Monday, June 1, 2009

Gentle Weaning tips For Your Toddler

Breastfeeding is one of the best gifts we can give to our child. The health and emotional benefits of breastfeeding carry on well past babyhood. The World Health Organization recommends at least 2 years. Ideally the nursing relationship continues until your child outgrows the need. (and they do all outgrow it) There are instances when we need to wean before our children are completely ready.
Whatever your reasons are, the best way to wean is gradually and lovingly.
Allow yourself lots of time; try not to have too rigid of a plan.
Be gentle - on yourself and your child. It's difficult for them too!
Tips to gently wean your toddler:
Don't wean during times of stress
Start talking about weaning, in a casual non judgmental way, let your child know you need to breastfeed less, or for shorter periods. If appropriate, explain the health reasons.
Is there a particular nursing session that's making you most resentful? Get rid of this one first- Maybe all you need right now is a partial weaning
Read a book about it, so they can see that other kids are weaning too
Allow them to choose their favorite breastfeeding sessions to keep
Have your toddler help you come up with ideas for things to do instead
Don't offer, don't refuse, keep yourselves busy
Offer lots of healthy snacks and drinks
Give them extra attention and cuddles
Remember weaning is a process; sometimes its 2 steps forward and 1 step back.


yomamma said...

good advice- another thing that worked for us is that my husband would take over the putting our son to bed while mum had to go out to a "meeting". This was when we were pretty much down to 1 a day,( he's nearly 3 years) so he didn't BF for 3 days , then had one feed when he was sick for 2 days and then I had 2 more night time meetings, and we're done- its been 2 weeks now and I can put him to bed with out breastfeeding, but he does want to rest his hand on them- which is fine.

shirley said...

yes- well said. boy 2 seps forward, 1 back is right. we've attempted night weaning a few times, but each time it did get a bit easier, and I'm now getting agood nights sleep!

Anonymous said...

Another useless ripoff!
My daughters were weaned when they were 10 or 11 months, without any support group, professor of art and government payout.
Well, I am not a painter artist and not a poet artist; I am a man...

Mothers United said...

Dear Anonymus,
Your children were weaned before the American Academy of Pedatrics and the World Health Organization's reccomended minimum ages. Not meeting the bare minimum standard is not something to gloat about.

Have a nice day!