Breast milk is the best food for your baby in the initial six months, following which you can try different foods. By a year, your baby is ready to eat other foods entirely, and that’s when you have to stop giving breast milk. This process, known as ‘weaning’, can be tougher than you think. Through the period of transition, you have to be careful and patient with your kid. If you are wondering how to stop breastfeeding toddler, this guide has all the tips you need.
How to stop breastfeeding?
Right after six or seven months, you can start trying formula-milk. After your baby is done with breast milk, try giving a formula-milk bottle to suck. While the infant will still get his nutrition from the mother, the process will help in tasting other foods. Once your baby starts liking other foods, you can start replacing some of the milk sessions with formula milk altogether. This may take a few weeks to stop breastfeeding altogether, although some infants need months for weaning.
DO NOT stop breastfeeding abruptly. Your baby may not eat at all, while you have the chances of getting breast inflammation known as mastitis. Keep in mind that your body produces milk to meet the demand. To reduce the supply of milk, you have to reduce the demand gradually. This approach is healthy for the mother and baby alike.
What if the baby doesn’t stop breastfeeding?
As mentioned, a progressive approach is always the best way to stop breastfeeding. However, if your baby doesn’t adjust to the change, you can try some of the following tips below.
- Be consistent. Do not give up because the child is not accepting new foods. You can try to distract him by singing a song or reading a book. Using toys is an excellent way to divert infants before one year of age.
- Talk to your toddler. After the first year, babies start understanding language faster than their parents think. If your child is over two years, praise him every time he eats other food or formula-milk. If you are pregnant with the second child, you can tell the child about how his brother/sister needs milk more than him at the moment.
- Many infants like to be breast-fed in the morning. Before the baby wakes up, you can try keeping his breakfast ready. It is rather easy to teach him new eating habits when the mind is fresh and ready to learn. Keep an eye on the sleeping habits of your baby after six months to try the idea better.
- Avoid undressing in front of your child and wear clothes that don’t give a glimpse of your breasts. Many times, toddlers seek milk out of habit. It is important to avoid situations that may trigger the baby to seek feed.
- Check if you can leave the baby with friends and relatives. If your child doesn’t see you, he might not think of breastfeeding at all. Try for an hour initially and gradually increase the time if the idea works.
Lastly, take your time to understand the food habits of your toddler. If you start giving the right foods, weaning is possible within weeks.