How Long Should I Breastfeed For? When to Wean Off?

  • What’s the average time of a nursing session? 
  • When should I stop breastfeeding? 
  • How to begin baby-led weaning? 

Moms are usually worried about the ‘time’, when is the right time to start? Am I starting too late, too early? Will that make any difference to my baby? 

Nursing Session 

Nursing session duration varies from baby to baby, nursing from 15 to 30 minutes is average. If you’re nursing last way lower or way above this time, check with your GP if the baby is getting enough milk or having the right sucking movement. 

When to Wean Off? 

If we go for the AAP’s recommendation, breastfeed exclusively for 6 months, introducing solid food beyond that, and you may start to wean off at the age of 1. WHO recommends moms breastfeed longer until the age of 2. While CDC simply stated that they encourage women to breastfeed for at least 12 months. 

You can see there is no fixed schedule for weaning. You breastfeed for 6 months – introduce solid food – when your baby is ready, start to wean off. 

Different Ways of Weaning 

You’ve probably heard from your friends or your mom that they “feel” it’s the time to wean. How do they know? It just happened naturally and biologically, they said. 

It usually happens when your baby starts to explore more kinds of food, they still drink your breast milk, but they are happy to eat other solid food and drink other kinds of liquid as well. You can see your baby gradually drinks less and less human milk, until one day your body stops to produce any more milk, and the baby is physically and emotionally ok with that. 

Mother-led Weaning 

There are many reasons for moms who stop breastfeeding. Return to work, physically and mentally tired, having another bub in the belly, you name it. If this is the case for you, you should bear in mind that weaning is best to go slowly. Make the process slow, give your baby and your body enough time to adjust the change. If you stopped breastfeeding right away, your bub might feel emotionally unstable and insecure. Your breasts might grow saggy when the size suddenly decreases. Go slow! Quit it gradually. 

Baby-led Weaning 

That’s when the baby has enough. She might start turning away her head and refuse to latch on. Some moms would get slightly disappointed by the refusal. That’s ok, it just means your baby grows up! 

Don’t fret, don’t stress, the time will come and you will know when’s a good time to start weaning! Have further questions? Consult a doctor or call your local breastfeeding support hotline if you need help. 

Motherhood is hard, but we’re all here to help!
Get your breastfeeding support. 


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