While breastfeeding is a popular choice for most new mothers, there comes a time when you will need to wean your baby. Many women find the idea of this task particularly hard. After all, the last thing you want to do is disrupt the pattern you’ve gotten into right now. So, what should you do?
Well, it’s all about taking things at your own (and your baby’s pace) and ensuring that everything happens as it should. You don’t want this to come as a major shock to your child or, indeed, you. Here are just five small tips that should help you along the way.
Take things slowly
The first, and perhaps most important, thing that you need to remember is to take things slowly. You don’t want to overdo it and end up upsetting your little one. Most babies will struggle with this process, and so you need to make sure that you go at their pace. You should do this one step at a time. That means that you don’t want to stop all at once. Instead, you should just breastfeed less and less until you stop completely.
Change your feeding pattern
So that your baby gets used to this change, you should change your feeding pattern. If, for example, you breastfeed around five times per day, you will want to cut this down. The first week, you could switch to feeding four times a day and using formula once. The week after, you could feed three times a day and use formula twice each day… and so on.
Get used to formula
For many mothers, this will be the first time that they have to deal with formula. It’s worth getting your head around this early on. Some experts actually suggest starting with a mixture of breast milk and formula. Combining these two components will mean that your baby gets used to the new feeding style quickly and easily.
Related: 10 Hilarious Pregnancy Cravings
Get some help from your partner
Before now, you will have had to take care of the feeding all by yourself. When you stop breastfeeding, though, it means that your partner will be able to take part as well. It’s best to include them early on this process. You can ask them to take responsibility for one or two feeds per day. This will mean that you’re less stressed and that your partner bonds with your child!
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See a health professional
Finally, if you find that you’re having ongoing issues with weaning, it may be worth seeing a health professional. Some babies have extra trouble with this transition so an expert may be able to help you along the way. Remember, the more advice you can get, the easier things will be in the long run.