10 tips on how to stop breastfeeding an over 1 year old

10 tips on how to stop breastfeeding an over 1 year old

Weaning your baby from the breast and stop breastfeeding after one year is possible. If you’ve made it to one year of breastfeeding or beyond, first of all, congratulations! Usually, it’s not at all easy to get to this point. It’s also likely that you’ve gone almost 365 days without good sleep and are exhausted by your baby’s demands. So, if you are considering weaning or want to start now, this post is for you.

When you ask yourself the following questions, you will be able to find out about the aspects that can help you when it comes to stopping breastfeeding.

And just a little warning: we are going to ask you many questions for which you may not have all the answers just yet.

Why does your child ask you to breastfeed?

You know that the breast is much more than just food and they use it for many other reasons other than eating. And there is nothing wrong with that, it’s completely normal that up to now, you have used breastfeeding for everything. But if you want to wean and stop breastfeeding now, one of the first things to understand is why your child asks for the breast. What happens when they ask for it: are they sleepy, hungry, tired, embarrassed, or maybe relaxed?

If you start to recognize why your child is asking for it, you will be able to anticipate their demand. If your child is hungry, you try to get them to eat a little earlier or offer food just when they ask for breastfeeding. If they are sleepy, you could help them fall asleep differently, or maybe someone else could put them to sleep. If the child is bored, perhaps you can come up with a fun activity to distract them.

In what places or when does your child ask for breastfeeding?

Children often ask for the breast in the same places or on the same occasions: in bed, on the sofa, when you sit on a park bench, or in your lap while eating. So here is the question: Could you avoid those places? In the morning instead of being with your child in bed, could you already be in the kitchen? Could you avoid sitting on the sofa after lunch for a few days and sit on a chair instead?

Could you get extra help?

Having extra help is always good when you want to wean and stop breastfeeding. With breastfeeding, we are used to reading that we should ask for help, but what about weaning? Well, it’s the same. Similarly, we will also need help from a partner, family, or friends to help take care of or entertain the child, and in this way, you can reduce breastfeeds.

Can your baby fall asleep without breastfeeding?

If your child can fall asleep without breastfeeding, this is a very good step towards weaning and breaking the suckling-to-sleep association. This relationship is so powerful that sometimes, they do not know how to fall asleep in any other way. So when they learn how to sleep with someone other than the mother by cuddling, rocking, or while being carried, it will be much easier for them to apply these resources to sleep without breastfeeding.

How is introducing solids going?

Of course, this will depend on the age of your child. If your child is already eating a significant amount of food, the process may be somewhat easier, as their nutrition is not so dependent on breastmilk anymore. But keep in mind that at around one-year-old, they go through a developmental leap, the breastfeeding crisis of this stage, and it is more than likely that your child will stop eating solids or limit their intake very significantly.

Can you prepare resources?

When weaning, we have to offer our children resources other than the breast, and there are few things that they like as much as the breast. You know your child very well, so surely you will find what things can help, motivate, or make it easier being without breastfeeding. During the weaning process, we will need to offer other options to the child, and in these circumstances, improvising is often complicated. If you can make a list of objects, foods, or activities you can propose when your child asks you to breastfeed, you will feel much more prepared.

Is a developmental leap coming up?

Take into account and get informed on the one-year and two-year breastfeeding crises. We know that these are times when the demand for breastfeeding increases, and mainly at the age of one year, their appetite for solid food decreases. When you think about weaning, consider if you are out of this stage or if you are betting on weaning and stopping breastfeeding during these stages. Then, you need to know that it can be a bit more complicated.

How urgent is this for you?

Weaning at this age may require time, and sometimes you don’t have time. Depending on your needs, you will want to wean more or less quickly. At your child’s age, between one and two years old, it will probably require time and a lot of patience, which can sometimes clash with your expectations and reality. Sometimes, children accept the new situation quickly, and it’s possible to completely wean within a few days, but this is not usually the case. What usually happens is that the child resists weaning from the breast, which will require you to be patient and flexible for a while.

How do you feel when your child cries or has a tantrum?

It is highly likely that during the process if your baby does not agree, they will be upset or very angry. This is hard to handle and can make mothers especially nervous, so it’s important to see how you will feel, explore relaxation techniques, or take time to get some air to recharge your batteries. Put yourself in your child’s shoes and think about how they feel and how their response to weaning makes you feel; working on this will make the process a little less stressful.

What about your breasts?

Yes, your breasts also need consideration in the weaning process, and you have to pay attention to them when you start weaning and reduce the breastfeeds. Even if it seems to you that you have little milk or that your baby is sucking less and less, when you stop the feeds, there is a possibility that your breasts may bother you. Observe your breasts carefully during the first weeks, and if you feel uncomfortable, apply cold, express the amount of milk you need to relieve the tension and ask your doctor or pharmacist about anti-inflammatory drugs you can take.


In summary, weaning after one year of age may involve some difficulties, and you need to plan it, have a lot of patience, and if you think you need it or lack the tools, ask for help. Weaning is part of the breastfeeding journey and deserves to be supported by your partner and your environment so you can do it in the best possible way.

At LactApp we offer you these resources to help you through the weaning process:

  • Content about weaning in our app, LactApp. There is information about weaning in several sections: Weaning in stages, stop breastfeeding, sleep and breastfeeding, back to work. You can use the search engine of the app if you need it.
 It is free to download for iPhone and Android phones.
  • The Premium subscription of the App, LactApp Plus, gives you access to your consultation channel. There is a chat function where you can send your personal questions to our expert team and they will answer within working hours (9-5 CET).

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