Whether you are a first time mom or a veteran, feeding your baby is a great way to bond. When you breastfeed, the skin to mouth contact creates a feeling of trust and closeness.
As your baby grows, you cannot continue to breastfeed for very long. So when should you make the shift?
Let Your Baby Guide You:
There is no fixed time or age when you have to wean your baby. The emotional and physiological needs of all babies are different and you will have to understand the signals that your baby gives to you. Some things that the baby will do are:
- Start eating solid / semi solid food without difficulty.
- Starts biting nipples during nursing.
- Pushes away when you offer to feed her.
- Does not take interest in breastfeeding and consumes very little milk.
- Consumes milk from bottle or cup comfortably.
If you see the above signs, then it is a good time for you to wean.
When Is The Best Time To Wean A Baby?
Looking to wean your baby? Medical practitioners and associations related
- You must nurse babies till at least six months. After that a combination of breast feeding and other forms of food can be given.
- When your baby is one year old, then it is best weaning time as she will have started on some solid food. Also, babies are more adaptable to change and enjoy something new at this stage.
- If nursing is continued beyond a year, babies may resist weaning as they become habituated to it.
[ Read: Weaning Foods ]
When Not to Wean?
Just like there is a best time to wean baby, there are also occasions when you should postpone weaning. These are:
- Having a change in situations around the house, like having a new person at home or moving to a new place.
- If your baby is unwell. Even slight fevers or teething may make her irritable and the transition process will be tough.
- In case you are unwell, then it is advisable to delay weaning till you regain health.
- When there is some form of allergy spreading and you are wary that your child may catch it. A change at such time can bring down immunity.
- The health of your baby is the top priority. So make the change only when she is comfortable to accept it. If your darling demands to be breastfed, then do not refuse to do so, as it might cause her to get upset.
[ Read: How To Make Banana Puree For Baby ]
Process For Weaning:
Any alteration in a baby’s life must be gradual. Sudden changes may make him or her cranky or even ill. When you decide to wean, keep the following points in mind:
- Start by giving both bottle feed and breastfeed. You can fix a schedule for nursing and give bottle feed at other times during the day.
- Continue to nurse your baby at night for some time. This helps her to sleep better as she is comforted.
- Even while feeding with a bottle, keep your baby close to you, preferably on your lap. This will give her a feeling of similar surroundings while feeding.
- Before the age of one year, give only formula milk. Choose one that is high in nutrients or ask your doctor to prescribe one that will suit your baby.
- You can pump milk and keep it in a bottle, so that your baby gets a familiar taste when she starts bottle feeding. Also, other members of your family can feed your baby if you are not around.
[ Read: Carrot Puree For Babies ]
Gradual weaning is highly recommended, as it will ensure that your breasts do not feel engorged. As the demand for milk from your baby reduces, the production will also decrease.
You can reduce the duration of each feeding session slowly and see how your baby reacts. Remember to let go only when both of you are emotionally and physically prepared to move to bottle or cup feeding.
Do you have any interesting weaning stories to share with us? Please do so in the section below!
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