Friday, October 1, 2010

When should I wean my baby from breastfeeding?

A simple question without simple answers


For some mothers, getting the baby to start breastfeeding was an enormous challenge. They spent so much time reading about breastfeeding, researching ways to get a fussy baby to take to the breast, and consulting lactation specialists that the idea of weaning the baby seems almost unimaginable.

However, weaning is something that must take place for every breastfed child, so the real question is when should you start to wean?



Experts politely disagree




Experts disagree about the ideal time to stop breastfeeding and some researchers even encourage parents to continue breastfeeding as long as the child and mother are both willing and able to do so.

Generally, leaders in this field agree that, if at all possible, it is ideal for the baby to consume only breast milk for the first six months of his or her life. The American Association of Pediatricians encourages mothers to continue breastfeeding along with supplementary foods for another six months, which would mean weaning your infant at 1 year.

However, the World Health Organization doubles this time period in their recommendations, telling mothers to continue breastfeeding for two years if they are able to do so.



Trust your mother’s intuition




So when should you wean your baby from breastfeeding? Only you can make the right choice for your baby and for yourself. If you have to return to work sooner than six months, you may want to consider pumping and storing your breast milk during the day and breastfeeding at night. If this is not possible, make adjustments that work for you.

20 comments:

  1. Most of the human race is just not disciplined enough to make most things work. It's not just with health-related issues either. However, with health it tends to matter more. So how do you overcome the hurdles and the procrastination?

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  12. I got mine back when my first son was 5 months and I got it back when my secnod son was 4 months old. I also breastfed them both exclusively. I'm not sure how long it will take for your period to return though. It depends on the person. You can go up to a whole year without a period if you breastfeed full time. I think most women do get it back by about 6 months though. If you really want to try again this summer and haven't got your period yet, then I would say to maybe cut down on breastfeeding, but you don't want to completely quit breastfeeding if at all possible because its so good for you and the baby. There are tremendous health benefits and the longer you breastfeed, the better you and the baby benefit from it. By this summer, your baby will be about 7 months old and he/she will probably be on baby food and you won't be breastfeeding nearly as much because the baby will need to be getting nutrients from solids along with breast milk so you're likely to start your period at least by the time the baby begins breast feeding a little less and eating more solids.

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