Is it about time to start your experience with weaning breastfed baby to solids?
Has your baby started showing signs that he or she is ready to start weaning, or do you feel like it’s time for you to stop nursing?
Do you feel confused trying to figure out the right time to get started on the weaning process?
Whether you’re wondering when to wean a breastfed baby or you’re just looking for tips on how to go about the process, you’ve come to the right place.
In this article, we’ll give you tons of information and helpful pieces of advice that are mom-tested and have been proven to be effective for the weaning process. You’ll learn about weaning a one year old baby from breastfeeding and you’ll also learn suggestions for how to handle the experience if your baby is older or younger than 12 months, too.
We’ll also give you a little extra information about just how important a support system really can be. There’s a lot to be said for learning parenting tips from experienced moms (and dads!) who have been there before, so don’t neglect to look for advice even in places where you may least expect it.
By the end of the article, you should have a solid understanding of what to expect from the weaning process as well as how to get the most out of the experience for yourself and your little one. You’ll be able to choose whether or not it’s the right time for you to get started weaning and you’ll be more prepared for whatever the experience might throw your way.
When you want to provide your child with the easiest and least fussy weaning process while still ensuring that you’re doing everything the right way and at the right time, it’s important to pay attention to advice from moms who have tried it before. Experience is valuable in any part of parenting!
So let’s get started!
Having a solid support system can make a world of difference at any stage of the parenting process. There’s a difference between hearing advice and having a true support system, but both of these aspects of connecting with other parents can be helpful to you throughout the process—not just for weaning a breastfed baby. Below, we’ll explain briefly what makes a support system and where you can look for advice as well as further help from parents just like you who are going through the same types of experiences you are.
These are groups of people who you can turn to time and time again for help, tips, advice, suggestions, and emotional assistance if you’re going through something difficult. They’re also people you can share your victories and accomplishments with, too, which is just as important during parenting as any other type of support! Your baby will be reaching lots of big milestones throughout the first couple of years of his or her life, and you’ll want someone you can share those with as well as people you can turn to when things get a little more difficult than you might have anticipated.
Whether you’re asking, “When should I wean my baby from breastfeeding?” or a wide variety of other questions, it’s always okay to ask for advice from people you know and even people you don’t know, as long as you’re sure about the sources of their information. Just be sure that, if your advice comes from strangers online, you always double check with someone else or look it up for yourself just to confirm whether or not it’s really accurate information.
Also, remember that you don’t have to listen to every piece of advice you are offered, and not all advice is going to work for you!
In this section, you’ll find some of the best and most tried-and-true tips from parents around the country and even around the world who have learned when to wean baby from breastfeeding and much more about the weaning process. There’s so much to learn about weaning, and even these tips may only scratch the surface of the process, but they’re a great place to get started and can provide you with a solid framework from which to form your own weaning experience.
One of the first and most important steps toward successful weaning is shortening the amount of time you spend nursing your baby every day. For example, if you usually allow your baby to nurse for ten minutes, cut that amount of time in half. This may seem like a drastic change for the beginning of the weaning process, but it’s a great way to encourage your child to be willing to begin weaning. Over time, you’ll also want to shorten this amount of time even more until you’re no longer nursing at all.
This works a little bit better with older children who are at least 12 months old, but that doesn’t mean it won’t work at all with younger babies. You’ll just need to adjust how you go about it if you choose to try this with a younger child. If your baby cries or your toddler asks you for a nursing session, simply put it off. Tell your toddler that you’ll nurse a little bit later, but then bring another fun activity into the picture and offer a bottle or sippy cup instead. Chances are good this distraction will help prevent your child from wanting to nurse.
Baby-led weaning is a different matter altogether from parent-led weaning, but it works great for a lot of families. Even if you don’t fully follow the baby-led weaning formula—which entails letting your child self-feed from day one of the weaning experience—you still may want to wait to begin weaning when your child is truly ready to get started. Especially if you’re having trouble with parent-led weaning, this may be the best way to go.
Many times, the last nursing session before bedtime is the hardest one to give up, for baby and mommy both. This is a time when you usually get to be alone with your child, or you may enjoy time as a whole family together with your baby and your partner while you nurse before bedtime. This is also a time of comfort and soothing for your child and it’s probably one you look forward to yourself as well. So it’s understandable that it’s tough to give this up!
Many times, when you begin the weaning process, your breasts may become engorged with milk as your body adjusts to your child’s development and makes changes to reduce the amount of milk production over time. This can be very painful, but rest assured that it won’t last for too long. You can always speak to your doctor or your child’s pediatrician for information about how to handle engorgement, but many times, nursing moms can get a lot of relief from simply applying cool compresses until the problem eases up.
As you’re dealing with physical changes and discomforts from the weaning process, you may find yourself hit with emotional issues you weren’t expecting, too. Nursing moms have formed a close bond with their babies that revolves around the nursing experience, and when that comes to an end, you may feel as though you’re losing a part of your relationship with your baby. It can be overwhelming to think that you’ve already come to the end of something in the life of your child, but don’t worry! Just because your baby is weaning doesn’t mean he or she needs you any less.
Your baby may be very used to nursing from you at this point, and he or she is naturally going to associate you with mealtime because of this. This is totally normal, but it can be a tough habit to break with your child, and you may find that your baby simply won’t take a bottle, sippy cup, or even solid food from you when he or she is expecting to get a chance to nurse. Over time, this will get easier, but you may need to bring someone else into your mealtime experience for a while to help speed the process along.
We’ve already touched on this one a little bit, but it’s a crucial step toward ensuring successful weaning. You don’t want your baby to feel like something special is ending between the two of you, and you don’t want to have to feel that way, either! Spend lots of time cuddling and being close with your baby to help make the transition a little bit easier for everyone involved. You might also want to bring your partner into your cuddle times to help encourage more bonding as a whole family—but be sure to leave a little one-on-one time for yourself and your baby, too.
This is also known as partial weaning, and it’s a method that’s been working for parents for a long time already. Basically, this means introducing solid foods to your baby as a replacement for some nursing sessions but continuing to nurse your child at least a couple of times a day until he or she is otherwise fully established eating solids. This may take a little extra planning and time management, but with the right schedule, you’ll be able to pull it off well and have a great no-fuss weaning experience.
Suddenly taking away your baby’s method of eating as well as a favorite source of comfort is not something that’s going to go over well with your child, so it’s best to work slowly and phase out nursing over time rather than stopping it immediately, no matter what age your baby might be.
If your child is at least a year old, he or she is going to start having preferences and being more capable of making decisions. This can be a fun time to get your baby involved in choosing a new sippy cup in a color he or she likes or picking out his or her new baby dishes. Give your child a couple of choices to pick from and let him or her decide which one to use for the day. This way, your baby will be getting involved in the weaning experience and will feel like a part of it rather than at the mercy of it.
Now that you’ve learned some helpful hints on how to wean a breastfed baby, we hope that you feel a little bit more confident in your own decisions about the process. We definitely understand that the weaning process can be a scary and emotional one for you and your baby both, and whether you’re weaning baby from breastfeeding at 12 months, getting started earlier or waiting a little longer, there are always going to be hurdles you have to overcome. With patience and plenty of info from experienced parents, you’ll be able to accomplish successful weaning with your baby no matter what!
When you learn tips and tricks that work for you while weaning a breastfed baby 12 months or any other age, it’s important to remember to pay it forward. You probably learned at least some of your helpful hints from moms just like you, so don’t forget to let other new moms know what worked for you too. This way, you’ll be able to continue the cycle and may even become a support system for someone else, whether you know it or not!
Learning when to start weaning breastfed baby and how to go about the weaning process can be tricky, but it can also be a little controversial. Remember that, if you offer advice to other moms, that doesn’t mean they have to do exactly what you say or raise their babies the same way you’re raising yours. Just like you’ll want to pick and choose the tips that work well for you, so will other moms, and that’s okay! Every baby is an individual and so is every mom.
Another important piece of advice to keep in mind for weaning and any other part of your parenting experience is to always speak to your child’s pediatrician before you make any drastic changes to his or her diet. Once you’re introducing solid foods, you won’t need to check in every time you want to bring something new into your child’s diet, as long as it’s following the original plan laid out by your baby’s pediatrician. However, you should definitely ask before you begin weaning. Your baby’s pediatrician will have plenty of information to offer you about the process, too.
Whether you choose to take tips from other moms or you plan to just wing it and see how it goes based on information from your child’s pediatrician alone, we hope you’ve learned something useful here today about weaning your baby. Good luck with the experience, and remember to be patient and loving throughout. In no time, you’ll have a happily weaned baby!