Needs breasts to soothe

Help your toddler find a comfort item of their own

Q: My three-year-old son, who was breastfed for 18 months, still likes to hold my breasts (“boo”) for comfort or when going to sleep. How can I break this habit?

A: It’s normal for a toddler to have a comfort item to hold and hug. It’s less normal that he’s still reliant on your breasts in this way so long after being weaned. It’s also a problem that he doesn’t have a comfort item to use when you aren’t with him.

Clearly you’re feeling your son is simply too old to be using your breasts for comfort — so trust your instincts. Tell him that your breasts are yours and he needs to find something else to hold. Take a look at the stuffed toys he has and see if one of them meets the need. Or you may want to take him shopping to choose something new. Then, every time he reaches to hold your breasts, cuddle him and give him the replacement item instead.

Stay in touch

Subscribe to Today's Parent's daily newsletter for our best parenting news, tips, essays and recipes.