Tips To Wean Your Baby Off The Breast

It is recommended that babies be breastfeed exclusively for the first 6 months of life and in addition to solids until they turn one.

Irrespective of when you decide to discontinue breastfeeding your baby, here are a few tips to ensure a smooth weaning process for you and baby…

Start slowly. Set a schedule and keep reducing how long and often you breastfeed baby daily over the set period – say a month. You may start by offering baby formula or baby purees in place of breast milk when he demands to nurse. As baby gets accustomed to this, try to do same for nighttime feeds as well.

Weaning gradually will make the process easier on baby and make your milk supply decrease gradually, preventing engorgement.

If you experience engorgement, applying cold compresses to both breasts will help reduce the swelling and discomfort.

READ ALSO: Tried & Tested Tips to Wean Your Toddler Off Breast Milk

Wean to a bottle or cup. Instead of breastfeeding when baby demands to nurse, offer expressed milk in a bottle or cup. Subsequently, alternate expressed breast milk with formula or baby puree. In addition, as baby gets used to feeding from the bottle, try offering him expressed milk for his last feed at night. If he refuses to take the bottle, leave the room and let grandma, dad or his nanny offer him the bottle. He’ll likely cooperate with them better than he would with you.

See if he accepts baby puree, yoghurt or formula instead of expressed milk the following day. Let grandma or another caregiver do the honours to boost chances he’ll accept.

READ ALSO: 7 Ways To Dry Up Your Milk Supply After Weaning Your Baby

Find alternative ways to soothe baby. When baby is fussy or unable to fall asleep, especially at night, you may offer a pacifier, comfort toy or employ other methods to distract and soothe baby (get some tips here). Always resist the temptation to instantly soothe baby with a breastfeed.

Bond more with your baby. Now that baby is learning to let go of his fondest way of bonding with mummy, you need to constantly bond with him in several other ways to keep him emotionally nurtured. Devise more ways than ever to distract and stimulate him. Spend lots of cuddle time together, sing lullabies, massage baby (get tips here), and so on. Give baby lots of TLC!

Note that choosing the right time is crucial to getting baby to be cooperative. For instance, if baby just started teething or just underwent a stressful period, you should hold off for a month or thereabout before trying to wean.

Some mums have lumpy breasts for 5 – 10 days after breastfeeding is discontinued. This may suggest a blocked duct or the onset of mastitis. Massaging the lumps or expressing little amount of breast milk may reduce the lumpiness. Discuss any painful or persistent lump with your doctor.

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“Tips To Wean Your Baby Off The Breast”

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