Weaning refers to the process of accustoming a baby to food apart from its mother’s milk. The process begins when the baby takes food from a different source apart from the breast for the first time. It is a way of nurturing a baby by gradually replacing breastfeeding with other types of foods. Below are helpful tips on how to maintain an individualized weaning plan.
You are your own judge
You are responsible for deciding when your child is ready for weaning. Avoid listening to advice from outsiders and experts. Deciding when to start weaning your baby is a personal decision. However, it should be able to meet the needs of the mother and child.
Develop a plan of action
Before making any decision afterwards, it is advisable that you develop a plan of action. A plan will guide you in making the right initial decisions. The weaning process is much easier to initiate with a reliable plan of action. The plan of action does not have to be formal. However, it should indicate knowledge of the topic.
Utilize gradual weaning techniques
Deciding which foods to eliminate is one of the toughest decisions to make. Gradual weaning allows the mother to eliminate one feeding each time before introducing a new one. Naturally, a gradual weaning period should consist of a minimum of three days apart. Take time before deciding what feeding to eliminate from your regular schedule.
Your child’s favorite feeding time
Identify the feeding time when your child finds it comfortable feeding. Consider eliminating foods within the non-favorite feeding time. This will ensure the baby does not develop a non-traumatic experience when new foods are introduced.
Decrease the nursing sessions
Decreasing the nursing sessions gradually will protect you against the stresses associated with weaning. You can reduce the time of each sessions rather than eliminating them. Your child is less likely to notice the difference in your feeding schedule unlike if you directly introduced them to weaning.
Create regular distractions
The changes made to your child’s nursing program might not be easily recognizable. However, it is advisable to create regular distractions. Try out different ways of achieving this depending on your understanding.
Additional cuddling and affection
Most children associate breastfeeding with affection and love. Therefore, they are likely to find it tough changing from breast milk to weaning food. Offering additional affection and cuddling services will help separate the child from breastfeeding. Allowing your child a few minutes of cuddling will help cut down their anxiety.
Cover the breasts when weaning
Mothers should cover their breasts when weaning. The breasts are often out of mind as long as they are out of sight.
Change the order of feeding
Consider weaning at a time when your child takes more solid foods in addition to breast milk. In such cases, it is best to feed them first before offering them breast milk. There are high chances that your child will feed more on solid foods and become less interested in breast milk. If successful, you are likely to find it easier eliminating breast milk completely.
Getting started with the weaning process is not as difficult as it sounds. You will find it easier with a little thought and planning.