To have a baby breast feeding is a wonderful feeling – it’s healthy for the baby and a great bonding experience for mother and child. But all good things must come to an end, and many nursing mothers wonder how to stop breastfeeding when the time comes. Read on for tips from the experts.
How to Stop Breastfeeding – First Things First
The first step in stopping breast feeding is to make sure your child is accustomed to a bottle or sippy cup, depending on their age. If your baby is old enough to use a sippy cup, it’s a simple matter of offering them a bit of juice or water while you drink something too. Share the sippy cup with your baby – you drink a little, and then give baby a little. Don’t offer this in place of nursing – just a little something extra to get them accustomed to taking liquids from another source.
How to Stop Breastfeeding – Replace One Meal a Day
Once your child is accustomed to drinking from a sippy cup or bottle, replace one breastfeeding session daily with a bottle of cup of breast milk or formula. If your child is old enough for it, give a teething cookie or other similar treat with the cup. Give your baby lots of attention – you may want to hold the baby while you give the bottle or cup, but it’s best not to hold them in the same position as when nursing. Let your child sit on your lap facing out, and perhaps read a book to them while they drink their milk or formula. Your baby may fuss at first – it’s hard for babies to give up the closeness of nursing! But if you persist and don’t give in – and keep giving plenty of cuddles – eventually he or she will come to look forward to this time as much as nursing. Once baby accepts one meal easily, start substituting another. It’s often a good idea to save the early morning feeding for last – it’s one of the hardest to give up, for mother and child, so best to save it until baby is already accustomed to taking a bottle or cup for the other meals.
How to Stop Breastfeeding – Avoiding Engorgement
One of the questions people ask about stopping breast feeding is – what happens to my milk, and how can I prevent painful, engorged breasts? Milk production is stimulated by the act of nursing, and if you slowly wean your child off the breast as described above, your milk production will slowly decrease with the lack of nursing. Unused milk will typically be reabsorbed by the body. If your body is still producing a lot of milk, your breasts may become heavy and painful. If this happens, it is okay to express some milk – either manually or with a breast pump. But don’t ‘over-express’; only release enough milk to relieve the pressure. If you pump too much, you’ll actually stimulate the production of more milk.
How to Begin Weaning your Nursing Baby off Breast Milk to Dry Up Lactation & Avoid Engorgement , ParentTime.com