When To Wean Your Baby
When should you wean your baby? There are many different theories on this process and it can be one of the most often asked questions to a pediatrician. Even they may not be able to tell you when the process should be started. The fact is, many mothers need a specific guideline that tells them when they should just stop. There is not one of those guidelines available. The fact is, it takes a great deal of time to make this baby weaning process happen and no one can tell you when to stop breastfeeding.
In the United States, it is estimated that only about 20 percent of babies are still nursing at six months of age. This is a very low number. When you compare this to most other nations, you may find that the differences are quite striking. For example, in most European, Asian and African cultures, babies will breastfeed until they are between two and four years of age. Many of the mothers in these countries would see stopping breastfeeding so young as is done in the United States by most mothers to be very wrong.
Why should you keep going or why should you stop? There is no evidence that there is any harm to a child that is breastfed longer. There are many benefits to breastfeeding longer, though. You will find that the child is getting the nutrition they need. You will also see that even if you breastfeed your child just one time a day there is a benefit in this. Culturally people in the United States have put a black mark on the process of breastfeeding past a few months but this does not have to be the case.
As a parent, keep in mind why you chose to breastfeed in the first place. The nutrition is ideal for the child. The bond that forms between you and the baby is incredibly strong. Most importantly, you have developed a child that has come to see breastfeeding as a process that keeps them comfortable and secure.
The process of baby weaning is one there is no time limit on. Consider what is right for your child individually rather than looking for a goal outside of this. Ultimately, you should encourage your child to make the decision by watching to see what he or she needs rather than going with what your friend has told you is appropriate for them.
Resources For Baby Weaning
When it comes to weaning a baby from breastfeeding, everyone has an opinion. You will find women without any experience giving advice on how long a baby should breastfeed. You may even find that everyone you know has a different opinion as to when the baby should stop breastfeeding. While this is common, it is important to note that it is highly necessary to make this decision for yourself, based on what your baby and what you need from the process. However, where can you turn to for a good amount of help?
First of all, one of the best locations to get help from is your pediatrician. Your pediatrician should be someone that you trust with your child’s health and if you do not, you should be looking for another professional to help you in that area. The fact is, you need to have a good idea of what your child needs at this point in time, no matter how old they are. Talk to your doctor about your child and breastfeeding. Since babies do see their doctors often, this is a question you can talk about whenever you feel it is appropriate. The American Academy of Paediatrics recommends that babies are breastfed until they are at least one year old. Nevertheless, that does not mean your doctor will recommend this.
Besides your pediatrician, who knows the health and well being of your child, there are many other places to get information and advice on breastfeeding. You may wish to stay away from those who are may not have an opinion that is based on facts. For example, if a friend who has never breastfeed has an opinion, it is not coming from experience. Avoid these and instead talk to someone that has breastfed and find out how they worked through the process. You can find a variety of great support groups available online, too. This can be a fantastic resource for mothers who want unbiased opinions on when they should consider baby weaning. Keep in mind that it is still your decision to make.
Baby weaning is a process that is not just defined by when you should stop breastfeeding but also how to do so. It can take a great deal of time to make the process happen but if that is necessary then allow it to happen. You will find the process more enjoyable and beneficial after you have gathered facts and information from trusted sources.
3 Misconceptions About Baby Weaning
Baby weaning is a process in which a child stops breastfeeding from their mother and moves to eating nothing but solid foods or a bottle. This process is eventual, and there is no set time table for when it should happen. This is especially true since most babies simply have to make up their mind on their own. Each is unique. Their needs both physically and emotionally are different. Since breastfeeding is much more than feedings, it is important to consider all sides of the process. When it comes to baby weaning, there are often many misconceptions. Here are three to keep in mind.
#1: 6 Months Is Time
One of the worst mistakes you can make is to assume that your child has to be breastfeeding weaned by the time they are six months. In fact, the American Academy of Paediatrics recommends that mothers continue to breastfeed their children until at least the age of one year old. Around the world, stopping breastfeeding prior to a child’s second birthday is strange. It is really a decision that the child needs to make. Are they ready for the change? If not, they will let you know. It is impossible to force a child to breastfeed.
#2: Mothers Keep Children Breastfeeding Too Long
The fact is, there is no reason to stop breastfeeding early. Many children would like to remain breastfeeding for one reason or another and should be allowed to do so. They should be put onto solid foods by the age of six months, but they can supplement this with breastfeeding for several more years without a problem.
Breast milk is highly nutritious throughout a child’s first years. It can help protect their immune system and allows the body to develop properly.
#3: Breastfeeding Weaning Is Too Hard
The process of weaning a child from the breast is one that does take time. The amount of time it takes really depends on the child. If a child is reluctant to stop breastfeeding, there is likely a reason why this is happening. In this case, talk with the child’s pediatrician and be sure to work with the child to understand why.
In many situations, people have a misconception of why mothers choose to breastfeed for longer than one year. The bottom line is that there is nothing wrong with the process. It does not affect the development of a child negatively but does foster a strong immune system.