7 Guidelines For Gentle Weaning From Breastfeeding

Weaning should not be stressful for the baby therefore it is important to apply the right techniques to help the baby wean. Weaning can be gentle but effective at the same time. Follow these guidelines to prepare your little one for a new stage in life.

Gradual transition without offering breastfeeding

This principle is often called “Don’t offer – don’t refuse”. Gentleness is crucial for a mild transition from breastfeeding to normal nutrition. The specialists say not to offer the breast to help the baby forget about nursing but when the baby remembers about it and asks for it, it is advised not to refuse the child. As the baby grows, the transition to another stage goes naturally. This is one of the best methods bringing steady results. If you do not hurry, this is an ideal approach. It is valued for flexibility and adjusting to the baby’s needs.

Skipping the feeding time  

If the previous method seems too slow for you, then you can choose to skip 1 feeding time per week. The body of the feeding mom also adjusts to new changes, so less milk is produced as a result of it. The milk supply reduces and the woman does not suffer from the consequences of a new feeding schedule.

Mothers can choose a different strategy to achieve the goal. Trying to distract the child with some snack or a sippy cup, they do everything to make the baby forget about nursing. It is not even necessary to offer some kind of food for that. Sometimes a favorite game or playing in a company of other babies works well. The main thing is to employ the toddler to make the baby forget about the feeding time. The distraction method works perfectly before the baby realizes the need to be breastfed.

Refuse from the things that remind of nursing

Usually, certain habits or things remind the baby of the need to nurse. The problem is solved individually in each particular case. If the baby thinks much about it near the mother, it is better to stay away from home for some time. If it works the opposite way and baby is inclined to remember about nursing when the mom is away, it is recommended to be close, at least, for the weaning period. Try not to wear blouses you used to wear during breastfeeding sessions or things that make breastfeeding accessible.


Put off the feeding time

When the baby applies with request to nurse, ask the little one to wait for a little. Then the baby is engaged with toys or a game and forgets about the need to nurse. It also forms a very useful trait in a kid – he learns to be patient.

Make nursing sessions shorter

Try not to spend the same amount of time on nursing sessions as you did before. Make them gradually shorter and shorter until the weaning stage is over.

Make nursing irregular

When you breastfeed at the same time, the habit is formed and it is hard to refuse from it. Therefore, irregular feeding sessions will help you during the weaning phase. You can choose either day or night time when you practice this approach for gentle weaning. When you succeed, move on further and do the same to nighttime nursing.

Look for other effective methods

The article includes the basic methods that can help your baby to wean gently. However, mothers can find other effective methods as well. For instance, older babies can agree to trade and substitute nursing with some toys they adore or a favorite pastime.


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