Weaning: When to Wean a Baby off Breast Milk

Weaning: When to Wean a Baby off Breast Milk

Still nursing your baby? If all is going well for both of you, no worries about weaning yet – unless your baby takes on the job.

If you’re breastfeeding, you know that nursing is a wonderful experience that brings you and your baby closer. Even good things come to an end, so how do you know when it’s time to wean?

 

There’s no magic age when you must wean your baby. As long as you and your little one are happy, you can continue breastfeeding into the toddler years. It’s also worth noting that, given enough time, all babies will wean themselves naturally, gradually reducing the number of times they nurse while increasing the amount of solid food they eat until eventually they are no longer breastfeeding.

Here are three signs that weaning has begun naturally or that it’s time to begin:

1. Your baby has become too busy to breastfeed. Once your child is mobile, he may become too busy exploring his world to sit still and nurse, especially during the day. Don’t be surprised if he still nuzzles up to you for a little breastfeeding closeness before bedtime or when he’s in need of comfort.

2. Your baby’s tastes shift to solid food. Once your little one discovers solid food, he may begin to lose interest in breast milk in favor of all the interesting new tastes and textures you are now offering him. Keep in mind, however, that solid foods should not replace breast milk or formula before your child’s first birthday. Instead, think of solids as an addition to breast milk (or formula) until your baby is at least one year old.

3. Your lifestyle has changed. Your baby isn’t the only one whose life is evolving. A new pregnancy, a change in your job situation, a shift in schedule, new activities, or simply a waning desire on your part to continue breastfeeding – these are all valid reasons to start weaning your baby.

 

If you are weaning your baby (or he is weaning himself), don’t forget that his delicate digestive system won’t be ready for cow’s milk until he’s one year old. Until then, offer breast milk or formula in a bottle or cup to supplement solid food. No matter when weaning starts or how it occurs, mark this transition as another positive step in your little one’s development.

 

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Wonderful

Sami 07/04/2015

Thank you! My little one is 6 months and starting to lose interest for nursing, which is sad but good at the same time.

Great info

Charity 07/03/2015

Thank you! My baby girl is coming up on her first birthday, and is decreasing her breastfeedings during the day. I'm a fan of letting her wean herself, any comments from anyone who's done that?

8 months strong

07/02/2015

I started solids at 4 months with my daughter ( rice cereal) now she's graduated to finger foods and purees. She still drinks about 20oz of pumped breastmilk a day but that's NOTHING compared to before. I was worried but not anymore. Great post.

Great

Leah 07/02/2015

THanks! this information was great!!

Helpful information

06/29/2015

This information was really helpful to me!

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