Q: I have a 3-year-old daughter who still breastfeeds from me.  She drinks milk from the bottle when I am out for work, but when I arrive home, she begs me to have her nursed.  Sometimes, she won't sleep until I'm at home. What can I do to make her stop?

A: Since breastfeeding is a team activity, either member can decide when it is time to stop, and you are allowed to say you are done with nursing. Children are used to routines, but if you want this routine to stop, then you should stop.  Children are also very resilient and will move on to a new routine if you follow through and are consistent. As you stop breastfeeding, I would also encourage you to kick the bottle habit at the same time. Your preschooler is no longer a baby who needs to drink from a bottle -- it is a risk factor for cavities and it perpetuates the need to "suck" on things for soothing purposes.

Answered by Dr. Ari Brown



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