Experts from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), infants should be exclusively breastfed for 6 months then fed a mixture of breastmilk and solids for the other half of her first year. But ultimately, weaning from breastfeeding is a personal decision – mothers can choose to do it early (because of work or similar instances) or for as long as the baby wants to.
But if you believe you are ready to wean your baby off your breast, here are 3 easy ways to do so:
Weaning takes time, you can’t expect overnight success. Choose the right time to do it and don’t do it in the middle of a stressful situation. If you’re returning to work soon, going to move or if your infant has just started teething, consider holding off teething.
It’s also important to choose a time to do it and the best time is when your baby is not too tired or too hungry. When she’s in a good mood, she’s more likely to cooperate.
Ease into it
Creating a weaning routine will be very helpful for both you and your baby to adjust to the changes. You can start with replacing one breastfeeding session with bottle feeding per week, preferably a feeding that your baby is least interested in or the one that’s most inconvenient for you.
Once he gets used to the idea of drinking milk from a bottle, you can start omitting more breastfeeding sessions every three days to every other day until you get to daily.
If he refuses a bottle, try letting someone else bottle feed him like auntie or grandma. Chances are, he associates you with feeding from your breast that’s why he’s refusing.
Some babies find it hard to wean off breastfeeding because they breastfeed not only because of drinking milk, but because they get emotional comfort and a sense of security from their mothers as well, due to close physical contact.
When you’re weaning, it’s important to spend plenty of quality time with your baby. Cuddle him up while he’s drinking from a bottle. This lets him know that he can still get the closeness and the emotional comfort from you without having to drink milk from your breast.
Don’t forget to manage your expectations and to give your child time to adjust. Follow these 3 easy ways to successfully wean your baby from breastfeeding!