All About Weaning Your Baby Off Breastfeeding | Hea Boosters
Weaning can be done in a few different ways, and can be taken in different strides. Lactation experts and pediatricians usually advise exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months, after which they will be ready to have solid food. The age limit varies as breastfeeding can be done well into the toddler years, and may be a bit harder to stop then.
Whichever reason you decide to wean your baby is entirely personal to you, and all you need to do is consult your doctor to make sure you are in the clear to wean your baby. However the big question is “how do I wean my baby from breastfeeding”? There are a few tips that can help you in the weaning process, while still maintaining the intimacy between your and your child.
Here are a few tips to wean off your baby:
1. Identify the weaning process:There are a few types of weaning processes which are partial weaning, mother-led, and child-led or natural weaning. Partial weaning involves substituting a nursing session for a bottle or any other means of feeding. In the case of mother-led, you as the mom initiates the weaning process. Both formula feeding and breastfeeding have their own advantages.
Child-led weaning occurs when the child starts showing interest in other kinds of meals and doesn’t agitate for a nursing session. It is important to identify when your child seems to be showing interest in trying new things, as this makes weaning much easier on you and your baby.
2. Have someone else feed the baby:When deciding to wean, different children take the transition process in different ways. It is also helpful to have your partner get involved in the feeding process. If you are weaning a child younger than six months, you should start with a bottle and have someone else feed the baby. Babies are more likely to accept the bottle from someone else than you.
3. Experiment with different modes of feeding:There are different ways to feed your baby, and the age of your child will determine which is best and appropriate. For a child below three months, a bottle is best to be introduced at this stage. You can introduce a cup with a spout to a child older than six months who is able to sit without support, and has good control of the neck. The sippy cup is a good mimic of the breast and is a better way of distracting the child.
4. Replace nursing time with other intimate activities:One thing that is very hard for both mother and child is the absence of that intimate moment that is initiated due to nursing. So, you can replace nursing sessions with other activities like cuddling, playing together, or giving lots of warm hugs. It is important to find that fun activity that can be used to replace the nursing sessions and still maintain the bond between you and your baby.
5. Be patient:While trying to wean your baby, you need to be patient with yourself and your little angel all throughout the process. The transition period can be easy on both you and your baby or be a bit rough. However, you need to be patient enough to try different ways and ease yourself and your baby into the process. It is perfectly okay to start weaning at the time you feel is best for your family. However, it isn’t advised to abruptly stop breastfeeding and wean suddenly, as it could cause issues for yourself and your baby.
While trying to wean your baby, you should take note of any changes to your body and your child’s. It is also possible to suffer from engorgement where your breasts are swollen, hard, reddish, and sometimes warm to the touch. This usually occurs if you suddenly wean your baby, but is treatable. It can be emotional watching your baby move from one stage of life to another, but these are the beautiful moments to cherish as parents.