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How to Stop Breastfeeding

Time to wean your baby or toddler? Button your shirt for good with the help of these steps.


  • : Consult your pediatrician if you must wean suddenly, and for advice on your baby's diet.
  • Step 1: Wean gradually Stop breastfeeding gradually, knowing that the process could take weeks or months.
  • Step 2: Decide whether to bottle-feed Decide whether to give your baby a bottle. If they're less than one year old, they still need pumped breast milk or formula and may need to suck on a bottle to be soothed.
  • TIP: If your breasts become painfully engorged due to skipped feedings, use a warm compress or let warm water run over your breasts in the shower.
  • Step 3: Replace breastfeeding with bottle feedings Replace breastfeeding with bottle feedings one feeding at a time. Once your baby consistently accepts the bottle at one feeding, add another.
  • TIP: Many babies who have been breastfed are reluctant to take a bottle from their mothers. Have someone else offer the bottle.
  • Step 4: Offer toddlers a cup or snack Offer toddlers a cup of pumped breast milk, formula, whole milk, or water; or a snack of solid foods instead of breastfeeding.
  • Step 5: Change your routine Change a toddler's routine to avoid the things they associate with breastfeeding. If you had a habit of breastfeeding in a rocking chair, read her stories on the couch instead.
  • Step 6: Offer extra cuddles Offer extra cuddles and special time with your baby or toddler. Let them know that you're still there for them, even if you're no longer breastfeeding.
  • FACT: Did you know? In theory, men are capable of breastfeeding.

You Will Need

  • Pumped breast milk
  • formula
  • or another drink or snack
  • A cup or bottle
  • A pediatrician (optional)

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