Although breastfeeding is a great way to give your baby the nutrients he needs, at some point you’ll decide it’s time to wean your baby. If you are wondering when you should consider weaning your little one, you’re the best judge of when the time is right.
Keep in mind, doctors usually recommend breastfeeding exclusively for the first six months and continuing to nurse even after introducing solids for at least the first year of your baby’s life. But there is no hard and fast rule that you have to wean your baby by her first birthday. If you and your baby are both still comfortable breastfeeding, continue to do so.
But in some cases, you may feel both you and your baby are ready to wean. Your baby may show signs she is losing interest in nursing. For example, if she acts indifferent or cranky when nursing, she may be giving you a hint. In some instances, when babies start to eat solid foods, they may naturally nurse less. Also, after a year, if your milk supply is decreasing or nursing is becoming increasingly difficult to juggle with work, you may feel ready to wean.
When you do decide the time is right, it’s important to wean your baby slowly. If you wean too quickly, it can lead to engorgement. It can also be traumatic for your baby to wean cold turkey, and he may resist taking a bottle or cup of milk.
To make the transition smoother, slowly taper off. For example, drop a feeding or nurse for less time during each feeding. See how your baby reacts to a gradual decrease in nursing. Consider weaning to the point of only nursing at bedtime.
The amount of time it takes to completely wean your baby varies. Some babies don’t seem to mind the change and quickly make the switch while others may take a bit more time. Be patient and follow your babies lead.
Keep in mind, if you’re weaning your baby before the age of one, switch from breastmilk to formula. After the age of one, you can slowly introduce your baby whole milk. Whether you want to give your baby a bottle or cup is up to you.
You may feel a little bittersweet about weaning your baby. While it will be nice to get your body back, you might miss nursing and that special time with your little one. It’s also normal to feel a little nostalgic about your baby growing up. But a big part of parenting is learning to let go of each stage and embrace the next one.
written by MaryAnn DePietro @ writerlady34
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a trained medical doctor. Health & Parenting Ltd disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information, which is provided to you on a general information basis only and not as a substitute for personalized medical advice. All contents copyright © Health & Parenting Ltd 2016. All rights reserved.