Breastfeeding and Weaning
Helpful hints and personal experience on weaning baby off breastfeeding
By: Taylor_Blue on: Sun 22 of Apr, 2007 [02:58 UTC] (8934 reads)
Remember how long you breastfeed and when you wean is up to you. What are your feelings about breastfeeding? Do you still like it? Do you think it’s becoming stressful and inconvenient for you and you want to start weaning? Is your toddler losing interest? Examine all the pros and cons of weaning your baby off breastfeeding before deciding what is best for you and your child.
Subscribe to Type-A Mom articles
With my first child I only nursed her until she was six months old. We didn’t have much money back then. So I couldn’t eat properly, which in turn affected her. She didn’t gain weight for three months. I decided the best thing for her would be to stop nursing and give her whole milk at the age of six months. (Remember, all cases are unique and do not do anything without talking to your doctor first. Physicians typically recommend breast milk or formula up to 12 months.)
With my son I was able to nurse as long as he wanted to. I wanted to enjoy the process so I just went with the flow, literally. He cut out the day-time feedings around eleven months but kept up with the night-time feedings. He would nurse about every two hours at night. I would just sleep with him because that way we both got more sleep.
Soon he cut his first teeth in the front and my mind was changed. When he would nurse and bite me I would shout, “OW!” (which may even cause your baby to go on a hunger strike because of it!) He soon learned that nursing was a negative thing and totally stopped on his own. I don’t recommend this, but this is my experience with it.
When you’re ready (and that’s the key, when you're ready, don’t let anyone in your family try to make your mind up for you. Also see these tips on coping with criticism for breastfeeding) to wean your toddler, here are some tips to ease the transition.
- Talk to your child and let him know what’s going on. Reassure him or her that he is a big boy or girl, and maybe now he can drink milk from a big boy cup. I found it helpful to take him to the store and let him pick out some sippy cups. It makes them feel special and in control.
- Cut down slowly by taking out one feeding a day. Save the night-time feedings until the end. Both mom and baby need time to adjust. If you go cold turkey, it will hurt you more than your child.
- Try to create diversions by doing new things. If you keep your child busy, he or she may not even notice missing a feeding. And weaning him right to a cup saves you having to do it all over again with the bottle.
I found it very uncomfortable in my breasts for the first little while. But soon they learned that they were only needed at night and they didn’t hurt during the day at all. It takes patience and the right timing. If your heart isn’t totally into it, it probably won’t work. Just relax and take the extra time you need. You will only have one chance to nurse your baby, so enjoy when you can. (Just make sure you cut baby off before he or she turns 19!)