Breastfeeding your baby is an incredibly sweet and very important time for your baby (and you), both developmentally and relationally. But as they grow older, their body reaches a point when solid food looks more appealing and they grow less interested in nursing. It may be a sad moment for you, as the baby-mother bond grows when breastfeeding. But there are several benefits of weaning for you and baby that are OK to be excited about.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommended that babies be breastfed exclusively for at least the first six months of life, and then in conjunction with solids for the first 12 months or longer as desired by the mother and baby. After that point though, when you both feel ready, you'll probably both be excited to wean, however quickly or slowly you take the process on.
Weaning can be a bittersweet time for moms as their baby "grows up," but weaning should be exciting as well. It means your baby is ready to try new things, get their nutrition from new (and exciting for them) places, and learn skills that they'll literally use for the rest of their life. So though you shouldn't rush the weaning process along, it's ok to be excited about it when it does arrive.
1. Your Baby Gets To Experiment With New Tastes And Learn To Feed Themselves
Whether you start out fast or slow, weaning your baby means introducing them to new flavors, textures, and experiences that they've never had before. Most babies are extremely interested in solid foods before they actually get to taste them — according to Kid's Spot going with your baby's natural leaning to try new foods can be a great tactic to create a lifelong great eater.
2. You Get Your Body Back
I'm not going to lie, after almost three years of breastfeeding, I was more than ready to have my body back. Or at least just my boobs back. Whether you've nursed for six months or six years (you're the real MVP,) not producing milk with your body can start to sound really appealing.
3. Your Baby Can Eat What You Do
If you utilize "baby led weaning," feeding your baby solids can be extremely convenient. You don't need to carve out special time to feed your baby, you don't need to puree separate foods, and you can simply feed your baby bits of what you're already eating.
4. You Get A Break From Feeding Duties
When you're nursing, only you can provide your baby with necessary nutrition. Even if you pump, you still have to take the time to pump the breast milk your baby will eat. Once they're eating solids, anyone can feed your baby. Not just you.
5. Your Baby's Personality Develops Even More
Just like mini-adults, your baby's unique tastes and personality will come out in what tastes they do and don't enjoy. Mama Natural noted that some babies are adventurous eaters right off the bat, while others need a bit of prodding to try new things. Either way, it's fun to watch your baby grow and try new things.
6. You Can Say Bye To The Breast Pump
No more taking another bag with you just for your pump. No more hooking up a machine to your breasts to suction milk out. Hip hip hooray for well-timed weaning.