Setting a Schedule
If you have a date in mind by which you want to wean -- say you're due back at work when baby is 4 months old -- begin the process about a month beforehand, suggests Anne Garrett, an international board-certified lactation consultant in San Francisco.
A gradual approach will make it easier for both of you. Replace the feeding your baby is least interested in with a bottle. If your baby's never had a bottle, nurse her on one side, give her an ounce or two of formula or breast milk in the bottle, and then let her finish nursing on the other side. If she's already used to the bottle, you don't need to nurse during this feeding.
The next week, choose a feeding at the opposite end of the day to replace with a bottle, so that you're not doing two bottlefeedings in a row. By now, baby should be comfortable with the bottle, so make the feeding strictly about the bottle. The third week, bottlefeed in the middle of the day so you're still nursing in the morning and at night. If you want to keep nursing at these times, your milk supply will adjust.
If not, continue to replace nursing with bottlefeeding. If you need to wean more quickly, you can skip a feeding every three days instead of waiting for a week, but you run the risk of engorgement.
All content here, including advice from doctors and other health professionals, should be considered as opinion only. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.