The weaning process of a breastfed baby or toddler can happen in a number of ways and for a number of reasons.
Breast milk should be the main part of a babies diet for the first year, even if they have started on solids and other drinks.
When your baby decides to wean himself, usually after they are eating food and having other drinks, babies may start to refuse the breast, this is called baby-led weaning. The baby not feeding can be very emotional for many mothers, and if you feel it is too soon the Australian Breastfeeding Association can be very helpful Call 1800 686268.
If it’s the mother who has decided they have had enough, want to become pregnant, or for medical reasons, this is called mother-led weaning. The best way to wean a baby is slowly, this will give your baby time to adjust and reduces the risk of blocked ducts and mastitis.
Weaning a Baby or Toddler
- Start baby weaning gradually and slowly.
- Milk supply will slowly decrease as the breast milk is removed less often.
- According to your baby’s age substitute the breastfeed with a cup or bottle.
- Drop the breastfeed your baby or toddler is less interested in first, then every few days or weeks cut out another, this way you and your baby will be healthier and happier.
- If your breasts start to feel engorged try hand expressing or use a hand pump until they feel more comfortable, don’t fully empty your breasts otherwise your supply may build up again.
If you are having any problems weaning emotionally or physically, or have more specific questions, please seek help from the Australian Breastfeeding Association 1800 686 268, your local Maternal Health Nurse or your GP.