Nothing really prepares you for life after 6 months of exclusive breastfeeding. When you’re weaning older children off breastfeeding, you need to learn a few tricks.
A good way to start is to never offer a breastfeed.
Here are more tips that can help. You don’t have to use all these tips. Just choose the ones you think are best fit for you and your baby and stick to them.
Reduce the breastfeeding frequency gradually
Go by the rule, one feed at a time. Gradually drop breastfeeding sessions by replacing one feed with bottle feed per time. Drop one and wait a few days before you drop the next one. This will be easier on both you and your baby. Your breasts will likely get engorged if you stop abruptly. Drop day time feeds first and gradually move to night time.
2. Set new limits
It is easier said than done but you may need to put a new structure in place. Limits like not breastfeeding after a bottle feed, not breastfeeding when you are out or even feeding only after lunch during the day will help you both adjust to a new routine.
Introduce lots of activities and outings into your daily routine so your child is too busy and distracted to think about breastfeeding.
Occasionally replace a breastfeed with a ‘grown-up’ alternative. Your child might be excited about having a special but healthy drink when he’d normally be at home having a breastfeed.
3. Let someone else do the feeding
Let someone else feed your baby with bottles. She is less likely to make a fuss when you are not within sight. Leave your baby with someone she is comfortable with at feed time.
4. Avoid undressing in your baby’s presence
It is hard to pacify a child that can see what he wants. That’s denial. LOL. Also wear clothes that make the breast less accessible like a dress rather than two piece wears..
5. Find a snack your baby enjoys and offer it.
Say NO and mean it: I know it is really hard to say know when your cutie is concerned but in this case, you may have to. I think weaning should be a gradual process. Don’t just go Cold Turkey on your baby. It won’t be easy on either of you!
6. Shorten Breastfeeding Sessions:
Gradually reduce the length of each breast feed and stay consistent. It will help you both adjust to the new normal.
7. Introduce formula or water at night to reduce night feeds
When your baby wakes up at night, offer a bottle of water or formula instead of breastfeeding. Gradually your baby will understand and adjust accordingly.
8. Introduce variety
Introduce different meals to your baby. Try different textures, spices, and taste till you find different meals your baby enjoys.
9. Try over and over
Do not get tired or give up after one attempt. Don’t conclude your baby doesn’t like a meal till you have tried introducing that meal at least 10 times.
10. Get Help
If after you try all these and your baby still doesn’t eat, talk to his doctor especially if he is losing weight.
Do you have more tips? Please share in the comments!