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How Can I Wean My Reluctant 2-Year-Old?

Any suggestions on how to wean a 2-year-old? Both Mom and Dad are emotionally ready to wean, but the child doesn’t seem to be.
Kathleen and Jim

Breast milk is the food of choice for infants. However, long before age 2, children should be eating a diet of mostly solid foods because they can't get all the nutrients they need from breast milk alone anymore. Nursing at this age is usually more a matter of emotional attachment. Weaning at this time may be harder because some 2-year-olds can be less adaptable than younger kids.

The trick is to get your child used to a new routine at what is normally a breastfeeding time. Don't sit in your usual nursing spot or wear your usual nursing clothes, and instead try to interest your child in a favorite game or snack. Some mothers find that it works well to replace one breastfeeding period at a time with a cup of milk, slowly cutting down on the number of times they nurse per day. It may take a while, but eventually kids will make the adjustment.

Reviewed by: Steven Dowshen, MD
Date reviewed: February 2010

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