10 Top Tips for Weaning Your Baby
If your baby craves it and you feel like it is the proper time for solid food introduction, which is a very personal and intimate decision, don’t be afraid to bring this change in your little one’s life. Your pediatrician has probably already pointed out to not introduce any solid foods until the baby reaches six months of age, after then it is recommended to continue with both breastfeeding and solid foods until your baby has their first birthday. However, you can also stop breastfeeding earlier, continue for a longer length or bottle feed from the beginning - there’s no wrong or right.
It is completely normal to fear change, but you’ll both soon get used to it. To help you get through here are some tips:
- Sippy Cup. Dummies and bottles are another source of comfort for babies because of the similarities between them and nipples. If you can avoid introducing them to your baby it will be better (however that’s easier said than done) for your baby as they won’t have to go through processing the weaning from three soothing methods instead of just your breasts. If you can avoid introducing a bottle before a sippy cup, then this is better to do as it will make the transition period quicker, however, if you are already bottle feeding then it will make going to a sippy cup easier.
- Nursing Lapse. For your baby to grasp and stick to the new change, it is better to introduce it to them by small modifications of their nursing habits. Start to have shorter sessions when breastfeeding, try to not let your baby gloat, instead end the session when you think your baby is about 80% full, and gradually keep making them shorter. This way your baby won’t resent you and see it as an abrupt change.
- Delay the nursing. Expand the time between nursing sessions, the metabolism of your baby has already adjusted to a feeding schedule. If you are starting to wean them, try to stretch the time interval by making minimal changes each week and reducing the breast feeding ritual.
- Trade for solids. Another way to help your baby lose interest in breastfeeding is to reduce the number of sessions, but of course you still need to feed them, so offer them to trade one of the sessions for a solid snack that they enjoy just as much.
- Cover up. After months of pregnancy it is nice to feel fully comfortable in your own skin again, your body went through numerous physical changes. With those changes came larger breasts, and we we never intend to tell you how to dress (that’s not our kind of thing), but your baby will be aware of your breasts if they can see them in plain view. Life is cruel that way. You don’t need to dress from head to toe but you might find it helpful to stay a little covered up.
- Off limit places. Resist the urgency to allow your baby to do as they please with your body. As your baby grows, they will be rougher to your breasts, your body is also a sanctuary, don’t put a burden on your breasts just to make a delicious snack for your baby. We know it is hard to resist the requests of your favorite little being, but it is important to persist. Try breastfeeding only at home, if you are visiting the grandparents trade breastfeeding for a sippy cup or a solid meal.
- Reassure love and comfort. Weaning does not mean you need to stop that special bonding time with your baby, make sure to make time to cuddle and snuggle them outside of feeding hours, even though we’re sure you’re already doing that. The purpose of this is for them to quit relating cuddles exclusively to feeding time.
- Take care of yourself. Your little one is not the only one that will be adapting to this new life stage, it can also bring some emotional or physical changes to yourself. If your breasts start to ache consult with your doctor, it is important to be aware of breast infections. Stopping lactation can add an emotional change too, so take it slow. You might feel disconnected from baby and miss their closeness, but remember this is the natural course of things.
- Relieve the pain. The pain and discomfort of cutting breastfeeding can be released by taking hot showers and using ice pads on your breasts.
- Persist and resist. It is certain that many, if not all of them, babies dislike being weaned. Be constant with the suggestions that work best for you, of course exceptions will happen but the more you do it the faster your baby will adjust.
New exciting stages await your baby and yourself, don’t be afraid of letting go of the loving bond that nursing has provided, it will only keep growing stronger from here. A harmonious connection is created by communication and limits that bring stability to your baby.
Head to our Instagram @babymoriuk and let us know what your top tips for weaning are!
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