There comes a time when all mothers who are breastfeeding wonder how long we will continue breastfeeding. Weaning is a natural process for all mammalian species, but the most appropriate time to do it is not determined. Sometimes it is imposed by the mother and other times by the baby's disinterest in breastfeeding.
According to World Health Organization (WHO), it is advisable to breastfeed the baby on demand during the first 6 months of life and, from that moment, supplement the mother's milk with complementary feeding until one year of life. However, various studies have found that in industrialized societies 78.4 percent of babies are weaned before six months of age.
What seems clear is that from the first year of life, weaning becomes more of a psychological issue than a physical one because breast milk is no longer the baby's main food and it is likely that the older it is, the more it costs to get rid of it. heat and the lull of the breast.
Breastfeeding promotes a great emotional bond between the mother and her child by establishing a very intimate and complicity moment. Many mothers find their self-esteem elevated by doing something beautiful that no one else can do in their place, while holding their baby and both of them feel comfortable.
Therefore, once the decision has been made to wean the baby, the most important thing is to do it gradually, without trauma or doubts because it is important not to back down. After eleven months of breastfeeding, it helped me a lot to plan for weaning in advance so that it did not coincide with other changes in the child's life such as starting a nursery school, the arrival of a sibling or a move.
Transmitting security to the baby and the confidence that between the two of you will achieve it is essential when facing difficult challenges such as the introduction of the bottle or complementary feeding. Avoid being with him in the places where you used to breastfeed him for a while before or change the decoration of these places a little so that that moment does not remind him of the breast, try that someone else gives him the bottle and you are not near or in your field of view during bottle feedings.
And most importantly, give it time. It is better to get used to it little by little, than to force the situation. You'll see how everything goes well. If your baby has become used to falling asleep with the breast in his mouth, it is normal for your child to claim what he had and more if he had it associated with sleeping. In this case, it is advisable to teach him to sleep without the breast first and then wean him. It may be difficult, but not impossible.
Marisol New. Copywriter
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