Weaning can be a nightmare!
There are a ton of tips and tricks for moms out there that want to wean their babies of breastfeeding, however it’s up to the individual to choose what’s best. Some methods take a little longer, and every mother and childs weaning experience is unique to them.
Weaning doesn’t end the bond between a baby and its mother, it just the begins a new chapter.
Wondering more about weaning and how to wean your baby off of breast milk?
The American Pregnancy Association reccommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months to one year and slowly introducing solids in addition to breast milk around the 6 month mark. Weaning off the breast might be sooner or later depending on your preferences and parenting style, there’s no pressure, you get to decide what’s best. YOU and only YOU!
Wean with Care
Breastfeeding is a strong bonding experience to share with your baby. While you’re in the process of weaning off breastfeeding, supplement this connection and comfort in other ways to help your baby feel more at ease with the transition. Several sessions per day of cuddling or touch will help the soothing and comfort continue and help relieve some of the transitional discomforts of weaning. The “don’t offer, don’t refuse” method is slow but steady and will help you wean to your child’s own pace.
Slow and Steady Weaning
Rapid weaning can be a pain, literally.
If you’re rushing through the weaning process, you could be at higher risk for painful engorgement. Your milk ducts don’t realize that your baby isn’t physically breastfeeding any longer and don’t immediately reduce milk production. If you start experiencing some engorgement, you can turn to ice packs or refer to your doctor or lactation professional about other options that will bring a little relief. Regardless of what pace you choose for weaning, pumping will be your best friend. Use this pumped milk in a bottle for your baby.
Some parents begin with a single grain cereal with several teaspoons of breast milk, to give baby some solid food that has an easier texture to digest. To keep an eye on potential allergies, keep food introduction to one every few days.
Wean at your own pace, and don’t be afraid to test different weaning techniques and styles.
Communicate with other mothers that are weaning for emotional support and to talk about what seems to be working best for them.
When you start weaning it does not have to ‘haunt’ you, you’re beginning a new and exciting chapter and that deserves to be celebrated!