Before I even get started on my reasons to stop breastfeeding, I should say that I don’t actually want to stop. But my son’s 1 year mark is quickly approaching, so it’s been on my mind a lot.
Should I stop breast feeding? Or just keep going?
I know I don’t have to and I know there are a lot of reasons to continue (in fact, here is my list of 10 Reasons to Keep Breastfeeding), but 1 year was always my goal and that seems to be what many moms shoot for.
So this list is mainly to try and convince myself that the time might be right, that my son may be ready, and that there are in fact some great benefits to weaning. We’ll see if any of them can push me over the edge!
1. My son (and I) may actually sleep more if he stops waking to nurse.
This is a huge reason for me. Sleep has always been a big factor in my decisions and we’re all much happier when we’ve had a good night’s rest. Right now he does wake up and nurse…the question will be whether he’s actually waking to nurse or whether the nursing is what gets him back to sleep.
2. I can drink alcohol worry-free.
Obviously this alone is not a great reason to stop breast feeding. But it certainly is a silver lining. Right now I do have an occasional drink but I have to be very careful that it’s early enough in the night that it will be out of my system by the time he’s ready for bed. Even if my habits don’t change, it would just be nice to not worry that he’s being exposed to something harmful that I’ve unintentionally given him.
3. My husband could put him to bed.
I’m not even sure how often this would happen, but holy moly just the thought is exciting!
4. It has to happen sometime.
I don’t like this reason, but it’s true. It would be nice to just wait until he’s ready, but who knows when that will be.
5. It would make it easier to get pregnant.
I’m not sure if this is a benefit or drawback, but eventually it would be nice to have another baby. I know you can nurse through a pregnancy, but I also know it can be tough, so it may be nice to make the transition before that happens.
6. The benefits start depleting.
I know it will certainly never be bad for him, but I know as he gets older it will be less and less impactful.
7. I can start wearing non-nursing shirts.
Yay for turtleneck season! This would be a big, huge (though superficial) benefit for me. I’m definitely starting to miss some of the shirts that make it impossible to nurse.
8. Even the infrequent bite is too much.
Yep, this has to make the list.
9. I can feel normal again.
I hate to even admit this, but I do miss keeping my boobs in my shirt, even if it’s just for my little guy. When they’re tiny newborns, everything you do feels like life-or-death, so there’s no problem whipping them out whenever he beckons. But as he gets older it just feels more and more like a treat for him and less like I’m providing life support.
10. I’m ready to start instilling more discipline in him.
As a baby, it’s one thing to follow his lead and make sure his needs are met when he needs them. But as he transitions into toddlerdom I know I need to start adding more and more structure and discipline into his life. It’s already starting to happen, so this would just be one more piece of that puzzle.
So there you have it! Those are the reasons that are weighing on me. Let me know if you’ve got some other great reasons for weaning. And if you’re gung-ho about breastfeeding, you’ll probably be much happier reading my list of 10 Reasons to Keep Breastfeeding.
Have a good day! And be sure to check out my Pinterest board dedicated to Attachment Parenting for more breastfeeding topics!
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37 Comments on 10 Reasons to STOP Breastfeeding
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I stopped breastfeeding my son just after he turned one… it was mainly selfish. I was ready to regain my body back and not be the only one getting up with him at night.
My son had a deep attachment to me and I was ready for him to learn that others could feed and care for him too.
I don’t think that’s necessarily selfish! I think in some ways, our body knows when it’s time and it starts to send us signals. You were listening to your own needs!
thank you for this honest post, as oust of the other mommas who commented, my lil one is also bf and I am wondering when we’ll stop. She’s 9 months and almost always wakes up to feed,or suck.. Pack used to help, not anymore, she’s looking for me specifically. I also co sleep and feel a double whammy from it.. She’s not a good candidate to cry it out and dad def won’t help in that department. I wish to go to 12 months and hope she can self wean too.. Wondering how this has gone for you since I’m commenting after a few months this was posted.
Well…no reason in lying….I KEPT breastfeeding 🙂 Ironically, after he turned a year it just started getting easier and easier and felt like there was less and less making me feel uncomfortable. So at this point I have no idea when I’ll stop 🙂 Good luck whichever path you choose! <3
Good for you! My children are all 18 years and up now, and I don’t regret nursing them well past age 1! Although this seems kind of self-evident to say, you’ll never have the opportunity again to breastfeed once you stop having children. Even though it can be wearing and inconvenient at times, it is a blessing!
Each of my 4 children have weaned in different ways at times between 11 months and 20 months. They alls topped night nursing between 3 and 5 months. I have to disagree with your list above becasue I don’t think that breastfeeding has to be an all or nothing. For my daughter who nursed the longest I cut her nursing sessions back and the last 3 months it was just once a day. There are many scenerios a person can try out.
So glad I came across this post – usually all breast feeding posts are scarily harsh towards ending breast feeding. Thanks for being a voice for moms going through exactly what you are. My son is well done breast feeding (he’s almost 3), but at 14 months old, my BIGGEST reason for being glad it was over — my body was my own again! I didn’t have to think twice about ANYTHING I was putting in my body – because it only impacted me! Drive-thru lunch twice this week? Don’t mind if I do! Not getting enough veggies past couple days? Oh well – my own problem. Have a cold and need some Nyquil to sleep? Chug that sweet elixer down, mama! Have an infection and need antibiotics? Not gonna worry about possible effects for baby – just going to feel better soon!! It was AMAZING! This was almost 2 years ago and I STILL talk about it to my breastfeeding friends. Do I think breastfeeding is important? Yup, and I’ll do it all over again for my next baby – regardless of giving up all these things. But after a year – I was done! (and I didn’t even realize it). Thankfully my baby weaned himself at 14 months (and we weaned the night feed at 11 months – which went shockingly well). The relief at my body being mine again was so life-changing for me at that time. Call if selfish; call it whatever you want – it was AWESOME!
It is sooo great to hear other moms thinking these things!! It is totally not selfish – we need to take care of ourselves too! Sometimes I think there’s just way too much pressure to breastfeed. Yes it’s good for them and everyone should know the facts, but you shouldn’t feel bad for wanting to stop!! Maybe that’s nature’s way of saying it’s time to wean 😉
You know, a lot of those on your list can be done and still maintain a breastfeeding relationship. It does not have to be all or nothing.
Your husband CAN put your child to bed. Your child can learn to go to sleep different ways than by nursing. Age 1 is a great time to start trying this out. The best way to let it happen is to go out with girlfriends at the time bedtime happens. Give your hubby some confidence. He totally can do it! Plus, you get to go out!
Seek support from your partner. Have him help with the night wakings. If you have been doing every night waking for the last year, than you get to have a chance to sleep at night too. My hubby is the kind of guy who did do this and didn’t fuss about having to. I love that part of him.
Good luck! If you decide to move forward, breastfeeding a 1 year old can be very positive!
That is a GREAT idea. I’ve actually read a lot about husband-led weaning and even husband-led sleep training. I think my husband would be up for helping, but I should have added to my post that he actually travels Monday-Friday 🙁 which makes is soooo much harder to transition things (we actually have the same predicament with co-sleeping). However, I will say that in the last few months breastfeeding has been so much easier…not as painful or messy 🙂 It will be bittersweet to stop (whenever that happens…) Thanks for your advice!
What a unique post! I’ve never read a post about a mom thinking of stopping breastfeeding, but not in a negative way. I stopped breastfeeding/pumping when my son turned 1 because my supply was running really low, and he was eating solid food already. Great blog!
The Memoirs of a Mommy
Thank you! Its a shame breastfeeding has become such a controversial topic because it makes it hard to discuss it normally! It takes a whole lot of time, energy, and effort, so at some point we deserve to stop 🙂 Glad you enjoyed! Thanks for stopping by 🙂
Hello, I am stopping by from the Frugal Friday Link Up Party. I don’t have children of my own, but I always imagined breast feeding my children. I could see why these reasons would make life easier as a parent…
Thanks for sharing.
My little is 19 months and is still going… I figure she will self wean by two. I totally relate to the sleep, but things got better right around a year for us. I do admit that when she does wake at night the only thing that does consul her is nursing. As for putting the little to bed… relate to that one too! I thought that she would never do it on her own, but one day she just did. I keep waiting because in the past 19 months anything I force makes things harder, I try to do things when she and I are both ready! Really only you can make the best decision for y’all.
I’m soooo glad to hear that eventually she was ready. That is definitely my hope too – fingers crossed!!
My goal with my second child was age 2 as well. Then she just kept going. I gently weaned her 2 years 8 months and she is now totally done with it. Amazing how it can just happen!
That’s awesome! I’m hoping that my son will self-wean at some point too. That would make it so much easier!
I am tired of pumping at work is my primary reason for wanting to quit lol
Pumping is so hard, I’m not surprised! I can’t imagine having to do it at work too. Hopefully they were at least supportive of you. Glad to hear others had reasons for wanting to wean!
This really hit home with me. Butterfly turned one this week, and the influx of teeth has been more than painful, with at least a couple of bites a day, especially at night. When I don’t nurse her at night, she sleeps all the way through after about day 3 or 4. But I need an extended weekend to do it so my husband can take the kids while I sleep a little more in the morning. I can’t sleep when the baby is crying.
Your co-host from Turn it Up Tuesday ~~April~~
I can’t sleep when my baby is crying either…which is why it will be soooo hard to actually wean! It’s seriously a miracle worker for me! My husband travels a lot too, so crying just becomes that much harder. Good luck with your little one and weaning! Stop back to tell me how it goes 🙂
Thank you so much for posting this. My son is 11 months old and he still wakes up to nurse at least once a night (usually more). I want to wean him pretty soon, like around one year, but everyone only gives me all the reasons why I should keep going. I had a goal of 6 months initially, then one year, and then possibly into toddlerhood, but I’m back to one year now. Anyway, I felt a lot of outside pressure about such a personal choice, but seeing that there are legit positives to weaning is nice and refreshing. Having all of the pros to stopping written out and not thought through in my own mind (even the vain ones like the clothing thing, because I miss my dresses!)
I’m so glad this helped…and soooo glad that someone else is in this position! The pressure on both sides of the fence can be so difficult – and that’s just ridiculous because it’s such a personal decision. If you’ve already gone a year then you should be sooo sooo proud! Congrats 🙂 Good luck weaning!
We just weaned not that long ago. I was ready to have my body back and to reclaim that extra HOUR in the evening. Thankfully it went pretty easily, though now he’s reduced his naptime to make up for it!
Lol! While I am looking forward to weaning, I am NOT looking forward to one less nap! haha 🙂
I had all these same reasons for wanting to stop at 12 months. You never know your baby might just wean themselves at this point. I started trying to slow down at 11 months and by 12 months I tried to offer my breast to my fussy son who wouldn’t sleep and he didn’t want it. I kind of wanted to cry but I knew at that point he was done and it was on his terms and that worked for me. Good luck!! When it’s all done and over with go have some drinks!! 🙂
I’m definitely looking forward to the first drinks worry-free! But also am anticipating some tears myself 🙂 It’s good to know others were in the same position! Thanks!
I love that you wrote two posts highlighting the pros and cons! Breastfeeding has become such a controversial and divisive ‘issue’ which makes me sad. You’ve got to do what’s right for you and your baby and making a list on each side is a good way to start. (Found you on Hump Day Happenings 🙂 )
Thanks!! I know, it’s really a shame that breastfeeding has become something so controversial. There are sooo soooo sooo many factors that affect your ability to breastfeed or not, and honestly formula gets a bad rap. Thank GOD it’s an option for moms! Whatever works is what should happen. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by 🙂
I found you through the Turn it Up Tuesday linky. Thanks for posting this list. When I was starting wean at 11 months, I felt so conflicted. But all of these reasons ring true, especially feeling like myself again. It wasn’t until we were done breastfeeding at 12 months and a couple weeks that I truly started to feel like myself again.
I am definitely looking forward to that feeling. It didn’t bother me at all when he was really little, but more and more I’m starting to crave having my body back. Maybe that’s nature’s way of telling me it’s time! I’m sure it will be bittersweet when it finally happens 🙁 Thanks so much for stopping by!
FWIW, I worried about weaning being an emotional roller-coaster for me, and it wasn’t as nearly as bad as I expected. Way more sweet than bitter 😉
Ha!! that’s WONDERFUl news 🙂 I don’t deal well with emotional roller coasters…I’m an accidental attachment parent b/c I’m always so worried about his darn feelings… lol
that is awesome that you have lasted almost a year! i started weaning my youngest at 7 months, solely based on the sleep thing. we were both exhausted and i needed a good nights sleep to be a functional mom to her and my oldest. although i do miss our little quiet time of nursing – good luck with the weaning!
Thanks!! I’m honestly looking forward to him being weaned, though I do love the bonding time. I just wish he would do it on his own, lol. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!
You could just start by cutting back. I night weaned (offered water instead) and my son started sleeping the night after two nights. If you night wean, then you could have more to drink ;). I also had my husband put my son to sleep and just nursed him in the morning or afternoon. I cut back to once a day in the mornings. I just weaned officially last week after my son bit me so hard it hurt for a few days. It’s bittersweet. I went back and forth fit awhile, so you just have to do what you think is right.
Night weaning is a good idea. One of the problems I have is that my son has never had a bottle, but he WILL use a sippy cup, so maybe I should see if that works. I know he’s physically ready so it’s really just a matter of me committing to a plan (easier said than done!). Thanks for the advice 🙂