How to stop breastfeeding

Here are some tips for how to stop breastfeeding.

Before you decide to stop, please ask yourself what the hurry is and check out stopping breastfeeding to make sure you really want to do so.

Once you stop, you can’t go back. This is especially important to consider if your baby is under 6 months old. What happens if it turns out baby is allergic to formula? You likely won’t know until baby has been completely weaned from the breast since breastmilk contains enzymes to help break down both breastmilk and bottle milk. Therefore, it is only after you have completely stopped breastfeeding and your breastmilk has dried up that you will learn you have a problem. You need to think carefully before you decide it is time to learn how to stop breastfeeding

Ok, so you have decided to stop breastfeeding. Plan to spend at least a month weaning your baby. Spending a couple months is even better. Also, I’m going to assume your baby is over a year old and is already eating solids. This is a natural parenting site and we believe strongly that all babies should be nursed for at least the first year of life.

Eliminate one nursing at a time and give your baby at least a week to adjust between eliminations. Give yourself time to adjust too. Remember, just because you know how to stop breastfeeding doesn’t mean you have to actually do it.

If you are working and pumping, stop pumping and have whoever is looking after baby substitute additional food or cow’s milk (raw preferable, non-homogenized organic at the very least) during the day.

After your baby has had time to adjust to this, see what happens to your milk supply. Some women are able to keep their milk production up even when they are nursing/pumping less than 6 times a day. If you are still nursing baby before you go to bed (we call this a “dream feed” because baby doesn’t really wake up), then many women find that they can continue to nurse until baby weans on his/her own. If you have given up the hassle of pumping, you may find that you are happy to continue nursing for another year. Remember, baby’s immune system matures over the first two years of life. Your breastmilk will provide important immune factors during that entire time. Just because you know how to stop breastfeeding doesn’t mean you have to actually do it.

If you still want to stop, then cut out any middle of the night feedings. If baby wakes up, encourage her to go back to sleep without nursing. You may need to have daddy help with this since babies associate mommy with nursing.

Again, give baby a month to adjust and see how your milk production is affected. At this point, your milk supply will naturally diminish. Even if you keep a first thing in the morning nursing as well as a first thing when you get home from work nursing, you can expect that baby won’t be getting much milk after a month or so. As your milk supply diminishes, supplement each nursing with organic raw cow’s milk (or organic non-homogenized whole milk). Eventually, baby will forgo nursing (since there is no milk) and just expect the cow’s milk.

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