How to wean a breastfeeding baby

how to wean a breastfeeding baby

How to Wean Your Child from Breastfeeding

Feb 23, †Ј If you wean your child from breast-feeding before age 1, use expressed breast milk or iron-fortified formula. Don't give your child cow's milk until after his or her first birthday. You can wean your child to a bottle and then a cup or directly to a cup. TIPS FOR DAYTIME WEANING. Breastfeed the child when he asks, and donТt offer when he doesnТt. This simple technique known as УdonТt offer, donТt refuseФ may help accelerate the Change daily routines. Instead of heading home after picking him up from daycare, head to the grocery store or.

At some point, either you or your child will be ready to stop breastfeeding. Read on to learn more about when and how to wean. When to wean is a personal decision and will be different for everyone.

Bresstfeeding child may be ready to wean, or stop breastfeeding, at different ages. Some children will gradually start to show more interest in eating solid foods and less interest in breastfeeding. Others may want to stop breastfeeding more suddenly. Some mothers may be ready to wean at different times too. This is a personal decision. If you and your child have decided it is time to wean and your child is younger than 12 months oldЕ.

If you and your child have decided it is time to wean and your child is 12 months or older Е. To make the process easier for you and your child, wean over several weeks or more.

How to become a disney travel agent from home you slowly stop breastfeeding, your body will start producing less breast milk and eventually your body will no longer make breast milk. Skip directly to site content Skip directly to page options Skip directly to A-Z link.

Section Navigation. Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Syndicate. Minus Related Pages. When to Wean When to wean is wea personal decision and will be different for everyone. If you breasyfeeding your child have decided it is time to wean and your child is younger than 12 months oldЕ Give your child infant formula in place of breast milk. He or she does not need infant or toddler formula. Top of Page.

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How to Wean

Nov 07, †Ј Start weaning by replacing one breast milk feeding a day with a bottle of infant formula (for your child younger than 12 months old) or with a cup of fortified cowТs milk (for your child 12 months or older). Continue to replace more breast milk feedings with infant formula or fortified cowТs milk over time. Aug 11, †Ј How to wean from breast to a bottle or a cup. Make the switch gradually Ч first so that your breasts don't become painfully engorged (ouch!), and second so that your baby won't balk at a dramatic change. Start with the feeding that interests her the least (usually mid-morning or mid-afternoon, when she's busy playing). Jun 11, †Ј How to Wean from Breastfeeding Older Babies If your baby is 9 months or older, it's best to wean directly to a cup so you don't have to deal with getting her off .

If you chose to breastfeed, hopefully it was an enjoyable bonding experience for you and your little one. But like all milestones, it eventually comes to an end.

First, congratulate yourself on making it this far! If you still find nursing satisfying and enjoyable and dread giving it up, there's no reason to stop breastfeeding your baby altogether. In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics AAP recommends breastfeeding exclusively for about the first 6 months of baby's life, and longer if both mother and child are game.

What if you're not game? You may simply be tired of nursing, and that's fine, too. Some children keep their attachment to nursing well into toddlerhood. Others show less interest and start to self-wean before their first birthday it's common between 9 and 12 months.

What if you want to wean sooner than that? Ultimately, the decision of when to stop breastfeeding is a personal one, and every mother should do what works best for herself and her baby. That said, there are some times when you should try to avoid weaning if possible. You might want to consider holding off if:. Your child is sick or teething. Your family is going through a transitional period.

Going back to work, starting with a new caregiver or moving can be stressful. Wait until things have settled before adding another big change. You have a family history of food allergies. Some days are just hard. But give yourself a few weeks before making a final decision.

If your child is still an avid nurser but you're less inclined, allow plenty of time Ч a few weeks or longer Ч for a gentle transition. Ideally, you should start the weaning process a month or two before your actual deadline.

If you want to make sure your baby gets the benefits of breast milk for as long as possible, you can start replacing your nursing sessions with pumping until you're ready to wean your baby completely. Try dropping one feeding at a time, giving him some formula before a nursing session or gradually reducing the time he spends nursing at each feeding. Taking it slow is good for you, too. Gradually weaning allows your supply to taper off slowly, helping you avoid uncomfortable engorgement and plugged ducts.

Many moms find that starting by dropping or shortening a midday feed is best, especially if your child has recently had lunch and might not be as hungry for milk. Once you successfully stop one feeding, you can give yourself and your little one some time to adjust Ч a few days or even a few weeks, depending on what feels right Ч before moving on to dropping another feeding.

Placing cold cabbage leaves in your bra can be soothing, and applying cool compresses to your breasts or taking a pain reliever like acetaminophen Tylenol and others can also help ease some of the discomfort. Regardless of how slowly or quickly you decide to wean, pay attention to how your little one is weathering the change.

Some babies and toddlers take to weaning easily. But if your child is showing signs that things are moving too fast Ч waking more at night, or acting moodier or more clingy during the day Ч it might be worth thinking about slowing the pace a little bit.

For most moms, partial weaning means giving up breastfeeding during the day and continuing to nurse in the morning and at night. Weaning a young baby is quite different than weaning an older baby or a toddler.

Worried that your baby might come to like the bottle more than the breast altogether? But you can slow the flow of formula and make sucking from a bottle more like sucking from the breast by using a bottle nipple made for a preemie or newborn and sticking with paced bottle feeding.

By 4 months, your baby has likely grown attached to his favorite source of nourishment: your breasts. So weaning might be more difficult. Some babies will self-wean between 9 and 12 months, which could make the process much simpler. Nursing for less time, fussing or being easily distracted while nursing, or frequently pulling at biting at the breast instead of eating are all signs that your sweetie could be losing interest.

Luckily, the introduction of solid foods between 4 and 6 months can help in a big way. Is your baby going gah gah over breastfeeding? Try distracting him with finely mashed or pureed bananas or sweet potatoes. And then gradually reduce nursing sessions to only when he asks.

Changing up your routines during times when he usually nurses or offering a snack at times before he usually nurses can help, too. Make the switch gradually Ч first so that your breasts don't become painfully engorged ouch! Start with the feeding that interests her the least usually mid-morning or mid-afternoon, when she's busy playing. Substitute a bottle for breastfeeding once a day for the first week, and work your way up from there. If you plan for your baby to take bottles of pumped milk or formula later on, like when you go back to work, start introducing bottles with pumped milk when your baby is 2 or 3 weeks old a few times a week.

Again, start with the feeding that interests your little one the least, and simply give him a cup instead. Some strategies that can ease the transition for both of you:. Share feeding duties. If your baby seems frustrated when you offer a bottle instead of the breast, try having a partner or caregiver do the feeding instead.

Find other ways to stay close. Set aside time just for snuggling so you and your sweetie are still getting that all-important physical contact. Tweak the bedtime routine. Bedtime or naptime breastfeeding sessions can be the hardest for your little one to let go of.

Try to find something other than breastfeeding to help whisk your child off to dreamland. No matter what, give yourself a break and be as gradual as is feasible. Cutting out one feed every two or three days should be slow enough to help you manage any engorgement issues. But you can certainly move slower if you want to, or if it seems like your little one would benefit from a more gradual pace. Hit pause if needed. Weaning is just as significant for you as it is for your baby.

Some ways to cope:. Expect to not feel like yourself. Similar to the days after giving birth, weaning causes a major hormonal shift that can trigger feelings of sadness, anxiety, relief and happiness Ч all at the same time. But if you feel more than a little depressed, check in with your doctor.

Sometimes postpartum depression can develop after weaning. Take it easy. Try cold cabbage leaves for comfort. Tuck the leaves in your bra to ease soreness from engorgement. Once the leaves warm up, replace them with fresh cold ones.

Just like learning how to breastfeed in the early days, for most moms and little ones, weaning is a process. The educational health content on What To Expect is reviewed by our medical review board and team of experts to be up-to-date and in line with the latest evidence-based medical information and accepted health guidelines, including the medically reviewed What to Expect books by Heidi Murkoff.

This educational content is not medical or diagnostic advice. Use of this site is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy. Medically Reviewed by Micah Resnick, M. Deposit Photo. When it comes to weaning your baby from breastfeeding and transitioning to a bottle or cup, every breastfed baby will react Ч and adapt Ч differently.

Back to Top. In This Article. Here's how to start the transition in a way that's most comfortable for both of you. When should you wean your baby from breastfeeding? Continue Reading Below. Read This Next. Help Me, Heidi! Baby-Led Weaning Recipes. View Sources. American Academy of Pediatrics, Weaning from the Bottle , What bottle is closest to the breast? Did everyone feel like a failure in the beginning?

EBF and not pumping. There are 75, active discussions happening now in our Breastfeeding community group. First Year. First Year Groups. Bottle Feeding. Go to Your Baby's Age. Please whitelist our site to get all the best deals and offers from our partners. What's the Right Temperature for Baby?

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