Signs to Wean from Breastfeeding
BY THABITHA DAVID · PUBLISHED DECEMBER 2, 2020 · UPDATED NOVEMBER 21, 2020
Wean from Breastfeeding/ stop breastfeeding: You baby is all grown up now. It’s time to say good bye to the precious moments of exclusively breastfeeding. It has been a long journey, yet it was worth it!
But wait, how is it possible to say goodbye to something that seemed so ordinary?
Will my baby stay hungry without breastfeeding? When is the right time? It is normal to think on these types worries.
We have come up with a complete guide on how to tackle the weaning process. Read on to find out!
- When is the Best Time to stop breastfeeding?
- What are the Signs to Wean from Breastfeeding?
Weaning from breastfeeding can vary from toddler to toddler. The extend of the difference is so much that it varies among siblings.
Breastfeeding a baby gives many benefits. It is nutritious for both physical and mental growth. Unfortunately, breastfeeding has to come to an end for all toddlers at different points.
When is the Best Time to stop breastfeeding?
According to the American Pediatrics, mothers should exclusively breastfeed their baby till the age of six months before you think to stop breastfeeding. Likewise, it is recommended to continue at least till the age of one. After that when to stop breastfeeding is up to the mother and the baby. There is no right age.
Technically, the weaning of the breastfeed starts from the age of 6 months, when the baby starts to take some solids. Around the age of 1, the baby is eating everything and at good quantity. The breast feeding is just for comfort at this point and not to fill up the tummy.
The parents should avoid looking at others and their decision on when to stop breastfeeding. It is an individual decision and no one has the right to tell you to stop breastfeeding. Some children are ready to wean at the age of one. Others wean off when they are toddlers.
All in all, it is totally up to the mother and the baby to move from breastfeeding to bottle milk and stop breastfeeding.
You might also be interested in reading our article How-To Introduce Solid food to your Baby
What are the Signs to Wean from Breastfeeding?
At initial stage, a mother should be ready to stop breastfeeding. She should be mentally ready to let the baby grow up. It might be the last baby she wants to have or it’s the first baby in the house and she enjoyed breastfeeding so much that it is difficult to let go. Whatever the reason is the mother should be ready to let go.
There are no solid signs to know when to stop breastfeeding or wean off from breastfeeding. It is mostly an instinct. However, there are somewhat signs that the baby is ready to let go off the breast.
- Your baby can sit, swallow, and push down the food down the throat.
- Your head of the baby has become steady.
- You find your baby cries after minutes after having a full breastmilk session.
- Your baby has mastered the skill of picking up something and putting it in the mouth
- Your baby has developed the interest in the food and keeps staring at it.
Multiple methods of Weaning
A few of the common methods that parents use to stop breastfeeding and wean their baby.
Child led weaning — This happens when the baby initiates the weaning and slowly stops having breast milk from you. Usually it happens when they are older. And when the child can no longer prefer to be breastfeed. You will not see this kind of weaning happening in young infants.
Slow gradual weaning — This type of weaning happens based on your decision to wean your baby into solid foods. Mostly happens around six months to one year. Or when the mother might have other reasons such as going back to work. Here the weaning starts slowly and this process can take weeks or months and is done gradually 1 feed a week.
Sudden weaning — In very rare cases the flow of breastmilk stops drastically and suddenly and, in such cases, sudden weaning takes place. In sudden weaning all the breastfeed of the baby is drastically stopped and shifted over to other types of food or bottle feed using formula milk.
Temporary weaning — This happens when mothers are temporarily unable to feed their child. It can be for a couple of days or a couple of weeks. But the feeding would get restarted after the short period. This can also happen when the mother has other health issues that she would have to take care before starting to feed for the baby.
Now you can choose the method by which you would like to wean your baby from your breast milk and eventually stop breastfeeding as per your convenience. Most of the time it is the gradual method that is used to wean your baby. And in rare cases child-Led methods can also be used which actually is much more beneficial for the baby.
It is recommended that we breastfeed a baby at least partially still around your baby’s 1 year of life. And it is more preferable if it is for 2 years.
You might also be interested in reading our article How — To Ensure Balanced Diet for Your Toddler