Sooner or later, mothers must know how to wean their children

Sooner or later, mothers must know how to wean their children

Weaning or stopping a baby from suckling from the breast can sometimes be an emotional time for both mother and baby. Not only because in the future there will be a change in the way babies get nutrition, but because most babies find peace by suckling directly from their mother's breast.

Don't worry, weaning doesn't necessarily signal the end of the intimate bond between mother and child. Mothers can find other ways such as cuddling, playing or reading a book together.

When is the Right Time to Wean?

Actually, in determining when to wean a child depends on the choice of each mother. However, the optimal period that is recommended for babies to get exclusive breastfeeding is six months. While the general period for breastfeeding mothers is until the baby is two years old. After the baby is six months old, he can start to get additional nutrition in addition to breast milk, through Supplementary Foods for Mother's Milk.

Some experts describe some of the signs a baby can begin to wean, including:
  • Babies can sit with their heads held high for a long time.
  • Opens his mouth and is interested when he sees other people eating.
  • Coordination of the eyes, mouth, and hands begins to work well, so it can take and put food in the mouth.
  • The baby's weight has reached twice the birth weight.
At one year of age, chances are he can start drinking from a cup and start looking for ways other than breastfeeding to get comfortable. Instead of breast milk, you can give solid foods that are rich in vitamin C, iron, and calcium, such as cheese, pureed vegetables, cereals, and fruit mixed with breast milk or milk.

However, there are certain conditions that make you need to delay weaning your child. Some of these conditions include:
  • Children are at risk of developing allergies if they consume food or drinks other than breast milk. For the same reason, breast milk is recommended to be given at least until the baby is six months old.
  • If you or your child is sick, or if your child is teething, this condition can make weaning a child more complicated.
  • If there are major changes, such as you and your family moving house or traveling in the long term, because it can make your little one experience stress.

How to Get Started?

How to start really depends on the needs and character of each child and mother. It is important to know the signs that the child is ready to be weaned, as described above. The following guidelines can serve as a general guideline for how to start weaning:

Start slowly

Starting weaning gradually is not only beneficial for the child, but also for you. Reducing the frequency of breastfeeding slowly will make milk production decrease gradually. This slow reduction is important to avoid the risk of breast swelling and pain.

Try to wean during the day

Babies usually feed in the morning and at night for comfort. How to wean Your child can be started gradually by stopping breastfeeding during the day, replacing it with solid food, but still giving breast milk at night.

Replacing one-time breastfeeding with bottle or cup milk

Stick to the same schedule for the week. Then, the following week increase the time you bottle feed and reduce direct breastfeeding. Infants one year and over can be given cow's milk instead of breast milk.
Try to put the child to sleep without being breastfed gradually
Create another fun ritual before bed, like reading a book or listening to music. Make him feel comfortable by still hugging or petting him.

Start using the cup more often than the bottle

Place more water in the cup than in the bottle. Alternatively, place the drink the child likes in a cup and place the one he doesn't like in the bottle. For example, putting milk and juice (for babies over 6 months) in a cup and only mineral water in a bottle.

The most important thing to keep in mind for successful weaning is to focus on the comfort of your baby and yourself. There's no need to confuse yourself with comparing other people's weaning methods, because every experience is unique. You may have your own deadlines for when your child should stop breastfeeding, but it's best to be flexible about those deadlines.