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Breast Feeding

When to stop.

02/21/2005

Question:

At what age should I stop breast feeding the my child?

Answer:

Weaning, or when you stop breastfeeding is a personal decision. You should not feel pressured to wean unless there is a compelling reason. You should wean at a time when your baby is sending you cues that he no longer wants to breast feed and you are ready to stop breastfeeding. Usually a gradual weaning is easiest for both mom and baby.

During the weaning period you should substitute a breast feeding with a cup or bottle. (depending on your baby's age). If you wean your baby before one year of age, you should feed your baby artificial breast milk (formula). Do not give a child less than one year cow's milk. It is generally easiest to give the baby a cup or bottle with a feeding, given with meal is usually easiest. After several days cut out another feeding until you are no longer breastfeeding. This slower means of weaning will hopefully prevent you from engorgement, and will allow your baby to slowly adapt to the change.

Weaning can be a very emotional time for you, his mother, as you realize the change in your relationship. However, remember that you will still need time to hold and cuddle your baby, a very important job.

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Response by:

Tina   Weitkamp, RNC, MSN Tina Weitkamp, RNC, MSN
Associate Professor of Clinical Nursing
College of Nursing
University of Cincinnati