Motherhood is full of surprises, just like the pregnancy phase – it is unpredictable and overwhelming. Nothing can go exactly the way you want it to. So does the weaning process of your child. You might think that it is easy or maybe too tough, but it can be done another way. We are here to help you figure out the best way to help your child and smooth out this process. Here are some tips for weaning your child from breastfeeding.
#1. Do not worry too much about the baby’s food needs
Weaning is a normal part of your baby’s growth. It is the progressive introduction of other meals to your baby while continuing to breastfeed. Weaning can bring up a lot of conflicting feelings. You may be both happy and sad about your baby’s newfound independence and the fact that the baby is moving on to a new stage in their life. This is very normal behaviour.
#2. Recognize when your baby is ready
Babies usually give us signs that they are ready to start weaning. They’ll, for example, keep their head erect, sit comfortably, and show curiosity in what you are eating. Ask or lean in for the food that you are having. Furthermore, their vigorous tongue-thrust reflex will vanish, and they may become uninterested or irritable during nursing sessions.
#3. Introduce alternate meals one after the other when it’s time
After you notice the signs from your baby, start taking the measures. Add alternate meals in place of breastfeeding. You can begin semi-solid and soft solid foods if the baby crosses six months of age. You can skip one nursing session every week, probably the most uncomfortable or least interesting feeding for your baby—and progressively reduce feedings until they’re just getting bottles and meals.
#4. Provide comfort both emotionally and physically
Generally, breastfed newborns are used to intimate physical touch with their mothers; therefore, it’s crucial to comfort in other ways while weaning. You can cuddle them while reading a book or singing a lullaby, romping about at the playground together, or massaging their back. These acts will soothe them down to have a better meal later in the day.
#5. Soothing your engorgement equally
Another reason to do it slowly is that you may have engorgement in your breasts if you stop nursing too soon. Why? Your milk ducts haven’t gotten the signal that milk production has to be reduced, and there’s nowhere for it to go. If you’re engorged, use cold packs or acetaminophen to relieve the pain. Alternatively, use your trusted breast pump; the produced milk may be served in a bottle or mixed with your baby’s milk.
You can always consider the options; it is not just all or nothing in breastfeeding. You can even try partial weaning methods. You can even try the half feeding and half formula method for a few days before completely stopping breastfeeding. If you are a working mother, you can even try pumping your milk into bottles for your baby while you are away. This will help you both in a smooth weaning process. You can consult your doctor if there is any difficulty or for more suggestions.
*Information shared here is for general purpose. Please take doctors’ advice before taking any decision.