Tips on How to Wean a Baby from Breastfeeding
Ready to stop the journey? It’s an emotional one, to be honest. My experience with breastfeeding and weaning comes from nursing two amazing babies until 14 months of age and using up frozen breast milk thereafter. Whether you stop nursing after a few days or years, I can guarantee one thing that will work based on my experience.
Continue to read on below and find out exactly what I’m talking about.
FOR NOW, I want to share what I experienced while weaning both from breastfeeding.
First off, I highly recommend weaning slowly versus stopping cold turkey. I tried both and let me tell you, stopping cold turkey is PAINFUL.
Second, I recommend having an army of help if possible. I had no help when I weaned my first and my amazing parents to help me with second. Their presence and hands on deck helped tame my emotions really well. Truth be told, this journey is draining and downright depressing for the mother.
Third, wean when YOU are ready. No one should tell you when to stop breastfeeding. It is your decision. PERIOD.
Common tips: After reading, talking to numerous friends, consulting my doctor, speaking with lactation consultants, etc I can definitely say I tried a lot of different tricks to stop the milk from forming. Some commonly recommended things were
- ALL things peppermint (tea + peppermints)
- Pseudoephedrine (Sudafed) every 4 hours
- COLD Cabbage leaves to cover the breast every few hours (SO SOOTHING)
- Sage Leaves (tea)
- Ibuprofen every 4 hours
- Cold Compress
- NO PUMPING or NURSING
- Hot showers with expression if feeling heavily engorged
After trying all of that for 1 week, I had no relief. PLUS, not being able to hold my baby because of the pain was aching my heart to say the least. I was so thankful for the help of my parents. They never hesitated to give me some space, let me get rest, or allow me to take care of myself while they handled EVERYTHING around me. Cooked meals, washed laundry, bathing my kids, etc… gods!
Since none of the things I was doing was working, I decided to call a dear friend in India. Why? I kept thinking to myself there had to be a more natural way to stop this madness. The amount of medicine I was taking just didn’t sound kosher in my book. Did my friend have any great tips? YOU BET!
She said to only use her tip if I was serious enough to stop breastfeeding. That made me a bit more emotional than I already was. But, I was so deep into weaning I wanted to continue!
What really worked: I was advised to place papad instead of cabbage on my breasts! Yup, you read that right, PAPAD! CONFUSED MUCH? Me too! No joke, I went from feeling like a crisp cabbage salad to a spicy crunchy papad in a matter of minutes! Was I skeptical, HECK YES! But let me tell you, IT WORKED LIKE A CHARM IN JUST TWO ATTEMPTS.
METHOD: Simply wet a raw uncooked papad for a few seconds in some water and place it directly on your breast. Leave it on for a few hours and then toss it all into the garbage/compost bin. It will be uncomfortable since the papad will crisp after a few minutes, but trust me-it works like a charm. I placed these on my breasts before bedtime and had to wake up within a few hours to take them out. As the papad dries it sharpens. Hence, it will poke and hurt. However, with only two attempts I felt SO much relief. I continued to use papad for two days but overall I felt A LOT BETTER.
This is what the papad will look like when removing.
Surprised much? It worked and that is all that matters-haha. When you’re ready to wean your little one keep this ancient Indian remedy in mind. I hope you have a great weaning experience :). For additional information check out this website.