Gradually cutting back the number of times you breastfeed during the day is the weaning method of choice for experienced moms. This slow approach made the transition to a bottle or a cup easier.
Here are some weaning strategies that may help mothers through this challenging procedure.
A Snack vs. the Breast
Remove one feeding every few days until the evening meal is the last one left. Replace it with a snack and whole milk before they sleep. After reading a few books, sing to them for a few minutes before placing them in their crib.
Another way is to start giving them a cup with some juice at snack time, and a bottle instead of nursing once a day. Then you can increase the bottle to twice a day, and so on, until they are completely off the breast.
Let Your Child Lead the Way
Some moms let their babies tell them when they wanted to wean and at what pace. It can just suddenly drop to twice a day. No emotional trauma, no engorged breasts. Just a happy and loving end to a special relationship.
Some moms still nurse till 24 months, even when their babies are still drinking out of a cup and eating a wide variety of solid food. The breast is mainly a comfort thing.
Change Bedtime Routines
Instead of nursing right before bed, read to your babies from their favorite books. They would then drink their milk, and get ready for sleep. It might take a few weeks to get her used to this new routine but this is a way mother and baby can bond in a different way.
Introduce the Cup
Start giving your son a cup at about 6 months. When you stop breastfeeding him at about a year, he will get so used to the cup that he wont even care that you stopped nursing him.