Weaning off your little one from breastfeeding can be one of the toughest things a mom has to do, but it has to happen sooner or later. It’s tough, but if you don’t do it you’ll end up with sleepless nights and a never ending cycle of sleep deprivation. This isn’t good for anyone, not you, not your partner and not the baby.
I am going to share some of my own experiences growing up a child, it can be quite a roller coaster ride. When I started off I got help from my mother and found out the rest over the internet. Some of the things were right, some weren’t or maybe I got them wrong but I hope after reading this, you can avoid all the mistakes I made.
In this post, I will be talking about the steps I followed to wean off my baby. You can try following the same steps, just keep in mind every baby is unique and you may need to do things a little differently or it may take longer(or if you’re lucky, even go faster) than it did with me.
When to Start Weaning?
You will be told to let your baby decide when to wean off or that she will give up eventually. That may be true in some cases but in most cases, you will need to initiate the process yourself. Think about it, your baby is dependent on your milk and is probably in a habit of falling asleep while drinking it. It’s not going to be a walk in the park, so take it one step at a time.
I started to think about it when my daughter celebrated her first birthday. When she was a year old I decided to put her on cow’s milk. I also introduced her to a variety of solid food keeping in mind the nutrition she needs.
How to Wean Your Child?
Start developing taste for other milk
- Take some regular milk in a bowl and make her taste 2 to 3 teaspoon every day twice. When she starts to like it, increase the quantity.
- Start giving her cereal with regular milk. Take it slow; It’s never wise to push a baby into doing something they don’t want to. Be patient and give it time.
Skip a feeding
If she is nursing four times a day, make it three. Then reduce it to two and finally to one feeding a day which is usually before the afternoon nap. To gradually achieve this step will take a month or more, you can to start doing it a couple of months before their first birthday. Infant’s start taking solid foods around five to six months of age, when your baby starts taking other forms of nutrition you can afford skipping a feeding session. Babies won’t skip feeds at night for now.
Reducing feedings one at a time gives your child time to adjust. Also, your milk supply diminishes gradually this way, and if you feel heavier anytime you can just pump it out and give it to your baby later.
Try distracting your child with a toy or any other food when she asks for your milk. Also, make sure she is properly fed with food when she is hungry. Be punctual with her meal times, don’t change them daily, babies like to follow a regular routine.
After you are done with the above-mentioned steps (which are very important) you can now start weaning the baby completely off milk. Make sure you are ready to do this because you cannot go on and off with breastfeeding. Once you begin you have to abstain completely.
- The first week is tough, you have to do anything to avoid breastfeeding her in the day. Keep that kid distracted. You can feed your little one with other soft foods and even regular milk. Your baby may throw tantrums that may seem endless, I even gave in once just so I could get some peace, but you can’t do that every day.
- Week two, you can go without feeding your baby at all. The first 2-3 days your baby may be very irritated and demanding but stay strong, you have to do this. It’s only going to get better and you’ll be able to sleep at night.
Do not breastfeed the baby day or night. You need to let them cry it out or try distracting them as much as possible. You can also try soothing your baby by hugging or cuddling with them.
Keep a cup of water and regular milk in the room and try offering that to her when she cries. Some babies take that and go to sleep and some don’t, mine did not. She cried for like two hours on and off and then she went to sleep. She woke up after two hours and cried for another hour, then went to sleep again. My husband and I literally got no sleep that night.
Babies sometimes cry like this for two to three days but then they will be fine. A week’s time is usually given to a child to adapt to this change.
Please let me know how this process goes for you? Was it different for you? Did something else work for you? I’d love to know.