There is really no substitute for breast milk for a growing toddler, regardless of ethnicity. No matter what type of baby food and supplement you can give to a growing kid, breastfeeding remains a mandatory part of nourishment. However, it is a phase in the growing up year of a kid and it has to come to an end. Some women find it pretty tedious to stop breastfeeding to the babies owing to a number of reasons. If you are in a similar situation, do not worry as there are ways to make the toddler detached from the habit gradually.
Top 11 Tips to Wean your Child from Breast Milk
- Readying the baby– Before you can stop breastfeeding baby boy or girl, it is necessary to ensure that he or she is ready to quit the habit. The baby should be made habituated to suck content from feeding bottle or cup before you attempt to discontinue breastfeeding.
- Giving baby other foods– You will find a plethora of baby formula food and semi-solid food that can be given to the toddler for helping him or her transition to regular eating. The baby may still need to be breastfed, but slowly graduate to blending breast milk with semi solid and formula food. You can then move onto replacing breast milk with water or powdered milk. This needs to be done gradually, as a sudden change can make your baby withdraw from feeds.
- Resting the nipples– As your baby sucks milk, the nipple becomes more sensitive to external stimulation over the months. So avoid activities that can cause friction and stimulation to the nipples. Sleep on your back at night so that no pressure is exerted on the breasts. This will in turn help in reducing milk production and help your child wean from breast feeding.
- Evade sex– Evade having sex for a time as the breast may get stimulated and that may lead to excessive milk production. Try and sleep alone for a few days until milk generation in the breasts can take a backseat naturally.
- Sleeping separately– Sleeping with your baby is the most warmest moments of motherhood. However, as much as you may love cuddling your baby to sleep, refrain from doing so. Especially, when you want your baby to detach from the habit of breastfeeding! For a while, sleep in a separate bed close to the baby. If you sleep with the baby cuddled near breast, he or she will search for the nipple by instinct!
- Taking natural root– It may be hard to quit breastfeeding all of a sudden for any lactating woman! Try to quit gradually and naturally. For example, you may take a day’s break and resume it. Then try to reduce the frequency every week. This will work well for both you and your baby.
- Cabbage leaves– This may sound ridiculous. But, using raw cabbage leaves is an ancient method to help women when they want to wean their babies from breastfeeding naturally. Place the raw leaves on your breast and inside the bra. The leaves help soak the milk. Try the leaves therapy for a few days. Replace with fresh leaves every day. When the milk supply goes down, your child will be open to trying new forms of food.
- Wearing the right bra– It is important that you wear the right type of bra when you want to give up breastfeeding the baby. It should not be either too tight or too loose. Steer clear from underwired bras, instead opt for sports bras. You can also look for specialized nursing bras.
- Medical intervention– If you find milk reduction in your breast shows no sign of subsiding naturally and the regular methods yield little result, seek medical help. The doctor may help you by giving pain reduction medication or drugs that can help dry flow of milk in the breasts. Before using any herb or plant extract, you should definitely talk with the doctor to be on the safe side.
- Taking help of others– If you find the baby refuses to leave your company, take the help of a friend or family member. Some babies tend to be more clingy than others. Ask the others in your family to hold the baby for a while you take breaks. This will help the baby move away from the habit of breastfeeding over time. This will take time and you will need to be persistent to see results!
- Practicing patience-No matter what methods you try, to wean your toddler from breastfeeding, do not expect overnight results! Different toddlers react differently and adapt to changing feeding habits. It is also necessary to adopt a caring and tender approach to the baby as you move him or her from the habit. Some babies may face sleeping problems when they move from breastfeeding. There is nothing to be worried about it.
Breastfeeding is a wonderful way to bond with your child. It also makes your child healthy and improve his immunity by several manifolds. Continue to breastfeed your child at least till the age of 2 unless you really cannot. Once your child is 2, it is time to introduce him to the world of food and eating. Be patient with your child. With time your child will be munching away on the tidbits you make for him!