How To Wean Your Toddler Off Breast Milk
Weaning your toddler off breastmilk can be one on the most patience dependant tasks you do as a mother. Every situation is different, but how do you do it? We’ve researched and chatted to some experienced Mum’s. Here’s what they say:
Time and determination are the most basic elements needed
Every child is different, and every situation is different. Some toddlers will naturally want solid food and milk from a bottle; others will want to lift up your shirt and demand to feed.
Ensure that your tolled is getting enough nutrition from other sources.
A toddlers can be difficult so aim for a nutritionally balanced meal week by week rather than a daily balanced meal.
Communication is a key factor.
Most parent will understand that children thrive on routine. Taking them off breast milk is changing their routine. In most cases, the transition from break milk to whole foods and the bottle can go smoothly if you have a conversation with your toddler about stopping your breastfeeding relationship. You can begin to talk about weaning a few days before you plan to wean them off breastfeeding. Repeating this during the days following so that your toddler has time to process.
Slow and steady wins the race.
Daytime feeding can sometimes be the easiest to stop as your toddler is normally rather active and distracted at this time. Introducing a fun art project, puzzle or reading a story can help when they show signs that they may ask you to feed.
Try and not offer to breastfeed. Usually, your toddler will take up a special snack or juice. If they truly want to feed, then this is ok for the days leading up to weaning.
Create a replacement
When we as adults removing a habit from our lives it can be really difficult and in some cases rather traumatic. Rip something away from them suddenly like breastfeeding can be rather traumatising for them.
Creating a replacement ‘treat’ for your toddler can help ten fold.
Some mums use a combination of organic whole milk, raw honey & a dash of sea salt. When warmed can create a soothing replacement for your toddler.
You might have a cranky toddler for a few days.
Don’t be surprised or discouraged if your little one is a bit cranky for a few days during the weaning process. If your toddler has been dodging their emotions by using breastfeeding to comfort themselves, they are going to need a different distraction and another outlet. Offer your toddler lots of attention with cuddles hugs and loads of time to play. You will need to help your toddler handle her emotions without breastfeeding. This can be difficult but try to remember that its all in small steps.
Some mums have said weaning can be resolved in a matter of a few days. Other have said it can stretch over a long period. How long it takes is really up to you to decide. Remember it is important for you to talk to your paediatrician or GP about your specific toledo’s nutritional needs. Be sure to mention that you are planning to stop breastfeeding soon.