This week’s Friday Question comes from World Moms Blog writer, Dee Harlow of Mexico. She asks:

“How old was/ were your child(ren) when you decided to wean them from breastfeeding and/ or bottle?”

Dr. Jeanelle Marshawn Lanhan of Arizona, USA writes:

When I found out I was pregnant with my second child, my oldest was one, and I knew I did not want two kids on a bottle and a pacifier, so I weaned my oldest off by 1 1/2. As for the youngest, I didn’t give him a pacifier and he was weaned off the bottle by 1 1/2 as well. The crying for a couple of nights was worth it in the end! I don’t have to get them on braces or anything!

Kirsten Doyle of Toronto, Canada writes:

My older son weaned himself when he sprouted his first tooth at 11 months. Interestingly enough, my younger son also lost interest in nursing when he started teething. He was about 7 months old. Both boys graduated directly from the breast to sippy cups.

Maggie Ellison of South Carolina, USA writes:

My son was breastfed for 4 1/2 months. I would have gone longer but I had to return to work for a while and there was no time to pump during the day, so my supply dwindled. He used a bottle until he was about a year old. I breastfed my daughter for two years. I wasn’t working out of the house, so I didn’t run into the same issues I did when I had my son. It was a bit tougher to wean her, but it was time to do it. I was worn out and needed my body back.

Asta Burrows of Oslo, Norway writes:

He was 3 months when I stopped breastfeeding – early, I know – but I was relieved in the end. No more breastfeeding, then formula, then pumping, then herbal tea, then breastfeeding, then formula.. and so on! He is now 18 months and uses mostly sippy cups and grown up cups.

Jennifer Burden of New Jersey, USA writes:

I found the early months of breastfeeding very difficult, but once I started introducing solids, I remember that it got easier. I started weaning my oldest daughter off breast milk at 9 months, because she began losing interest in the day, so I took her cue. She was fully weaned at 11 months. I’m at 4 months with my youngest, and we’re at the point where we’re going to start introducing solids soon.

By the way, I faced pressure from some older family members when I made the decision to continue to breastfeed my oldest past 6 months. I think it was a mixture of them wanting to babysit the baby on their own, and also feeling uncomfortable with me breastfeeding in general. It’s definitely a cultural thing! I held my own and just did what felt right for me and my child.

Alison Lee of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia writes:

I just weaned my son last month when he was nearly 18 months. We started dropping feeds when he was 17 1/2 months, and two weeks later, he was completely weaned. At the same time, we transitioned him to his own bed, in his own room, as we felt that the co-sleeping was the reason for the constant waking up to nurse, and we were right.

I did feel a little sad that it’s over, but it was the right time. We want to start trying for a second child, and needed to stop nursing to get my cycle back. He’s coped very well, much better than expected.

Robin Farr of Victoria, Canada writes:

I breastfed my son until he was 16 months. I’d cut down gradually until we were just left with the bedtime session, and then dropped that when I was ready. I thought he’d protest but he didn’t! He still, I’m sorry to say, still has bottles. He loves (cow’s) milk and has a very small one before nap and bedtime. We’ve cut them way down but eliminating them completely is one battle we’ve chosen not to fight…..yet.

Multitasking Mumma of Canada writes:

My daughter decided to wean herself. She was born with her palette being very high, and latching was difficult. After many doctor’s appointments, specialist appointments and a screaming, starving baby, it was determined she wasn’t getting enough milk and the shape of her mouth didn’t allow her to get enough milk. I went on to pumping day and night. It sucked. She stopped breastfeeding at 3 weeks.

Nicole Melancon of Minnesota, USA writes:

I will be honest, I did not really enjoy breastfeeding. I know you’re supposed to and I felt guilty about it forever. I had a terrible time breastfeeding my son mostly due to postpartum depression, and was forced to wean him at 6 weeks, so I could take care of myself and get better (which I did very shortly after!)

I found that the sleep deprivation, hormones and energy required to feed him were not helping me. I had more luck breastfeeding my daughter and actually enjoyed it more. It was easier and actually better. I weaned her at 4 months as that was as much as I could give. I know that breast is better but sometimes I think that you have to remember the mother’s mental health too. My kids are both incredibly happy and healthy, so I know I did the right thing,  despite the feeling of guilt sometimes.

Amy Hillis of Ohia, USA writes:

Well, 5 kids, 5 different stories! My daughter, I breastfed for 3 months, then from a bottle until 10 months. My oldest son, I only breastfed for 6 weeks – I had to return to work full-time and 18 years ago, pumping in the office wasn’t very acceptable – so he was on the bottle until he was about 1.

My 8 year old, I didn’t breastfeed. Somehow, we just didn’t click. He weaned himself from the bottle at about 8 months. My two youngest both had to be fed protein-free formula, so breastfeeding wasn’t an option. My 6 year old finally gave up at bottle at age 2 and my youngest gave it up at about the same time. I let them hang on longer simply because we were in and out of the hospital so much, it was a source of comfort I didn’t want to take away.

Kelley of Laos writes:

With my daughter (now 5), I breastfed for 6 months, 5 of them home with her and the last month, combined with pumping and the stress of a new job, ended milk production for me. With my son (2 1/2), I was home full-time and breastfed for 9 months. Weaning was easy with both children, and they moved to sippy cups by 11 months and open cups by 18 months, although my daughter continued to take a sippy cup of milk for nap, and first thing in the morning, until she was 2 1/2. She likes milk and the comfort of a sippy cup much more than my son.

Andrea of Brazil writes:

With my son (now almost 7), I breastfed exclusively for almost 7 months, and then until 25 months. The first months were not easy. It hurt a lot and it felt like he was hanging off my breasts 24/7!  However, I really, really wanted to breastfeed him until he was 2. When the time to wean came, it was tough on him, hence the extra month it took. He never used a bottle or a pacifier. Today, I regret not letting him go a little longer. Relatives and friends kept saying he was too old and I confess, I gave in to the pressure.

Now I have a 4 month old daughter I breastfeed exclusively, and I plan to start introducing other foods when she is 6-7 months. From then on, I’ll let her breastfeed for as long as she likes!

Maman Aya of New York City, USA writes:

With my son (now 4 1/2), I breastfed until he was 16 months. I started to wean him, by slowly switching out the pumped breast milk for cow’s milk when he was 13 months, and eventually, he started asking for the bottle, instead of my breast. It happened so organically, I didn’t even feel that I was weaning him. One morning, when I brought him to bed with us to have his morning milk, he turned to me and said, “No mama, bottle.” I gave him a bottle and tried again for the next few days with the same results, until I just stopped trying to offer my breast!

My daughter is now 13 months and I’ve decided to follow the same path. I plan to let her go as long as she likes as well. The difference with her is, she doesn’t really like cow’s milk and she doesn’t really like it in a bottle, so she drinks exclusively from a straw cup. She is also much more attached to breast than my son was, so I think this time, it’d take longer to wean. Only time will tell (another article in the making!).

Carol of Vancouver, Canada writes:

My son is 10 months old and still breastfeeding many times a day and through the night as well. He is constantly signing for “milk” so he clearly still enjoys and values breastfeeding. I have no intention of weaning him anytime soon.

What about you? When did you decide to wean your child(ren) from the breast and/ or bottle?

Do you have a question you’d like to pose to the WMB writers? If so, please email, to see what they have to say.

Image courtesy of Ohmega 1982.

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