How to wean a baby from breastfeeding? The preferred (and suggested) method of choice for mothers who went through it and who are considering weaning would be gradual – a slow but sure way of making the transition from breast to bottle (or cup) an easy one. Not only that. It also benefits the mother as there would less of the dreaded breast engorgement.
Here are some sure-fire tips on how to wean your baby:
– Let baby lead the way. In weaning, there are 2 people making the decision – the mother and the child. This may be the most important tip of all. Weaning from breastfeeding doesn’t happen overnight, and it certainly shouldn’t be forced upon the child if he is not ready yet. The transition will be easier if the child first decides if it is time, and the mother will just follow his lead.
– Changing routines, especially before bedtime. If your child is used to being nursed right before bedtime, he may take a while to adjust. Try substituting milk (either via bottle or cup), reading him favorite books and snuggling beside you. If he wakes up in the middle of the night, try holding him. Some kids eventually drift back to sleep once they realize that it’s not feeding time.
– Be sensitive to a child’s adjustment period. If your child has a new nanny or day care provider, this can bring some new stress in his young life. Don’t try to wean him at this stage, so as not to add more stressful changes to an ordinary routine.
– Avoid familiar nursing places and positions. Change the milk-drinking environment. This is so that it doesn’t trigger usual breastfeeding associations and patterns in the child’s mind.
– Patience is key. Never go cold turkey on your child. Most often than not, it will only lead to excessive crying bouts and tantrums which will also put your nerves on the line. Eliminate a feeding, one at a time. Give him a couple of days (or a week or two, as weaning is relative to a child’s temperament and acceptance of the transition.) When he is finally used to it, substitute another feeding for a bottle or cup. Again, let him get used to it and give him time. Before you know it, your child will have already weaned himself from breastfeeding, and you would’ve experienced less engorgement (since you also gave your body time to adjust to it).
Breastfeeding is still best for babies, even up to 2 years of age (according to the World Health Organization). But if it’s necessary to wean the child, then follow the tips mentioned for a more relaxed, stress-free and easy transition. If they don’t work, consider if your child is ready to wean. No need to force them. He will eventually wean at his own pace.
Weaning from breastfeeding should be fun for baby – and for mommy who will see her baby have fun in the process. Sounds redundant? Learn more on how to wean from breastfeeding via our articles. Click on the links for more.
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