Strategies for weaning after one
Hey Y’all, it’s Erin.
We all know things must come to an end, whether you’re full of guilt or running towards the finish line with excitement.
So what happens when it’s time to wean your child after one?
This post offers support in dealing with everything from simply weaning your child, to handling out right refusal to quit!
The first step you can take to wean your child is to reduce.
There’s two ways you can do this: reduce the number of feedings and reduce the length of time for each feeding.
You can start by cutting out just one feeding.
Sometimes your kiddo helps you with this one. Is there a feeding they sometimes skip anyways? Start with that one.
You can choose whichever feeding you want to. First morning? Replace it with something to eat or drink.
Right before bed feeding? Let this be an extra special snuggle time with a story.
There’s no right or wrong, just choose what’s easiest for you and your child.
The second way to reduce is by simply reducing the length of time for each feeding.
You can follow the steps above for reducing feedings.
For example, if your morning feed typically lasts 5 minutes, cut it down by one minute week by week until you can cut it out entirely.
Another strategy you can use is to delay.
You can use a similar structure to reducing.
Start delaying feedings.
Maybe start with just a few minutes.
Distract them with something else when they ask to nurse.
Eventually you can delay a feeding enough that they just stop asking for that one all together.
I always delayed the afternoon feedings because it was easier to distract her with play.
Mealtimes were another good time for me to delay with my daughter because food was a great distraction.
It’s important not to offer your breast when you’re ready to wean.
This was particularly hard for me when she was upset because I had to come up with new ways to comfort her.
Delaying a nursing session in this scenario was helpful because I got to try new comforting strategies!
Some of these strategies included baby massages, singing songs with movement such as itsy bitsy spider, and just good old fashioned hugs!
The final strategy I have is to deter your child from nursing.
I wanted to do a gentle weaning process, going at her pace.
However, I started a medication that required me to completely quit breastfeeding in the span of two weeks. I didn’t have that luxury anymore.
I’d reduced and delayed feedings prior to detering her, so it was a little bit smoother.
My method for detering was to make it taste bad.
I told her that they were broken and it wouldn’t taste good anymore.
I put vinegar on my nipples before letting her nurse.
They tasted bad and it deterred her from wanting to nurse. She asked a few times and eventually started pointing to my chest and said “broken.”
After she decided she didn’t like how it tasted she started asking for more hugs when she needed comfort and started finding her favorite snacks.
Ending your breastfeeding journey can be emotional and hard for you and your kiddo.
Don’t forget to be gentle with yourself and patient with your child as you enter this new phase.
These were the strategies that worked for me.