Your child is getting older and it’s about that time to retake ownership of your boobs. Weaning is never fun for either party. The guilt of having to tell your precious little one no more and having to deal with their cries of injustice may be hard to start this new weaning process. While in a perfect world, your child would ideally wean themselves that is just not really realistic. It is a hard battle but you definitely don’t want your child still breastfeeding when they are in middle school, right? Because than that would be weird – no matter how granola of a mom you are.
- Closed down the milk shop. Well you could just hang a “closed” sign on your chest but your baby can’t read and may not understand. Also, closing down cold turkey can be painful. Engorgement and the leaking is enough to make you want to just keep breastfeeding. The best way to slow down and start weaning your baby is by slowly eliminate breastfeedings by meal. You may want to first replace their lunch meal with an actual milk bottle and some baby foods. Then in a week or so, eliminate the morning breastfeeding time and then the night one.
- Make solid food exciting. Watching your child try new foods is a fun time. Make it exciting by giving them a few variations of different types of foods they can try. Have fun making your own purees and tasty baby treats. Try mixing some fruits and vegetables together. You can save lots of money by making your own baby foods.
- Enjoy and embrace the mess. Let your baby try and feed themselves. Toddlers love to explore so while you are spoon feeding them their new foods, let them feel it in their tiny fingers and don’t discourage them when they rub it all over their face. These are great photo opportunities. They will make great pictures to put in the graduation slide montage that will be played at their high school graduation party.
- Bottle or Cup. You may be wondering if you should use a bottle or a cup. If your baby already uses a bottle, the easier choice may be just to stick with what they already know. But soon they will need to wean themselves off of the bottle and what a better time to just starting using the sippy cup but now? It is one less fight to fight and you don’t have to worry about purchasing sippy cups later on which helps save on money.
- Be patient and consistent. While you may wish that they would stop breastfeeding right away, being patient is key to helping the transition happen more peacefully. Give your baby other comfort items other than breastfeeding. This can be singing a lullaby, giving them a favorite teddy bear or blanket. This will teach your toddler that she can look to other things to provide comfort. Be consistent when you start to wean. Don’t decide to stop breastfeeding in the morning only to resort back to it during a bad tantrum. Then they know all they have to do is throw a tantrum to get what they want.