If you are trying to wean your baby or toddler from breastfeeding and it is going to fast for them, they may act out. They will have increased tantrums, anxiety, increased night waking, regressive behaviors, a new fear of being separated and clinginess. You may want to try some of these strategies during the weaning process:
- If you co-sleep, think about moving the baby or toddler to their own bed so he or she will not have instant access to you or move the baby or toddler to dad’s side of the bed so you are not as accessible.
- Breastfeed when he or she asks for it. Don’t offer feeding when the child does not ask. Instead, offer them some juice or milk in a cup.
- Change your daily routine. Don’t sit in the nursing chair during story time. After the child wakes in the morning, increase the time between waking and nursing. Avoid long periods of downtime, the child will become bored and may want to nurse when it is not needed.
- If it is possible, get help from other family members. Have them get the child up in the morning or put them down at night.
- Try offering a snack or drink when it is time for he or she to be nursed. You can also try to distract him or her by reading a book, playing a game or taking a walk.
If your child is throwing temper tantrums during the weaning process, there are things you can try. Temper tantrums can range from whining and crying to screaming, hitting, kicking and holding their breath. The most important thing you can do is keep your cool when he or she starts to throw a tantrum. In most cases, it is best to ignore the outburst and distract the child with a new activity. You can also try explaining to him or her why they can’t have what they want and offer them something they can have instead. Do not reward him or her for having a tantrum by giving in. This will teach them that whatever behavior they were exhibiting was effective at getting what he or she wanted. After he or she has calmed down from having a temper tantrum, this is the tim for a hug and reassurance that he or she is loved no matter what.