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Step-By-Step Weaning for a Healthy Baby
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that mothers continue to breastfeed their babies throughout the first year of life. It’s a big goal, and moms who can achieve it should be proud. However, the fact is that various factors tend to get in the way. Work and other responsibilities can disrupt the breastfeeding routine, and in many cases babies may voluntarily drop off the breast before reaching that one-year-old point.
Whether your breastfeeding routine ends at six months, a year or later, you will inevitably reach a point where it becomes necessary to wean your baby from the breast and switch to a bottle. Depending on the baby’s temperament, weaning can be simple and hassle-free, but other babies need convincing, loving guidance.
Step 1: Decide it’s time to wean.
For some babies and mothers, weaning is a natural, effortless process that just kind of happens. The baby may become more comfortable drinking from a bottle, which may cause the mother to naturally produce a smaller amount of milk, which in turn leads to more bottle feeding.
However, it is not always so easy, especially when the mother decides or is forced by circumstances to give up breastfeeding when the baby is not ready. Some women make this decision simply because they are ready to get their bodies back, while others choose to wean because it takes too long or is too hard on the body. Either way, it’s always a good idea to consult your doctor before making the switch.
Step 2: Create a plan.
Weaning is rarely as quick or easy as it looks. For the mother, stopping cold turkey can lead to breast irritation and even nausea when the milk has nowhere to go and the ducts become clogged. This can cause bacteria to build up, which can lead to a breast infection called mastitis.
From the child’s side, it is important to remember that the child gets all or most of its nutrients from breast milk during the breastfeeding phase, and during weaning it is the parents’ job to take care of themselves. ensure that the baby receives all the nutrition he needs during the breastfeeding phase. transition time. Formula is crucial, and for babies over 6 months old, weaning is a good time to start introducing healthy solids.
Step 3: Transition.
No amount of planning can explain the difficulties that can arise during the weaning process. If your baby isn’t taking it well, it may mean you need to slow down the process. The first step in any weaning process is to start feeding the baby a bottle two or three times a week. It may take the baby a few bottle sessions to get used to it, but it should eventually come back. If the baby seems to prefer the breast to the bottle, give him time to get used to the new method of feeding before increasing the frequency of bottles.
Step 4: Adjust.
Many mothers choose to continue breastfeeding occasionally, especially before bedtime, for a few months after the bottle has become the main method of feeding. Feeding before bedtime helps maintain a sense of closeness, relaxes the baby, and continues the strong mother-baby bond that was established by early breastfeeding.
Some babies are more stubborn than others. The key is to gently guide your baby through the process without disrupting their health or nutrition. To make the transition as smooth as possible, continue breastfeeding regularly until the baby takes the bottles without a fuss. When the baby is comfortable with the bottle, it’s up to you how soon or how quickly to stop breastfeeding completely.
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