Weaning from the breast can become quite a task and can become distressing for both parent and child. The fact that most mums have to return to work doesn’t mean they have to stop breastfeeding as they can express and take bottles into the nursery. Weaning from the breast should be done when both parent and child are ready.
Factors to consider before you start off weaning
When do you start?
Wean your baby off the breast when you feel ready, babies may start showing some signs but again do this when you feel the time is right
Some suggestions for times when it may be stressful to start this process
- When you have significant changes at home. If you have just moved home for example,
- Teething should be the 1st consideration. If your baby is teething, hold off until they are feeling better
- When there are fears of allergens in the milk
Helpful suggestions of how to starting weaning your baby from the breast
- Gentle and slow is good; all babies will adjust differently. Speak to your health visitor who will advise you of some suggestions, or if there are any breastfeeding support groups in your area, you may want to approach them.
- Let partner help as baby already associates you so much with breastfeeding. Therefore this may help.
- You could introduce a cup – this may be tough with the younger ones, but if he/she is nine months or older, it’s the perfect thing to do.
- Experiment with different nipple types – At times the traditional straight nipple might not work for your baby. This doesn’t mean that you stop the procedure, try different ones.
- If it feels like things are going backwards, don’t worry, just keep persevering.
Expect some breast engorgement. Once you stop breastfeeding altogether, your milk production will stop easily and effortlessly. In the meantime express some milk; just enough so you don’t have to stimulate production. To ease the discomfort, cold compresses and a mild pain killer is advised. If you are experiencing difficult speak to your health visitor