My little one will be a year old next month, and I've been thinking about starting to wean her off of breast milk. Any big tips to think about? I went with the "exclusively breast milk" for the first year plan, though psychologically, I am starting to want a little more time to myself (she nurses a lot and needs it to sleep at night!). I am afraid of making this hard on my LO... it gives me very mixed emotions on how to even start.
Finding the right sippy is the first step. My daughter went through 5 different styles of sippy before we found the type she likes. Once she has something else to drink from, when she comes looking for breast you can offer her the sippy instead. While I'm not officially weaning my daughter, I am decreasing how often she nurses. If I hadn't found the sippy she likes this part would be a nightmare.
Weaning is a topic that comes up a lot, so you can also check out some of the questions and answers from previous moms: http://www.mom365.com/Search/CommunitySearchResults.aspx?q=weaning
Something to consider is that weaning doesn't have to be an all or nothing thing. It's easiest on baby (and on you physically) if you think of it as a process rather than an event. You can take away one daytime feeding at a time while waiting at least 3 or 4 days before taking away another one. You may find that once you've eliminated some daytime feedings you might not be so overwhelmed with her needing to nurse at night. Usually, early morning, naptime, and bedtime feedings are the hardest for babies to give up. If you feel the need to completely wean her just remember to be patient and offer her comfort in other ways such as a lot of cuddling and one-on-one time since babies use breastfeeding for comfort and security as well as for food. Some mamas find that it works best for them to continue nighttime nursing for a while after they have discontinued the other feedings. Taking the weaning process slowly is also good for you because it will allow your milk supply to dwindle slowly whereas stopping abruptly will leave you engorged and can cause infection. Kellymom.com has some great info on weaning if you need more information. Good luck!