It is medically recommended that a baby be fed nothing but his /her mother’s breast milk for the initial six months after birth and that this nursing be continued for at least one year of life and after that, as long as it is mutually preferred by both the mother and the kid. A lot of mothers around the globe not only strictly adhere to this standard, but also use it as a benchmark for deciding when to wean a baby or stop breastfeeding.
However, deciding when and how to stop breastfeeding a baby is not an easy task for most moms. And this should happen neither too early nor too late, because in either case it may prove detrimental for the health of both the mother and the baby. The best recourse is to consult a doctor who will clearly reply to one’s queries or provide tips pertaining when and how to stop breastfeeding a baby.
Ideal Time and Ways to Stop Breastfeeding Baby
Yes, all doctors and medical associations do stipulate mandatory breastfeeding for all mothers for the initial six months after the birth of the baby. But after this phase is over, it is really upon the mother to decide when’s the ideal time to stop breastfeeding her baby. There is normally three ways, either of which mothers choose to wean their babies - abrupt weaning, gradual weaning and partial weaning (night weaning).
Stopping to breastfeeding a child all of a sudden or abruptly is often found to be difficult for both the mother and the child. Sometimes mothers have to take such decisions when they fall acutely ill or for other medical reasons. It is important to consult a doctor under such circumstances.
This is the best and the most preferred way to stop breastfeeding a baby. In gradual weaning, the mother reduces one time’s breastfeeding of the baby and substitutes it with another form of nourishment. She may adhere to this policy every alternate day, before increasing the frequency and finally terminating breastfeeding altogether.
This happens when the mother plans to keep one or two nursing sessions in one day depending upon her convenience. The nursing sessions can be slowly reduced as the baby grows up and substituted with other nourishments. Finally a stage will come, when the baby is fully ready to be weaned away from breastfeeding.
- Natural or Child-led Weaning
This particular process is one when the child decides that he or she is ready to do away with momma’s nursing and this could be abrupt or gradual. This does not signify that the mother cannot coax or distract the child while a breastfeeding session is on to take the child off the habit of breastfeeding.
Substituting Breast Milk with Other Baby Nourishments
It is important that your decision to stop breastfeeding your baby is taken as per your own convenience and not under somebody else’s pressurization. Further, you can use baby products like sippy cups, baby bottle, etc. to easily wean your baby. Also introduce other nourishment substitutes like fruits, cereals, etc. while cutting down upon the number of baby breastfeeding sessions.