How To Stop Breastfeeding A Toddler

Mommy and Me Twinning Outfit Ideas

Yesterday was the last day I breastfed Milan.  Today was the first official day I started weaning her.  I’ve been ready to do this for awhile now.  My body is most definitely ready.  My boobs are FOR SURE ready.  I’ve nursed on demand for almost 2.5 years and as much as I loved it, it was starting to wear me down physically and emotionally.  Today I’m sharing some tips on how to stop breastfeeding a toddler with little to no drama.
mommy and me mustard and polkadots outfit

My Outfit: Dress: c/o Express | Sweater: c/o ModCloth | Sandals: Treasure & Bond | Necklace: c/o Henri Bendel

Milan’s Outfit: Dress: Old Navy | Pants: Old Navy | Shoes: c/o Freshly Picked | Turban: Blu Taylor (similar HERE)

It was non-stop (literally) all day and all night for the first year and then transitioned into an all day open milk bar.  Milan has never taken a bottle or pacifier.  I was basically her human bottle and pacifier.  I originally planned on nursing only until she was one year old and then one turned into two and well…she’s almost two and a half years old!

mommy and me flamingo dress pink and white outfit idea

My Outfit: Shirt: c/o Talbots | Jacket: Loft (similar HERE) | Jeans: Topshop (similar HERE) | Sandals: Treasure & Bond

Milan’s Outfit: Dress: Gymboree (similar HERE or HERE) | Shoes: c/o Freshly Picked | Turban: Blu Taylor (similar HERE)

I decided a couple months ago that I was going to wait until she grew all twenty of her teeth so that way, she would still be able to nurse when the big molars came in.  We’ve never given her anything for teething pain except for frozen blueberries and greek yogurt popsicles.  Nursing was her main way of soothing and comfort.  Obviously I didn’t want my baby to suffer during the teething process so I held out a little bit longer.

yellow polka dot dress chambray shirt striped skirt mommy and me

My outfit: Dress: Loft (old, similar HERE) | Shirt: Loft (similar HERE) | Necklace: c/o Henri Bendel | Sandals: Treasure & Bond | Purse: c/o kate spade (similar HERE) | Necklace: c/o Henri Bendel pearl pendant bow necklace

Milan’s outfit: Dress: Old Navy (size 18-24 months) | Shoes: c/o Freshly Picked | Turban: Blu Taylor (similar HERE)

She used to nurse all the time in public and I finally told her earlier this year that she can only “suckle” at home.  Shockingly she was totally fine with that and it took only me telling her one time for it to stick.  Lately it’s become so incessant at home that I couldn’t get anything done.  I couldn’t cook, wash dishes much less go pee without her wanting to nurse.  So I made the decision that I was going to slowly wean her off.  I would cut down the nursing to only morning, nap time and bedtime.  That didn’t go so well so then I tried putting on ACV (apple cider vinegar) on my nipples because so many people swore by this trick.  Ha!  Milan said yummy and liked the taste and smell.  I should have guessed this since she’s bathed in it all her life so of course she’s used to it!  I even tried black pepper and she didn’t mind that either.  *slaps forehead*

mommy and me matching stripes mustard dress leopard shoes

My outfit: Dress: c/o ModCloth (old, similar skirt HERE, similar top HERE) | Shoes: J.Crew leopard flats (similar HERE or HERE) | Purse: c/o kate spade (similar HERE) | Watch: c/o kate spade

Milan’s outfit: Dress: Old Navy tutu dress (size 18-24 months) | Top: Old Navy fitted striped tee (size 18 months) | Shoes: c/o Freshly Picked leopard moccasins | Organic Tights HERE | Turban: c/o BluTaylor (similar HERE) | Sunglasses (mine but had to bribe her): c/o kate spade

Finally a bunch of mommies told me about the band aid trick.  Put band aids on your nipples and tell your baby that mommy has boo boos.  At first, I was skeptical.  Will this work?  After a lot of research, I decided this the best option.  I’m doing this.  I got this.  I set a date (6/11/18) and prepped Milan for several days prior letting her know that she can suckle all she wants but come Monday the 11th, mommy will have band aids on her boobies because they have boo boos.  Honestly I wasn’t sure this was going to work because Milan is tenacious and cannot be tricked.

mommy and milan striped shirt olive jeans pink moto jacket

My outfit: Tee: Express (size XXSP) | Jacket: Zara (old, similar HERE) | Jeans: Paige olive jeans (similar HERE) | Shoes: J.Crew (similar HERE) | Watch: c/o kate spade

Milan’s Outfit: Jacket: Old Navy (size 18 months) | Tee: Old Navy (size 18 months) | Jeans: Old Navy(size 12-18 months) |Shoes: c/o Freshly Picked | Socks HERE

I prepared myself mentally.  I was ready.  I deserved to get my body back.  I needed my sanity back.  I thought for sure I wasn’t going to break…

I was SO nervous because Milan and I have a routine down.  A schedule.  It’s the only way we both know.  She wakes up and nurses.  She nurses before her naps and before bedtime so this was what we were both accustomed to so how on earth will she handle the sudden change?  I wasn’t sure and to be honest, I was scared for my life (lol)!

Tips To Help Wean Your Toddler

1. Make a commitment to the process and set a date when you will start. (just like sleep training – read how I sleep trained Milan in under 30 minutes HERE)

2. Have a conversation with your toddler. (I talked to Milan about it everyday leading up to the set date)

3. Stay strong and do NOT give in.  Once you start, you cannot go back.

4. Reduce your nursing sessions one by one and/or shorten each nursing session.

5. Have your spouse/partner take over bedtime duty.

6. Try the band aid trick (worked for me).

mommy and me palm print dresses

My outfit: Dress: c/o Goodnight Macaroon palm print dress (similar HERE) | Necklace: c/o Ily Couture (similar HERE) | Shoes: BP luminate sandals

Milan’s Outfit: Dress: Zara (similar HERE) | Shoes: c/o Freshly Picked mint moccasins | Turban: Blu Taylor (similar HERE) | Socks: Old Navy (similar HERE)

She woke up at her usual time and before going to get her, I put band aids on my nipples.  Walked into her room with my heart pounding out of my chest.  I took her downstairs where we usually sit and nurse and told her remember, mommy has boo boos so no suckling.  I showed her the band aids and even though I knew she knew that it was coming….she started to cry.  The cries got louder and louder and my heart broke.  It was only 2 1/2 minutes but felt like eternity.  I couldn’t take seeing her like this and a sense of mom guilt rushed over me.  I was about to just rip off the band aids and cave but as I put her in position to nurse, she suddenly stopped crying and just laid on my chest.  We snuggled for about 10 minutes and talked through everything.  She asked to see the band aids again and I showed her and she said it had a texture (lol).

mommy and me lemon print matching outfits

My Outfit: Dress: Banana Republic (similar HERE) | Sam Edelman scalloped pumps (similar HERE) | JadeTribe (similar HERE)

Milan’s Outfit: Lemon print romper (13-24 months) | Old Navy socks (similar HERE) | White ruffle hat (similar HERE) | Old Navy straw tote (similar HERE)

We went about our morning and I was like ok…I can do this!  That wasn’t so bad.  She ended up skipping her nap because she had this burst of energy.  I was prepared for major meltdowns but instead I got the complete opposite.  She was so sweet and such a good girl, I was so confused!  I kept asking myself, what is happening?  I didn’t even care that she skipped her nap because she was so happy.

mommy and me matching floral outfits denim jacket summer spring twinning

My outfit: Dress: Old Navy floral dress (size XSP, maxi dress version HERE) | Shoes: Treasure and Bond espadrilles | Jacket: Loft denim jacket (old, similar HERE) | Necklace: c/o Henri Bendel bow necklace | Purse: c/o kate spade new york (similar HERE) | Earrings: c/o Henri Bendel

Milan’s outfit: Shirt: Old Navy (size 2T, dress version HERE) | Pants: Old Navy (size 2T) | Shoes: c/o Freshly Picked (size 4) | Turban: c/o Blu Taylor (similar HERE)

We decided to take her to Marina Park on the Balboa Peninsula as a reward since she’s never been there before.  She had so much fun!  Normally when we get home from anywhere, she always demands to nurse.  Not today.  She took a bath and asked to cuddle before dinner.  This was her usual nursing time – before and after dinner so I was panicked about how this was going to play out.  We snuggled on the couch and I lost it.  As I held her, it just hit me HARD.  I couldn’t stop crying.  I held her, kissed her and told her how much I loved her and just continued to cry.  I was NOT expecting to feel all these emotions.  Instead of her having the meltdown like I was anticipating, it was ME!  She was so sweet, understanding and tried to make me laugh.  She even told me out of the blue she liked jellybeans (lol).  I know that she knows why I was crying because this girl is SO incredibly smart and intuitive.  How did I get so darn lucky?

mommy and me matching flamingo dresses

My outfit: c/o Flamingo dress (xs) | Marc Fisher wedge sandals | c/o Kendra Scott cuff | c/o kate spade watch

Milan’s outfit: c/o Joovy tricycoo | Baby white flamingo dress (18-24 months) | Pink Turban | Old Navy socks (similar HERE) | Old Navy straw tote (similar HERE) | c/o Freshly Picked dalmation moccasins

I’m not usually an emotional person and it takes a lot for me to cry.  Today, I ugly cried.  So many emotions running through me that it was hard to process.  I thought I was ready but then I started to doubt my decision to stop breastfeeding.  I felt very guilty.  Why would I stop if I’m able to continue nursing?  Am I a bad mom?  Then the realization that she’s no longer a baby just did it for me.  This is when I really lost it.  I keep thinking maybe if I keep nursing her, she’ll stay little forever and continue to be my baby.  Then thoughts of her not needing me anymore and becoming super independent  just freaked me out.  She may be my last baby and the only chance I’ll get to nurse.  It was an all around sad and very emotional day for me.  It’s just another reminder that she’s growing up. 🙁

mommy and me matching striped dresses summer outfit idea

My outfit: Lace striped dress (XXS) | Toucans packable bow hat | c/o kate spade sunglasses | Flamingo woven tote (similar HERE) | Hair wand used for waves

Milan’s outfit: Lace striped dress (2T) | c/o Red bow headband | Ready for summer tote | Pink baby sunglasses

Motherhood is an experience and journey that you can’t really explain or put into words.  The love you feel for your child is just indescribable.  Nursing is a bond that is magical and today I felt like a part of me is missing.  Almost like I gave something up.  At the same time, I feel grateful and blessed to see her go through all these milestones.  It’s just so dang hard seeing how fast they change and grow each day.  A part of me just wants her to stay my baby forever.

Sorry for the rambling…today’s post is mainly for me.  I wanted to document this milestone so I can look back on it later.  Thanks for sharing this journey with me. 🙂 XO

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  1. I also nursed both of my sons exclusively around the clock, no pacifiers or bottles. My first stopped at 2 years 3 months because I was pregnant and my milk dried up. But I also remember being ready to stop nursing and having sore nipples.. But like you said it was routine for us and the only way I knew how to soothe him sometimes. It’s so bitter sweet when they wean. I’m currently nursing my 19 month old who’s never once slept through the night and nurses constantly. You’re a great mama and gave Milan your everything and she feels that!

  2. There is a book called If I Could Keep You Little. I love it, and it totally reminds me of how much you miss as they grow up but how much you have to look forward to as well. I hope you’ll buy it and enjoy it!

  3. 😭😭😭
    Unlike Milan, my “baby” girl never met a nipple she didn’t like except for mine! I had to nurse using a nipple shield for the first 20 weeks to get her to accept me and then one day just like that she was fine with no shield. In the beginning, I worked so hard to be able to BF – high risk pregnancy and on a list of 10 things that can make BF hard/delay milk coming in I had 8! I cried so many tears, especially those first few weeks and if someone told me I’d love BF eventually I’d have rolled my eyes so hard they’d have gotten stuck!!!

    My baby is almost fifteen months and she always nurses first thing in the morning and at bedtime (goes to Montessori school during the day while we’re at work). It’s the only time she’s still these days, and I got ALL THE FEELS reading your post.
    Sometimes at bedtime she barely wants to nurse or only one side. 💔

    I stopped pumping at work at 13 months and that was life changing. Not quite ready to let go of the nursing at home when we’re together yet, but I have no doubt she’ll tell me when it’s time. I can relate to wanting my own body back and then feeling so selfish and guilty for feeling that way.

    Stay strong – you are an awesome mama! I love your IG feed and Mommy & Me outfits! You’ll forever have great captures of the two of you at every one of the magical stages of life.

    • Awww Ashley! Thank you so much for sharing! OMG I used a nipple shield for 6 weeks so MAJOR hats off to you for using it for 20 weeks! OMG you are a super star! I loved reading your comment so thank you for taking the time to do this! I appreciate your kind words and seriously you need to give yourself a pat on the back mama! You are amazing!

  4. Kuddos for you to sticking to it for that long! I was getting momshamed for continuing past one year, but I didn’t care. It was second nature to us and I loved the snuggles. It has been about three months since I stopped, but my little one puts her hand in shirt to touch my breasts for comfort. I don’t mind it. I’m taking in all the snuggles. ❤️

    • Aw good job mama! How dare anyone mom shame you for continuing after a year. That makes me SO MAD! I’m glad you didn’t care because BF is the best thing we can do for our baby and if you are able to do it for longer and want to, then no one should ever shame you for it. Milan likes to lay her cheek on my chest for comfort and that’s more than ok with me! 🙂

  5. So wonderful you nursed her that long. I have seven children and I breastfed all of them for at least a year and most over 2 years. You described the weaning process well. For many kids, it can become a control issue. I’m sorry, I don’t approve of lying to your children but I totally understand why a person would!! God bless. The Bible even talks about a weaned child – check out Ps. 131:2.

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