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Ages & Stages

3 Times to Delay Weaning Your Baby​

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In most cases, the decision to wean can be based on the nursing parent's and child's inner needs, along with practical considerations relating to the family. However, it's best to put off weaning in some situations until a time when conditions are better.

Here are three examples of when you may want to delay weaning:

  • When there are food allergies in the family. If you or your child's other parent have experienced food allergies, talk with your pediatrician or other health professional about the benefits of delaying weaning. You may want to wait until at least after your child's first birthday.

    Recent studies show exposure to potential allergens while the birth parent is pregnant and while breastfeeding may actually prevent allergies in the child. So, restrictive diets during these times are no longer recommended.

  • When your baby is sick. If your child has a cold, is teething, has recently been hospitalized or is otherwise not in tip-top shape, put off starting the weaning process until they feels better.

    You might also want to delay your first attempts to wean if you feel under the weather. It's always best to meet any transition period when you and your child are at your physical and emotional best.

  • When other big changes are happening. If you are pregnant or have recently had a new baby, this may not be the best time to wean, unless led by your child. On the other hand,your needs and the needs of a newborn may take priority. Always breastfeed the newborn first, but try to be sensitive to the needs of everyone involved.

    Likewise, a move to a new home, a marital disruption, a new child care situation, your return to work and other potentially stressful situations are not the best times to begin another major change. Ideally, you will begin weaning when it's not overly stressful for you or your child.

More information

Last Updated
Adapted from New Mother's Guide to Breastfeeding, 3rd Edition (Copyright © 2017 American Academy of Pediatrics)
The information contained on this Web site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.
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