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How should I stop breast feeding my 2 years old?

Monday, 23 August 2004
Answered by: Dr. Vidya Gupta
Consultant Paediatrician & Neonatologist,
Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals,
New Delhi
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Q. I have a baby who is 2 years old. I have been breast feeding her from the date of birth while I was not working. She has never been fed through a feeder bottle (never had milk in liquid form) but was given milk in form of porridge, yogurt etc. I have started working now and my timings are from 8.00 AM to 5.00 PM. Although I am away from home for 9-10 hrs, when I return home my daughter still wants to be breast fed. She is very stubborn and does not want to stop this habit though I have tried but in vain. At night she sucks a pacifier. How do I stop breast feeding completely? Is accumulated breast milk good for a child as I still get a little yet?

A.  Breast milk that is still being produced in small amounts cannot do any harm if fed to the baby. However as the child is now 2 years old it is time to stop breast feeding completely. The only way of stopping is to not feed. If you are around, the baby will insist on being fed and as a mother it is hard to let a child keep crying and not feed. The baby obviously doesn't keep crying for breast milk in your absence. So the simplest way to deal with the situation is to be unavailable at night and allow someone else to handle the baby for a couple of nights. It may take as long as a week but keep at it until the demand stops.

A.  Breast milk that is still being produced in small amounts cannot do any harm if fed to the baby. However as the child is now 2 years old it is time to stop breast feeding completely. The only way of stopping is to not feed. If you are around, the baby will insist on being fed and as a mother it is hard to let a child keep crying and not feed. The baby obviously doesn't keep crying for breast milk in your absence. So the simplest way to deal with the situation is to be unavailable at night and allow someone else to handle the baby for a couple of nights. It may take as long as a week but keep at it until the demand stops.

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