You’ve heard the word “wean” thrown around, but what does it really mean and when you should you attempt to wean your baby? Simply put, weaning means to transition your baby off of breast milk and onto solid foods. As to when the weaning process should start is entirely up to you, your baby, and what your situation dictates.
There’s no wrong or right answer when it comes to making the decision to transition your baby off of breast milk. The reasons for weaning vary considerably and may include:
Please keep in mind: if you decide to wean your baby before the age of 1, you’ll need to give him formula to ensure he’s getting the nutrients he needs for proper development. Once your baby is 1, you can give him cow’s milk.
When it’s time to wean, what’s the best way for both baby and mom? Like the decision to wean, there’s not one right answer as to how to wean your little one. Some mothers follow a baby-led approach to weaning and others begin the process themselves. No matter what approach to weaning you decide is best, it’s recommended you do it gradually.
Stopping breastfeeding abruptly can result in a lot of discomfort for mom and can make it hard for baby to adjust easily. If a situation does not allow for a gradual weaning, it’s recommended a lactation consultant be contacted to help address any issues that may arise.
To gradually wean baby off of breast milk, follow a few simple steps:
If the weaning process isn’t going as you thought, don’t stress. Every child is different and maybe it’s just not time yet. Other factors, such as colds, external stressors (new job, house, etc.), and teething can affect how well your baby weans. When all else fails, don’t hesitate to reach out to a certified lactation consultant in your area.
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