Do you feel that you have been breastfeeding your baby for so long to the point that you are now being restricted to do other important things in life? Would you like to know when is the right time to wean your baby?
What is weaning?
Weaning your child basically means that you allow her to get nutrients no longer from your breastmilk but from other sources of nutrition. It is when your little one stops nursing from your breast and starts to feed solely on real food such as fruits, vegetables, grains, and more. Weaning is not necessarily moving away from the usual mother-and-child bond but it is only a step further for your child to grow physically and emotionally.
When is the right time to stop breastfeeding?
Every mother has her own right to determine the length by which she will continue to breastfeed her little one. It is totally the discretion of the mother to stop at six months, to continue until a year, or go further until two years old. Most health institutions would agree that babies shall be exclusively breastfed until six months and the optimal length for their breastfeeding is until one year.
Here are the things to consider when you shall start weaning your child:
- Baby-Led Weaning
Most babies would wean by themselves. As you start introducing solid food by the time that they are six months, then you will gradually notice that they would lose interest in nursing from your breast. They may choose instead to munch on mashed potatoes or nibble some peas rather than latch on your nipple. That’s the best time to slowly move away from giving your breast every time she feels hungry.
- Age-Based Weaning
Some people feel awkward when they see a three-year-old still feeding on her mom’s breasts. But then, other people have no business with your breastfeeding journey. It is only you who shall decide when to stop breastfeeding. However, most mothers would choose to stop breastfeeding after a year. That’s when their babies are already capable of feeding on healthy adult food or fresh milk. Another sign that your baby is ready for weaning is when you notice that she becomes fussy, disinterested, and impatient when breastfeeding.
- Mom-Led Weaning
If the optimal length for breastfeeding is a year, then moms could definitely start to choose to stop at this stage. Since babies of this age have already grown a couple of teeth, some mothers may experience pain from sudden nipple bites. If you are constantly having problems with wounded nipples, then you can decide to start weaning your child.
We also have to acknowledge the fact that breastfeeding is truly a sacrifice on the part of the mother. There are so many things that she has to let go just to be able to feed her child. If the breastfeeding journey is already taking a toll on the mother’s emotional and mental health, then she could choose to wean her little one. Weaning is also best done when the mom chooses to go back to work and continue growing her career.
Weaning your child is a family decision that other people shall not dictate upon. No matter what your mother-in-law, your relatives, or the society tells you, know that only you could decide when to start weaning your baby. Every mom is different. Every baby is unique.