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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Little baby take the wheel

Smileylioness 08/01/2015

We're definitely going to be letting our little guy take charge of weaning. He can't seem to make up his mind though. He has started to ween and then gone back to being all about nursing.

mi bb de 7 meses

Suofing 07/31/2015

aun no se quiere destetar, pero por lo que lei, creo que ya esta apunto de hacerlo, esta practicando a pararse y se preocupa mas jugar con su hermano que beber leche a veces, suerte que le gusta la comida solida. Animo mamis!!

I know now

07/30/2015

I was unsure at first of when I would stop breast feeding but now I know. Thanks

Unsure

07/29/2015

My lo is 8 mo. My mom thinks i should start to wean him, but im not so sure. He does great with his solids and snacks. We only do the breast at bedtime and if he is distressed. But like the article said hes too busy to want to BF during the day!! I liked this article! now i dont feel torn between my feelings to not wean yet and my moms opinion! :)

night time feedings

07/29/2015

My son just turned a year old and is still breastfeeding. He doesn't nurse during the day except before naps but he does nurse before bed and wakes up at least once in the night to feed. What are some tips to stop the middle of the night feedings and help him sleep through the night?

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