The present study assesses socio-demographic and health service determinants of termination of breastfeeding within the first 2 years of life in India by analysing data from the nationally representative National Family Health Survey-2 using Cox regression modelling techniques. While the likelihood of stopping breastfeeding increased with increasing household wealth status, it declined with increasing maternal age at childbirth. The likelihood of stopping breastfeeding was significantly higher among female children compared with male children, and the gender differential was attenuated by increasing maternal educational status. Overall, findings of the present study suggest that breastfeeding promotion programmes in India should focus on certain high-risk mother–child pairs such as female infants, first-born babies, babies born in the private sector and in urban areas, as well as mothers who are literate, have a higher wealth status, are aged less than 20 years and belong to Sikh or Christian communities. Qualitative studies to understand cultural factors or norms and causal pathways responsible for the association of identified factors and early termination of breastfeeding, especially household wealth status and maternal education, are also called for.