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Dear Kisa,

My child is 22 months old and still breastfeeding. I know I need to wean him at the age of 2, but how do I make this transition easier for him and myself? He is so attached to me and is still nursing to sleep, I am worried about damaging his attachment relationship.


An anxious momma

Dear Anxious Momma,

Weaning a child who is so dependent on you for their emotional needs through the process of nursing is an enormous task. 

Allah (swt) reminds us in Sūrah Baqarah, “The mothers shall [breastfeed] their offspring for two whole years if the father desires to complete the term. But he shall bear the cost of their food and clothing on equitable terms. No soul shall have a burden laid on it greater than it can bear […]” (2:233) 

With that in mind, here are four tips to keep in mind when working towards weaning your toddler:

  1. Wean Gradually

Weaning will take a toll on both you, momma, and your baby. It is a big change in the life of your toddler who, possibly from day 1 in this world, has found your body as a source of comfort, love, and nutrition. Firstly, when starting this task, ask for Allah’s help to ease the transition and to allow both of you to find acceptance of contentment in this change. Secondly, wean your child gradually. Start with dropping day-time feeds, having your husband or family member help with nightimes/mornings when your toddler would generally breastfeed. Communicate with your child (even if they are not entirely verbal yet, they will understand much of what you are telling them), explain to them this transition and that now as they get older they will be eating more food and drinking from a bottle/sippy cup. It may help to have them find comfort in a plush toy or doll that they may sleep with or hold during the day to placate their dependency on breastfeeding. 

  1. Be Mindful of Supporting a Positive Attachment with Your Toddler

Breastfeeding builds a positive attachment between you and your baby, and gently and gradually weaning your child will not absolve or dissipate this attachment. It will take a toll on your child when this change begins, but assure your child that you are very much present for them and show this in an active manner. Cuddle them, hold them close, kiss them, play with them, feed them with your hands, and give them extra love during this transition. 

  1.  Sūrah al-Burūj (#85)

This Sūrah is recommended to be read by the mother to facilitate weaning and overcome the hardships that may come with it. You may write it on a piece of paper, fold it, and sew it into a small pouch and put it on your baby in a pouch (similar to a taʿwīdh).

  1. Take Extra Care of Yourself 

As much of a change as this is for your child, it may be equally difficult on you as you move into a new stage with your toddler. Ending the breastfeeding relationship can be emotionally trying. Try to be actively present and mindful during your last few nursing sessions, acknowledge the beauty and the opportunity that Allah (swt) has given you in this ability to nurse your child. Be thankful for the time that you had and growth that came from this opportunity. Allow yourself to feel whatever emotions you have around weaning and remember that this change is a positive one, a change that allows your child to grow in a healthy and positive way. 

May Allah (swt) bless you for your efforts.



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