Every woman naturally produces breast milk after birth, and it provides the basic nutrition for a baby during the first few years. Breast milk is rich in protein, fat-soluble vitamins, and minerals. The antibodies from the mother’s body are passed on to the baby through the breast milk. According to WHO, six months of exclusive breastfeeding is compulsory, which can be extended beyond along with additional complementary foods.

When to Stop Breastfeeding?

The decision to stop breastfeeding is a personal choice of the mother. The World Health Organization recommends breastfeeding the baby exclusively for 6 months. After that, breast-feeding is decided by the mother and the baby mutually until 2 years. After six months, breast-feeding is given along with complementary foods.

In some cases, the mother can’t feed her baby and the mother chooses to stop breastfeeding since she may feel that there is no beneficial effect for the baby physically or emotionally.

Sometimes mothers may choose to formula feed the baby instead of breastfeeding. Formula feed also provides the necessary nutrition as the breastmilk and aids in the growth of the baby. This might happen because some mothers are unable to continue feeding since they might have faced a few overwhelming challenges with no support. So, they prefer to give formula feed for the baby and they feel that they are done with the breast-feeding journey.

Also Read: Tips To Stay Healthy In Your Pregnancy

5 Workable Ways to Stop Breastfeeding With Care 

Breastfeeding is a moment of comfort and bond for the mom and baby. This helps to integrate a soothing feel between both of them. So stopping breast-feeding should have a transition period over a few weeks. One of the best ways to stop feeding is to offer bottles once in a few days and increase them. Trying this transition from breastfeeding to bottle feeding can be two feeds per day and increased based on the response of the baby.

1. Follow a Schedule 

When you want to prepare yourself to stop breastfeeding, you must allow a full month’s transition period to move through the process for the baby to get used to it. Giving plenty of time will give you and your y an extra breathing room for the setback and obstacles. But try to avoid weaning during the major life changes that happen such as a house move. Inform your family as they may not be expecting you to stop breastfeeding. The importance of stopping breastfeeding is to find out what is good for your baby. If you are not able to figure out when is the right time to stop feeding your baby, you must get support from your breastfeeding counselor.  

In case your transition doesn’t go as a smooth process, you should take a break and then try again later, thus your answer to- “when to stop breastfeeding”.  Sometimes your baby might need the comfort of breastfeeding if they are sick or not well, in such cases you can continue to breastfeed them.

2. Take it Slow 

During the weaning period, take time to change your routine since the baby needs some time to change. Try out by dropping one breastfeeding session every week like you can skip one of the most inconvenient feedings or the one your baby is least interested in. You can now gradually drop the feeding or stretch out the time between the feeding sessions. Baby has to be solely dependent on solids or bottle feed. So, by this time, your milk production is also less and the weaning process is also more comfortable for you. Now that the baby is nursing gradually and adjusting, the weaning process also gets easier and more pleasant, since the baby has started to have milk from the bottle or cup. As time passes, your baby will progressively get accustomed to less nursing and the weaning can be done easily. This can also avoid the episodes of mastitis, that is the painful infection because of the clogged milk ducts. Thus, you can try this if you are searching for “how do you stop breastfeeding”.

3. Offer Physical Comfort 

Physical comfort is the most important one for weaning because skin-to-skin contact is present since the baby is born. This improves the physical comfort of the babies from birth. To keep the baby emotionally stimulated, you need to spend quality time with the baby by cuddling together when you are around playing or just massaging their back to give them warmth. By the time your toddler becomes older, they become more energetic and they will naturally stop asking for the feed. This method is a gradual process and you can gently stop the breast-feeding.

4. Let Your Little One Lead

Few babies excel at weaning when they don’t want to have milk and they are in control. It means that you can offer milk to them if they need but you shouldn’t initiate it. By this method, you can ensure the baby’s wants and meet them with care and not worry about when to stop breastfeeding . To fulfill their nutritional needs, you can give more supplementary foods and gradually cut down your feed. To give them emotional support, give them extra comfort and cuddles, spending quality time with them.

5. Distraction and Postpone

It is very easy to distract your toddlers and you could use this distraction to skip or postpone a feed when you are out. If you are consistent, often they will accept this change easily and you can distract them by giving explanations that you will feed them at bedtime or once you reach home. By giving them some activity, you can easily postpone a feeding session without an outburst. You can also try reading out story books for them to distract.


Breastfeeding is the most important thing for you and your little one. Stopping breastfeeding is a part of the growing baby and that needs to be done with patience, and love. There are plenty of books available for you to read and understand about stopping breastfeeding. Give them additional comfort and cuddles for them to feel safe. Most babies will accept this transition soon and accept that it is a part of growing up.

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