If you’ve decided that now is the best time to wean baby from breastfeeding you have come to the right place. Take note, it can take some time and won’t necessarily be easily done. Breastfeeding shares a very special bond between a mother and child and may last for years, but it must come to and end at some time. Many moms may also experience feelings of guilt or sadness when they decide to wean their baby from breastfeeding. If you are ready, rest assured that there are many tips and techniques that will guide you.
1. Less Breast Time
Firstly, the weaning process will depend on how frequently you breastfeed your baby. Many babies enjoy spending time on their mothers breast throughout the day, while other babies will take one sip every other time. No matter how frequently your baby nurses the first step is to allow your baby to spend less time on your breast.
What many moms do is stretch the time between each breastfeeding session. If for instance your baby breastfeeds every 3 hours, try to stretch the time with another hour or two. Don’t panic, your baby will let you know when he or she is hungry and needs to be fed.
2. Juice Or Water Substitute
Depending on the age of your baby, you can substitute a breastfeeding session with formula, water or even juice. A healthy alternative is rooibos tea. Almost all babies love rooibos tea. Very important it is advised to not introduce your baby to water or any other fluids before the age of 6 months. Newborn babies have tiny stomachs and water will let them lose out on the nutrients they can get from breastmilk.
By introducing other fluids your baby will skip a breastfeeding session and will also start to learn how to drink out of a bottle or sippy cup. This can speed up the process to wean baby from breastfeeding.
3. Formula Supplement
Many moms supplement breastmilk with formula for varies reasons. I remember when my daughter was still a baby I was told to supplement with formula because she didn’t get enough breastmilk. Other moms might have to return to work and are unable to express breastmilk.
Whatever the reason as soon as a supplement is included a mother’s breastmilk decreases. The reason is because your baby is spending less time on your breast signalling for less milk to be created. This also makes it easier to wean baby from breastfeeding.
4. Introduce Solids
If you baby is 4 – 6 months old and can sit properly you may introduce solids. Once a baby starts eating they drink less breastmilk and spend less time breastfeeding. There are a whole lot of healthy baby foods that your baby will enjoy and will help you to wean baby from breastfeeding.
5. Alternative Ways of Comfort
If your baby is nursing for comfort reasons it might be a bit more difficult to wean your baby from breastfeeding. Try to comfort your baby in other ways such as playing, talking and singing. As long as you hold your baby close to you he or she will be happy.
6. Introducing a Pacifier
It is completely your choice whether you want your baby to make use of a pacifier or not. Many moms will decline this because then baby needs to be weaned from the pacifier, which is very much the same. The difference is however that if your baby suckles on a pacifier you are free to do your own things.
If you are not ready to competely let go, don’t worry and take your time. Breastfeeding is a precious gift and the best you can give your baby.