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Weaning is often a challenging experience for both mother and baby. The tears, the frustration, the emotional rollercoaster – it’s no wonder many mothers feel trapped between continuing breastfeeding despite wanting to wean and the concern that abrupt weaning may affect the baby’s health.

So, how can you navigate this transition in a scientifically informed and orderly manner?

Start by Gradually Reducing Feedings

To begin the weaning process methodically, the first step is to slowly cut back on the number of breastfeeding sessions. As you do this, ensure you increase the amount of solid food for the baby, ensuring they’re still receiving the nutrients they need. As the baby’s digestive system adjusts and stabilizes, further reduce breastfeeding sessions. This method also benefits the mother’s wellbeing, as breast milk production corresponds to the baby’s consumption – fewer feedings naturally decrease milk production.

Begin by reducing daytime breastfeeding sessions. Engage the baby with activities and solid foods during the day to divert their attention from breastfeeding.

Nighttime weaning is trickier. Many babies are more attached to nighttime feeds. To tackle this, eliminate the middle-of-the-night feeding session. If another family member can help soothe the baby back to sleep, it often makes the process smoother.

Be Decisive in Your Approach

Once you embark on the weaning journey, stay committed. Understandably, babies may cry, but constantly starting and stopping the weaning process can be emotionally taxing for the child. Instead of relenting to your baby’s tears, it’s better to be firm and consistent.

If you’re not yet ready to wean, don’t begin the process prematurely. Wait until you feel comfortable making the transition to avoid having to start over at the beginning.

During this period, offer extra comfort and assurance to your baby. Spending quality time together, playing games, and going out can be ways to divert the baby’s attention and ensure they feel loved.

Involve Both Parents

While it’s common for one parent to be the primary caretaker when it comes to regular feeding, weaning can be a lot for one person alone to handle. By involving your partner, you can streamline the process and lower stress for both parent and baby.

Before starting the weaning process, let your partner take a more active role in caregiving, from playtime to bedtime. This can lessen the baby’s dependency on a single parent as the sole caretaker.

Consider Timing and Health Before Weaning

While it’s essential to be firm during weaning, flexibility is needed in certain circumstances. If your baby falls ill during the process or rejects formula milk, it might be a sign to pause and resume later. Additionally, avoid weaning during seasonal transitions when babies are more susceptible to illnesses. Spring and fall are generally ideal times for weaning.

While weaning is an emotional journey, understanding the process and approaching it methodically can make it easier for both mother and baby. Remember to be patient, stay committed, and always prioritize the well-being of your child.

Joy of Life

Author Joy of Life

Joy of Life is a compassionate surrogacy agency committed to creating life, fostering joy and nurturing dreams. We are experts in our field, with team members boasting extensive experience in the clinical, psychological and legal aspects of surrogacy. But more than that, we are a family — a community bound by the shared purpose of helping others realize the joy of parenthood.

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