Whether you've been crying about the end of your breastfeeding journey, counting down the days till you can introduce solids, or fall somewhere in between, you'll never be truly prepared for that big transition. With all of the research on various weaning techniques (not to mention everything you read on the message boards) you may be tempted to jump in head first and "see how it goes." Winging it, however, doesn't take into consideration the things you should never do while weaning, that are almost guaranteed to make weaning more stressful than it should be.
AsI said, it's almost impossible to prepare. But by knowing the things to avoid while weaning, you can try to make a plan of attack that fits both you and your baby's needs. There are as many weaning methods as there are babies and, like most aspects of raising a baby, no two weaning experiences are exactly the same. With these expert-backed weaning don'ts up your sleeve, you'll be able to tailor a plan for transitioning your baby to solids that works for your baby's preferences, schedule, and, above all, temperament. Because changing your baby's way of life is hard enough without these extra obsticles.
1. Start Too Soon
One of the most common mistakes parents make when weaning is starting their baby on solids too soon. The World Health Organization recommends waiting until your baby is 4 to 6 months old to begin introducing solids at all. This is to ensure that your baby is developmentally and physically ready to chew, swallow, and digest solid food without danger.
2. Feel Guilty About It
Weaning isn't a one-size-fits-all process. Some moms choose to wean at exactly six months to enable them to go back to a job they love, others wait until toddlerhood to wean their baby. The last thing you should feel is guilt over your decision to wean your baby, no matter where you're at in the trajectory.
3. Put A Time Limit On It
Don't expect weaning to fit into a specified time frame. In fact, the Mayo Clinic suggested taking the weaning process slowly, to ensure that both you and your baby are ready for the switch.
4. Refuse Feedings
Although it can be tempting to set boundaries while you wean, the reality is that refusing to breastfeed your baby if they ask can turn weaning into a negative experience.
5. Quit Cold Turkey
According to the National Institutes of Health, quitting breastfeeding abruptly can be painful for both you and your little one. Aside from the physical side effects like engorgement and possible infection, your baby will likely miss breastfeeding much more if you quit cold turkey than if you gradually introduce solids over time.