The Indispensable Guide on When to Stop Breastfeeding a Baby
Becoming a mother is the most beautiful, magical experience that nourishes both you and your newborn with love and care. It is just like watching your heart resting near you after warmly keeping it inside the womb.
When you become a mother, it’s a healthy choice to start breastfeeding your little one. Therefore, you get to know that breast milk contains all the essential nutrients that your baby needs for its proper growth and development.
These vital nutrients include minerals, proteins, vitamins, fats, and lactose. Without these nutrients, the physical and mental development of your infant can be impaired.
However, the question here is: “Does anyone tell you about when, why, and how to stop breastfeeding?” These explicit illustrations will be your best parenting guide.
What is Weaning?
Stopping breastfeeding is also known as weaning. Knowing when and why to quit breastfeeding is as important as understanding the significance of lactation.
According to the World Health Organization, a mother should only breastfeed her baby for at least six months. It’s because an infant’s body demands are completely nourished by the mother’s milk up to this age. After this period, your baby’s body requirements exceed the energy he got from breast milk alone.
Therefore, you should upgrade his diet with healthy fruits, meat, eggs, and vegetables. Also, remember to keep breastfeeding your little one for about two years or more, along with these homemade colorful meals.
Before knowing when to wean off your baby, one should know the real significance of breastfeeding to avoid confusion.
Benefits of Breastfeeding:
The first milk that comes out of a mother’s breast after her baby’s birth is known as colostrum. Colostrum contains biologically active components, including immunoglobulins (antibodies), lysozyme, lactoferrin, lactoperoxidase, alpha-lactalbumin, beta-lactoglobulin, vitamins, and good fats.
Due to these vital immunoglobulins’ presence, this colostrum serves to build up the immunity of your baby. It invigorates your child’s immune system and protects himself from many different harmful diseases.
According to extensive studies, surveys, and analysis, babies fed on breastmilk for at least about 6 months are protected from various childhood illnesses. Most significantly, including respiratory diseases, middle ear infections, and gastroenteritis.
Breast milk also contains various nutrients. It includes 0.8-0.9% proteins, 4.5% fats, 7.1% carbohydrates (mainly lactose), 0.2% essential minerals, antibodies, vitamins and water. Therefore, for the proper growth and development of your baby, breastfeeding is highly essential.
When to Stop Breastfeeding a Baby? When to wean off your baby?
Since breastfeeding helps create a powerful and warm bond between a mother and a baby. It’s challenging for a mother to wean her baby off those special moments together with the baby’s cooperation.
During the weaning time, which is approximately six months, give yourself and your baby a little extra time before completely stopping breastfeeding.
In other words, quit breastfeeding gradually, and start this session on a day when your baby is not showing any interest in breastfeeding.
Skip a day or two and then breastfeed your baby at least twice a week along with other solids or milk formulas. You can wean off completely when your baby turns two.
Moreover, keep in mind to stay connected with your baby during this weaning process, or else it would affect his physical and mental health. Hug your baby when bottle feeding warmly and communicate effectively. Briefly, weaning off at the right time is the ultimate goal and a wise decision.
Why Do Mothers stop breastfeeding?
A mother may stop breastfeeding her baby when she notices any decrease in the milk supply. Milk production is linked to the suckling action of the baby. The more your baby sucks, the more milk is produced. It is the best example of a positive feedback mechanism in the human body.
However, milk production caused by feeding is dependent on the position of the baby while feeding. Therefore, when your baby does not latch on your breast’s areola properly, milk ejection may reduce. Your milk can’t be wasted if you do not want to wean your baby too early (before six months.)
Sometimes, your body is producing enough milk, but it is not satisfying your baby’s appetite. This ultimately makes your baby irritated, annoyed, and disappointed. Try feeding infant formulas in addition to breastmilk. These infant formulas delay the appetite period of your baby, consequently satisfying his body needs.
It also happens that your baby does not take any interest in breastmilk. The reason is that when you incorporate tasty and colorful meals in your child’s diet, he loves that new taste. It reduces the baby’s desire for that old taste of milk.
Moreover, other conditions that predispose weaning off include the health condition of the mother. Sometimes women are suffering from chronic diseases or disorders. When her medications are so easily absorbed into the breastmilk, the wise decision is to wean off breastfeeding.
It is much critical to avoid the metabolites of certain drugs entering your child’s body. Moreover, if you’re a working-woman, then stopping breastfeeding may be necessary.
Also, when your baby starts teething, it is essential to quit breastfeeding. Because that time, your baby uses your nipples as his baby-teether or a toy and sucks very aggressively. Such forceful chewing can cause cuts and infections.
Relevant post: Fitness Tips for working mothers.
How can you make weaning possible?
There are several ways you can wean your baby. You may introduce more tasty and healthy meals to your child’s diet. You can also distract your baby’s attention from your breast and can indulge him in more comforting activities.
Also, Pacifiers prove to be the best suckling toys in the weaning process. Since babies are more interested in suckling and playing with nipples, especially when they are teething, a pacifier is an ultimate solution.