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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