Brief Guide to Weaning in Children & How to do it

Weaning refers to the gradual process of introducing new foods or a different diet to a baby while simultaneously withdrawing the supply of mothers milk. Every child is different and weaning tolerance depends on the baby. Some babies make the transition without much fuss as they are bound to enjoy the taste of new foods, fed to them with the help of a spoon. Some babies hesitate to relieve themselves of the nipple; the experience can either be stress-free or stressful.  

Different types of weaning

There are various types and methods of weaning as listed below:

  • Gradual weaning

This is a weaning process that takes its own time –  that could mean weeks, months or years. 

  • Sudden weaning

Sudden weaning is when breastfeeding comes to a sudden halt.

  • Baby-led weaning

There are times a baby stops breastfeeding on his/her own, but this is rare. Self-weaning mostly happens after the baby turns a year old. 

  • Temporary weaning

This is when breastfeeding stops for a brief period and then starts again. 

  • Partial weaning

Partial weaning is when you find other ways of weaning whilst breastfeeding as well. 

Making weaning easier

Want to get your baby to wean from the breast? Here’s how:

  1. Make sure the approach is gradual. 
  2. Try and have someone else give your baby the bottle.
  3. Encourage your baby to consume solid foods after 7 months of age.
  4. Comfort your baby with something soft during this transition.
  5. Play and cuddle with your baby. 
  6. Weaning needs to happen quickly because as the baby gets olders, giving up breastfeeding becomes a challenge. 

Continue to breastfeed

The beginning of weaning is when you start giving your baby solid foods, but we wouldn’t recommend you stop breastfeeding right away. Breastfeeding can accompany solid foods for at least a year. Ensure your baby is getting the nutrition he/she needs while/if you continue to breastfeed. 

When breastfeeding stops…

Weaning is a huge step, and it can be worrying to an extent for you and your baby. It may be relieving to know that breastfeeding has stopped, but for some, it can have an impact on a mother’s emotions as well. 

Your baby starts learning

Weaning is considered a huge accomplishment for your baby as far the learning skills go. You will soon begin to notice your baby picking up the spoon/bottle themselves – and when you notice this, please do encourage it. It may get a little messy initially, but this is just a phase of learning to be perfect. 

A mother is likely to experience various emotions as breastfeeding comes to an end, but you can always reach out for support in one way or another. You can also consult Ankura’s maternity specialists for a smoother transition.  

Ankura Hospital
Author: Ankura Hospital

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