How do I get my 18 month old to stop wanting to nurse all the time?

Question by love-a: How do I get my 18 month old to stop wanting to nurse all the time?
I’ve been trying to wean him for almost a month now. He just won’t give up though. Everytime I sit down he comes and gets in my lap and actually digs into my blouse so that he can breastfeed. He constantly wants to nurse. Any ideas or tips?

Best answer:

Answer by Amava
He can’t have what you don’t offer. At 18 months it’s time to wean. He’s not an infant anymore and shouldn’t be fed like one. Some would argue and say that it’s fine to breastfeed well into their toddler years, but just remember the longer you do it the harder it will be to stop.

Let him pick out his own sippy cup. Maybe one with Elmo on it or something. Call it his “big boy cup” and give that to him instead of the breast. He might cry and even scream, but he’ll just have to live with it. It’s not mean, it’s tough love.

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11 Responses to “How do I get my 18 month old to stop wanting to nurse all the time?”

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  1. Kovasmomma says:

    well you could just let him nurse

    or give him a treat , you know a cookie and a cup with a straw and soda.

    not very healthy but a definate disraction.

    worked for me and eventually he gave it up

  2. october g says:

    Around 17 months my son did this, I would just try to distract him with a toy, a sippy cup, or anything under the son to try not to get him to think about nursing. Eventually I got him down to just nursing to get to sleep for a nap. And now at 21 months (and for the last 2 or 3 months) I lay him on my chest to go to sleep. He cried a little bit for the first 3 days ago but got over it. So I weined slowly and then went cold turkey. Good luck.

  3. notyou311 says:

    Wear turtleneck tops or sweaters. He will give up if he cannot get it. You should have started to wean him 8 or 9 months ago. Now it will be more of a struggle. Just hand him a sippy cup.

  4. Sue C says:

    I breastfed my daughter until she was about 9 months old…..Everyone told me what a hassle it would be to make the switch…..NOT TRUE!! She woke up from her nap one day and I immediately shoved that bottle in her mouth and “VOILA”, she was a happy and content “bottle baby” from that point on!! Try it!! Your son should be more independent by his age and you should encourage it!! Try adding a little chocolate or strawberry syrup to that bottle of milk!! Good luck! : )

  5. kayla f says:

    I had the same problem. my son who was 18 months at the time had a hard time letting go. I tried everything and the only thing I can say is get some help from your mom or dad or the baby’s dad who ever works and start leaving him for a couple of hours ( I hope the person you leave him with is a claim person) and when ever he starts grabing at you don’t give in at all or it will take that much long. Trust me it will be hard. and offer him cows milk or water whatever they like. I hope this is helpful, it was tuff for me and I thought I’d never get him to stop but after a week it just clicked with him and it was done. Oh if you have not started weaning him down already you may want to pump a little ( not very much just enough that your not misrble from engorgment) and you should get the hang of it. good luck

  6. Concerned Mom says:

    Are you still wearing a nursing bra? It’s no different than trying to get rid of the pacifier or bottle. I would make it innaccesible to him and understand his emotional connection to this. It’s more than just food, it’s mommy time. Make sure you still give him that one on one time with mommy however many times a day that he is still wanting to nurse. When he is asking to nurse. Say, “Oh, you’re thirsty. Let’s get a big boy cup and mommy will play a game with her big boy! If you’re ready to wean and he’s not, you’ll just have to face the conflict and not give in to him every time he wants it. It may take time, but he’ll let go soon and still be happy, not damaged. Best of Luck!

  7. Tat L Do says:

    My children became less interested in nursing around 18 months, but did not completely end the nursing relationship until they were two years old. I spoke to my pediatrician about this because endless wellmeaning friends and family members seemed overly concerned. I began questioning the fact that maybe my children should be weaned by that time. Their doctor explained to me that while nursing is a personal choice, there is no substitute for a mothers milk. The longer the children nurse the better for health benefits. He also reminded me that no one goes off to kindergarten still nursing and in a diaper.

    Your son is doing what all nursing babies do, he is seeking comfort and nourishment he cannot get from a sippy cup or a bottle. If in doubt, just make certain you are offering plenty of interesting activities and appropriate food choices. Unfortunately, all good things do come to an end. If you are choosing to end the nursing relationship due to your own personal choices, I support that. If you are ending it due to pressure from outsiders, then shame on them. It is your child, only you know what is best.

  8. judith11center says:

    Tell him the doctor said he has to drink from a cup now.

  9. maya m says:

    well my baby use to into i got this special pumper and a special nipple

  10. hanevkidz2 says:

    You have to gradually try to wean him. It does sound like it is definitely time since he is getting into your shirt. Some kids get more attached to mommy and the breast than others. My son wasn’t weaned until he was 15 months. I honestly thought he would never quit. I gradually had to cut back the feedings and stick with it and not give in no matter how much he cried. Since it was harder for me to get him weaned than my daughter, I was told to have his daddy hold him and walk him around and you know what it worked. When my son wanted to nurse at the times we already weaned him from, my husband would walk him around or feed him and take his attention and put it on something else so he wasn’t thinking about it.Once he was weaned from certain times fully, we offered him the sippy cup. He didn’t like it right away because it was so foreign from the breast. He eventually took it and was weaned at 15 months. We just kept doing the same routine with the weaning until he got the clue that it was time and he gradually was ready.

    Sometimes also you have to tell your nursing child a gentle, ‘NO’. Sometimes if they don’t see you, and your husband gives them something else besides your breast, they will eventually get use to the other thing and get weaned. Your husband or family member has to have a part in it and they have to take the child and literally feed them and not you. It may be hard because you have breastfed your son for this long, but if I can do it, you can.

  11. moomama says:

    A consistent, but gentle “No, we don’t do that” while taking his hand away from your shirt. It’ll probably get tiring doing the same thing over and over again (how many times can you say “no?”), but eventually he will get the message. Then throw in a little distraction/redirection with a toy, book, or cuddle…

    Also before bedtime or if he gets up at night, have someone else put him to sleep. He won’t be able to nurse if Daddy is putting him to bed! Of course, this requires the cooperation of someone else.

    I know a mom who put band-aids on her nipples, and told her son that they “didn’t work anymore.” Can’t nurse through a band-aid! The downside is removing the bandages…ouch!

    Good luck!

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