Breast milk is unarguably one of the most essential sources of nutrients for a baby, but at some point, a child has to adapt from taking breast milk to other sources of nutrition. A baby would need other sources of nutrition in addition to breast milk, therefore, there is a need to introduce other sources of nutrient and ultimately stop breastfeeding.
Not until a child reaches six months of age, breast milk remains the primary source of nutrition until you start giving your child solid foods. However, a child should not go off breast milk completely until he reaches age one; this is because at this stage breast milk may still be a prime source of nutrition. It is also key to note that regardless a child’s age, weaning your baby is also dependent on how ready you and your baby are to give up breast-feeding.
In order to stop breastfeeding, you can use some of the following steps to wean your baby.
1. Give Pacifier
You do not teach a baby how to suckle, they are born with a natural sucking instinct, and letting go of it might be a struggle. Babies do not suckle necessarily because they are hungry, but to satisfy the innate instinct. Therefore, a pacifier would be a great option in the process of weaning a baby.
2. Get Formula Milk
While trying to wean your baby, you have to look for alternate methods to satisfy your baby’s need for food, and formula milk is the second option closest to breast milk. Compared to breast milk, formula milk is heavier and would make your baby feel fuller for longer. The process of replacing one feed by another should be a gradual one, to allow your baby ease into it.
3. Distract with Activity
One thing many moms do not know is that a baby may not suckle necessarily because of hunger; he may just need closeness and comfort from you. Having said this, when you try to stop your baby from breastfeeding, abstain from offering your breast for comfort. Indulge him with other activities that he may enjoy doing.
4. Initiate Solid Foods
When your baby gets to six months, he will be prepared for solid food. As a baby grows, the quest for solid food becomes more notable, so whenever hunger sets in, try feeding your baby with some solid food. In order to make the change faster, you can start with soft and smooth textured food, preferably one that is milk-based.
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