As with any aspect of parenting, weaning your bay from breast to bottle comes with a bit of controversy. Whether you wean early or choose to breastfeed into toddlerhood, feed your baby organic, homemade food or something store-bought, moms continually question their decisions, and wonder if what they're doing is really best for their baby. With so many tips and tricks out there for weaning your baby, it's normal to feel overwhelmed and confused. That's why most new moms need to be reminded of the things they're doing absolutely right while weaning, instead of being questioned or worse, questioning themselves.
I remember feeling equal amounts of excitement and anxiety when I began weaning my daughter. Am I a bad mom for being ready to be done nursing? Will she even like solid food? What if she chokes? Should I do rice cereal or whole foods? Am I ready? It can be easy to put weaning off for fear that your baby won't do well or because you don't want your breastfeeding journey to end.
Although everyone eventually figures it out, having a friendly reminder that, "hey, you're doing so many things right," can be encouraging whether you're just beginning to wean or are at the end of the process.
1. Not Starting Solids Too Soon
Baby Center noted that there are several "methods" for weaning your baby, but most experts recommend not starting solids before your baby is 6 months old to ensure that they're developmentally ready. As exciting as it is to introduce your baby to solids, knowing not to begin before your baby is ready is important.
2. Learning The Signs That Your Baby Is Ready
Once your baby has passed the six month mark, you can begin looking for signs that they're genuinely ready to start eating solids. HIPP Organic noted that when your baby can sit independently, begins showing undeniable interest in your food, and brings things to their own mouth, it's time to start experimenting with different solids.
3. Starting Slow
It can be tempting to rush the weaning process. Baby GooRoo noted, however, that taking weaning slowly and replacing a feeding at a time is the best way to get both you and your baby accustomed to breastfeeding less and eating solids more.
4. Introducing Your Baby To A Wide Variety Of Foods
Although jarred baby food and rice cereal used to be the norm when it came to introducing baby to solids, nowadays, most moms are realizing that baby food doesn't have to be boring. In fact, Mama Natural noted that once your baby is mature enough, introducing them to a wide variety of fruits, veggies, and other foods to help them develop their own tastes and get necessary nutrition.
5. Letting Your Partner Step In
Unlike breastfeeding, the weaning process doesn't require the sole attention of the mother. Weaning is a great chance for your partner to step in, offering new foods and letting you take a back seat for once.
6. Considering Your Baby's Temperament
The weaning process is largely dependent on your baby's temperament, according to Baby Center. Some babies react well to change and can wean quickly without complaint. For other babies, weaning takes months and there are probably tears involved. Although it's impossible to know exactly how weaning will go, knowing your baby well enough to make it the best transition possible is an amazing feat.
7. Not Letting The Pressure Influence Your Decision
Like most aspects of parenting, there's no one-size-fits all approach to weaning. Although you may receive criticism for weaning your baby too early or too late, or for what brand of baby food you buy, or for making your own purees, knowing that weaning can look differently for everyone is a worthwhile discovery that will simplify the process even more.