able to do it very gently at 26ish months.

What does she say if you mention that one day your milk will run out? The first time I said that my son laughed. No way, he said. Within a week or two, he was completely weaned.



#8 MakeItHappen

Posted 15 August 2015 - 08:46 PM

I don't think she quite understands yet. She understands when I say she can't have any or if I offer water she screams but I quite often tell her that someday soon boobies are going bye byes because she's a big girl. She just ignores me so I don't know if it sinks in!

Edited by She So Toot, 15 August 2015 - 08:46 PM.


#9 Puzzles

Posted 16 August 2015 - 08:17 AM

OP I'm in the same boat!

I haven't done it yet but am starting to plan it.

I do get one sore boob so if I tell her she does understand and avoid that one, so I'm gonna try the sore method.

Goodluck to us all. Bloody boob monsters!!

#10 MakeItHappen

Posted 16 August 2015 - 08:30 AM

Argh let me know how u go!! I wake in the morning they just feel like big bruises from her hanging off them all night!
Sometimes things like me rolling over and pretending to be asleep are starting to work in the mornings but in the throes of night nothing works yet :(

#11 Nasty Bunsen

Posted 16 August 2015 - 08:35 AM

I've weaned 2 at this age for exactly the same reason!

Distraction is definitely your friend - also wear clothes that make it harder to feed (non maternity bra for example) so you are less likely to give in, and they can't help themselves.

Night time is the hardest - I did have DH to help but the general idea was to have a cut off point eg no milk til 3am, to get you through the first few nights, then it gets easier as they learn the milk isn't on tap any more.

I found the night wakings improved a lot after weaning (not sleeping through but 1 or 2 wakings rather than 6-8) and settling techniques that didn't work when the breast was available came back into play.

#12 Riotproof

Posted 16 August 2015 - 09:15 AM

Op, I do wonder if night weaning would be a good starting point. Just to help you think more clearly too.

#13 ABabyPlease

Posted 16 August 2015 - 09:40 AM

Sorry I can't offer suggestions, but congratulations on BF so long, you deserve a medal and a weekend away to celebrate!

Your child will recover from this, I always think a little hardship is good for this generation of kids who have everything.  Best wishes!

#14 FunkyOwl

Posted 16 August 2015 - 09:59 AM

I weaned my addicted boobaholic cold turkey at just past 18 months and it went amazingly well.

I tried to wean him slowly but he got so confused about why I said yes at certain times and no at others and it was an absolute nightmare! So many tears and we got nowhere. He didn't lower his feeds at all in the three months I tried it. Finally (as I was starting medication for fertility treatment and had no choice) I gave him one last feed, popped my first pill and said "That's it, no matter what, he's done and I have no say now". He cried that night and the next day when I said no more booby, then he started to understand what "no more booby" meant and each time he asked we'd have a little "conversation" about it (I could see the little frown as his brain tried to understand and translate) and instead of tears we'd go with conversation then an alternative drink and a hug. He never cried again, and within a few days he stopped asking for it at all and started asking for cuddles instead and talking about how he didn't have booby anymore. I couldn't believe it - after soooo much pain trying to wean slowly in the months leading up to it!

I should add that I night weaned first, at 15 months, again cold turkey with the help of sleep school. That went so well I don't know why I didn't think of the cold turkey approach for full weaning during those three months in between, but I think everything I read pointed to slow "gentle" weaning so my mind just didn't go there when I was trying to do it on my own.

But both night and then full weaning cold turkey worked brilliantly for me.

My 13 month old is equally addicted but I plan on weaning cold turkey again and not putting him through all the confusing months first. I am so much more relaxed knowing in advance I'm doing the "rip the bandaid" off approach and just enjoying these last few months.

Good luck! I hope it works well for you if you give it a shot.

#15 Jenflea

Posted 16 August 2015 - 10:34 AM

Night wean first.
Send your partner in with a sippy cup of water when she wakes. He is her parent too so he can damn well grow up and stop tantrumming and carrying on when she yells a bit.
If he's still being an a*se, then you'll have to get tougher and go in, offer water and tell her no more milk till the sun comes up(or 6 am, whichever you choose). You can cuddle her and give her comfort, but don't weaken!

I took months to wean my DD, talked it up as her being a big girl, got husband to do night wakings, waited till he had time off etc.
Cut down during the day a lot, 'boredom booby' is a thing! I couldn't sit on the couch for a few weeks because she'd be head first under my top!

#16 MakeItHappen

Posted 16 August 2015 - 11:35 AM

Would just night weaning alone first not confuse her? I do feel better about just night weaning first as then she still gets her sweet relief in the morning but I'm just so done and one worried that night weaning alone just won't work and even if I deny her boob all night she will constantly still ask and argue/cry all night until she's fully weaned anyway. I feel she would be like well if I can have it during the day I can have it at night.
I co sleep to due to her terrible sleeping so I'm not sure if that will make it harder. I've made up my own bed in the room next to hers in attempt to atleast spend some of the night in it. Don't usually get past midnight though as by that stage in exhausted and just fall asleep with her!

#17 Alacritous~Andy

Posted 16 August 2015 - 11:55 AM

There are a couple of great books that can help with weaning/night weaning.

"Milkies when the sun shines"

And
"Me and the breast".

Also, the ABA can be really helpful with tips for weaning.

Another thing to be mindful about with weaning is making sure you manage your breasts to try to avoid mastitis.

#18 Alacritous~Andy

Posted 16 August 2015 - 12:01 PM

In terms of minimising confusion, for night weaning using clear and simple language that is age appropriate can help (even though you'll probably feel like a broken record).

Wearing clothes without boob access can help too.

#19 MakeItHappen

Posted 16 August 2015 - 12:03 PM

Thank you,
I do have nursies when the sunshines and all she hears is boobies did u say boobies! Haha grr
Aba are great I just find they are pro attachment parenting and generally only offer advice on that and how she will wean when she's ready etc. it's not our situation or a lot of other mums though.
Not to sure about La leche league might contact them

#20 MakeItHappen

Posted 16 August 2015 - 12:04 PM

Never heard of me and the breast will have a look

#21 Jenflea

Posted 16 August 2015 - 12:58 PM

Tell her night time is for sleeping and that your boobs have gone to sleep, but she can have water if she's thirsty.

#22 Riotproof

Posted 16 August 2015 - 01:03 PM

Ime, night weaning was a bit horrible first nigh, less horrible next night, and fine by third.

My advice is to take her to the GP just in case. I unsuccessfully night weaned my 15 month old because he had his first ear infection and I didn't know.

#23 Ellie bean

Posted 16 August 2015 - 01:11 PM

I remember your previous thread op and really think you need a good gp who will take the sleep/ reflux issues seriously. I wasn't bf but we had a heck of a time weaning my dd off excessive bottles, she barely ate any solids till she was over 2 and it was all tied in with the reflux and dairy intolerance. The only thing that worked in the end once she was old enough to understand was having a very strict schedule for when she could have her "milky" and when she couldn't, she's very stubborn so we had a good week of screaming until she finally gave in, no problems since then- everything is a psychological battle with dd and you have to be more stubborn than her to win, it's exhausting! Good luck x

#24 28 Barbary Lane

Posted 16 August 2015 - 01:30 PM

I actually did days first and once he got used to that I did nights. I also co slept and so when he woke up looking I just said no mummy's sore and gave him bottle water. First few nights were rough but then was ok after that. I honestly thought it would be a total nightmare but it wasn't as bad as I thought. Best of luck x

#25 MakeItHappen

Posted 16 August 2015 - 01:45 PM

Thank you.
Ellie bean we are in speaks with the GP who referred me to a dietician who put us on diary free diet but so far no change in anything. I do believe a lot of it is behavioural though as well. Next stop will be a paed re reflux. I still want to wean though. I'm guessing she will be a lot like your ddin regards to new schedule!
When I offer water in the night she throws it !




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