We started weaning Julian shortly after Chinese New Year. Our objective was to get him to dislike the breast so he would stay away naturally and not be traumatised.
On a nurse's advice, our first attempt was using ginger. REGRET!!!!! We decided on this because the medium was natural. Initially we cut ginger slices and rubbed the breast with it. When that didn't work, we pounded the ginger to get the juice and applied it. We didn't realise how pungent it was and Julian wasn't one to give up so easily. So, even though it was pungent he still went for it until his lips were all red and smarting and he was crying in pain... Mummy & Daddy are sorry to make you suffer like that, Julian... :-(
Next, we tried bitter gourd. This worked quite well, because it put him off without hurting him. The problem was that the effect did not last long and it was quite a hassle to pound the bitter gourd for the juice. So after a while, Julian would happily get the bitterless breast again!
Finally, we bought bojela (having read of its effectiveness). At first it worked. But then Julian seemed to develop a liking for it (we think maybe there's a sweet after taste) and was getting a little bit addicted. He would ask for the bonjela to be applied!
Since we started using the bitter gourd juice, he thought it was fun to have something applied on the breast, before he took it. So when he wants the breast he would indicate that we should apply something on it! (*Mummy & Daddy shake head*)
Finally we just gave him his pacifier and talked to him. The initial falling asleep wasn't too much of a problem. It was the night pacifying that was challenging. When he woke up in the wee hours of the morning wanting to pacify, we gave him the pacifier. For a few nights, he violently objected and mummy felt compelled to give in. Eventually, we asked him to compromise - take the pacifier and mummy would hold him close. He seemed agreeable to this and so we reached a truce :-) Now he doesn't need mummy to hold him close anymore, although he still looks for the pacifier when he stirs in the night.
He still asks for the breast occasionally, but doesn't fuss too much when not given. Mummy thinks he's not fully gotten over being weaned. Given half the chance, he would jump right back into breastfeeding!