I've been feeding my daughter solid foods for about two months now and continuing to breastfeed in between. I wish I could breastfeed her for several more months, but her daddy and I are getting married in a little over a month, and I know I won't be able to feed her much that day. And whether or not we get a honeymoon is somewhat dependent on whether or not we're still breastfeeding. Is there a best practice for weaning off the breast? I'm okay with giving her formula until she's a year old and can have cow's milk. I'm just unsure of how to start the whole process. Even if she's mostly weaned by the wedding day, it'll help a lot. I can always pump a small supply for that day.

asked 09 Jul '10, 20:59

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Artemis
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In our case, I began by replacing feedings with pumped breast milk. Then as my supply diminished we mixed breast milk and formula 1/2 and 1/2 at the suggestion of our Public Health Nurse who suggested it would be better on baby's digestive system. The last feedings we removed were night time because they were honestly most conveniant. Eventually due to less nursing sessions and the fact that my daughter woke up inconsistently at night by that point, my supply completed diminished and by necessity she was completely weaned.

Our daughter had no problems taking the bottle as we had to supplement from the beginning. I do know of many parents whose baby refused the bottle and that was their biggest challenge.

Here is a useful article about weaning from one of the Health Units in Ontario. Here are their suggestions for weaning:

The key to healthy weaning is that it must be gradual:

● Replace one feeding at a time.

● It is easiest to begin by stopping the feeding your baby wants the least, or seems most distracted or least interested in. For example, instead of breastfeeding mid- morning, take baby to the park, read a book, or have a snack or drink from a spoon or cup.

● Gradually, feedings can be replaced one at a time. Wait between a few days and two
weeks before replacing another nursing time to allow your baby to get used to this change and to prevent yourself from having overfull breasts.

● The weaning method of “don’t offer, don’t refuse” often works best for most mothers and babies. Basically, this means that you do not offer your baby your breast for one feeding at a time. However, if your baby is interested in breastfeeding at the feeding you are trying to replace, you do not refuse him the feeding. Weaning does not mean refusing to let baby nurse, it means gradually releasing your baby from breastfeeding.

● Try to limit situations that encourage breastfeeding (for example, avoid sitting in the rocking chair you always sit in to nurse), but be open to breastfeeding during baby’s needful periods of the day.

● Expect nap nursing and night nursing sessions to be the last to end.

● When one of you is ready to end breastfeeding before bedtime, you should already
have a bedtime routine or nap routine which includes quieting activities such as: reading bedtime stories; a back rub and a lullaby; or a healthy snack, bath, and pajamas. Lots of exercise earlier in the day helps your little one prepare for rest.

● It is often helpful to have dad or another caregiver fulfill these evening routines so
baby does not think of breastfeeding; this also allows important contact time between father and child.

● If your baby is upset, it is helpful to increasingly offer other sources of comfort other than the breast such as stories, toys, games, songs, outings, and projects. As you
develop playful interactions instead of breastfeeding, your child will slowly learn to be content with them and prefer them as a substitute to breastfeeding.

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answered 10 Jul '10, 13:37

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Tammy ♦♦
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Asked: 09 Jul '10, 20:59

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Last updated: 10 Jul '10, 13:37