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.