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Weaning is usually done before the baby turns a year old to make the transition as easy as possible. The decision is left to you but remember to take things slowly. Your baby would have settled comfortably into the routine of breastfeeding and weaning will take a lot of time and patience.
How to Wean?
Weaning can in fact, be a positive experience for you and the baby if done correctly. Start gently by offering food before and after breast feeding. Start with a few sips and gradually proceed. Avoid abruptly weaning because this could reflect badly on the emotional health of the child apart from possibly causing breast infections for you.
Start slowly by weaning your baby away from your breasts for specified portions of the day. Make sure that the night time feeding is the last to go because usually, it is just before they doze off that the little ones crave for comfort and warmth of a familiar place. To tackle with these situations, make sure that night times are not just about feeding. You can read a book or do something that your baby will enjoy and also keep his or her mind away from nursing.
Switching to Solid Food
Your breast milk is generously distributed with all the nutrition that your infant will need. But when this stage is over and it is time to switch to solid food, you will need to take extra care to ensure the right amounts of nutrition. If you are a working mom or want to fix a quick meal for the baby, you can opt for baby cereals. Find the best ones that are available, preferably organic ones that come with almost no chemicals. Also, you can add food supplements to your baby’s diet for enhanced health and growth.
Fixing a Routine
Weaning away from breast feeding might be as hard on you as it will be on your baby. To make things simpler, try to fix a routine. Find a bowl or plate that your baby loves and feed from it. You can either choose a particular spot or if that doesn’t work, because some babies might prefer activity even while eating, you can encourage your little one to eat while having fun. You can also opt for a bib to prevent spoiling baby clothes.
At times, the weaning process might not be really successful. Initially, there might be a lot of fussing and crying while some babies might adapt to it easily. Somewhere in the middle of the process of getting used to solid food, your little one might miss the comfort of feeding from your breast and crave it. Though it might break your heart to see your kid in tears, do not completely give in. Breast feeding every now and then is fine but that should also be completely eliminated with time.
Remember that this might be a really stressful time for your baby as he or she might be undergoing one of the first changes at such a large magnitude. Pamper with extra love and affection and encourage when your baby makes it through without wanting to nurse. You can also talk to your kid, babies can comprehend more than what we imagine. With time, your kid will happily settle and before you know it, you will have wean him of his or her favourite baby food. With babies, time does tend to fly!
One last thing that you might want to note is that never combine stressful situations when weaning. Introducing your baby to solid food has to be done at a time when the baby is happy and comfortable to ensure a smooth and fuss-free transition for the mother and the baby as well.
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