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Breastfeeding: When Baby Doesn't Want to Stop

Topic Overview

Sometimes a mother wants to stop breastfeeding, but her baby shows signs of wanting to continue. If possible, continue breastfeeding a while longer. If this is not possible, the following suggestions may help you:

  • Offer breast milk pumped from your breast, formula, or cow's milk (if your baby is more than 9 to 12 months of age and eating a variety of iron-rich foods) in a cup or bottle before you breastfeed or between breastfeedings. Slowly increase the amount in the cup or bottle. If possible, have someone else feed your baby with a bottle or cup.
  • If your baby spits out the bottle nipple when first starting to bottle-feed, keep trying. Experiment with different nipple types. It often takes time for a breastfed baby to get used to an artificial nipple. Or it may be time to use a cup.
  • If your baby suddenly refuses to nurse when you are trying to wean gradually, pump your breasts for comfort. Pump less milk from your breasts each day.
  • If your weaned baby wants to nurse again, try giving your baby extra hugs and attention instead of going back to the old way of feeding.

Credits

Current as of:
May 27, 2020

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
John Pope MD - Pediatrics
Anne C. Poinier MD - Internal Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Thomas Emmett Francoeur MD MDCM, CSPQ, FRCPC - Pediatrics