Tips to stop breastfeeding? Breastfeeding is one of the best ways of emotional bonding between a mother and her baby. Feeding is the best way to ensure that your baby gets enough nutrients he/she wants. However, in every mother’s life, there comes a time when she has to wean her baby off.
Some mothers (especially those who are working), stop nursing when their baby turns six months old. Some stop nursing at about one or two years of their baby. Regardless of the time you choose to stop nursing, it can create a huge mental stress for you and the baby.
Here are few tips that will help you wean your baby without any hassles.
Solid foods or proper baby formula
A baby has to be exclusively breastfed till he turns six months old.
After six months, if you decide to wean your baby, you need to ensure that your baby is getting enough nutrients from solid foods like rice, porridge, carrots, lentils, etc.
Prepare a schedule that includes solids and baby formula as and when needed to substitute your milk before starting the weaning process.
Never wean off completely suddenly
This is an important point that you need to remember. Babies are emotionally dependent on their mothers while nursing. After about six months, sucking on to their mothers’ nipples becomes a comfort than a luxury for them.
Therefore, ensure that you wean your baby in the times that it is most unlikely that he will look for you. For example, most of the babies have a compulsory habit of nursing just before they go to sleep at night or as soon as they wake up in the morning. So, stop nursing at other times (during noon, perhaps) and include a formula or solid foods during those times.
Mostly until one year, you have to feed your baby for about eight times a day. So, when you decide to wean, you need to slowly reduce it to 5 times, three times and so on. Never abruptly stop breastfeeding, all of a sudden, as it can cause irritability and mood swings in kids.
Be prepared for painful breasts
When the milk supply in your breast doesn’t stop, but you have stopped breastfeeding, you will feel heaviness in your breasts. This condition is called engorgement, and you will feel the urge to release some milk by hand expressing or pumping. When you do these, you may find temporary relief from your pain; however, these methods also lead to increased milk supply.
The only option for you is to deal with the pain of engorged breasts. Painkillers, warm massages, cold compresses, application of chilled cabbage leaves to the breast, proper nursing apparel and frequent hand massages are some of how you can deal with your pain in a better way.
Handling the baby
When a baby is introduced to weaning, he may feel very irritable and cry for no reason at all. He would also develop frequent mood swings and refuse to eat other solid foods. This is quite a tense phase for you and the baby. You should hold the baby as close to your skin as possible and divert him with a game or song whenever he feels cranky. You could also change his sleeping time to bring a new system into his life.