Motherhood has a very humanizing effect. Everything gets reduced to essentials.~Meryl Streep

Motherhood has a very humanizing effect.  Everything gets reduced to essentials.~Meryl Streep

Monday, April 6, 2009

How To Eliminate Breast-Feeding Completely

Normally children begin to show an interest in weaning between 6-12 months of age. If your child hasn’t weaned by 12-18 months than usually the parent needs to initiate it, but the child is still receptive. After 18 months of age, experts say that children usually resist weaning because they become too attached to the breast. I noticed that my daughter was showing a disinterest in the breast around 11 months of age. She would nurse for short periods, want to play, and become easily distracted. It wasn’t until she was 12 months that I started the weaning process.

To prevent engorgement and shock to the child, it is important to gradually eliminate breast-feedings. I took it slowly, fully weaning my daughter within 2 months. It may also be best to postpone weaning during any major development period or any major changes. Keep in mind it that it is possible to eliminate breast-feeding more quickly. This was the speed I chose that was conducive for both my child and myself.

When weaning, eliminate the feeding that is least important to your child, which is usually the mid-day one. Replace the feeding with one complete cup feeding. If the child is older than 12 months, you can use whole milk. Otherwise use formula or expressed breast milk. About once a week or when you or baby is comfortable, drop a breast feeding. The morning and the bedtime nursing are usually the last to go and there is no reason why you can’t continue it if that’s what you and your children want.

Since this is an adjustment to your baby’s schedule, utilizing distraction during weaning may be helpful. Playing with toys, reading a book, or cuddling will assist your child during this transition. Keep in mind, DO NOT sit in the same place you nurse your child, nor use the same words/language. It is amazing how smart babies are. They can associate both the scenery and word usage with nursing. If weaning has not been successful or you have any questions/concerns, call your pediatrician.

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