Useful Tips

How to safely wean a baby from breastfeeding: tips for mom


Lactation is a natural process of the formation and release of breast milk, which is necessary for the development of the baby. Over time, this function becomes unnecessary and the woman becomes the task of suppressing it. How to stop breast milk lactation? The answer to this and other questions can be found in the article.

How does the process of milk burnout occur

To understand how to quickly stop milk lactation, you need to consider its physiological mechanism. Breast filling occurs under the influence of two hormones: prolactin and oxytocin. The first hormone stimulates the production of milk, and the second is responsible for its stimulation in the chest.

The more the baby sucks, the higher the lactation. By the same principle, its decrease occurs. With a reduction in breastfeeding, milk production fades. This is due to a decrease in the levels of oxytocin and prolactin. As a result, lactation is completely completed.

How long does breast milk burn out?

There are no specific dates for the cessation of lactation. The deadline for the process depends on the physiology of the woman. In one mother, the complete completion of lactation occurs within a week, and in another, after 1-2 years, several drops of milk may protrude from the mammary glands.

Painful symptoms and feelings of fullness of the chest disappear for a week. But a slight release of milk during pressing on the nipple may be present from 2-3 weeks to several years.

Symptoms of breast milk burnout

During a process such as cessation of lactation, a woman should not experience acute pain. If the process of weaning the baby from the breast is correct, then she may feel moderate severity and slight discomfort for several days.

If the cessation of lactation occurred abruptly, then the woman will feel pronounced symptoms:

  • breast pain
  • lumps in the chest,
  • fever
  • a feeling of fullness and heaviness in the chest,
  • general painful condition.

To avoid the above symptoms, you need to gradually complete lactation. This will help to avoid discomfort.

Signs of baby's readiness for weaning

With such a task as the cessation of lactation, you should primarily focus on the overall development of the child. When the baby is ready for excommunication, the process runs smoothly and painlessly. There are several basic signs that indicate a favorable period for stopping breastfeeding. These include the following factors:

  • The child's age is more than one and a half years, and he has the main milk teeth.
  • The kid chews solid food well. The daily diet is 3 main meals and a couple of attachments to the chest.
  • The child can easily be distracted from milk snacks. When the baby actively continues to demand breasts and does not switch to entertainment, then you need to wait a while, and then try again.
  • During the day, the child receives milk no more than 3-4 times. If the baby is used to falling asleep with the chest, then it is necessary to replace it with a song or a fairy tale. You need to start excommunication with an evening sleep, then go to daytime. If the baby is ready for weaning, then in a few days he will get used to falling asleep in a new way.

Based on the recommendations listed above, how to stop lactation correctly, we can draw conclusions about the child’s readiness for a new stage of growing up. If the baby is keenly reacting to changes, then there is no need to rush him. Perhaps, after a short time, the baby will mature and be ready.

When not to wean a baby from the chest?

Thinking about how to stop lactation, you need to consider not only the readiness of the baby, but also the absence of adverse factors. These include:

  • Early spring. ARVI and influenza viruses are common at this time of the year. During the termination of breastfeeding, the baby's immunity decreases, and the chances of getting sick increase.
  • Summer period. It is also considered unfavorable for termination of lactation. This is associated with an increased risk of catching an intestinal infection, which actively develops under the influence of high temperatures.
  • Teething period. At this time, the child’s immunity drops, and he becomes susceptible to viruses. And also during this period, the baby most of all needs the moral support that he receives when breastfeeding.
  • During the illness of the child or shortly after recovery. And also you need to transfer excommunication if you have been ill with any of the relatives living with the baby. This is due to the high probability of catching the virus or complicating the course of an existing disease.
  • During changes in the rhythm of the baby’s life. Changes can be related to the place of residence or replenishment in the family, or the baby began to walk in a nursery, etc. Any changes in the child cause stress, so weaning should be postponed so as not to aggravate his condition.

If there are no negative factors, then you can act. The following are the main methods that are most often used to complete lactation.

How to stop lactation

The best food for a newborn baby is mother's milk, all experts say this. If you feed the child in this way, then he will have enough vitamins and minerals necessary for normal development. One year is the recommended period of lactation.

When the deadline ends, mothers think about the introduction of complementary foods. But many do not know the basics of the correct introduction of complementary foods, in this case, contact a pediatrician. The health worker will analyze the condition of the baby and advise about the process of termination of lactation, suitable for the child. To excommunicate the baby from the breast, you must follow these steps.

Medication method

Doctors often prescribe special pills that stop lactation. Today they help not only efficiently, but also quickly cope with the task. The following drugs are considered the most popular.

"Bromocriptine" is a popular remedy for suppressing lactation. But, despite its popularity, the drug causes the greatest number of side effects. He is able to cause such unpleasant symptoms:

  • drowsiness,
  • dizziness,
  • a sharp drop in blood pressure,
  • headache,
  • nausea and vomiting
  • pain in the epigastric region.

The use of "Bromocriptine" in dosages of more than 10 mg per day can cause more pronounced side effects:

  • blurred vision
  • hallucinations
  • cramps in the calf muscles
  • dry mouth.

"Quinagolid" - a more advanced drug that suppresses lactation. Its effectiveness is 35 times greater than that of Bromocriptine. And also side effects are much less common. The drug is suitable for those women who are looking for a way to quickly overcome lactation.

"Dostinex" ("Cabergoline") is the most advanced drug to suppress lactation. Its advantages are:

  • the appearance of the effect is noted already in the first day,
  • minimal side effects
  • the duration of the drug is from 7 to 28 days.

The disadvantage of Dostinex is its high cost. For this reason, the drug has not gained wide popularity.


To stop feeding, it is important to make a final decision. For this you need to prepare, first of all, on your own. Think, and then proceed: after weaning, you can’t come back. Of course, you can resume lactation, but then you can disturb the psyche of the newborn.

It should be noted that when you “replace” food, the baby will certainly begin to cry and demand to return it back. Everything is very difficult to go through. You can not give in to provocations and do not resume lactation. When the child understands that you are ready to return everything only because he is crying, he will begin to manipulate you.

When mother can no longer cope with her baby and is ready to breastfeed again, it is worth resuming lactation in a few weeks. Now it’s clear why you should prepare for this.

When to start weaning from breastfeeding? The optimal age for weaning a baby from the breast is one and a half years, not earlier! At 1.5 years old, the child can already eat regular food. But he still needs dairy products in his diet.

Many mothers feed their babies with breast milk right up to natural involution. In other words, they are fed until the milk production is completely lost. Medicine advocates a long period of lactation, but there is a line, going over which you need to stop feeding.

Doctors say: the younger the baby, the more difficult the abolition of breastfeeding will be for him. When the baby turns one year old, then it's time to think about the completion of lactation. There are times when it is necessary to stop using mother's milk prematurely, that is, until the moment the baby is 1 year old. Feed the baby milk for at least 6 months - this is the verdict of doctors.

Mechanical method

This method consists in tightly dressing the chest. The mechanical method is considered the most painful and time-consuming. And also its use can lead to blockage of the mammary ducts of the mammary gland. As a result, lactostasis may develop. According to the results of the study, the negative consequences of the mechanical method are proved. It will not help to quickly stop lactation of breast milk and not avoid various complications.

Milk replacement

If you have already started the introduction of complementary foods, then the foundation for the transition to ordinary food is laid. Breast milk must be replaced with something. It should be mentioned that a consultation with a doctor is required at all stages. Undoubtedly, the baby will eat the food that you cook, but he also needs dairy products.

Mother's milk, as mentioned above, contains a large amount of vitamins and minerals that children need. Therefore, the mother needs to pick up such a dairy product, which includes the same vitamins and minerals. Various curds, yoghurts, curds and sour cream can replace breasts. If you want to introduce something to lure, then use the table:

the productsmonth
breast milk or mixture, liters0,80,8-0,90,6-0,750,55-0,750,4-0,450,4
curds, gram--10-40404050
yolk, pieces----¼½
vegetable purees, grams10-5050-100100-150150-170180200
fruit purees, grams-5-5050-60708090-100
vegetable oil, tsp--0,5111
butter, tsp----0,5
mashed potatoes with meat, grams--5-30305060-70
juices, milliliters--5-60708090-100
cookie gram--3-551015
puree with fish, gram----5-3030-60
kefir, milliliters----200200
total kg0,9111-1,21-1,21,2

Natural method

This method helps both stop lactation and avoid stress in the child. The natural method is considered the least painful and allows you to cope with the task without the use of tablets. The timing of suppression of lactation can vary significantly - from several days to 3 months.

Principles of the natural method:

  1. It is necessary to start reducing the number of feedings during the lactation crisis - the state of the body, repeated for 1-3 days every month. It is at this time that hormonal influences become weak.
  2. The child is excommunicated from night feedings. Throughout the day, reduce attachment to the chest, replacing them with complementary foods. The baby is given a breast only with a feeling of overcrowding of the mammary glands, which may be accompanied by mild pain.
  3. The daily diet should not contain foods that stimulate lactation. These include: hot drinks, fennel, dill, soups. Instead of tea, they drink diuretic herbs, such as mint, sage. Reduce the use of fatty foods: cottage cheese, cod liver, butter, red caviar, etc.
  4. Clothing should not be very warm, especially in the chest area. Under the influence of high temperatures, milk production is stimulated.
  5. With a strong increase in temperature in the chest area, cold compresses can be used for 20 minutes. Exceeding the specified time can lead to mastitis - inflammation of the mammary glands.
  6. Staying in the mother’s arms should be limited. Skin-to-skin contact stimulates milk production in the mammary glands.
  7. A woman should wear a cotton bra. Properly selected underwear, can well support the chest. With a decrease in the mammary glands, the bra is changed to a new one, of a suitable size.


Autumn and winter are the best seasons for weaning a baby from the breast. Why not in the summer? In the summer, the baby loses a lot of fluid, which breast milk can fill. If you still want to stop lactation in the summer, it is recommended that you give your child more fluid, teach the baby to water. But still, it is better to stop lactation in a cooler time.

For those who have already decided

If you have read all the points and are ready to start an almost irrevocable process, then follow the simple rules:

  1. The day is not the time for feeding. To wean a baby from the chest, you need to do everything gradually. First of all, it is necessary to “cross out” the daily feedings from the to-do list and replace mother’s milk with ordinary food. After several days, you can cancel morning feeding and feed the baby, for example, porridge. If he does not go on strike and calmly endures all the hardships associated with the termination of breastfeeding, then this is a signal for further action. A few days - and it is worth starting to get rid of feeding in the remaining half of the day.
  2. Sleep without milk. Many mothers feed their babies before bedtime. Milk calms and relaxes the child, he is ready for bed. But now he will have to fall asleep without milk. To begin with, you can try to give your child a bottle with a mixture or tea. A dummy can also become an assistant in this. When the baby stops asking for breasts for the whole day, it can be said with full confidence that almost all the work of excommunication has been done, and very little is left. Three months is the best time to stop lactation. You won’t succeed in a few weeks, this is a long and laborious process for which mothers should be ready. Assign yourself a little rest and do not change anything in the diet of the child. When three weeks pass, it will be possible to cancel night feeding.
  3. Night. This is a difficult time for mom. Do not sharply limit the child. To start, stop feeding at the beginning and end of the night. The best option is a nipple. Instead of breast milk, offer your baby a pacifier. When the baby is more than six months old, he will be able to sleep peacefully all night without feeding. If he is on strike and requires the usual food, it is enough to give him some drink from a cup. If the baby will cry a lot, then the mother is required to calm the baby. Most likely, mom will not sleep a couple of days.

During the termination of lactation, it is recommended to wear closed clothing and wash it often, as babies smell mother's milk. And from this, the weaning process becomes more difficult.

Production reduction

Using a compress is a universal way to stop the production of breast milk:

  • apply cold tissue to your chest
  • cabbage leaves have also gained popularity in the field of solving such problems. Wash the plant and attach to the chest for 2-3 hours. This method can also help resolve the cones that form as a result of stagnation.

Tightening the chest is the latest method that is prohibited by all specialists. Tug of war aggravates the process.

In the case when the mother herself cannot cope with the problem of milk production, she may start taking some medications, before using which, without fail, consult a mammologist.

Quick excommunication

In the case when the mother urgently needs to stop lactation, then this must be done as follows:

  1. Give the crumbs for a couple of days to relatives, you will have time to do their own things. During this period of time, you can not catch the eye of the baby. When there is no mother or milk, he will simply forget about the usual diet.
  2. Upon return, follow the tips above. Children should not see their bare breasts, wear closed clothes, and wash them as often as possible.

To summarize: now you can successfully complete the lactation. For all mothers, this process is considered a strong psychological burden. Some women, without thinking about it, immediately take action. Subsequently, they succumb and again begin feeding. In such conditions, the baby is quickly misled, which affects the psyche of the baby is extremely negative. Therefore, your own decision is so important. Monitor the condition of the mammary glands during this period. For problems that occur during cessation of lactation, consult your doctor. Lactation stops when exactly one year has passed since the completion of breastfeeding.

At what age should lactation be completed

The first and most important question that you have is, at what age is it right to complete lactation? Disputes over this issue are growing stronger every day, both in the medical environment, and between young mothers and their older relatives.

Most experts believe that the optimal period for completing natural feeding is 1.5-2 years.At this age, the children are very curious, they are already starting to walk, they have teeth, they are familiar with complementary foods, they actively know the world, they need less constant contact with their mother.

But liberal-minded mothers are of the opinion that only a child can decide when it is more convenient for him to switch to adult food.

In part, this position is logical - our children are much wiser than you and me, despite their young age. They simply know how to "catch" the signals of their body and unmistakably decode them.

But this coin has a downside. If you follow the baby’s lead, you risk leaving behind only the functions of the nurse, the child will not see you as a friend, assistant.

And when the baby reaches adolescence, it can negatively come back to you - no trust on the part of the child, only the expectation of a high-quality fulfillment of his household needs.

If you feed the baby on demand, then weaning will help to develop a diet, which is important for the normal functioning of the digestive system.

This is not to say that the weaning process is easy and painless. But psychologists say: if the baby grows in love and harmony, the mother pays attention to him, talks to him not only during feeding, but throughout the day, then the need for breast milk is gradually reduced.

The more new and pleasant experiences and discoveries the child has throughout the day, the less he will need his mother’s chest.

When to Better End Breastfeeding

Weaning a baby depends on the season. Not at any time of the year, the termination of lactation is comfortable for the baby. For example, no one can

categorically negatively answer the question of why it is impossible to end breastfeeding in the summer. No pediatrician will forbid you to stop lactation in the summer, but there are still some reasons for this rule.

Why is it better not to wean the baby in the summer

Heat, infections. Increased risk of intestinal infections. It is in the heat that all pathogenic microorganisms actively multiply; a baby can accidentally eat some dirty or poorly washed vegetable (fruit) and earn serious intestinal upset.

Breast milk protects the baby from pathogenic bacteria, neutralizes their negative impact on the body. If your baby has diarrhea, the best thing you can do for him is to breastfeed.

Difficult transition to drinking regime. During the heat, the risk of dehydration increases - immediately after lactation, the baby can not switch to a mode of sufficient water intake.

But if you thoroughly wash all fruits and vegetables, regularly water the baby with water, then you can wean the baby from the breast in the summer. Only it needs to be done smoothly and gradually.

Weaning in the winter

Winter is also not the best period to stop breastfeeding - the fragile body of the child is very susceptible to viruses, which are many in this period.

If you apply the baby to the breast only at night, milk makes up less than 50% of the baby’s diet, then you can completely stop lactation at any time of the year.

When you should not stop lactation

If you decide to wean the baby from the breast, try to choose the appropriate period for this. In some cases, experts categorically do not recommend ending breastfeeding.

When you can not cancel the attachment to the chest:

  1. If the child is unwell. Your baby is sick - has caught a cold, has caught an intestinal infection, and mother’s milk contains all the necessary elements for a speedy recovery, strengthening immunity.
  2. During teething. This process delivers a lot of unpleasant moments to mother and child, if you also take away your breasts at this moment, this will become a double shock for the baby.
  3. After vaccination. Breast milk reduces the risk of allergic reactions.
  4. In stressful situations. The kid suffered stress, was frightened by something - the kids really value constancy, therefore, if a lot of new events happen in the kid’s life, he just needs the usual way of getting food.

All these events delay the moment of weaning for a short time, the main thing is not to get carried away with the process again, otherwise you will find new reasons to continue breastfeeding each time.

Stages of gradual cessation of lactation

First step. At the initial stage, it is possible to exclude the least significant intake of milk for the child - at such moments, he shaves his chest for a short time, more out of habit. Try to distract him with something new and interesting.

Second phase. We stop feeding the baby milk before daytime sleep - feed it with soup, mashed potatoes, give a drink of compote.

The third stage. Replace morning porridge feeding. If the baby slept well, showed interest in adult food, he would be happy to try something new in the morning.

The fourth stage. The hardest part is night feeding. If the crumbs are hungry at night, you certainly do not run to cook porridge, cottage cheese or mashed potatoes, but just give the breast.

Do something different: a long walk before bedtime, a hearty dinner, a bath with soothing herbs - a well-fed and tired baby will not want to wake up at night to eat.

Experts have noticed that often during weaning, babies begin to have problems with overweight. Many mothers, experiencing a certain sense of guilt, begin to feed the baby with all sorts of high-calorie goodies.

Stopping natural feeding is a normal process, from which you can’t get anywhere, stop reproaching yourself, make a menu for crumbs of healthy products - he does not need much, he needs tasty and nutritious.

What to do if you need to urgently stop lactation

We have examined the main points of comfortable weaning of the baby from the breast, but sometimes circumstances develop in such a way that it is urgently necessary to stop natural feeding.

Forget about the grandmother's method, in which the mother leaves the child for 2-3 days with close relatives, and she pulls the breast with bandages to stop the production of milk.

This method is blasphemous - you will earn mastopathy, and the baby will experience one of the most severe stresses in his life. Never overtighten your chest, it is harmful and dangerous.

Folk methods

They are suitable for those women who are looking for a way to stop lactation without pills. To do this, you can use decoctions of herbs with a diuretic effect. These include: sage, chicory, bearberry leaves, nettle, horsetail, lingonberry and others. Ready-made decoctions will help reduce lactation by removing stagnant fluid from the body.

For the preparation of infusions you need to take 1 tbsp. spoon of any of the listed herbs, place in a thermos or mug, pour 250 ml of boiling water, and then cover. After 2 hours, the broth can be consumed. You can drink up to 6 glasses of herbal tea per day. Lactation will gradually begin to fade. And you can also purchase ready-made herbs that are taken strictly according to the instructions.

This method will help both quickly and correctly stop lactation, and avoid the appearance of mastitis. The following compresses are considered the most popular.

With camphor oil. Compress helps ease pumping milk. To do this, take a few drops of camphor oil and massage it into the chest with massage movements. During the procedure, the area around the nipples should be avoided. Massage is carried out every 4 hours for 3 days. In the end, you need to wrap your chest with a warm scarf. When pain, severe tingling and swelling in the mammary glands appear, you need to take a paracetamol tablet.

From cabbage leaves. Compress will help both stop breast milk lactation and relieve breast swelling. For the procedure, you need to take two leaves of cabbage, preferably from the refrigerator - this increases its anti-inflammatory properties. They are rolled out with a rolling pin or softened in the hand so that the juice comes out. Leaves are placed in a bra and hold for at least 1 hour. Cabbage compresses are done 1 time per day until visible improvement.

With ice. Compress is done with severe burning, pain and inflammation of the mammary glands. For the procedure, you need to take ice or any product from the freezer, wrap it in a towel and attach it to a disturbing place. A cold compress should be kept for no more than 20 minutes to avoid mastitis.

Lactation sage

How to stop breast milk lactation in women? Sage can be used as a standalone tool or as a supplement.

  • The leaves of the plant contain phytoestrogens, which improve the hormonal background of women.
  • Compresses with sage oil help reduce lactation in a short time. It is used for emergency excommunication of the baby from the breast.
  • Infusions and decoctions of grass leaves contribute to the smooth completion of lactation. And also they can be consumed during feeding, as sage is not able to harm the baby.

  • Individual intolerance to sage.

  • epilepsy,
  • pregnancy,
  • coughing,
  • kidney inflammation.

  • disinfectant
  • anti-inflammatory
  • expectorant
  • diuretic
  • painkiller
  • sweating reduction
  • carminative
  • astringent
  • improving the digestive tract.

Sage is used not only as a means in the fight against how to stop milk lactation, but also for the treatment of various diseases.

  • Infusion. Take 1 teaspoon of sage and pour a glass of boiling water. The remedy is insisted for an hour. The finished infusion is filtered through cheesecloth and taken in a quarter cup 20 minutes before meals 4-6 times a day.
  • Decoction. Take 200 ml of water and bring to a boil, after which 1 teaspoon of sage is poured there. The product is boiled for 10 minutes over high heat. After this time, the broth is covered with a lid and allowed to infuse for 20-30 minutes. After the agent has cooled, it is filtered and drunk 4 times a day for 1 tablespoon.
  • Tea. A sage bag is poured with 1 cup boiling water. A cup of tea is drunk in 4 doses throughout the day. You can add honey to improve the taste of the drink.
  • Oil. Applied externally to reduce inflammatory processes and eliminate seals in the mammary glands. To prepare compresses, take 25 ml of base oil and add a few drops of sage oil to it. The mixture is impregnated with slightly damp gauze and applied to the chest. Compress is used several times a day for 30 minutes.
  • Alcohol tincture. It is used if a woman is no longer breastfeeding a child. 30-60 drops of tincture are dissolved in 1 glass of water and taken 3-6 times a day.

Regular use of sage and honey tea will help not only to cope with such a task as stopping lactation, but also improve the intestines.

  • It is not recommended to exceed the dosage of sage.
  • For a mild cessation of lactation, use sage in the form of decoctions and infusions. As an emergency remedy - alcohol tincture, oil, extract.
  • Do not use grass for more than 3 months.

The use of sage in folk medicine is widespread, including as a means of suppressing lactation. Its main advantage is the absence of contraindications and the ability to use together with breastfeeding the baby.

So, to complete lactation, you must first identify the readiness of the child. The most painless is considered a natural way to wean a baby from the breast. But if emergency completion of lactation is required, then medications are used. With proper weaning, the milk burns out within a week, and the process itself runs almost painlessly.


Today we tried to deal with the issue of how to properly complete breastfeeding for mom and baby. If your desire to stop lactation coincides with the needs of the child, then the process will pass with minimal psychological costs.

But the situations are different, sometimes stopping breastfeeding the first time fails and you have to repeat everything again and again. But you, most importantly, do not despair, move towards your goal, even if very slowly.

Tell us in the comments about your experience in stopping lactation - your advice is invaluable and can help many mothers. Share the article on social networks, because the process of breastfeeding is a thorny path, any help will be relevant and useful.