• 7 Things to Try if You Want to Wean Your Baby From the Breast

    Weaning your child from breastfeeding takes commitment and hard work.
    by Rachel Perez .
7 Things to Try if You Want to Wean Your Baby From the Breast
PHOTO BY iStock
  • The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends exclusive breastfeeding for at least the baby's first six months of life. For some of you, this is the time you may decide to slowly wean him from the breast since you can start him on solid food. But not all babies want to let go of the comfort of breastfeeding.

    For WHO, the next best option is is cup feeding expressed breast milk. Cup feeding helps eliminate nipple confusion and is more affordable. When done correctly, it helps baby regulate milk intake, and you wouldn't have to teach your child to drink from a cup later on.

    If cup feeding is not an option for you, then it's the bottle, but don't automatically assume he's going to take the bottle.

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    Heed these tips when introducing a bottle to your baby.

    Try each bottle variant and brand and observe.

    You know you've found the right one when your baby doesn't make fuss. Try bottles with nipples that are close to the real one, and start with slow flow nipples.

    Let someone else offer the bottle of breast milk to your baby.

    Hint: Dads do this very well. Some moms even suggest you shouldn't be in the same room when dad gives the baby the bottle. They say it helps prevent nipple confusion.

    Try different bottle-feeding positions.

    Baby may get confused by taking milk from the bottle if mom holds or cradles him the same way. Find a position that your baby is most comfortable when drinking milk from the bottle.

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    Try different temperatures with your breast milk in a bottle.

    Bottle feeding involves thawing milk and warming the bottle. See if you can hit the perfect temperature that's close to your breast milk temperature. 

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    Don't put hot sauce on your nipples to wean your baby from your breast.

    What you can do instead is to put a small amount of breast milk in the bottle nipple as you offer it to your baby.

    Start offering the bottle once every day.

    And fill it with just a small amount of breast milk. Try offering the bottle at different times during the day or night. Slowly increase the number of times and the amount of milk your baby bottle-feeds.

    You may offer him a meal instead of your breast.

    Call it a distraction method or a bribe, but babies beyond six months may be more fascinated with different tastes or the new surroundings.

    Nursing isn't only for your baby's nourishment.

    Make sure to supplement that emotional support with extra cuddling and snuggles if you're weaning baby from the bottle. If your little one wants to nurse for comfort, say after a tiring day or a drastic change, don't refuse to nurse, if other comforting tricks fail.

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