How to wean at a year?

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-01-2007
How to wean at a year?
Mon, 03-23-2009 - 9:45am

My DD just turned 11 months and I plan on weaning her after she turns one. I need some advice on what to do when in terms of how to drop feedings, encourage her to drink from a cup, etc. She's nursing about 4 times a day now, although when she's sick or teething, she usually adds an extra time overnight (we've tried to eliminate night feedings, although not with complete success). She doesn't take a bottle (hasn't in months) so we'll be weaning to cow's milk in a cup after her birthday. We've been working on the sippy cup and she'll take small sips from it but no real amount of fluids. I'd appreciate any suggestions on weaning. Will I want to pump and offer pumped milk in the cup first? Or combine breast milk and cow's milk in the cup? Or just try cow's milk to replace a nursing session? I know we have the double whammy of a different liquid and using the cup, and I'm not sure the best way to approach it. Also, is there anything I should do over the next month before I start introducing cow's milk to help in the process? We're only very recently down to nursing 4x a day (and more often about half the time) so I'm trying to work on that. Any suggestions will be appreciated!


iVillage Member
Registered: 07-25-2006
Mon, 03-23-2009 - 9:59am

Hi and congrats on a


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-31-2006
Tue, 03-24-2009 - 10:14am

hi! like Teresa said, there's definitely no biological reason to wean right at a year. but, that said, good job on making it to 11 months!

my DS and I weaned aroun 15 months. at 14 months i was pregnant and my supply disappeard, and he was no longer interested in nursing with that low supply (just got mad! i think it was partly b/c i had always had some oversupply so he had never learned to really _work_ for his milk, lol). i would have been willing to nurse longer but it was becoming a source of frustration for both of us. so, over six-ish between 14 and 15 months, we slowly dropped feedings (had been four at that point). i started with the one he was always least interested in (happened to be first thing in the a.m. - he was always too excited to start his day, anyhow!). then just avoided the "normal nursing" spot for after his second nap (headed straight out of the bedroom to something fun), then his first nap. the 4 a.m. one was the hardest to get rid of; i used the jetlag from a transcontinental flight on that - he just slept through out of exhaustion the first few nights and i wasn't about to start it up again after that!

as for fluid intake, i was really worried about it at first. it didn't really get up to what i thought it should be for a month or so, but he was never dehydrated. he had a problem w/cow's milk so we did calcium-fortified soy, and for the first while that we introduced it (at a year, before weaning), that was all i offered in a cup until he was taking it well. i think that for my son, at least, it helped that i introduced the alternative beverage before any weaning so he wouldn't associate the two. (although he never once 'asked' to nurse when we were weaning, so he may be the exception?) the straw cups were by far the best way to get him to drink more ( other than that i tried to give him a lot of very juicy fruit, tried to make his morning oatmeal extra-runny, etc. really my ped was right that they very rarely will dehydrate themselves and i shouldn't worry so!

i hope it goes well for you. i'd say with both introducing cow's milk and with weaning, just take it really slowly!