Weaning: When to Wean a Baby off Breast Milk

Weaning: When to Wean a Baby off Breast Milk

Still nursing your baby? If all is going well for both of you, no worries about weaning yet – unless your baby takes on the job.

If you’re breastfeeding, you know that nursing is a wonderful experience that brings you and your baby closer. Even good things come to an end, so how do you know when it’s time to wean?


There’s no magic age when you must wean your baby. As long as you and your little one are happy, you can continue breastfeeding into the toddler years. It’s also worth noting that, given enough time, all babies will wean themselves naturally, gradually reducing the number of times they nurse while increasing the amount of solid food they eat until eventually they are no longer breastfeeding.

Here are three signs that weaning has begun naturally or that it’s time to begin:

1. Your baby has become too busy to breastfeed. Once your child is mobile, he may become too busy exploring his world to sit still and nurse, especially during the day. Don’t be surprised if he still nuzzles up to you for a little breastfeeding closeness before bedtime or when he’s in need of comfort.

2. Your baby’s tastes shift to solid food. Once your little one discovers solid food, he may begin to lose interest in breast milk in favor of all the interesting new tastes and textures you are now offering him. Keep in mind, however, that solid foods should not replace breast milk or formula before your child’s first birthday. Instead, think of solids as an addition to breast milk (or formula) until your baby is at least one year old.

3. Your lifestyle has changed. Your baby isn’t the only one whose life is evolving. A new pregnancy, a change in your job situation, a shift in schedule, new activities, or simply a waning desire on your part to continue breastfeeding – these are all valid reasons to start weaning your baby.


If you are weaning your baby (or he is weaning himself), don’t forget that his delicate digestive system won’t be ready for cow’s milk until he’s one year old. Until then, offer breast milk or formula in a bottle or cup to supplement solid food. No matter when weaning starts or how it occurs, mark this transition as another positive step in your little one’s development.


Leave a comment *Mandatory text
I confirm I have written the entirety of the content and agree to the community guidelines and terms and conditions
  • Show comments

mooove over baby


Absolutely needed this today... so many times I've heard wean by their 1st birthday...I have four children and my youngest is 9 months. When she was born I was granted the opportunity to stay home...no more pumping at work... I had everything on tap! This article reassured me that my clingy little girl will mooove on to other pastures when the time is right...



Great advise

bitter sweet


great advice! soon enough i will need to do so

Great advice

KBeyer07 9/30/2015

My son has been acting like he doesn't want to nurse as long so this has definitely given me some great advice. Thank you!



What good advice

Baby feeding: when to switch to milk

Now that our babies are a year old, we know they're ready for milk. What kind of milk is best? How much milk does a toddler or a preschooler need? Get the facts on milk.

Read more

Starting Solid Foods: One at a Time

So far, it's just been breast milk or formula, or both. Now your baby is ready for starting solid foods. The best plan is to start slowly and then introduce one new food at a time.

Read more

Teaching Sleeping Habits: Toddler Sleep Training

Many a toddler will do anything to avoid falling asleep ⎯ crying, asking for drinks of water, even getting out of bed. Follow these guidelines to help with toddler sleep training.

Read more