Often, mothers face a certain amount of discomfort during the process of weaning. The following AptParenting article will help you understand how to reduce the intensity of the pain.
Breast milk is the healthiest form of milk which can be given to babies. It should be avoided only if it has been advised by the doctor. The main benefit of breastfeeding a child is that it promotes health. It helps to prevent diseases not only during infancy, but also when the child grows up. However, there comes a time when the mother has to wean her child. Depending on the prevailing conditions, a child can be breastfed up to one and a half years, although there are different views about when to stop nursing your baby.
A child should be breastfed for a minimum period of six months. When you decide to wean your child, it is important to take the health of the baby into consideration. Weaning the child suddenly can pose health problems not only for the child, but also for the mother.
When you decide to stop breastfeeding your infant, you can use any one of the three methods, namely abrupt weaning, gradual weaning, and partial weaning. Other way is the natural way of weaning, also known as baby-led weaning. In this method, the child is self-fed from the start. This condition can be both abrupt or gradual.
An age-old method is to wean the child gradually. For this, you can decrease the number of nursing sessions. The best thing is to decrease one feed at a time. Give your child either formula milk or dairy milk or something to eat when he is hungry, so that he does not become cranky. Decreasing the number of nursing sessions is also beneficial for the mother. It gives signal to the body not to produce milk in bigger quantities. Decrease in milk production will also not cause enlarged breasts.
Many times, mothers change the area of feeding the child in order to stop nursing. However, this can lead to the child feeling deserted. Hence, feed the baby in the same area as before. This will make the child feel secure and the weaning will not be taken negatively by him. Other than formula or dairy milk, solid food should also be a part of the child’s diet. When he consumes solid food, he will no longer be hungry and cranky, and will not ask to be nursed. If the child needs to be weaned before he turns one year old, giving baby formula can be considered. It will provide the required supplements to the baby’s diet and the baby will not lack any nutrients.
When you want to stop breastfeeding at night, feed your baby solid food so that he is not hungry at bedtime and falls off to sleep easily. In some cases, the child may not necessarily be hungry, but it can be psychological. At such times, talking to the child will prove to be beneficial.
When you stop breastfeeding the child, it is natural for your breasts to feel full. They may also feel hard or leak. During such times, you can express some milk, but do not pump hard, as it will not be of help for drying up breast milk. The aim of expressing milk is to make sure that there is no leak or the breasts are not enlarged.
These were the tips on how to wean the child without causing any pain to both the mother and the child. But a mother should remember that weaning a child is both a physical and psychological challenge. Weaning does have impact on the mother and child alike. If you are facing problems in weaning your child, talking to your health care professional may prove to be of help.
Disclaimer: This AptParenting article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.