How do I wean my 12 month old from nursing to whole milk?

She will not take a bottle, nor will she drink from a cup of any sort. From day one she has refused a bottle, so that is out of the question. As far as sippy cups, we have tried them all from the time she was 6 months old. She just plays with them.

I thought I would be done nursing the day she turned one, but it seems impossible to stop. She is always smacking her lips and trying to pull my shirt off. I feel guilty when she starts to cry.

I guess my concern is trying to figure out how to get her off the breast and on the cup!

Any suggestions from moms who have dealt with this would be great!!

9 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Keep in mind that not much changes for her from the day before her birthday to the day after her birthday. She's the same little girl who has the same needs she had before she turned one. :-) Don't look at it as some kind of hard and fast deadline. Relax a bit. Nursing is still very good for both of you and there is nothing wrong with continuing for a little longer.

    Try a cup/bottle that has a straw in it. Rubbermaid makes something they call a "juice box" with a flip up straw. This is what all my kids used. You can give it a little squeeze to squirt liquid into their mouths as they are learning to use the straw. Works great!

    Have you tried expressed breastmilk in the cups/bottles/etc. that you've given her? You could try that and then begin mixing it with whole mlk and gradually transition all the way to cow's milk.

    As you get her drinking from something else, you can begin cutting nursing sessions, one every 3-5 days depending on how things are going. If you are feeling full, wait a bit to cut another feeding so you don't get badly engorged which can lead to plugged ducts and mastitis. Go slowly! This is a HUGE transition in her life and also a big adjustment for your body (both in reducing the milk supply and your hormones).

    Source(s): mom of three, all nursed well beyond a year
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  • 1 decade ago

    Have you tried real cups? My son would drink out of real cups before he figured out the sippy.

    Just keep offering the sippy, have one constantly around.

    Did your daughter become a different person the day she turned one? Nursing a 1 year old is no different than nursing a 11 month old... Just keep at it for now and keep trying with the cups, she will get it eventually.

    Heres a sweet personal story:

    weaning techniques:

    How weaning happens:

    I would think you might want to try and use one of the "weaning techniques" (postponement, don't offer, don't refuse etc...) for a while and keep encouraging the sippy cup.

    If she starts taking in less breastmilk, she will possibly be more open to drinking water. Also, we pulled the stopper out of my sons sippy once or twice, until he got the idea that water came out of it and he could drink it. Then we put it back in.

    Once you have her drinking out of a sippy, you can gradually start slowing down on nursing. There is a list on that site of signs that weaning is going to quickly, you probably want to check that out.

    It should be a slow process so that she doesn't feel that shes had a rug pulled from under her and so that you don't develop engorgment and possibly mastitis.

    Best of luck!


    Oh, yes... the straw cups! Great idea. My son LOVES drinking from a straw :)

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    If I were you, I would just continue to nurse her. No sippy cups to clean (darn those little valves), no milk to buy, no worrying about baby finding a week-old sippy under the couch. I think that your baby is just smart enough to know that cups full of cow's milk are inferior to mom's perfect milk. My 18 month old has been asking to nurse a lot lately, and I think that she's just figured out that water isn't as good as my milk!

    Have you tried a water bottle? My kids fight over water bottles. Just the plain, plastic bottles full of drinking water. They drink the water fast and then play with the bottle. They also like straws. Any kind of straw is a big hit. You can buy cups with a lid and a reusable straw that have characters on them. Wal-Mart sells animal cups with a lid and an integrated straw/spout. They also sell little football and basketball shaped bottles with "sport tops." I bought mine for $.75 last year.

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  • 4 years ago

    When I switched my daughter to whole milk she was having about 3 bottles in a 24hr period, that is morning noon and night. One after breakfast, one just before her afternoon nap and one before betime. I think about 600mls all up. If she is comfortable with drinking from a cup than try giving it to her that way, it doesn't need to be in a bottle. Remember there are other ways to get her calcium into her as well such as yoghurt and cheese. I'm not sure what country you live in but here in New Zealand we have milo which is like a hot chocolate drink and putting about half a teaspoon of that into babies bottle with the milk was a great way to get them drinking from the bottle but isn't something I would recomend doing constantly. Just keep preservering and it will all work out in the end :)

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  • 1 decade ago

    try a regular cup, you will have to help probably, only an ounce at a time. once your toddler realizes drinking from a cup is great, then she will switch to a sippy cup, but take out the stopper, so it is free flow. (dentist recommend this, and for breast fed kids, it is easier, they have a harder time sucking the milk from a stopper.. it isn't the same sucking as from the breast)

    Good Luck.

    What a great start you gave your daughter.

    Source(s): I breast fed all 3 my children, with only one ever taking a bottle.
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  • 1 decade ago

    Hello there,

    My first question is why on earth don't you want to nurse her any more? Her need to nurse is very obvious by her actions so what is the problem? I would think that you would be thrilled to continue nursing her as long as she wants to. My four children stopped nursing sometime shortly after their first birthday and I was extremely disappointed. I tried everything to interest them in continued nursing but when they are done, they are done.

    Is there some particular reason why you no longer want to nurse your baby? It is a proven fact that the health benefits and certainly the emotional benefits of breastfeeding continue long after the baby's first birthday. Continuing to nurse your baby is the greatest gift you can give her.

    Please don't misunderstand me, you have done a wonderful thing by nursing this long. I am just confused as to why you would want to end such a precious relationship. It must be confusing and hurtful to your baby when you refuse to let her nurse. It is impossible for her to understand why you no longer wish for her to nurse.

    Please consider letter her nurse for a longer period of time. She will stop when she no longer needs it and aren't her needs the most important thing that you as a mother should consider? 12 months is really not that old in the entire scheme of things. Give it some more time, in a month or so she may be ready to move on. To force her to stop breastfeeding will be hurtful to her as there is no way she could possibly understand it. Please reconsider your decision to wean your baby. "Gradually and with love" should be your guideline. She is obviously not ready.

    Good luck.

    Lady Trinity~

    Source(s): Breastfeed all four of my children for over 1 year. Lots of experience.
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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I am a mother of three grown children and 9 grandchildren. first you are going to have to go to the bottle there are nipples out there that are small enough that the baby can take as part of a breast. then from those nipples to the cup . there are cups that the top is kinda like a nipple. but this is a slow thing to change over . but you just have to keep on with it . just do not give in by giving her the breast. as if you do you will never get the children to change over .

    Source(s): motherhood -
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  • 1 decade ago

    I would say, try to put whole milk in a bottle.

    Place the bottle under your shirt, kind of like the nipple of your breast, and kind of. . .fool the baby I suppose, making it think that it's your breast.

    And then you can just slowly start to wean her off of it. By just doing that a few times and then taking it out of your shirt and see how she reacts.

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  • 1 decade ago

    You may want to talk to her Peds Doc. You may just have to set her in a highchair or a booster and give her the cup. Set there with her and have lunch and just give her the cup.

    Source(s): You cannot give into everytime she cries. When she starts to cry, give her the cup.
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