You may have been breastfeeding due to the many benefits for both mother and baby, but have decided to stop. Weaning is the end of breastfeeding and there are many reasons why nursing mums decide to stop breastfeeding.
Common reasons relate to mum’s health, and that should not be taken lightly. Perhaps your breast milk supply has been decreasing, or your baby has to attend infant care, or you simply feel that it is time to transit your baby over to formula milk.
Whatever the reason is, weaning doesn’t have to be abrupt and painful. Gentle weaning can be attempted through these tips:
Don’t offer the breast when your baby is hungry, but don’t reject your baby if he asks for milk.
- Replace one feeding a day
If your child is below six months old, you can replace one feeding session a day with previously pumped breastmilk, donor milk or formula milk using a cup or a bottle. If your child has been introduced to solid food, you can replace the breastfeeding session with healthy snacks such as fruits, carrot or cucumber sticks or proteins. Instead of expressing out milk from your breasts, skip the nursing session in order to decrease your supply. Wean gradually by increasing the number of replaced sessions.
- Don’t offer, don’t reject
This tip is more appropriate for older children who can express their needs. By not offering to nurse until your child requests for it, it sends the message that they can still return for milk if they need it.
- Start by cutting day feeds
Babies and toddlers who are used to latching to sleep find it difficult to end it due to the emotional security it provides. Try to cut off day time latching sessions first before proceeding with night weaning.
- Distraction is key
Offer your child something else in place of nursing, like a snack or favourite toy to take his mind off latching. Be sure to provide easy access to fluids and water while doing so.
- Don’t attempt to wean during major transitions
Children find emotional comfort and security in nursing. If you are attempting to wean your child gently, be sure to do it at a time where there are no major changes to his schedule i.e. moving house, changing schools, or, the arrival of a new sibling.
- Provide an alternative comfort item
If your child is no longer reliant on breastmilk as his sole source of nutrition, it means that you can start to wean gently by giving your child a small comfort item. This can be a small stuffed toy, blanket or even a pacifier.
Transiting to formula milk? Einmilk is produced in Singapore to nourish infants, babies and toddlers.
Once your child is weaned, you can replace breast milk with either fresh milk, UHT milk or formula milk, depending on the age of your child and his dietary requirements. If you are searching for a formula milk that is close to breastmilk, Einmilk formula milk includes nucleotides to promote healthy gut development and improve metabolism.
Did you wean your baby from breastmilk to formula milk powder? Share some tips with fellow mummies in Singapore so they know that they’re not alone.