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10 Tips to Keep Your Baby from Weaning at 6 Months

10 tips to keep baby from weaning at six monthsIt’s extremely common to hear mothers say that their infants self-weaned between six to eight months of age. With developmental milestones, teething, and just generally getting more involved in the world around them, babies are easily distracted from nursing. Fortunately there is no need for this to signal an end to the breastfeeding relationship. In no particular order, here are some tips that have been very helpful to other moms who have kept their baby from weaning at 6 months.

1. Start with a calm baby. Babies who are being forced to the breast will usually resist, which can lead to further breast refusal.

2. Take the baby into a dark, quiet room to nurse. Babies of this age are commonly distracted by their surroundings, and offering a soothing, calming place to eat can be just what they need.

3. Evaluate where the baby is getting her nutrition or comfort. If a lot of bottles or sippy cups are being used at this age, babies discover that they are much easier to drag around while still being able to explore their environment. Limiting (at least temporarily) the use of artificial nipples can quell this to some degree.

4. Try unusual positions. For whatever reason, babies sometimes refuse to be placed in a traditional cradle hold. Chiropractic adjustments and/or craniosacral therapy can help with this, but trying other positions can be very helpful as well.

5. Conversely, trying to slowly ease a baby into their usual nursing position can work as well. If a cradle position is normally used, maybe start carrying the baby upright on your bare chest, then working to slowly drop him down toward your breast.

6. Perform breast compressions during nursing so the baby doesn’t get impatient waiting for a letdown. A small amount of milk can also be expressed to the nipple to lure the baby to latch on to find more.

7. Lots of skin-to-skin is important to re-establish breastfeeding. Either laying a diapered-but-otherwise-naked baby on your bare chest, or just using a sling or wrap around the house can be a huge help.

8. Nurse when the baby is sleeping. Babies often “forget” that they are on nursing-strikes during sleep, and sometimes they can be coaxed back to the breast during this time.

9. Babies aren’t manipulative. Babies who are refusing to nurse do so because they are currently unable to do so due to pain or another physical or emotional reason. Starving the baby into nursing is not the way to go about this!

10. Bathing together is one of the most common ways to resolve a nursing strike. Something about the combination of warm water and skin-to-skin contact can help to relax the baby into a calm, sleepy, ready to nurse child!

Remember, sometimes a technique must be tried multiple times for it to be successful. If you or the baby are getting frustrated, stop! It’s okay to try again later.

Rachel Wideman lives with her husband Andrew. They have a 6-year-old son and a 1-year-old daughter. She is a registered nurse and enjoys knitting and reading.


  1. I’ve heard other people have issues with this, but I haven’t with either of my kids. But…I do a lot of these things the second I sense any change. Great tips! Thanks for sharing with the Tuesday Baby Link Up Community!


  1. […] from your frozen stash. Please note, that babies typically won’t self wean before 12 months. If they are on a nursing strike, there are things you can do to move past that before ending the bre… This tip is intended more for the babies who lose interest in nursing after 12 months, but perhaps […]

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