RESTLESS MOM ASKS: When Can I Stop Breastfeeding Completely?

  • This is a helpful guide for moms who feel ready to stop nursing
  •  Learn 3 telltale signs that baby is ready to stop breastfeeding
  •  Also, 3 signs that it’s time for mom to wean her baby
  •  Plus, 5 ways to slow your milk supply when it’s time to wean

What can i put on my nipples to stop breastfeeding

Are you beginning to feel like it may be time to stop nursing your baby soon?

Are you unsure whether or not you or your baby are ready to stop nursing?

When can you stop breastfeeding your child?

This is a question that all nursing moms end up asking themselves sooner or later. When it’s time for you to stop breastfeeding your baby, it may be tough for you to make the call. You may not be totally sure, or you may not want to give up on this bonding experience with your child.

In this article, we’ll walk you through several of the most common signs you and your baby are both ready to stop nursing. You’ll also find out some ways to decrease your milk supply when the time comes, and you’ll even learn about some other options to help you bond with your child after you’re no long nursing

There’s a lot to learn, so let’s get started!

3 Signs a Baby is Ready to Stop Breastfeeding

Your baby is sure to show signs that he or she is ready to stop nursing sooner or later. While you may be in a hurry to get your baby weaned, it’s usually a good idea to wait until you’re noticing at least some of these signs before you start transitioning your baby from breastfeeding. Remember, too, that breast milk or formula should keep being a staple of your baby’s diet until at least 1 year of age.

can i stop breastfeeding
  • Your baby isn’t nursing as much at one time. Sometimes, this can be a sign of another problem, such as an ear infection that is making it painful for him or her to nurse. Most of the time, however, this is usually a good indicator that your baby is growing out nursing.
  • Your baby needs a more balanced diet. If your baby is 12 months old, his or her dietary needs are changing. Many healthcare professionals recommend beginning to supplement your child’s diet with solid foods by as early as six months of age. If your baby needs to be on solid foods, it’s time to start cutting back on nursing.
  • Your baby is interested in the family meal time. When your child develops an interest in everyone else eating solid foods, this is a good sign he or she is ready to get on them as well.


3 Signs Mom is Ready to Stop Breastfeeding

Your baby isn’t the only one involved in nursing, after all, and there are some signs you should be on the lookout for that may mean your body is done breastfeeding, too. Pay close attention to your own health and make sure you and your little one are on the same page when it comes to breastfeeding.

  • You don’t have the energy to nurse anymore. If you’re feeling exhausted or you don’t have the mental stamina to keep nursing your baby, then don’t. And if you’re feeling resentful or stressed by having to nurse, it’s a good time to stop.
  • Your breasts are in a lot of pain. Many times, nursing moms find that they just can’t stand the pain of nursing anymore. If this happens to you, there’s no reason why you can’t start weaning your baby, but you may need to be prepared to keep pumping or to offer formula to supplement your baby’s diet if he or she is still too young for a solely solid food diet.
  • You have to start a medical treatment that is bad for your baby. If you can’t avoid taking medicine or receiving some type of medical treatment, you’ll need to wean your baby from nursing before it begins. If you start smoking, drinking, or using any other substances that are bad for your baby, this is also true.

5 Ways to Slow Your Milk Supply

Now that you’re thinking it’s time to stop nursing, you may be looking for ways to slow your milk production. While your body will naturally stop making milk a couple of weeks after your baby’s final nursing session, you may want to hurry it up. Try these tips to encourage your milk supply to slow.

1. Wean yourself from expressing milk. 

to stop breastfeeding

You’ll need to keep pumping a little bit for a few days just to help your breasts feel less painful, but you also don’t need to pump so much that your body thinks it should keep producing milk.

2. Put cabbage leaves on your breasts. 

Cold cabbage leaves can help reduce pain and inflammation as well as help dry up your milk supply.

3. Try cold compresses. 

Putting ice packs and cold compresses on your sore breasts can help ease the pain and decrease your supply as well.

stop breastfeeding

4. Drink sage tea. 

Sage tea is known for being one of the best natural ways to help dry up your milk supply. Peppermint is another good alternative, so if you don’t like the taste of sage go for peppermint instead.

5. Stay relaxed. 

Last but not least, try to stay as relaxed as possible. This may be a stressful time for you and your baby, but your body will do what it’s supposed to do more easily if you give it a chance to do so without over-exerting your nerves. Stay relaxed and things will go more smoothly.

3 Other Ways to Bond with Your Baby

Now that you’re no longer nursing, you may feel that you aren’t bonding with your baby anymore. But don’t worry! There are tons of other great ways you can improve your relationship with your little one. It doesn’t all have to rely on nursing!

  • Try babywearing. This can be a great way to keep your baby close to you when you go out and it can encourage that skin-to-skin contact your child may be missing. There are many different forms of babywearing you may want to try.
  • Try room sharing. Bed sharing may also be an option if your baby is old enough, but if your child is still too small for this to be a safe sleeping arrangement, try letting your baby sleep in a separate crib within arm’s reach of you at night.
  • Learn baby massage. A nice baby massage can be a great way for you to encourage bonding with your baby. And it will help your baby feel good, too!

Conclusion

We hope you’ve learned everything you need to know so that the next time you ask yourself, “When can I stop breastfeeding?” you’ll know the answer. This is a question that doesn’t have a solid answer, and every mom and baby experience nursing differently. Some babies will be ready to stop nursing after just a couple of months, while others will keep breastfeeding past 12 months. It’s important to just try to take everything in stride and make the right decision based on what works best for you and your child.

If you have any further questions, always make sure to talk to your doctor and your child’s pediatrician for advice about your specific situation.

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