As all breastfeeding moms know, it’s a beautiful experience. And as all moms who have ever weaned know, it is a bittersweet process. On the one hand, it’s nice to get your breasts back to yourself but on the other hand, it’s sad to end this special time with your little one. Gentle weaning involves the process of gradually weaning your child from your breast without doing so abruptly. In this way, your child learns to adapt to life without breastfeeding.
If you think you and your little one are ready to start ending the process of breastfeeding, here are some tips that will help you gently wean in a peaceful way.
Gentle weaning is a gradual process. It’s a journey that may take months before it is complete so be patient.
Make sure your child is getting proper nutrition from food
The best way to gently wean your child is to get him more interested in solid foods. If he’s eating solids well, he will be less likely to see you as a source to fulfill his hunger.
Don’t offer and don’t refuse
When your child asks to nurse, don’t turn her down. By the same token, if it’s a usual time of day that you would nurse and your child is happily playing, don’t interrupt them to offer the chance to nurse.
Provide alternative options
When you make suggestions about other activities during times your child wants to nurse, you’ll discover that you will soon nurse much less each day. For example, offer a glass of water or milk instead or suggest taking a walk outside or going on some other outing. The power of distraction works wonders for gentle weaning!
Reduce the time spent nursing
When you cut short the time your child nurses per session, it will be easier for your child to give up that session. Counting down from 10 to 1 and then letting your child know the time is up. It’s fine if your child wants to nurse on both breasts. Simply count down on each of them.
Give attention in other ways
Make sure that as you wean, you’re still devoting plenty of time to love and adore your child. Snuggling, playing and even reading together will help keep the bond you’re building strong and will help her feel less of a loss during the weaning process.
Remember, gentle weaning is a process that will take time and patience to get through. Show love and kindness to your child during this time. Realize that your bond will continue to be strong with your child, even after the breastfeeding relationship has ended.