As a mother, it is natural to want to breastfeed your baby until there is no longer a need to do so. Of course, all mothers know that this is the best way to start off the baby’s healthy lifestyle, to help build immunity and facilitate the healthy growth of the baby. But breastfeeding has to give way for normal feeding and diet at some point of time. Unfortunately, not all babies seem to feel that way. This can make stopping breastfeeding frustrating for both the mother and baby.
The most important thing to know is that you should not stop abruptly. The baby will get upset if you suddenly withdraw and that is not good for either the baby or the mother. One way to wean the baby off of the breast is to cut back on the amount of times that you breastfeed in a day. For the rest of the feedings, use a bottle or cup with breast milk. This way the baby will not feel as though they are missing out on anything and it makes the transition easier for both mother and baby.
One of the times that baby looks forward to feeding the most is during the night if they wake up and when it is time for bed. The time for bed should be the last feeding to be stopped. If the baby wakes up in the middle of the night, the father may try to tend to baby until they go back to sleep. This will probably be a long tedious process but patience is a virtue. If Dad is not around, and maybe Grandma or Grandpa can help and they could tend to the baby as well.
Sometimes by the time we decide it is time to stop breastfeeding, the child is old enough to understand what we are telling them. This can be a critical time for the child since this is as much a physical comfort factor as emotional for them. The mother simply has to explain that the only time for breastfeeding is at night when it is time to go to bed and later none at all. As you wean away, it is important to give more physical attention so that the child does not feel as though they are lacking in your attention.
This is also a time that the mother will need to take care of her breasts. It can be painful when she stops breastfeeding because of the feeling of being to full. Weaning off gradually will help handle the feeling of being full and feeling pain as well. The supply and demand rule applies here as well. The less milk you use, the less the body will produce. Some people recommend using cabbage leaves on the breasts to relieve the pain from swelling breasts. Simply place them over the breast and leave on for 20 minutes or so. This can be done up to 2 times a day. Eventually both the mother and baby will get through the weaning period and everything will go back to normal.