Is your baby still hooked on to mother’s milk despite it being more than a year of breastfeeding? Does your little toddler scream “milk, milk, milk” the minute they see you? Then chances are what you’re dealing with is a bosom-obsessed child.
Many children are quite difficult to wean, and the thought of initiating the weaning process for them can strike dread and panic in your heart as a mother. However, don’t worry. If you have a plan, you can do it despite the tantrums, the loud bawling, and foul baby mood!
Here’s a step by step plan to help you wean a very difficult toddler!
Stage 1 – Cut Down On Feedings
The first thing you can do is try and cut down the number of daytime feeding sessions when your child is between 6 to 9 months old. Don’t give into nursing your baby just because they’re crying or demanding to be fed. You’ll have to try to reduce breastfeeding gradually and reduce it to just before naptime and bedtime. However, to get your child’s mind off your milk you’ll have to use methods of distraction when they want to be nursed. Playing or laying out toys can help.
Don’t get disheartened though and feel like you need to nurse your child because your breasts are still producing the same amount of milk as when the feeding sessions were more. Your breasts will adjust their milk supply slowly, which can be uncomfortable at first but it will get better.
Stage 2 – Create Distractions
As you move on and slowly decrease the number of daytime feeding sessions, you will have to bring yourself to eliminate the afternoon naptime feeding as well. Which is a major milestone so to speak. Yet again, the only way to nix this session is to make use of distractions. Distraction can again be in the form of toys but you can also make use of music to lull your child to sleep.
Lullabies will work particularly well. So try cooing your child’s favorite lullaby to them before the afternoon naptime instead of feeding them. Soon you’ll see that your baby will stop craving to be breastfed at this time. Besides, the lullabies will help you initiate a new and relaxing sleep routine for your baby. At this stage, the weaning process is well underway.
Stage 3 – Learn To Say No
But not in a harsh, angry mama kind of way! This stage of weaning your bosom-obsessed child will seem the hardest but with the right words, you will be able to get there. So, the next time your child begins to ask to be breastfed, try to tell them, “No more. Milk is gone!” in a gentle tone. Chances are your child will burst into tears listening to it. At this moment, hold your child close and cuddle but resist the urge to comfort them by breastfeeding them. Even if the child tries to feed, gently resist them by removing their hands, and repeating the same words.
Also, if you’ve gone an entire day without nursing but your child’s tantrum the next day melts your heart, don’t give in. A nursing session with a day’s gap in the middle will only make it harder to continue weaning.
All said and done, there are plenty of mothers who choose to continue breastfeeding their child till they’re two years old, and even later, and that’s perfectly fine. However, when you do decide to start weaning, try following the plan laid above to make your journey an easier and smoother one.