How to fully wean your baby off breast milk
I've come a long way from looking for ways to increase my milk production! My current consideration has become the least traumatic way possible to completely wean my baby off breast milk.
The weaning process started for us when my little girl turned 5 months. I started with tablespoon quantities of apple puree and the occasional mashed banana. Both went down well the first couple of days and then it was all just a big game of hit and miss! As many other mums could predict, it's been lots of highs and lows since the early months influenced by anything from a patch of illness to a bad mood to having visitors over! I never quite know if she'll eat properly or not. We only have one food that she's always eaten large quantities of no matter what - HiPP Organic's Gute Nacht cereal - but even that has been a struggle the last few days. Maybe I should do a quick post one day on the various store-bought foods she seems to enjoy.
As she comes up to the one year mark, I've been reaching out to fellow mums for advice on how to fully wean her off the boob. I reckon a lot of the advice will be helpful to anyone reading this who's about to fully wean.
I breastfed for 15 months. The last 6 months were just a feed before bedtime. I was more devastated than my son when I stopped and cried for 3 days. Think hormones must have kicked in.Wendy
My best advice is to do it gradually and cut one feeding at a time.Alexandra @ Coffeemaker
I’m in the process of weaning my 12 month. I would say, give your baby grace and patience.Arianne @ www.thecollegestudentsguidetomotherhood.com
It’s all they’ve known, and for many if not most, their source of comfort and soothing.
Don’t lash out at them if they can’t fall asleep or if they are grumpy, irritable or upset for a while. It will take an adjustment period for them as they are having to readjust their schedule, way they relax and bond with you.
Then one day I just decided I was done. Before his nap I rocked him in his chair and sang a song. He went along with it at first, but then started to get upset — crying and pulling at my shirt. I stayed the course, and then the most incredible thing happened. He calmed down. I sang his song once more, then put him in bed and walked out of the room.Amanda @ thekriegers.org. Read full version here
Day two didn’t go quite as easily. He was more upset, and protested the only way toddlers know how — by screaming and slapping me. I held him close, determined to transition him from a routine of breastmilk to a routine of lullabies and back-rubbing.
After three days, he stopped asking to nurse, but continued protesting. That fussing and protesting has persisted. He doesn’t go down nearly as easily as he used to, but the important thing is that we’re done.
This is the end of a really special time between you and your baby. Know that it's okay to want to be done but also feel sad about being done at the same time. Your baby might fuss and want to nurse, but in a few days they won't even think about it anymore. Giving up nursing is way harder on moms than babies!!Melinda @ Unfrazzled Mama
Pick a date and then taper accordingly. By the time both my girls hit 1, they were pretty much down to just first thing AM/last thing before bed anyway (extended vacations around their first birthday helped). I had medical reasons for needing to wean them both just after their first birthday, so we just went to the bedtime feed, and made sure they had a good supper just before that. It was very natural at that point to just have a last few bedtime feeds, transitioning to more snuggle/lullaby time than nursing time, and both were fine with having just that one last feed for a few min on the date I had picked.Flossie @ Super Mom Hacks
It's never a one-size fits all method of weaning. You'll have to figure out what works best for you and your family as family set ups and routines can all come into play here. Like I'm trying to do, just keep in mind that whichever process you choose - cold turkey or otherwise - your baby will be fine!
How did/has full weaning off breastmilk gone for you? Did/do you wish you'd done anything differently?