Weaning is when your baby stops getting nutrients from breast milk only and get nutrition from other sources as well. Babies are also weaned from the bottles but that happens what they stop being fed from the breast.
Weaning doesn’t end the intimate bond shared by you and your child which is created through nursing. It means that it is also important to have them nourished and nurtured in other ways. For instance: if your child is comforted through breastfeeding then find other ways to make him feel comfort such as cuddle with them, play outside, read a book or sing songs together.
When to begin weaning?
You are the best judge to tell when it’s time to wean, you don’t have to set a deadline for that, you will know for yourself when your baby is ready. Experts recommend that mothers should breastfeed for at least one year and also encourage them to breastfeed for even longer. No matter what others say, there is no right or wrong way to wean your baby, it depends on you and the time you think is best for your child or it can also be your child weaning naturally as she grows up.
Weaning is not easy especially when your child begins to lose interest in breastfeeding and that can happen anytime after the baby starts taking solid foods (around 4-6 months). Some babies are more interested in solid food other than breast milk and once they start eating a variety of foods they can start using the cups.
You have to decide to start weaning when you know that you are going back to work or maybe when you feel it is time to wean. If you are ready but you notice that your child is not showing signs that they want to stop nursing, you can wean them off the breast gradually.
Weaning can take a lot of time when it is the mother’s idea to wean the baby; also it requires a lot of time and patience. Also, it depends upon the age of your child and the way the bay adjusts to change.
According to the experts, abrupt change for your baby can be traumatic when you withhold breast from your baby as it can also cause plugged ducts or breast infection too.
ALSO, READ THE BABY BOTTLE FEEDING BASICS
How To Wean?
Take it slow and expect some signs of frustration in your baby. You can ease this transition through:
Skip feeding: See what happens when you offer milk from a sippy cup or feeding bottle instead of nursing. You can use pumped breast milk, formula or cow’s milk.
Reduce nursing time: Limit the breastfeeding time, if they are being nursed for 10 minutes try doing it for 5 minutes.
Postpone feeding or distract: Try to postpone feedings if you are nursing for at least a couple of times a day.
If you think that you have tried and nothing works, it’s okay because weaning takes time. Your child may be adjusting to the new routine and for that, you have to be patient. If your child is sick then breastfeeding is not only comforting for the baby but also full of nutrition.