Weaning your baby off the breast can be a nerve-racking task for a number of women. It doesn’t help when friends and other well meaning individuals keep reminding you that you are nursing your baby for too long. It is important to understand that weaning is a process and not a single event. It will take time to get your baby to get used to something else so be prepared for some endurance testing. Here are 7 tips on weaning your baby.
The first step in the weaning process is to replace a nursing session with a meal. The meal could be solid food or even another bottle of milk. Choosing what you present depends on your goals and both are equally acceptable. A baby is usually able to accept surrendering a single nursing session at a time.
The best time to replace the first nursing session is to do when your baby is most hungry. This is usually the morning meal so when you have decide to initiate this process, choose a day that is comfortable for you. You might find that your baby does not appreciate the food you are offering instead of the breast but with some trial and error you will get your way.
Particularly if you are trying to replace the breast with the bottle it is wiser to get someone else to do this. When you hold your baby he or she will instinctively go for your breast so trying to offer a replacement may irritate and frustrate him or her. Instead get your spouse or a helper to do this. When the baby gets used to it, you can take over.
Once the first nursing session is reduced, you can begin to gradually reduce the remaining sessions until all daytime feeds are replaced. It is importance to do so slowly and deliberately so as not to alarm your child. Another important factor is how your breasts adjust to the changes. You don’t want to be stuck with painfully engorged breasts because you reduced the sessions too fast.
By now your baby probably only needs to be nursed to sleep so to put an end to this, give him or her a big dinner and perhaps even a light snack before bedtime. This way the child will be too satiated to demand the breast.
It is also a good idea to create a nice bedtime routine. Perhaps it involves a warm bath followed by a story. You have to create something that will distract your baby from the usual routine of nursing.
As a parent you have probably found yourself having much more patience than you ever imagined you possessed. This patience has to extend to the weaning process. Don’t be disheartened if things don’t progress quickly. Stay focused and soon you will succeed.
Weaning is a normal process in any parenting activity. Usually the older the child, the more difficult the job. Hopefully, with the suggestions mentioned above, it will be a shade easier.
Top image source: nourishedkitchen.com
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