When breastfeeding frequency is reduced, and a mother starts to introduce solid foods into her baby’s diet, it should be done gradually. The end of the breastfeeding relationship can occur days, weeks, months and even years after the weaning process has begun.
Different Approaches to Weaning a Baby
Partial weaning off
breast milk: When a mother cuts back on nursing sessions, and either feeds her baby pumped breast milk or other foods, depending on
baby’s age. She may also shorten the nursing sessions. This is usually
done when a mother feels a little overwhelmed by the demand of breastfeeding.
It is not recommended to do this before breastfeeding is fully
established as this could lower the milk supply.
Abrupt Weaning: Sudden weaning is only
necessary for extremely special circumstances. Abrupt weaning can lead to
engorgement, mastitis and even a breast abscess; it can also be
traumatic for the mother and her baby.
Planned weaningfrom the breast: This is planned by the mother before her baby shows signs of readiness
to wean. Some cultures believe that it is time to wean when the baby starts
to walk, or when the baby gets teeth or when the mother falls pregnant again. It all depends on the mother's personal beliefs and preferences.
Natural weaning from breastfeeding: Waiting until your baby decides to stop
breastfeeding. This is called child-led weaning.
Natural, gradual weaning usually occurs any time between the age of two
Weaning Techniques for Gradual Weaning
Do not offer out of your own to breastfeed your baby, but allow your baby to nurse on demand.
Distract your baby with something else when he/she wants to nurse.
If your baby is older than 6 months, a mother can shorten nursing sessions and offer alternative foods and drinks.
Avoid triggers or situations that remind your baby of breastfeeding.