Although the breast milk that your baby gets from you is full of good things, they can now get their much-needed nutrients from solid food now that they are is older. Here are some tips on how you can wean your baby from breast milk.
1. Pick the appropriate equipment
When you are starting to wean your baby, choose the most appropriate equipment. If he is between six to eight months, substitute breastfeeding with bottle feeding. If he is eight months to a year old, giving them their milk via a sippy cup (skipping the bottle altogether) is best. If your child is older, put their milk in an unbreakable glass.
If your baby has this frequent need to suck, get him a pacifier to help ease the transition. But if it can be avoided altogether, stick to feeding bottles only.
3. Fool their taste buds
Your child had already memorised the taste of your breastmilk, it would be advantageous to express your milk and put it in their sippy cup or bottle on the first to the third day. This would also help ease the discomfort you are feeling from your engorged breasts. The minimised breastmilk extraction helps lessen milk production as well. A week after, mix half breastmilk with half milk formula to let him get used to the new taste. Next, eliminate breastmilk completely and give them pure milk formula.
4. Distract him
Toddlers love distractions. So the first time you wean them from breastmilk, use a colourful sippy cup, spiral straw in cool glass or a feeding bottle that lights up. These distractions will help them forget about the actual weaning and just concentrate on drinking with their new “entertaining” equipment.
5. Let Daddy do it
Make yourself scarce during feeding time and let Daddy take on the task. When your child no longer associates you with milk and feeding, it would make the transition so much smoother. Daddy could also take this time to bond with his child.
When your child asks to be breastfed, refuse and be firm with your decision. It may be really heartbreaking to see your baby cry and beg but it is for the best. Explain to them gently why they can’t breastfeed anymore. In time, they will understand and won’t ask anymore.
7. Offer rewards occasionally
On really bad days, give your baby simple rewards every time they drink milk from their bottle or sippy cup. It could be in the form of a sticker, toy, story or other things that they like. However, do not do this all the time.
8. Show and tell
Surround your toddler with similarly aged (or younger) kids that have been weaned. Point it out that the other kids are not breastfed anymore because they are already “grown-up”.
9. Get physical
If your baby takes comfort in the skin-to-skin contact that they experiences when breastfeeding, the cuddles, hugs and kisses that they constantly get from you will surely suffice.
10. Make it fun
Avoid stress and make feeding time fun for your baby. Give them their bottle or cup while they are enjoying their new swing or riding piggyback on Daddy.
Related articles about breastfeeding that you might like:
Will breastfeeding affect the shape and size of my breast?
When to wean your baby from breast milk
All you need to know on breastfeeding lactation