How I stopped Breastfeeding My Toddler

Part 1: How I Stopped Day-Feeding My Toddler

When Your Toddler Is *Addicted* To Milk And You Feel Drained … Literally

My toddler is almost two years old. And we are still breastfeeding. Breastfeeding is wonderful for the child’s health and for the mother’s health. I recently took a course at university, where in I learned that breastfeeding reduces breast cancer risk. So I feel quite lucky that we were able to have this journey so far. I enjoyed breastfeeding at the beginning very much. After a painful start it was bliss and joy. It was a moment of deep bonding for me. I could feel Oxytocin (the „cuddle“ hormone) rush through my body. It felt like I was on a high every time my baby latched. But now, that we are nearing the two year mark, I feel exhausted and I am ready to stop breastfeeding on all levels. Emotional, mental and physical. My body is at a point where it needs a break. I feel drained I and I want my energy back. And since my little angel is eating pretty well now I decided it was time to finally quit.

I have actually tried many times before but always failed. Either my toddler wasn’t ready or it was me who wasn’t able to go through with it. But a few weeks ago I succeeded at last. I stopped day-feeding. It was one of the most victorious days in my life and it will go down as a miraculous day in history. Well, in my on mind.

My toddler is not an easy one to sever from the breast. She loooooooooooves her milk. I am worried that breastfeeding is EVERYTHING for her. It calms her down, it puts her to sleep, it’s a toy (YES a toy, she constantly plays with the other breast when she is drinking her milk ), it is her little snack and her favorite beverage.

I tried all the tips that people gave me to stop breastfeeding. I even went to counseling. I listened to the advice of the wonderful YouToube-Mums. I tried traditional west African methods with the help of my mom and aunt. But nothing worked.

And NO…She doesn’t take a bottle. At all. ….She doesn’t drink any type of other milk. The only substitute she will consume is yogurt. So at least she gets her needed dairy intake covered.

I tried substituting milk with meals but she would still want booby-milk. I even let her spend two nights at her grandma’s place so that she could forget all about the milk. Guess what… she did NOT forget about the milk. I felt that she was rather more possessive of it than the before.

At this point I felt completely lost. The only option that was left was the cold-turkey approach. But I knew that it would demand too much of her and me. So I decided to cold-turkey stop breastfeeding during daytime and still feed at night.

That was a compromise I could commit to realistically.

How to stop day-feeding a boob attached toddler. The key is your MINDSET!

So, once you’ve made the decision to quit and you’ve set a date, there are a few things you should do in order to set yourself up for success. Preparation is key.

I will guide you through the steps you could take in order to prepare:

Step 1 : Grocery Shopping

Go and get ALL your toddler’s favorite foods and make sure to get some type of milk substitute because children still need a good calcium source twice a day.

Here are some ideas ( they are teething friendly so that we can go through this without the „oh well they are teething“ „excuses“ – Yes, I have done that. I used that valid „excuse“. Many many times.):

  • Kids Tea (sugar free) – I like strawberry tea for kids.
  • yogurt – as a milk substitute
  • milk powder for toddlers or organic grass fed milk
  • berries
  • bananas
  • oranges
  • kiwi
  • avocado
  • kid’s favorite bread
  • rice
  • oats (soft oats) for babies
  • pasta – we want a full belly so that the toddler isn’t screaming for the boob for reasons of hunger
  • broccoli and carrots – to hide in pasta sauce
  • tofu – it’s soft, so it is also suitable for teething toddlers and good protein source- (if you add some dates and some vanilla bean powder and some milk you can make a lovely vanilla pudding by pureeing all the ingredients together)
  • corn puffs without added salt or sugar
  • kid’s favorite snacks like puffs, biscuits for kids without sugar
  • a new fun bottle – for water or milk substitute

Step 2: Prepare your mind and body

The night before make sure you get as much rest as possible. Go to bed early so that you’ll have enough energy for possible tantrums and breakdowns. Make sure to wake up at least a few minutes before your toddler and meditate to calm your mind and get in a state of inner peace and calmness as much as you can. You want to be like a Zen master. A solid rock. Unshakeable. You are the solid, comforting shoulder your child can lean on. You are a „Confident Leader“( I got that term from Janet Lansbury on the Unruffled podcast). When you tell yourself that you are or have to be a confident leader when your toddler has an emotional breakdown, it helps you to stay grounded, take a step back to analyze the situation and what your child is going through. And it helps you guide your child or just be there to support your child, during their emotional breakdown. That way they feel supported and heard, safe and secure. And you can stay calm and save your energy, instead of trying desperately ease the situation without any satisfying results.

Step 3: Alleviate boob pains

Have some cold packs ready to ease swollen breasts. You can also get yourself some sage tea and some peppermint tea to reduce milk production. When you pump or extract some milk by hand make sure to only get rid of the pressure in the breast. We do not want to pump too often or to much. Otherwise we might increase or keep up the milk supply. On the other hand we do not want to pump to little and get clogged milk ducts, that could potentially lead to an infection. Listen to your body and take it slowly.

You can also wear a somewhat tighter sports bra. This can help restrict some blood flow to the breasts and help with milk reduction.

Bottom line though is to listen to your body and if you feel confused or in pain talk to your health care provider and or get some counseling from a midwife or an institution for mothers etc..

That’s it!

There is not all too much more to it. If you have tried everything and nothing worked. Then cold turkey is the way to go. Do not give in! You can do it. Stay calm, cool and collected for your child. Your child needs a „confident leader“ right now and you are one! And remember it will pass. And children are very adaptable, we underestimate them often. They can do it! They will overcome this loss and be stronger for it!

BONUS TIP

I got this tip from my lovely Syrian neighbor:

She told me that back home they mix coffee grounds with water and apply it to the nipples. The toddlers really dislike it^^.


Kommentar verfassen

Trage deine Daten unten ein oder klicke ein Icon um dich einzuloggen:

WordPress.com-Logo

Du kommentierst mit Deinem WordPress.com-Konto. Abmelden /  Ändern )

Twitter-Bild

Du kommentierst mit Deinem Twitter-Konto. Abmelden /  Ändern )

Facebook-Foto

Du kommentierst mit Deinem Facebook-Konto. Abmelden /  Ändern )

Verbinde mit %s