Are you planning to switch from breastfeeding to normal feeding? Is your toddler finding it difficult to let go of the comfort attached with breastfeeding?
Trying to wean your toddler from breast feeding can be a very emotional experience. Your toddler may refuse, cry and outright rebel. Read on to know how to wean your toddler from breastfeeding.
When Should I Wean My Toddler Off The Breast?
There is no standard time to wean your toddler off your breast milk. Some babies may stop breast feeding themselves even before they are a year old. Many babies may want to breast feed till the time they are two or even three years old. When to wean your baby off breast milk is something that you should decide while keeping your toddler’s comfort and needs in mind.
How Can I Plan To Wean My Toddler From Breast Feeding?
The way you breast feed your toddler is different from the way you breast fed when your toddler was a baby. At this age, your toddler’s main source of nutrition is no longer your breast milk. Your toddler is already and ideally on a good diet of solids. These will provide your toddler with the required nutrition that is needed for his growth and development. By this age, you have probably already introduced top feed or regular milk to your toddler.
Breast feeding your toddler will most likely take place at night, as a source of comfort, or right after waking up in the morning. You may have already put your toddler on a different breast feeding routine, which is more structured and limited in time.
The best approach when you start weaning a toddler from breastfeeding at night is to take it gently. You can start by talking to your toddler that you are planning to stop breast feeding. Try and make your toddler understand that you will no longer be able to breast feed. Tell your toddler that he is a big boy now and can drink like a grown up from a cup. Do not cut him off the breast milk suddenly. Instead, talk to him about it and let him know that this can happen. Speak to your toddler for a few weeks or even a month about stopping breast feeding. You can then begin on actually doing it, albeit slowly.
[ Read: Nutritional Requirements For Toddlers ]
How To Wean Toddler From Breastfeeding To Sleep?
1. Start by slowly reducing and then completely cutting out breastfeeding in the day. You can begin by cutting down the number of times you breast feed your toddler in the day. Do not begin by cutting off breast feeding when your toddler is very sleepy. This may make him cry and want ask for more.
2. Do not offer to breast feed. Wait for your toddler to ask for it. In the initial days when you are trying to cut off breast feeding, do not refuse your toddler when he asks for it. Sometimes your toddler may simply forget or may happily drink from a bottle.
3. Introduce new bottles and sippers to your toddler. Make it look like a big thing now that your toddler is all big. You can get some cute bottles or cups that come with your toddler’s favorite characters on them. Show your toddler how papa and mamma drink from a cup as they are grown up. Make him sit at the family table and drink together with you from his cup.
[ Read: Parenting Tips For Toddlers ]
4. Engage your toddler in day time activities that will distract him from breast feeding. Take him out and carry his milk in a bottle. Ask him to drink from the bottle once he has finished his activity.
5. At times when your toddler is likely to breast feed, you can step away and instead ask your partner to help. By not being around you may reduce your toddler’s chances of asking for a breast feed.
6. Introduce post dinner milk to your toddler right at the dinner table. Once your toddler has had his fill of milk, it is less likely he will ask for a breast feed again while going to sleep.
[ Read: Finger Foods For Toddlers ]
Weaning toddler from breastfeeding may be an emotional experience. Be prepared for those tears, both from your toddler and you. Remember, you have to keep a straight face no matter how much you want to give in. Your toddler may feel uncomfortable but it will soon pass. So hang on there and keep that smile on!
When do you think is the right time to stop breastfeeding? What are your thoughts about this article on how to wean toddler from breastfeeding? Please share them by commenting below. Simultaneously, do share this article among your friends and family.
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