When our son was one year old, he weaned himself. He just started staring at the breast and was more interested in being close to his mother than nursing. No trauma, no hurt feelings — we were lucky. Almost everyone struggles when the wee ones are being weaned. Parents have an instinctual response when their child is screaming for breast milk: they want to soothe and comfort, no matter what it takes. If you search the internet, there are countless stories and strategies for weaning, but they all boil down to one thing: to wean, you must deprive your child of the breast. This is hard for the parents, and hard for the child. I don’t need to repeat the stories and tips in this short piece that you can discover for yourselves by Googleing.
The strategy that seems to work best is on the first night when your child starts crying for breast milk, look at the clock and wait 10 minutes before offering the breast. No matter how many times the child calls for milk that first night, wait 10 minutes before each time you respond. The next night, wait 15 minutes before responding to calls for milk. The third night, 20 minutes. Add five minutes to each night during the weaning process The ideal situation is to have a snooze button for this process and not have to go to work for about a week (hah!). During the day during the night time weaning process, allow the child to nurse as he/she requests, have lots of kinship and snuggle time. Show your child he/she is loved and treasured.
The goal is to train your child to go of longer intervals between nursings. Yes, this will be hard. You will be tempted to give in just to get back to sleep. But if you can stick with the program, expect results within a couple of weeks. Keep in mind that this is a training process and that your child will adapt as adaptation is what their focus is during the early years of life.