There is no stronger bond than the infant and the mother feeding her milk. But sooner or later the moment always comes when a woman decides to stop breastfeeding or the baby refuses from her mother’s milk by herself. How to wean a baby from the breast without problems and nerves?
According to the current recommendations of the World Health Organization, it is advisable to feed only breast milk with up to 6 months to the baby, without giving him any complementary foods and water. After this age, the diet of the crumbs should be gradually expanded, introducing fruit and vegetable puree, juices, dairy and non-dairy cereals.
In the year a child already eats practically the same dishes as other family members, if they adhere to the rules of healthy eating (nothing fat, salty, smoked, fried, other harmful products). At this time, Mommy can already think about his full transfer to the diet table, decide whether to reduce or stop breastfeeding, how to wean a baby from the breast.
At what age is weaning the most painless
Our grandmothers and mothers believed that breastfeeding a baby for more than a year is not worth it. This is due to their short maternity leave, the need to go to work in the early childhood.
Now, breastfeeding counselors recommend feeding the crumb with my mother’s milk for as long as possible: this is how his immunity is formed, the baby grows more protected from infections. Many modern women breastfeed babies up to 1.5-2 years old, gradually reducing the number and duration of breast attachments.
But some fans continue to feed even 3-4-year-olds, despite the sometimes condemning views of others. Each mother should decide for herself how long the baby’s milk will be feeding period and try to minimize problems during weaning and for the baby, and for herself.
How to wean a baby from the breast: effective ways
The experience of many mummies suggests that the soft end of breastfeeding is the perfect solution for mom and baby. The gradual reduction and minimization of the number of attachments, the abolition of “drinking” every milk with each meal will not cause him any stress, and with time he will no longer insistently demand the breast. But this method of weaning will take several weeks. Having decided on a smooth cessation of milk feeding, the mother should act according to plan.
5 steps to gently wean a baby
- Step one is an assessment of the need for crumbs in milk. If, after the age of one year, the baby does not require a breast at each meal, does not attach to it in an emotionally excited state, then the mother can gradually reduce the number of daily attachments and minimize them. Is your child ready to be left without her mother’s milk? Yes? Then we go further.
- Step two – breast only for sleep. After a year, you can reduce the number and duration of attachment of the baby to the chest. First, do not let him drink breakfast or snack milk, offer juice, fruit juice, tea or fruit. Let the crumb eat at his table separately, then he will not be tempted to look for a breast.
- The third step – the rejection of the chest in the daytime sleep. The easiest way to wean a baby is to demand breasts in the afternoon before going to bed if you actively take it for a walk and quickly feed them with soup. A tired crumb will quickly fall asleep and will not remember about the breast.
- Step four – rejection of the breast at night. Many mummies are faced with the fact that it is the hardest thing to remove milk feeding at night. The kid can be capricious, hysteria, demand sucking. This process will be less painful if a papa or another family member takes on the ritual of putting the crumbs to sleep. Without seeing the irritating factor and not feeling the smell of the mother and her milk, the child will gradually become unaccustomed to the need for breastfeeding for the night.
- Step five – no return. If weaning has already passed and puts the baby to bed at night for the baby again, even with his insistent demands it is not recommended to resume breastfeeding again. This can be stressful both for the child and for the mother’s body.
Sharp weaning baby
There are cases when a woman decides to abruptly and almost instantly stop breastfeeding her baby, either for compelled medical reasons or for her psychological state. This method for crumbs more stressful than the gradual cessation of feeding.
In such cases, it is recommended to temporarily remove the mother from the child’s field of view and replace it with another relative, well known to his – dad, grandmother. They should put the baby to sleep for several days, play and occupy it, not letting mom and jelly miss you. Some moms for this period even give the child to the grandmother in another housing. This way is painful and stressful for a child: he is not only left without milk but also without his mother, so he can protest, expressing his dissatisfaction with the way available to him – a cry.
But if the age of the baby is about 2 years old, then you can negotiate with him and explain the reasons for adult behavior.
Weaning: talking and showing
Some mothers, having decided to stop breastfeeding, are trying to negotiate with the baby. Some smear nipple with brilliant green, fukartsinom and explain that the breast is sick and cannot give milk.
Or they smear the breast with something unpleasant for the crumbs (for example, mustard), give it a try and also explain that the milk has spoiled and cannot be further drunk. This method is suitable for children who are prone to compromise and enter into dialogue with adults.
How much to breastfeed, when and how to wean a baby from the breast, each woman should decide independently, based on the needs of her child and her own feelings. If, after 6-9 months, mom continues to feed the baby with milk through force, experiencing psychological discomfort, fatigue, it is better to refuse to feed.
Abrupt cessation of feeding: what should a woman do?
One of the signs that a woman’s body is ready to stop lactation is the reduction of milk tides, incomplete filling of the breast, and the absence of breastfeeding when skipping one or two feedings. If the baby does not ask for breast after eating or sleeping, then he is ready to completely abandon HB.
But if the termination of breastfeeding happened abruptly, the woman also needs to take care of herself and follow some rules:
- reduce the amount of fluid you drink, especially hot;
- limit yourself to hot foods;
- wear a fairly tight bra;
- Little by little, decent when there is a feeling of breast opening to avoid the appearance of milk stagnation.
If these rules do not help, lactation does not stop, you need to seek medical help from a gynecologist.
The best time for weaning
Folk omens say that breastfeeding should not be stopped in hot summer, in cold winter or in early spring. Theoretically, during these periods there is a high risk to weaken the baby’s immunity during the period of rampant viruses in winter; breast milk protects it from dehydration, if it picks up the infection in summer, from vitamin deficiency – in spring. Better time for weaning is autumn when you can include more fruits and vegetables in the diet of the crumbs.
Many mommies adhere to the rule that you should not throw a baby feeding in fasting or at a time when the trees are without foliage: it is believed that the child will be hungry or poor all his life.
According to folk signs, the best time to stop breastfeeding is Clean Thursday before Easter. It was on this day that the baby was weaned, giving a crust of bread and saying: “Go to your bread so that it is rich, big, like this holy bread.”
Weaning and rejection of the breast is a natural process of growing up of a baby, its separation from mother. This period can be a difficult test not only for the child but for the whole family, so you need to take into account all factors (the state of the mother, baby, their physical and psychological readiness) and make the best decision about the time and method of stopping breastfeeding. The main rule is to do everything for the benefit of the mother and child.