While we totally support breastfeeding and the world is warming up for the breastfeeding week, a big issue lies in the road beyond breastfeeding. Weaning a kid off breastmilk is a task and for some kids and even moms it’s a connect with each other they don’t want to give up. A lot of mothers have this confusion as to when is the right time to wean your child off breastmilk. Every child is different and the weaning process is completely personal and totally up to you. However, doctors suggest breastfeeding your baby until 6 months and then giving it solids along with breastmilk. This should be continued until at least the baby is a two years old(as recommended by WHO).
Some quick facts about Breastfeeding;
(as shared by lactation and child nutritionist expert, Sonali Shivlani)
Find a replacement– Your baby spent over a year having nothing but breastmilk, so you need to be gentle while weaning him off it. So to start you will need to find a replacement. You can use organic milk or add some honey or sugar to sweeten it. However, for anything else as a replacement, it’s best you consult a Doctor. Once you find a replacement, make it seem interesting to your baby and let him have it along with the breastmilk.
Take gradual steps– Weaning is a gradual process. You need to make small changes. Suppose if you nurse your baby 4 times a day, start by replacing one or two of those times with hot milk. Sometimes the weaning process can take several months or less. But whatever you do, take your time with it. Since you used to nurse your baby constantly for months, it will take some time to wean him off it.
Put a clock on it– Now that we’ve established that it’s a gradual process, you will need to work towards it. Another thing that you could do is limit the baby’s nursing sessions. When you have already replaced some of the baby’s nursing sessions with hot milk, now you will have to limit his breast milk meals. You can play a small song and when the song is over, you should wean the child off breastmilk. Another time you can let the baby have it for one minute each. This will eventually make him realize that his time with unlimited nursing sessions is soon to be over.
Involve others in the process– The weaning process requires the baby’s father or your in-laws to get involved. You can replace the baby’s nursing sessions with hot milk and if the baby protests you can ask the father to make the baby have it. Suppose you let the baby breastfeed before his nap time, you can instead ask his father to feed the baby with hot milk. This will create a distraction to the baby.
The Final step– Probably the hardest step, once you’ve started to wean your child off breastmilk, there will be times when he will protest and ask for it. But if you’ve made the decision you need to stand by it. If your baby desires comfort, you can instead give him hot milk and comfort him with foot rubs, cuddling or reading stories to him.
So, follow these steps and gradually wean your baby off breastmilk.