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Ready to Wean Already?
Is your baby starting to become less interested in the boob? Or maybe you just feel like it’s about time to get your body back.
*I am NOT a healthcare professional or a Lactation Consultant. I am simply a mom who has breastfed and is sharing my personal experiences with Breastfeeding. Always consult your family physician.
If your baby is over a year old and this sounds like you, then keep reading. This is how I effortlessly weaned my breastfed son who started showing signs of self-weaning.
It seems like as soon as you become a breastfeeding all-star that you turn around and realize that your baby hasn’t wanted to nurse as often as he/she used to. That is what happened to me.
(THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS HOWEVER, I WILL NEVER RECOMMEND ANYTHING THAT I DO NOT BELIEVE IN OR USE MYSELF. YOU CAN READ MORE ABOUT MY DISCLOSURE POLICY HERE)
Owen was exclusively breastfed for 15 months and we both loved every minute of it.
But then one day I noticed that he hadn’t nursed in a couple of days. And every time I would try to nurse him, he would only latch on for two seconds and be done with it.
He seemed uninterested in nursing as much as before and hadn’t even been asking to nurse that whole time.
In complete shock, I contacted my lactation consultant and she mentioned that Owen might have been self-weaning.
“Self-weaning – Self-weaning usually happens when a baby is over 1-year old and is getting most of his/her nutrition from solids, is drinking well from a cup, and gradually decreases nursing.”
However not all babies self-wean. And that’s ok. Every baby is different.
If you and your baby are ready to wean off of breastfeeding, or if your baby has begun to self-wean, here are my 5 easy tips for smoothly weaning your breastfed baby.
1. Timing is Everything
Picking the perfect time to start weaning your baby off of the breast can make all of the difference. If your baby is simply not ready or not showing any signs of readiness to wean then take your time.
Circle a date on your calendar that you would like to have your baby weaned by. Make sure it is at least one month away so your baby has some time to get used to the idea.
You also want to give your body time to adjust to the change in milk production, because if you quit breastfeeding cold turkey, your milk ducts could get clogged with excess milk. And this can also lead to infection.
So please always take it one day at a time and give your baby and your body time to adjust.
2. Skip a Feeding
Giving up one feeding per week will slowly help your baby wean off of breastfeeding and will also help you to begin to lessen your milk supply.
Now I am definitely not saying that you should suddenly refuse your baby’s requests when they want to breastfeed. You simply have to use your mother’s intuition.
You know your baby and when they really need to nurse and when they may just be using you as a pacifier.
My son started weaning down to only nursing once or twice per day and then every other day. To be honest, he really only remembered to nurse at bedtime and when he was right in front of my chest.
Having a distraction is the best tip I have been given for getting my baby to focus on something else.
In the last few months of breastfeeding, when my son wanted to nurse he would latch on and only suck once or twice. He honestly didn’t need to nurse. I think he just would realize that they were there and he was marking his territory. Haha
Yep! The Doc is in. Works every time.
4. Switch Roles
Sometimes having your husband or another family member lay your baby down at bedtime can do the trick. Or even someone babysitting them for a few hours.
This tip was extremely special for my husband.
For the first fifteen months of my son’s life, he always wanted to be nursed to sleep. It’s completely normal. But my husband felt left out because he could never put him down to bed.
He always needed Mommy, since Daddy obviously could not breastfeed him.
But once Owen started refusing to nurse before bed, my husband was able to put him down at bedtime and spend some quality time with him. This was so nice for me because if I was in the middle of washing dishes or putting our daughter to bed I didn’t always have to be everywhere.
5. Offer Snacks
If your baby is a big eater when it comes to solid foods, you may have a much easier time weaning than you think.
Next time your baby is hungry try to offer a healthy snack instead of nursing. It doesn’t have to be anything extravagant. My son goes bananas over…well bananas!
Just always make sure that any solid food you offer your baby is age-appropriate.
Also if your baby is over 12 months old, you can offer other milk products such as a cup of whole milk in place of breast milk. My son LOVES these sippy cups.
Do What Works
[clickToTweet tweet=”Breastfeeding is such a personal decision between a mother and child. @veryanxiousmom #breastfeeding #bloggerswanted” quote=”Breastfeeding is such a personal decision between a mother and child.” theme=”style1″] It is an extremely hot topic among parents and weaning goes along with it.
I truly believe that if you and your baby are ready to wean that you will know exactly when the right time is.
For us, I realized that my son was self-weaning at 15 months old. I was completely comfortable with breastfeeding until he was 2 years old but he had other plans.
The biggest self-weaning sign for me was when he stopped nursing at night or even every day.
In conclusion, no matter when you make the decision to wean your baby, I wish you all well on your breastfeeding journey and I hope these tips will work for you as they have for me.
Are you a breastfeeding mom? When did you wean your baby? Do you have any tips to add? Tell me below in the comments. I love to hear from my readers.