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Should I wean baby before he turns 1?
Q: Everyone is telling me I should start to wean my 11-month-old son by his first birthday. I love breast-feeding and want to continue, but don’t want him to get spoiled, like people say he will. My husband is supportive and says I can do what I want. What do you recommend?
Congratulations on your choice to breastfeed your son throughout the first year, Amy. You have started him off on the path of good health, which will last a lifetime.

The decision to stop breastfeeding should be between the mother and baby and not dictated by other people.

The average weaning age worldwide is 4 years, although American society appears to be tolerant only for the first year. Many American babies self-wean at around 15 months, but if you and your child wish to continue, it is no one else’s business. You will know when the time is right.

Meanwhile, you will be continuing to give your child immunity protection, and you will be protecting yourself as well. People need to understand that toddlers who are eating table foods are usually only breast-feeding before naps, and that this also serves as security for the child. I don’t believe that making a child feel safe and secure is ”spoiling” him.

Do what your instincts tell you and thank your husband for being so supportive!

Susan M. Leisner RD, IBCLC, RLC Nutritionist & Lactation Consultant