The process to stop breast feeding your baby is usually referred to as weaning. I’m pretty sure that even before having a baby, most women already have a rough idea of how long they’re aiming to breastfeed their babies. That could mean until the bay has attained one year of age or two years, the choice is yours.
But what is the recommendation by experts about weaning? Well, in the United Kingdom and many other parts of the world, doctors recommend that you breastfeed your child until it’s 6-months old, after which you’re supposed to introduce her to the appropriate food family. Breastfeeding can then proceed up to two years or more, but make sure to bring it to a halt only when both you and the child are ready for weaning.
So, here are five ways to tell if it’s the right time to start weaning.
- Anytime you feel that you’re not into it anymore
You know it’s the right time to stop breastfeeding when you feel that you’re not into it anymore. This could be after some weeks or even years. More often than not, it’s the mom who’s ready to wean even before their kids are ready to do so.
- If mom develops a health problem that may require you to start weaning
Weaning is recommended if the mother requires surgeries and other medications that are incompatible with breastfeeding. In such instances, your health as a mother becomes a priority, and you’re left with no other choice other than to stop breastfeeding.
- When the child is at least 12 months old
It’s at the age of 12 months that babies start to self-wean. Children older than this age are even more ready to wean.
- If mom feels resentful about breastfeeding
Moms continue nursing their babies mainly because they feel that they should. But if you’re no longer enjoying breastfeeding your baby, it won’t do any good for both you and the kid. This will make you feel resentful about breastfeeding, and it’s at this point that you’re advised to start weaning.
- Your child has cut back on the frequency and length of breastfeeding sessions
The gradual decrease in the length and frequency of nursing sessions by your child is a clear indication that the child itself is ready to wean. Refusing to breastfeed consistently is yet another clear sign that your baby is ready to stop breastfeeding.
As I said earlier, before stopping to breastfeed your kid, both of you should be ready. However, there are some other moms who can’t tell when they’re ready for this, and the child could not be exhibiting any clear signs that it’s time to stop breastfeeding has reached. In such a case, talk to your lactation consultant and doctor before making any decision.