Q: My toddler is nearly 2 1/2 and she won't stop breastfeeding. What can I do to get her to stop?
A: At 2 years of age breastfeeding has become a habit and you need to figure out what need she is meeting by breastfeeding. Is it reassuring her when she is upset, soothing her when she needs to go to sleep, or simply a routine that she has become accoustomed to? Sometimes by this age you can provide them with some other object that can be used to soothe them, a doll, a blanket, or some other small toy (not a paccifier) and simply explain that they are a "big kid" and can't do that anymore. It may also help during the transition time for mom to take a "spa weekend" and be somewhere other than at home while dad or another trusted relative helps with the transition away from the breast. Be sure that you take care of yourself as well during this transition away from being the mother of an baby/infant to accepting that you child is growing up and no longer needs you in that way. Seek out other bonding experiences such as reading together, going to the park, or playing a game and remember that you are helping you child to develop into a preschooler by ending the breastfeeding and starting new activities together.