It may be difficult to wean your baby off the breast but you do not have to go through sleepless nights about it. Here’s how to wean your baby off breast milk.
Slow And Steady
It pays to maintain a cool head when your baby protests the process of being weaned away from the breast. It may be extremely traumatic for her/him. The process has to be gradual and consistent or else emotions will run high on both sides – your baby will protest while you’ll be at wits end as to how to go about it. Also, it could cause uncomfortable engorgement and mastitis, an infection that brings with it flu-like symptoms along with redness, pain and hardness in your breasts.
Your baby must get a substitute for breast milk if she/he needs to be weaned away from breast milk. If she/he is less than a year old then you may have to consider the option of powdered substitute in the bottle to make sure that the nutrition she/he gets is not being compromised on. If she/he is more than a year old, she/he should be encouraged to drink from a small cup and eat a variety of foods like rice and potato mashed together. That way, she/he would not only be easily weaned from the bottle, but also get much better nutrition.
The reason for a baby’s trauma during the period when it is being weaned away is an increased feeling of vulnerability. She/he needs to know that you still love her and thus should be showered with extra affection during this time to make the journey less traumatic for her/him.
It is important to ensure that she/he thinks of nursing as less as possible and feels as less traumatized as possible. Take a walk with her/him, read to her/him, or sing to her/him so that she/he may forget the trauma of being weaned away for some time.
Once In A While
The feeling of vulnerability in your baby will increase if she/he has just been scared or has had a fall. In such cases, it is generally acceptable to allow her to feed on you. Also, if repeated attempts to distract her/him with other foods and activities are failing, it is perfectly alright to nurse her/him. This may also be a sign for the fact that she/he may not be completely ready to be weaned away. However, as a mother, it is against the law for you to give up!
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