When Is the Right Time to Wean a Baby?

When Is the Right Time to Wean a Baby?

When I was pregnant the first time, I had made up my mind to breastfeed my baby for six months minimum. But by the time my boy turned 6-months-old, everything was going so smoothly that it seemed a pity to quit. I thought of going for another three months. Although he had started semi-solids, I nursed him often. I returned to work though and continued nursing him at night. This went on for 18 months until he lost interest.

Weaning means different for different people and in different cultures. For some, giving semi-solids or something other than the mother’s milk is weaning (which means using formula or starting solids is weaning). For others, weaning means stopping breastfeeding completely.

The weaning process actually begins when the child takes anything else other than the mother’s milk. So weaning may take several days, weeks, or months to complete.

But when should you wean your baby? If you are loving breastfeeding your little one, you may hate to stop it. But if not, you might look forward to weaning him. So it’s definitely a personal choice: only you and your child know it. Your experience will be different from what you planned. Always remember it’s a relationship and is more than just a feeding method. And relationships play out differently for everyone.

Whenever you decide to wean your baby, do remember that breast milk has more than 200 nutrients, which nothing else can provide. Exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months is important as it can provide a baby with all the nutrients he needs for his growth and development and can prevent him from illnesses. Children grow faster. So the advantages push you to feed. Sore nipples, mastitis and extreme fatigue are some of the reasons why most stop though.

Most new mothers say that they don’t have enough milk. But studies say very few mothers don’t have a generous milk supply. And with correct latching, correct positions, good nutrition, and of course by feeding often, the milk supply is bound to be more than enough. So don’t lose heart before you try.

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