Stopping Breastfeeding? Here's How Moms Can Wean Baby Off With Ease
There is no exact and correct time for stopping breastfeeding as the choice is all up to the mother and her baby. This phase is called weaning and the transition should be done with ease.
It's recommended that babies be breastfed for up to six months, according to the World Health Organization. Then, weaning off gradually happens as the baby is introduced to solid food. For some moms and babies, breastfeeding continues along with eating solids and until the baby is two but there is no pressure to stick with this same schedule.
Huffington Post cautions that an abrupt end to breastfeeding can be risky. The mom's breasts could become engorged due to plugged ducts that can lead to breast infections.
Thus, a mom who intends to stop breastfeeding must allow her body to transition slowly. She can begin by removing one feeding time every few days or so. She can also express enough amounts of milk just to keep pressure off and not overstimulate her breast.
A gradual transition must also happen for the baby as she will also need to adjust to weaning. According to Baby Center, the baby will eventually cut down on breastfeeding by choice, especially when she begins eating other types of food.
Thus, the mom can switch or alternate between solids and breastmilk. Some days, she can begin feeding the baby with solids of different flavors and textures first then breastfeed last. She can also teach the baby to drink from a cup with a spout.
Stopping breastfeeding is a weeks-long process. Some babies, however, might not be willing to go through the transition even as they have taken solids. Be patient about this as some babies find soothe and comfort in breastfeeding. It will all happen at the right time.
What was your experience with stopping breastfeeding? Care to share more tips for our readers? We'd love to hear from you in the comments section below!