For the next few days, I will be the only one at home. My wife and my kids will be spending time with my sister just downtown. Ordinarily, I would not allow this to happen because I really do not enjoy staying alone. However, the visit to my sister is much more than just a visit. It is one of the steps to wean my one-and-a-half-year-old baby off breastmilk.
My sister will simply be able to give him all the necessary attention while the mother stays away from him as much as possible. This is done in order to make him forget sucking breastmilk for as long as possible. Snacks and beverages will be used to further distract him away from sucking.
During nights, he will simply be sleeping beside my sister and not his mum. By doing so, there will not be any temptation to breastfeed him during the night. Beverages and water will be kept handy at night too.
If everything goes well, he should forget about breastfeeding within one or two days. This is how his elder brother was weaned off sucking, albeit with a little modification to the procedure.
While growing up, our parents used different methods to wean babies off sucking. I remember vividly well how my younger brother was weaned. It was really tough. Different methods were used all to no avail. The emotional blackmail through crying was tough. My mum could not take it.
She went as far as applying bitter but non-poisonous substances to her nipples just to discourage him from sucking. My younger brother simply did not mind. When all tacts seemed ineffective, he was simply left to cry for as much as he likes. After about 48 hours, he forgot about breastfeeding.
Medically, it is recommended that babies should be breastfed exclusively for six months. Thereafter, other foods can be gradually introduced along with breastmilk for up to two years. Why then would I support my wife weaning a less than two-year-old- baby?
The reasons are not far-fetched:
- He has a big status for his age.
- He has refused to get acclimatized to other foods. He is simply fixated with breastmilk.
- The embarrassment he causes my wife in the public is simply unbearable. People with experience already know what I am talking about here.
I Have seen instances whereby babies spontaneously and gradually reduced the rate at which they breastfeed until they finally stopped totally. Sometimes, I wish this will work with my babies but this has never been the case.
Even though it comes highly recommended to gradually wean babies off breastfeeding, this only works a few times. Gradual weaning gives ample time for babies to adjust to their new lifestyles and prevent the health implications of abrupt weaning.
In addition, gradual weaning medically benefits the mother. The last time, my wife face some health challenges due to the abrupt way we weaned our boy off breastfeeding. This time, we are envisaging the same problem and are fully prepared for it.
For babies that spontaneously stop breastfeeding on their own, there is no problem. In this part of the world, I have only witnessed very few. I wish I could get statistics of babies that spontaneously stop breastfeeding in any part of the world. Please direct me if you know any.
I know mothers have different ways of weaning their babies. I have explained the one me and my wife used above. I really want to learn about other people's methods. Hence, the reason for putting up this post.
So, how do you wean your babies off breastfeeding? Do your babies just spontaneously stop on their own? Please, feel free to share your experience in the comment section for others to learn.
Thank you all for reading.