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Thread: Weaning abruptly at 22 months- how uncomfortable will it be?

  1. #1

    Default Weaning abruptly at 22 months- how uncomfortable will it be?

    I'm just wondering about others' experiences with abrupt weaning and how uncomfortable it is?

    I've been on the fence about weaning for some time, but for fertility related reasons am going to go ahead and do it. My husband and I both have felt that it will be easier on everyone if I go away initally, and I am therefore leaving town Friday-Sunday so we can get a head start on things before facing what may be a bit of a battle with my son (who very much likes to nurse).

    Currently it varies but is typically 2-3 nursing sessions/day.

    Since I'm never as full as I used to be, I figured I didn't need to worry about discomfort much. However- I just went 36 hours without nursing for the first time and was rather uncomfortable (every once in a while he randomly skips a nursing session- that happened last night and then he slept in this morning as well). So now- I'm wondering - do I need to worry about physical discomfort that doesn't go away? Should I take a hand pump with me to take the edge off if I need it??


  2. #2


    I would be very careful about weaning cold turkey. You could end up engorged and potentially develop clogged ducts or mastitis. It would probably be much easier on both of you if you just cut one session a day for about a week then cut two until you cut all sessions out. 2-3 sessions a day isn't much at all, so it shouldn't be that difficult to cut out 1 session per day for a week until you aren't offering at all anymore.
    Mary Jane, doula and mom of Vada, Brynna, Tea, Moira, Kyan, Ambria, Aslan, and Anakin.
    “Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.” ~ Dr. Seuss

  3. #3



    It's not so much about me offering to nurse, as my son insisting we nurse (and while we tend to nurse first and last thing each day, we don't really have a set schedule). That's why we decided to go with more of an all or nothing approach- I'm worried that anything else will just lead to a battle that goes on for weeks (I think he's going to need a consistent no in order to figure out that it's over). I'm also planning on leaving town (flying to visit my sister) (and I'm long past the point of pumping to bring milk home- we stopped pumping at 12 months and ran out of the backup supply at 15 months and he's had a mix of cows milk and nursing ever since 15 months).

    My experience today made me realize that I may have underestimated how much milk I'm producing. I can take a hand pump (or even a regular one) with me to pump a little to keep things from getting too full (but would rather not bother if I don't need to).

    I'm curious what other people have experienced weaning at this stage. If I ignore the engorgement, will it get better on it's own with time? (it felt like I had some plugged ducts today and I certainly don't want mastitis)

  4. #4


    You could express just enough to relieve the engorgement and just lessen pumping times until you are done. Breastmilk comes in handy for all sorts of things besides feeding like diaper rashes, ear infections, eye infections, skin problems, and sinus congestion among others. You can also make breastmilk popsicles to hydrate during stomach viruses. You will eventually dry up whether you pump or not. You can just hand express to relieve any hard spots you get. I'm not much help because I never weaned any of mine. My first 2 I breastfed I stopped nursing at 6 mos and 4 mos because I couldn't pump efficiently enough and I lost my supply. And with all the others I let them decide when they were done. It ranged between 15 mos and 30 mos. I wouldn't think with nursing just in the morning and at night that the engorgement would be really terrible. I did a 3-day walk when Kyan was about 16 months old. He was nursing about twice a day. I was a little engorged the 2nd day but it went away without any pumping. But we also started nursing again when I returned.
    Mary Jane, doula and mom of Vada, Brynna, Tea, Moira, Kyan, Ambria, Aslan, and Anakin.
    “Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.” ~ Dr. Seuss

  5. #5


    I would bring a pump just incase you need to take the edge off.

    Be prepared for him to want to nurse when you get home, he's old enough he's not going to forget after just a few days. I kind of doubt you being gone will make much of an impact on weaning. At least that has been my experience with going away at that age.

  6. #6


    I quit cold turkey with my 2nd, and I'd never do it again unless absolutely necessary. She was about 20 months old, and I just decided we were done so one day I quit, and its hard for me to still talk about. It cause a lot of emotional drama on both of our part, I did it because our entire family was struggling with how much she nursed and my lack of sleep. She cried and cried for a few weeks, not understanding why she couldn't nurse anymore. On the physical side, it wasn't bad I just pumped to be comfortable and that was less and less for about a week.

    My first I just dropped sessions and distracted her with juice and milk in a sippy cup and that was a much better transition for both of us. I plan to do that again with my 3rd
    DD1 (7) DD2 (4) DS1 (22 months) Baby #4 EDD 7/13/14

  7. #7


    Thanks everyone. I have a hand pump somewhere and will dig it out and try to figure out how to use it (I put all the pump stuff away at 12 months and was hoping not to see it again for a while longer).

    I don't want to give the impression that I'm most worried about the physical discomfort. This has been a difficult decision, I've been contemplating it for several months and have dragged my feet for a while because I don't really want to wean him and would much prefer to have him decide when to stop. We've been thinking and talking about it for months and while I'm not looking forward to the next week, I feel like we're doing the right thing and know what we're getting into. (The physical piece was the part that I hadn't considered and suddenly worried I may have underestimated- hence this thread.) We know that 2 days away is not going to be all it takes, but figured it would be a good start (and that it will make the first few days easier). We're fully expecting a difficult time when I get back, but do think it would be worse to try to go slowly (this way there aren't any mixed messages).

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2007


    It really depends on your own body. DD was 20 months old when I weaned her. I just felt done. I was slowly discouraging nursing for about 4 months because she wanted to nurse ALL the time. We were down to once a day and one morning I just decided to get up early and let her play with DH in bed. I think she asked once after that to nurse but it was it. No hurt feelings on either side and I lost my milk right away. No discomfort. But I have a friend who tried to stop with her 2 1/2 yo who was nursing twice a day at the time and she was in a great deal of pain. She went back to nursing because of her physical discomfort.

    With DS I stopped abruptly a 17 months because I completely dried up as soon as I got pg with DD. It was traumatic for both of us because neither one of us was ready to stop. So it really depends on the situation.

    how about the cabbage leaves to help decrease your supply?
    Last edited by impatient; 05-11-2013 at 12:23 PM.

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