When to wean baby from breastfeeding?

(October 21, 2010)

Wean Baby From Breastfeeding

The jury is still out on the right time to wean a baby from breastfeeding. Stopping too early may result in allergies later on in life and stopping too late may result in the same as well. For most mothers, making the decision to breastfeed is an easy one. However, determining when one should start the weaning process is a decision that mothers agonize over. Some breastfeeding women choose to wean their babies before they return to work, others continue to express and bottle feed their babies for a few more years. The choice is purely up to the mother concerned. Breastfeeding as it is well known establishes a special bond between mother and child. Most doctors recommend exclusive breast feeding for the first six months. Breast milk is considered to have all the essential nutrients your baby needs during this period. However, there comes a time when you need to start weaning your child off.  It is important to remember that weaning your child is a slow and lengthy process. Keep in mind that your child needs to develop nervous and muscular coordination before it can eat any kind of solid food. Children usually develop this by the time they are about four months of age. Before this, they are unable to move the food around in their mouths or even swallow. Another point to keep in mind is that your baby’s digestive system is not fully developed before four months. It cannot extract the necessary protein and digestives from solid food.

Most babies themselves show signs that they are ready to be weaned. The first of these is when your baby’s teeth appear. Teeth will enable them to chew food. Another sign that your baby is ready to be weaned is when she sits up on her own – either in a baby chair or on your lap. This being said, most breast fed babies do not move easily from the breast to the sippy cup. Breastfed babies may also object to being weaned as they miss the closeness they share with their mothers. The closeness that breastfeeding brings along with it. If you find out that this is the reason why your baby is not being weaned, try holding them during feeds. This will reduce the shock of weaning. It is advisable to wean your baby off breastfeeding gradually. The bottle should be introduced slowly and filled with breast milk first. Formula can be then added slowly as the child gets used to the bottle.

Submitted by P T on October 21, 2010 at 04:01

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