Continue the Weaning Process! (How to Wean Your Child continued)
Following the schedule of removing feeding sessions gradually will have your child weaned from breastfeeding at a good pace. The schedule for when to cut feeding sessions, and the span of time in between cuts is up to you. Generally, wait two weeks before each cut so that your child has time to get used to it both psychologically and physically. Psychologically, cutting too many feeding sessions too soon can make your child feel hurt or abandoned that you don’t want to feed them anymore. Physically, your child’s stomach may not be ready to digest solids or formula in large doses, and waiting two weeks to transition their stomach can help their digestion along.
To give a concrete example, and following the previous example, if you are breastfeeding your child four times a day, remove one middle feeding session and replace it with formula or solids. Say you removed the afternoon or third feeding and replaced it with formula. Keep this schedule for about two weeks and observe your baby. If there are no reactions like diarrhea, rashes, or anything like that, remove another feeding session. This time choose the other middle feeding session, or the second feeding session. Again observe your child for two weeks and look out for any effects.
If there are no ill effects, you can continue on with this schedule till there are no more breastfeeding sessions. If you do notice effects, discuss them with your doctor right away. Your baby may have a food allergy or a delicate digestive tract. It’s best for you to know these early so you can better care for your child.
When weaning gradually, choose the manner in which your child will be receiving their other feedings. The most popular thing to do is to replace a direct breastfeeding session with a baby bottle of breast milk or a baby bottle of formula milk. While this is usually easiest for your baby, they may become very attached to their bottle, and you will have to wean them from their bottle later on, which when your child is older can be very difficult. If your child is willing to take their feeding session through a cup with a straw, or a baby cup, you may be able to avoid weaning them from their bottle later on. Plus your baby will be proud when they realize that they are drinking from a device very similar to the one you drink with.
Your child may take a while to get used to a baby bottle, straw, or baby cup. Give them time and soothe them through their frustrations. Just never soothe them by breastfeeding or else they will see this as a way to get what they want and breastfeed. While feeding your child with a baby cup or bottle, make sure they are gaining weight normally. Some babies eat less when they make a transition, and it’s important that their weight is monitored to make sure they are not losing any weight drastically.
Next Article: What NOT to Do When Weaning