Health and Wellness

Smart tips: How to stop breastfeeding

1 to 3 years

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Smart tips How to stop breastfeeding

You know that your milk is the best food your baby can have. You also feel immense pleasure mixed with pride while you breastfeed your baby. However, at the same time, you do realise that there comes a time (an age) when you should start thinking about putting a complete end to breastfeeding. And this is where the struggle begins. As this is where the child becomes all the more demanding and looks for ways she can coax mommy to breastfeed her. However, you need to remember that no matter how much coaxing she does, you are not to give in to her demands if you want this whole ‘stop breastfeeding' programme to succeed. Still wondering how will it succeed? .Just relax and read what our proparent Preeti has to say on the topic.

How To Stop Breastfeeding?

Doctors around the globe agree that breastmilk is the perfect food for your baby till the age of 6 months. As your baby starts to explore solids and different foods after her half birthday, she may just skip a feed here and there in a day, though milk still forms a major constituent of her diet. However, by the time she is an year old, she can get all her nutrition from breastmilk and you may decide to wean her off. If you have decided to wean the baby earlier than 1 year, you will have to transition her to having formula milk, though you may also combine breastfeeding with formula. However, when you decide to wean your baby is an entirely personal choice, and giving it up may be somewhat emotional as well. That being said, most mothers feel happy to get their bodies back to themselves, and if you are worried about your bond with the baby, let me assure you it is just the beginning of a very special relationship.

When Is The Right Time To Wean A Baby From Breastfeeding?

Mostly, by age 1 a child starts to get most of the nutrition from other foods she is eating. She may be taking in a variety of foods everyday leaving her less interested in breastmilk, and she may give it up on her own. This is also known as baby led weaning, that is, when the baby decides to let go of the breast. If you would like to wean her earlier than 1 year, her diet would need to be supplemented by formula milk. The weaning process needs to be slow and gradual, because to a baby, breastfeeding is much more than just food – it gives her a sense of comfort, security and a feeling of closeness with you.

How To Stop Breastfeeding At Night?

To wean your baby from night time breastfeeding, you need to ensure that the baby is not going through some transition phase, like teething or a new location etc. Offer her plenty to eat throughout the day and give her extra feedings in the evening, so that she is full when she actually goes to bed. When the baby cries at night, get your spouse to comfort her, as your touch or smell can make her seek your feed with much more force. Gradually starting with one feed at a time, gently soothe and comfort her, though being firm at times also helps.

Smart Tips To Stop Breastfeeding

  1. Gauge her readiness: You will know if your baby is ready to give up breastfeeding when she starts to limit her time on the breast to pursue other activities – like playing or eating other foods. When it so happens, she will be ready to give up breastfeeding easily and willingly
  2. Start slow and gradual: Breastfeeding is much more than just a way to nurture and nourish – it is the bond that a child and mother share. Hence, the weaning process should be gradual and slow, with both of you being comfortable and ready with it. Weaning can be a painful process if you or your baby are jumped into it
  3. Start with skipping one feed at a time: Once you have decided that you want to stop breastfeeding, you should gradually start skipping the feeds one at a time. Instead give her some other food to fill her stomach. With her tummy full she will not pressurise you for your feed. Keep skipping the feeds at the same time every day but do it during the day initially
  4. Feeding time: You know the feeding timings of your baby. You know when your child would demand your feed. So prepare ahead and feed her proper food so that her stomach is full and she forgets about her demand for your feed. You can offer her plenty of other foods so that she does not feel hungry and does not pester you for breastmilk
  5. Divert her attention: You know your toddler's stomach is full yet she is persistent for your feed. What do you do in that case? Whatever else you do, please don't give in to the demands, as it will set a pattern and you will find it difficult to break it. The best way forward in this case is for you to divert her attention from the feed to either her favourite toy or some visuals that she found appealing. Yes, it does work and your child is easily distracted
  6. Sleep time is not breastfeeding time: If your child has a habit of going to bed after breastfeeding only, you need to change this. Stop breastfeeding when you want to put her to bed. You may take help of your husband (in case of nuclear family) or the help of mother-in-law or anyone else (in case of joint family). However, you need to be quite careful about this so that child doesn't start crying on your sudden disappearance from room. You may re-enter the room, once you know that child is asleep. But ensure that you make the child sleep in one corner and you sleep at other with the hubby in between. This is so because toddlers have a habit of taking mother's milk during night time; mine used to get up at least 5 times to take my feed until I started putting some distance between our sleeping spaces. It will be easy for you to handle your baby during the day hours as there are so many other things to distract her
  7. Hold your baby differently: Many a times, holding a baby differently also acts in your favour. My daughter is one smart child so whenever she wanted me to breastfeed she would come and sit in my lap ready to be nursed. But then she forgot that I am her mother and that I am smarter than her. I started holding her differently on my shoulder away from my breast. The trick did its job and I was able to wean my daughter off my feed
  8. No stimulations: Avoid being in a situation where your baby gets stimulated for nursing. So no getting dressed or undressed in front of her, and avoid taking bath in front of her. My daughter used to get stimulated by smallest triggers also. For instance, if she saw the comfortable rocking chair on which I nursed her she would cry for feed

These are some tried and tested tips by me to stop breastfeeding. Do you have some more? If yes, then please do share them with us in the comments section below to make this blog more useful for all those moms who want to stop breastfeeding but are unable to do so for various reasons.

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Preeti Parashar

| Nov 25, 2016

Thanks Preeti. .hopefully these smart tips will work with me also coz soon I am going to join my office. .keep writing. .

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| Nov 25, 2016

thanx... I also use same tip for my baby also and it work too...

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Divya Sahukari

| Nov 25, 2016

Tnq very much. Hope this works with me

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| Nov 25, 2016

Thank you Tejal:)

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Tejal Singh

| Nov 25, 2016

@preeti, really helpful. Will be of good help to me after some months. Like it, "mother smarter then daughter. " Keep writing.

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