How To Stop Breastfeeding – How To Do It; How Not To Do It

Welcome mom and author Wendi Blaire as this week’s guest blogger

Say you and your baby mutually understand each other – you decide to stop breastfeeding. But the question remains … how do you stop breastfeeding? And how do you introduce weaning to your child?

The pace you need to wean from breastfeeding depends on how fast or how slow your child wants it. The ways to stop it however, will completely come from you. Then you will wait for the child to either accept it or reject it.

But before anything else, here are ways you shouldn’t do it, as this will possibly affect you physically and your child emotionally (contrary to what other people may say):

Medication. Some well-meaning friends may advise you to take “milk drying-up” medication to abruptly eliminate your milk production. These drugs may have possible adverse effects, inhibiting you from producing milk ever again. These may also lead to mastitis (inflammation of the breasts) as the milk ducts will be blocked, giving the remaining milk in the duct to calcify and may give you pain ranging from moderate to severe.

Weaning by separation. This has been recommended by our elders, saying that this will be good for the child and when mommy returns after a week, the child will completely forget about breastfeeding. This is definitely not good for the child as it will cause a negative emotional impact and may see that his/her mother has abandoned him/her. Plus, the child will not forget about breastfeeding; it will only complicate things. If the mom comes back, the child will possibly become clingy, believing that mommy may just up and go again.

“Sabotaging” breast milk. The most common way for this would be to put something on the nipple (either an herb, something bitter, something sour, or chili pepper). The notion is for the baby to dislike what he/she tastes, thereby making weaning much easier. Again, this would have an emotional effect on the baby. Not only that, it might cause the baby to suffer from serious abdominal harm (since we really shouldn’t be introducing strong substances to a baby just yet).

Bind the breasts. Binding the breasts was said to help stop milk production. But it also puts you at risk again, for mastitis and clogged milk ducts. When the trapped milk calcifies, it would most likely cause you pain.

What you should do is…

  • Gradually move baby from breast to bottle. Cut one feeding at a time. If you’re doing 5 feedings a day, cut it down to 4. If done slowly, your milk production slowly decreases as well, giving your body ample time to respond to the lessening milk need.
  • If the baby is having trouble accepting formula milk, try expressing your milk and combine it with the formula milk. Slowly but surely, your baby will begin to accept the milk as you also lessen the expressed milk over time.
  • If you are having engorged breasts and feeling a little pain, try to take a hot shower. In this way, the breasts will leak out the excess milk. If a shower is not possible, try to express a little of the milk via pump or hand. Taking out just a little milk will cause milk production to decrease little by little, gradually making your body adjust.
  • If you’re still smarting from the pain, try putting cold compress on your breasts. Chilled cabbage leaves are said to bring comfort to the breasts at the same time releasing an enzyme that helps in stopping lactation.

Stopping breastfeeding is not an overnight process. It takes time for you and your little one to get used to.

Wendi Blaire

Being a mom and seeing first-hand how the weaning question should be seriously addressed, I decided to take matters into my own hands. I decided to write about it. Using what I had learned from my own experience, the extensive research I had made on the subject, countless interviews with doctors, doulas and lactation consultants and with moms who have weaned their babies at different ages, I am pleased to present to you the product of my work. For more information, please refer to my website:


If you are looking for more tips like this on how to gently wean your baby from breastfeeding, check out Wendi Blaire’s Hello Milk, Bye-Bye Milk: An Expert Mom’s Ultimate Guide to Breastfeeding and Weaning. Her ebook answers all of your questions on weaning such as how to express milk, how to spot signs of readiness for solid foods, and how to address your own problems associated with weaning such as engorgement and breast pain.

You can win a copy of Wendi’s ebook here. To enter simply leave a comment below.

For bonus entries:

Please be sure to leave a separate comment for each bonus entry.

  • Giveaway is open worldwide
  • Winner will be drawn at random
  • Giveaway closes February 3rd, 2012

27 Responses

  1. Thanks for the great information on weening. I never had a good way to ween and our children never ween themselves so this information will be extremely helpful!

  2. Like The Survival Guide for Rookie Moms on facebook
    Sherry Wakelin

  3. I would like this for a friend.

  4. I like to get as much information as I can so this book would be useful.

  5. For myself!

  6. ‘Like’ the Survival Guide for Moms on Facebook

  7. This sounds like a great read!

  8. This book would be very informative for me in the very near future.

  9. I like survival guide for rookie moms on Facebook.

  10. Natural weaning is best for mother and baby

  11. Would like to read this

  12. Giveaway CLOSED

    Congratulations Sherry Wakelin, winner of Wendi Blaire’s ebook

  13. My baby boy is only 1year and 9months is it still possible to introduce the bottle and expressmilk? I dont think it would be much easier. I want to stop breastfeeding and introduce something much simpliar. Please help!

  14. Hi Thuli. Can I please have your email address so I can email you directly about your questions? Thanks! :)

  15. About the chilled cabbage leaves,should I eat the leaves or just put it on the breast?

  16. I have a friend with a seven day old baby who wants to stop nursing any tips for her

  17. Thanks

  18. oky well my kid is 2 years old it hard she wants mainly at night.. and she screams when i dont give in.

  19. having the same trouble as nancy, so i’m posting here in hopes there may be more responses. My first and only “baby” is now 20 months, and she wakes up wanting “Mommy milk” and won’t sleep without it. I’m so exhausted and drained and feel like a failure for nursing too long and can’t get her to stop.

  20. Hi, I have a daughter who’s almost 16 months. I’m still breast feeding but I can’t do it anymore. I’m always tired and feel drained. She now bites and my nipples are very sore. She uses me as a pacifier. Please help!!

    • :( I feel your pain my son is 28 months old and I don’t know what else to do either. Hopefully someone can give us both advise.

  21. Ok what if the child is 2yrs old and I want to stop breastfeeding? Any suggestions for that?

  22. bumping the recent requests about an older baby/toddler and screaming for mommy milk… any tips??

  23. Hi, me too!I want to stop breastfeeding, my boy is 7 months he eats a lot of solid food, formula and cerrial plus the milk from me.he also bites me..He cant sleep without my boobs, he also uses me as pacifier.Please help……

  24. My son is 18 months and uses me as pacifier too. My boobs are his security blanket and I can’t take it anymore. But this is the only way to soothe him back to sleep at night and we don’t use bottles anymore. His face lights up when he sees my boobs like nothin else so I feel bad for wanting to end this but it’s so inconvenient now, he just wants it all the time and scream when I don’t give it to him. My boobs hurt so bad!!!!

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