Home > Patients & Visitors > Health Library > Breastfeeding: Weaning a Toddler
You may choose to wait until your child is a toddler (ages 1
to 2 years) or older to
wean him or her from the breast. You may feel that
your toddler isn't ready for weaning until later or that you both aren't
ready. You may want to initiate it or just let your child stop
breastfeeding on his or her own (self-wean).
You can wean your child gradually or abruptly.
One way to let a toddler control his or her own weaning is through the
"don't offer, don't refuse" method. This means that you never offer to
breastfeed your child but do not refuse when your child asks or shows a desire
This can be a slow process. But when the mother is
committed to weaning and provides encouragement to her child, a toddler can
wean himself or herself successfully and happily.
techniques may help you gradually wean your toddler:
Some mothers prefer to abruptly wean their toddler from the breast. This approach
may be best suited for a toddler who nurses fewer than 3 times a day.
When weaning abruptly, choose a time when
you don't anticipate other major changes in your or your toddler's life and when you have extra time to spend
with your child.
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerJohn Pope, MD - PediatricsSpecialist Medical ReviewerThomas Emmett Francoeur, MD, MDCM, CSPQ, FRCPC - Pediatrics
Current as ofJuly 26, 2016
Current as of:
July 26, 2016
John Pope, MD - Pediatrics & Thomas Emmett Francoeur, MD, MDCM, CSPQ, FRCPC - Pediatrics
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2016 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.
You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:
Get started learning more about your health!
Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups and pregnancy.
Feeling under the weather?
Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.