Weaning a child is not easy as the child may feel cranky. Weaning should be done gradually. This gradual reduction of feeds will also prevent engorged breasts thus reducing the discomfort to the mother. Weaning should not be done by compromising on the health of the baby.
Are there any considerations
for weaning my baby
There are three things you should
consider while weaning your child off breastfeeding: (a) your child's immunity
(health); (b) managing your milk supply; and (c) emotional impact, if any,
on the child.
Should my baby's health
be a consideration for weaning
If your child is at high risk for
eczema or asthma, you should plan to exclusively breastfeed your child
until at least 6 months. If your child falls sick very easily, you may
want to delay weaning your child off breast milk. Breast milk is
nutritious, easily digested, and appetizing; your child may refuse other
foods when he is sick but will probably be agreeable to having breast milk.
Can I decide to stop
breastfeeding cold turkey
If you decide you are going to stop breastfeeding your child all of a sudden one day (cold turkey), you may
be inviting trouble. Your breasts will continue to get filled with
milk. Since the baby will not be emptying them, they may get engorged
and/or get infected, and lead to severe discomfort, at the very least.
The best way to manage your milk supply is gradually reduce your feeds.
You can do this by first dropping one feed at a time. Then when you
are on your last feed, you can reduce the duration of that feed gradually
over a few days. When you see your milk supply has almost dwindled,
you can finally stop. This is the best way to stop breastfeeding.
My child is not ready
to give up breastfeeding
For many children, the longer they
are breastfed, the more difficult it is for them to give it up, especially
after they are a year old. They like the protective feeling of being
close to their mother, especially during the night feed. Since breastfeeding
for them is an emotional attachment, you should ensure that you gradually
reduce your feeds. They may cry a little at the time of the feed,
but if you are there with them giving them all the love and affection they
want, they will feel less insecure and upset.
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- The Indiaparenting Team