How to stop breastfeeding a toddler?

(July 7, 2010)

Stop Toddler Breastfeeding

Stopping breastfeeding can be hard both for the mother and the child. Normally the mother will start breast feeding the child right after it is born all the way till about one year in age. Some mothers will continue to feed the child for two years and some even for three years. However, doctors usually recommend that the child benefits most from being exclusively breast fed for at least the first 4 to 6 months post birth. Right after birth, the mother’s breasts will start producing milk like substance that is yellow and creamy and is called as colostrums. This is very nutritious for the child and is produced only for the first few days. Being breast fed for a child is not only a means of providing nutrition for a child but it also helps in providing the child with a form of security. Some studies have indicated that children who are breast fed turn to be more independent and more confident. Breast milk, studies have found, help in building a child immune system. These children are less likely to fall ill often as compared to those children that are not breast fed. Hence when it comes to the time to stop breastfeeding a toddler, it can be traumatic for the child.

There are various ways a mother can use to try and wean her child without it being an unpleasant experience. Most toddlers will be resistant to the idea of stopping as this is their source of comfort and individual time with their mothers. Hence a mother should gradually reduce the number of times she is nursing her child. For instance if she was nursing in the morning, afternoon, evening and night, she can start by reducing the feeds in the afternoon initially. Then she can reduce the evening feed and the morning feed too. This way by gradually reducing the feeding time the breaking away process will be a gradual one. Usually stopping the night feed tends to be the hardest. The best method is to involve a partner to take the child and feed him or her some milk with a bottle or a spoon. Stopping breast feeding may involves some crying and some signs of distress from the toddler, however in some cases the switch over from mother’s milk to bottle milk or top feed can be seamless too. The mother should try and spend time with the child so that there is no loss of contact or security.

Submitted by P T on July 7, 2010 at 01:22

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