Mum Sharda Ghumare’s baby just turned 2 years old and she wantsed to know the best age to stop breastfeeding. We’ve always said that Mommy Knows Best, so who better to ask than mommies themselves! We asked and here’s what most of them suggested:
- 02 years is a good time, in fact, feeding till so late may also lead to difficulties in weaning.
- It’s good to have fed baby for as long as 02 years, but now it’s time baby gets plenty of other healthy things like vegetables, fruits, rice, roti etc. It may be difficult to suddenly try and switch baby to something else, but eventually, baby will pick up the tastes and develop an interest in new food.
- Once babies start teething it’s difficult to feed. A good way to start weaning is by giving bottle feed in small quantities, cerelac, mashed rice, curd, sheera, upma, roti etc. You can also give diluted cow milk to baby for feeding. You will gradually be able to reduce the number of feeding times.
- Offer your child cow’s milk whenever the child asks for a feed. It will be difficult in the beginning but you have to be a little firm, and gradually baby will get habituated.
- It may take 2-3 months to completely stop, but the first key is to distract baby. Initially, the mother too may feel some discomfort on stopping the feed, but this will gradually go away, and you can always consult your doctor if the pain or uneasiness persists.
- Sometimes, it’s a good idea to let baby decide when to stop. The milk may stop/reduce in quantity, baby might start developing a taste of the other food that you’re giving, or baby may suddenly just give up altogether. If this isn’t causing you or baby any discomfort and you want to, then you can continue. Don’t take too much stress. Just relax, enjoy your motherhood and take this as a time to bond with your baby.
- You should try and give feeding time duties to someone else in the house. Every time baby sees you at feed time, baby will surely want breast milk. Ask an elder in the family or your husband to take up feeding duties and handle the bottle. Try and let baby sleep with your partner or a family elder for a few days, so that the habit of feeding while sleeping reduces and then completely stops.
- Don’t stop breastfeed suddenly, introduce bottle feed, increase it slowly in number and then slowly stop.
- Get some fun bottles and sippers and let baby enjoy the new feeding products!
- One of the best times to try and introduce ‘new’ feed is when baby is really sleepy. Try giving a bottle of diluted cow’s milk when baby is already really sleepy. Ask your partner to feed the bottle so that baby doesn’t create a fuss.
- There may be a lot of crying and screaming, but please be firm and don’t give in. Do not feel guilty. Remember, you’ve already given baby your best and now is the time to introduce and help baby to move on to other things that are healthy, nutritious and important. Take this as a slight hitch and a few days of crying will eventually give way to other feeds and solids.
Special thanks to:
Deepika Prabhu, Aastha Jain Agarwal, Latika Warrier, Sangeeta Apoorv S, Nancy Denola Khan, Poonam Ganesh, Tulika Verma, Sumana Vivek, Jayata Devang Mehta, Mohita Solanki, Anindita Dash Padhi, Ranu Sharma, Sarah Singh, Pooja Choudhuri, Sanjeet Sandhu Rajput, Prachi Patankar