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Weaning Your Baby with Respect

Breastfeeding can be a difficult journey at the beginning, requiring a lot of dedication and learning. But like everything, it eventually comes to an end. Sometimes it is the baby who decides, but others, it is the mother who understands that it is time to close the chapter. How to accompany the process in a respectful and loving way as possible?

Why Wean?

Taking the time to understand your reasons for weaning is vital. Is your baby leading the way? Are there any medical considerations? Are you feeling drained?

The reasons can be diverse and even intertwine, but the most important thing is that the decision is driven by genuine conviction and the well-being of the mother, baby, and family. Otherwise, the process can become confusing, leading to guilt in the mother and anxiety in the baby.

How to Begin?

Identify the number of daily feedings and assess each one. Which is most important for your baby? Which do you think will be easiest to replace?

Start with the simplest one, where it's easier to distract the baby and offer an alternative.

Once that feeding is eliminated, move on to the next (always progressing from easiest to most difficult).

This process can take months and requires consistency. Your clear actions will make things easier for the baby. For example, if you're removing the morning feeding, be consistent. It won't help to distract them and offer other things one day, only to offer the breast the next.

Usually, the feedings before sleep or during the night are the most challenging to remove. For these, identify what stimuli help the baby fall asleep. It might be movement, rocking them, singing to them, or even offering a bottle if needed.

Breastfeeding isn't just about nourishment; it's the baby's primary form of regulation. It helps them calm down, relax, fall asleep, and even serves as an analgesic for pain. Finding substitutes can be difficult for this reason. Identify what actions or elements help your baby calm down and distract them, and use them whenever necessary.

Remember, the World Health Organization recommends breastfeeding for at least 2 years. If you decide to wean before then, consult your pediatrician about how to properly replace breast milk.

Lic. Claudia López. IBCLC


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