Weaning – the process of stopping nursing your child through breastfeeding is seldom an automatic happening. It needs to be planned without depriving your child of not only the essential nutrients, but also the emotional attachment. As a matter of fact, weaning can also be quite overwhelming for mothers, as they dread of losing the bond with their loved ones. The problem is sure to get compounded if the kids love to get breastfed milk and show strong resistance to bottle fed supplementary nourishments. It is a tricky situation, but can very well be handled if weaning is made a gentle process, says an expert doctor of Endoworld Hospital, a renowned gynaecological & endoscopy centre at Aurangabad.
In the first place, make it sure that your child gets nothing but breast milk for the initial six months, unless the situation demands your presence in at office desk during day time. Having said that, it is advisable to continue breastfeeding along with solids up to one year. It’s your decision and despite what advice you get to hear from your near and dear ones, you can continue breastfeeding your child even for longer time, if both you and your baby needs to.
1. Prepare yourself
Even before initiating the weaning process, make up your mind, and prepare yourself. We know that weaning is an emotional process and may initiate a guilt feeling inside your mind. It should be borne in mind that weaning does not hamper your emotional bonding and it is a progression towards next stage of relationship. Moreover, think positively – the time has come to regain your body in shape post pregnancy.
2. When is the right time?
As we said earlier, it is all up to you and your baby. Weaning definitely becomes an easier process when your baby starts losing interest in nursing. Usually this happens with introduction of additional solid foods or milk supplements. They may be interested in the taste of solid foods or love to drink from a cup. Again, as they grow, babies become more active and do not show inclination or patience to get fed through breasts. Look out for uneasy symptoms such as being fussy or showing impatience – your baby is ready to get weaned.
3. Start gradually
Many a time, your child would still love breastfeeding and you may to press the start button of mother led weaning process. Remember, forget a while about weaning process if your kids are not healthy, for they love to get nursed during sick period. Wait patiently for the kids to be healthy to begin weaning.
4. Don’t stop abruptly
Adapting a cold turkey or abrupt stopping process is never recommended. It can be a traumatic experience for you and your child. Also, abruptly stopping breastfeeding can lead to plugged ducts or breast infections such as mastitis. Instead, try to reduce the number of feeds. For instance, if you have been feeding six times a day, make it five for the initial two weeks and see the response. It is a good idea to drop the afternoon session, right after giving a spoon fed solid lunch. By this way, with full stomach, the baby would not mind foregoing his usual ritual of drinking milk.
5. Move on
As weeks pass by, try gradually to reduce the frequency of breastfeeding and increase the intake of solid food. The key is to have patience and cautiously observe both emotional and physiological acceptance of your kid. As your child would definitely miss the physical contacts and touches due to reduction in feeding frequency, make it a point to hug your loved one and offer more kisses. And do not forget to observe the nature of excreta of your baby, for any abnormal condition may warrant the situation to adopt different strategy.
During weaning, your child may suddenly demand to be fed more. Be firm but politely ignore the demand and compensate it with additional snuggles and hugs. Within couple of months, you should be able to complete the weaning process without enduring emotional stress and pain. If you need further information, you can always contact our doctor at Endoworld Hospital, a renowned IVF and Endoscopy Center.