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How to stop breastfeeding

The longer you breastfeed the better for you and your baby, but there will eventually come a time when you want to stop. Here are some tips to help.

How to stop breastfeeding babies

Over time your baby will stop looking to be breastfed if you gradually increase the gaps between feeds by offering your baby a drink from a cup or a bottle instead, or a snack if they’re eating solid foods. It’s important not to stop breastfeeding suddenly as this can lead to engorgement and mastitis.

If your baby is under 1 when you decide to stop you’ll need to give them formula but 1 year olds+ can have cow's milk.

How to stop breastfeeding toddlers

Again, it’s important to stop breastfeeding gradually. Toddlers can sometimes be a little resistant to change, so these tips might help avoid some tantrums and tears!

  • One approach is to keep on breastfeeding only when your little one asks, but stop offering them the breast at any other time and give them drink from a cup instead. If they are a bit older, tell them your plans to stop breastfeeding.
  • If they are old enough to understand about time, you could make stopping a special date to aim for. This way, they might be prepared when the time comes.

Your breasts after stopping breastfeeding

When you stop breastfeeding, your breasts may seem a little droopy, but they'll perk up again over the following months as fatty tissue begins to replace the milk-producing tissue. Make sure to wear a good fitting bra to avoid any lasting effects. You can find out what to look for in our page on getting a new bra.

This article was created as part of 

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Last updated: 25 Feb, 2021