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How to Gradually Stop Nursing a Toddler



What do you do when your little guy or gal doesn't want to stop nursing?


It's not an uncommon problem, and it has caused some sleepless nights for moms and dads who are trying to figure out the right way to wean a toddler.


Every individual child is different, but experts do have some pretty good tips and guidelines that can be helpful as you're trying to figure out how to change your child's breast-feeding routine.


Start Gradually


One way to optimize the weaning of your kid is to drop one feeding at a time, obviously replacing it with some other type of feeding if necessary. You can start dropping daytime feedings first, and then tackle nighttime last, as your child also heads further toward those days when they will eventually outgrow diapers and become potty trained.


Evaluate Co-Sleeping


Sometimes weaning issues have to do with co-sleeping, where the child is comfortable getting into bed with mom every single night, which might not really work that well over time.


In fact, co-sleeping and weaning do have similar kinds of processes for changing a child's nighttime routine. At the end of the day, whatever a small child is accustomed to is what he or she relies on for assurance. Changing that is tough, but when it's done carefully and with thoughtful care, it can be less traumatizing for the little one.


Promote Bottles and Cups


One of the best ways to get a handle on late breast-feeding behavior is by acting early to introduce bottles and cups to your child. If the child is already used to bottles, it will be much easier to figure out a good way to wean him or her from breast-feeding. Then later, if the child is older and getting a lot of nutrients from food, you can continue to promote the idea of drinking out of a special sippy cup, maybe with their favorite characters on it. This type of plan can really springboard your weaning system and process as you move toward growing older with your precious child.


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