Sooner or later, every mother has to think about how to wean her child off breastfeeding, and do it in a way that doesn’t break the special bond between mother and baby.
Today, we’ll tell you when to start thinking about this, how to wean your child off breastfeeding correctly, and what not to do in order not to interfere with your little one’s physical and emotional development.
How long to breastfeed your child
Don’t know how long to breastfeed your little angel? Pediatricians recommend breastfeeding your baby for the first six months of life. Then parents can gradually introduce solid foods.
Once your child gets their first teeth, you can supplement their diet with solid food. However, this doesn’t mean you should completely give up breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding is more than just a basic meal.
- Firstly, it serves as a barrier against infections and helps your infant better absorb other food.
- Secondly, it is another channel of communication between mother and child. Nevertheless, there are no clear recommendations on when to stop breastfeeding. If you have been breastfeeding your child for more than six months, then rely on your own comfort, as well as the physical and psychosocial state of your son or daughter.
All children are different: some get used to new conditions in a couple of days, while others may need a couple of months.
Be patient and don’t expect immediate results.
How to quickly and painlessly wean a child from breastfeeding.
At some point, every mother considers how to quickly wean her child from breastfeeding. However, fast is not always good for your health and the health of your little one.
Let’s talk about what not to do if you want to wean your child from the breast:
- Do not pull your breast away. Firstly, it hurts. Secondly, it can distort its natural shape or even lead to lactostasis.
- Do not take lactation-suppressing pills. They are not suitable for mothers, as they are hormonal drugs that can cause severe headaches, drowsiness, and even lead to depression. Moreover, it is unclear how this will affect your hormonal balance and subsequent lactation (if you decide to have another child).
- Do not reduce your food portion or drink less fluid to decrease the amount of milk produced by your body. The fact is that your body takes ingredients for milk from lymph and blood. So eat well!
- Do not go far away, leaving your child with grandparents. The thing is that a little one may think that his or her mother has abandoned him or her and may no longer trust you as before.
- Do not tell your child that “the breast is spoiled.” It will be difficult for him or her to accept this fact. For the same reason, do not smear nipples with something bright or sour. The child will simply get scared and may even start blaming himself or herself for what happened to his or her mother.
- Do not shame your child for breastfeeding. For example, do not tell him or her, “Look how big you are, and you still drink milk.” Do not make the baby feel guilty for growing up.
- Do not teach your child during serious changes in life: moving, going to work, illness, etc.
We’re going to tell you how to properly wean a child off breastfeeding:
- Do everything gradually. The thing is, these kinds of changes in life can be stressful. So, if you want to wean your child off breastfeeding painlessly, pay attention to their emotional state and don’t rush things.
- Eliminate feedings one by one. For example, start by giving up one of the daytime snacks, replacing it with a bottle of milk/juice or a solid food meal.
- Express your milk and drink herbal teas that reduce lactation without affecting the quality of your milk. These can be jasmine flowers, peppermint, or sage.
- Try to spark your child’s interest in solid foods. For this purpose, gradually introduce new interesting tastes to the little one’s diet, such as apples, broccoli, cottage cheese, etc.
- Spend as much time with your child as possible: play, read books to them, go for walks together, and tell them how much you love them. This will help your child adjust to the changes more easily.
- Make sure to stick to your usual daily routine.
- Surround your baby with comfort. For example, make sure your child has quality newborn clothes made of soft knit fabric. Clothes made of this material are as comfortable as possible, do not cause irritation, redness, or allergies. They’ll help your little one get used to the idea of giving up the familiar feeding ritual more easily.
How to wean a child off breastfeeding at one and a half years old
Let’s focus on how to wean a one-year-old child off breastfeeding. This is the age when most mothers try to transition their little one to regular food.
- Gradually reduce daytime breastfeedings.
- Try to plan your child’s day tightly, so that they are busy and think about eating less. Of course, if the child starts earnestly asking for breast milk, you don’t need to refuse them in these situations.
- Avoid sitting still, so that the child cannot climb onto your lap and ask to breastfeed. Be more active: in such cases, children ask for breast milk much less often.
- Maintain a lot of physical contact: kiss, hug, play.
- Try to redirect your baby’s attention to activities that interest them.
- By the way, these tips also work well for mothers who want to wean their child off breastfeeding at 1.5 years old.
Try it out: we are sure that you can do it!
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