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Some babies are naturally ready to give up breastfeeding around this time, but you don't have to quit just yet. Try different nursing positions, like the cradle (where your baby lies on his side across your lap, resting on his shoulder and hip, his mouth level with your nipple), "the cross-cradle" (where your baby lies on a pillow across your lap so you can raise her to nipple level), or "the football hold" (where you hold your baby along the right side of your waist with his legs and feet tucked behind you, under your right arm, and use your left hand to position your right breast to his mouth). If that doesn't work, have your pediatrician rule out any physical problems that could be making nursing painful. Some babies are just ready to wean sooner than their moms are. --Laura Flynn McCarthy
Originally published in Parents magazine, August 2002. Updated 2009.
The answers from our experts are for educational purposes only. Please always refer to your child's pediatrician and mental health expert for more in-depth advice.