Some moms might feel sad or anxious when they think of the day that they won’t be breastfeeding. Other will think to that day and feel relief! When my baby Walt turned 6 months, I was ready to stop. I was working full time and pumping at work. Pumping every 4 hours and getting all the necessary calories/nutrition was like a second job. I was one of those mommas who was relieved to be weaning.
But I will not pretend that I didn’t shed a tear or two at the last feeding.
-For whatever reason you are trying to wean, do it slowly. Offer the bottle (of pumped breast milk or formula) in between feedings before they start to show signs of being hungry. Drop one feeding a day every 5-6 days. Replace the feeding with a bottle – the amount of ounces will depend on the age of the baby.
-Don’t forget to emotionally support your baby through the weaning process. Hug and kiss and hold them more than you think you need to. This is a process for them too. Show them that even though the boob is gone, the love is still there.
-It’s not always a smooth process. Give yourself credit for breastfeeding. (You are a champion if you fed/pumped for a few days or a few years. You fed and grew human life with your body! You are amazing!) Remember as you stop making milk, you will go through some hormonal changes. Don’t be surprised if your hair is falling out and your mood swings harder than Miley on a wrecking ball. Its all just part of the plan, you will survive.
These are the 5 tips I wish someone had given me before switching to a bottle.
- Have someone else try to give them the bottle. When they smell momma, they want the boob. You may have more success (like I did) when daddy gives the bottle the first few times.
- Try when they ARE NOT hungry. It might be too stressful to try when they are starving.
- Position the baby like if you were breast feeding. The natural position will help prepare them.
- (If you are pumping) Put a drop or two on their mouth first so they understand that this is also where milk comes from. This will signal them to start sucking.
- Don’t give up and just breastfeed. Try try again. It may take a few attempts with the bottle. They will get it. Don’t panic.
Disclaimer: Listen to your body and baby.
If you are “by the book” or unconventional in your mommy approach,
only YOU know what is best for your family.