Weaning doesn’t happen in a day

  • By Team TDO

Weaning a child from breast feeding is a crucial phase, for both the child and the mother. For some, it happens naturally. But many mothers find that it is difficult to wean the child away from breast feeding. In such cases, the process has to be gradual and needs to be done with love. Here are some tips on when and how to wean a child from breastfeeding.

When is the best time to start weaning?

Though weaning is a personal decision of a mother, extending breast feeding is recommended as long as you can, or as long as your baby wants to continue. Pediatricians exclusively recommend breastfeeding for the first six months after birth. Weaning naturally begins at the age of six months, when there are changes in the breastfeeding patterns.

How to start weaning the child from breastfeeding?

Weaning is not an event. It is a gradual process. You can begin the weaning process from the very first time you serve the baby any food, other than your milk. Do not abruptly give up breastfeeding. It is not good, for both mother and the baby. It may lead to breast infections in moms and emotional trauma in the baby.

What to do, if the baby wants to nurse during the weaning process?

If the baby wants to nurse during the weaning process, don't just refuse or avoid it. You can nurse him/her, but try to distract him/her, with baby's favorite soft toy or any other object.

How to substitute the nutrition after weaning?

If you choose to wean your child before age 1, then substitute the breast milk with iron fortified formula. Do not give cow milk to your child before age 1. Remember, if you wean your baby to a bottle, then you need to eventually wean him/her to a cup.

How long does it take to completely wean breastfeeding?

It depends. For a few mothers, weaning could take days, for others it could be months. There’s no formula. Slow weaning is ideal, as it protects your baby during the weaning period and gives your baby time to adjust.