What exactly is withdrawal?
Weaning means total breastfeeding stop. It can take place at the moment of your choice, even very early, during the child’s first days of life: in this case, baby switch to a bottle feed, often more convenient if you have to get back to work. If it’s bigger (8-10 months), breastfeeding withdrawal will instead fit in with food diversification.
How to wean baby gently?
Weaning must always be done gradually! Why? Why? On the one hand, because your body needs time to ′′ understand ′′ that it doesn’t have to produce milk anymore: weaning too fast can lead to a painful congestion of your breasts or even a mastitis (inflammation of the breast gland ).). On the other hand, baby must also get used to her feeding change… To successfully weaning breastfeeding, it is therefore recommended to proceed in small successive and regular stages for at least 15 Days. That being said, if you want and have enough time, you can very well spread breastfeeding withdrawal over several months.
Start by replacing the evening felch: the late afternoon felch for example around 18 pm because it contains less milk. To let your child get used to it, keep this pace for three or four days. Choose a first age milk (between 0 and 6 months), and ask your pediatrician for advice on the quantities (depending on his weight and age). Indeed, the basic principle is to gradually reduce the numbers: ′′ It’s better to start at night because that’s when the prolactin rate is at the lowest So it’s this felch that’s the most painful and tiring for moms. The last one to remove is the morning one, because it’s the most important one ′′
Replace a second felch. Then and over the same period, introduce a second bottle that will replace the felch, so that you can alternate between the breast and the bottle. For example, you can choose to give the breast at 8, the bottle at 12, the breast at 15 and so on for other meals.
A third bottle of the day. When you and your baby are feeling ready, re-introduce a third bottle instead of breast during the day. It is recommended, however, to keep the morning and evening felch.
A final withdrawal. At this point breastfeeding is called partial. You can then choose to keep this pace or gradually replace evening breastfeeding, then add a baby bottle in the morning if you opt for a definitive withdrawal. As you remove a felch during the day, your breasts will be less demanded and your lactation will gradually decline.
Pulling her milk
For the first bottles and to facilitate the transition, you can give it a bottle containing your breast milk instead of artificial milk, and pass the pacifier of its bottle to hot water. Also prefer a silicone or rubber tip, which is closer to the shape and texture of the breast. On the other hand, consider pulling your milk during the day to avoid crawl.
Live well the weaning of breastfeeding
If you really want to stop breastfeeding, there’s every chance that mentally you’ll go through this milestone. However, withdrawal of breastfeeding is sometimes experienced as the ′′ loss ′′ of a privileged bond with baby: might as well say when morale is not at the top… This is especially for moms who don’t want to stop breastfeeding , but they are constrained for practical reasons such as resumption of work. If you’re in this case, try to approach withdrawal from a positive perspective: it’s not a loss, it’s an essential and important milestone in your baby’s life! Don’t hesitate to talk about how you feel to your doctor and / or midwife, who can support and advise you.
Change your habits and involve dad
Used to breastfeeding, your baby will tend to look for your breast especially if you try to give them the bottle in the same place as usual. Change his position or chair and if needed, suggest dad give him the bottle. Thus it won’t feel your smell and be less in demand. Meanwhile, feel free to relax, and go out to air your mind. Taking some time for yourself, whenever you have the opportunity, is essential to avoid stressing. In addition, it will prevent you from cracking up if baby cries, because the breast is often the easy solution to calm him down.
Persevere without forced it!
Changing baby habits isn’t that easy. Don’t panic so, if he refuses bottles in the first few days, persevere, take your time and don’t force him. However, try to introduce him a few moments later, without losing hope. If necessary, and in case of repeated refusals, take a short break before weaning again. Nevertheless, avoid weaning your toddler if there are other changes (such as a move, a new mode of shift, a trip…) or you feel stressed. Your baby needs to keep her markers and feel reassured. Don’t hesitate to talk to him, and communicate with him by explaining that you are now giving him the bottle.
Sharpening your appetite
′′ In order for baby to accept this new diet safely, he needs to want to eat. So all foolishly wait for him to be hungry, demand his meal. If the taste of pacifier surprises him too much, you can, first times, mask it by a drop of honey or drop a few drops of milk ".
IMPORTANT: It’s recommended to continue breastfeeding, if you can and wish, during the diversification period up to 1 year or older (WHO recommend continuing breastfeeding until your 2 year old baby). In its first year, milk remains its main food.