For the majority of the children and mothers, breastfeeding is not just about food but about love, security, and warmth. The breastfeeding should be done for infants, but when your little one is grown up, you may have to wean them off breastfeeding. Many children stop it by themselves when they start eating other edible items, whereas, for others, they don’t tend to leave it so soon. Breastfeeding brings a child security, warmth, and comfort. This is why it is recommended to not wean your child off breastfeeding while they are going some major change such as toilet training, moving houses, starting child care, etc.
If you are a working mother or wish for your child to stop breastfeeding due to their other food consumption, then it will be tricky for you to get them off it without it lasting with them forever. A baby is born with the skills required to breastfeed. If you wish to stop your toddler from breastfeeding, then you can read on, and find some tips and helpful reminders to help them stop breastfeeding. The process can be difficult at times, but it’s nothing that a soothing conversation and healthy communication cannot solve.
Tips for weaning your toddler from breastfeeding:
One at a time-
Don’t completely wean them off of breastfeeding. You can stop feeding them one breast at a time. This will also be beneficial for your breasts as a sudden stop in breastfeeding can change its shape, size, and feel.
Day and night-
You can start by dropping the timings of the breastfeeding. You can stop your toddler from breastfeeding in the day first. During the night, the child most needs the comfort of his mother to lull them into sleep. They may also sleep while breastfeeding. Hence, first, stop breastfeeding in the day and then at night.
Set some boundaries with your child regarding breastfeeding it can be something like no breastfeeding while you are out, no breastfeeding when you are surrounded by people, you will only breastfeed once a day at a set time, etc. This will help them to settle into the habit gradually to not breastfeed.
You can distract your child from breastfeeding by engaging them in other activities. These activities can be playtime with friends a day at the park, the weekend at the zoo, etc. They will be too tired and excited to mull over their habit of breastfeeding.
You can replace breastfeeding with some “grown-up” food. It can be some food or drink. The child will be excited to try something new and may not crib about breastfeeding. The child will be thrilled if you do it irregularly as a surprise.
Weaning off breastfeeding is an emotional experience for the child. You can gradually get them to stop this habit than completely stopping them. They can associate it with feelings of withdrawal and hence, always communicate with them openly, honestly, and with love.