This guide was originally published on Aug. 23, 2019 in NYT Parenting.
My daughter probably would have nursed well into high school if the decision had been hers to make. She adored the boob. And when she turned 1, that love morphed into an obsession. She wanted it. Needed it. NOW!
That’s when I decided the relationship was no longer working for us and I needed to wean her from my breast.
My plan for weaning was based on a hodgepodge of advice from other moms and a significant amount of guesswork. And it did not go as smoothly as I had hoped. The final weeks involved a great deal of floundering and many, many tears (both my child’s and my own).
We don’t want you to have to flounder and cry, so we put together some practical advice to help you wean as painlessly as possible. I read two books on breastfeeding and two books on weaning, and interviewed a variety of experts on lactation, including a family doctor, two psychologists, a certified lactation consultant and a nurse researcher who studies breastfeeding.
The research on weaning is sparse. While there are some studies looking at weaning across cultures or factors associated with weaning, I could not find any scientific assessment of