Weaning your baby

卒乳How do you prepare for the happy start of your job return?
The first week of returning to your job may be very stressful for you. Therefore, we recommend you start it in the middle of the week, so that the weekend will come soon!
The WHO recommends giving breast milk for up to 2 years and beyond, and the APA (American Pediatric Association) recommends giving breast milk for at least 12 months.
We wish for you not to feel stress over providing your child with breast milk, and that you can continue giving breast milk for a longer period.

We wish you and your baby happy days together!

The way of planned weaning

It is better to wean your child naturally when you would like to quit breastfeeding. Try the following things for babies 1 year and over.

1. You should not refuse to nurse your child when he/she asks for breast milk. However, refrain from offering your breast to your child if your child did not ask for it.
2. Stop routine breastfeeding. Babies remember the feeding place and will try to go there with you when they want to nurse. Avoid sitting in these places if you would like to reduce the frequency of nursing.
3. Ask your family members to give your baby some food that your baby likes.
4. Before your baby says “Can I?”, try to distract your baby from having breast milk. Make a close relationship between you and your baby by doing activities such as giving some nutritious snacks, reading picture books, going out to the parks, and playing with them.
5. If your baby can wait to get breast milk, give them some condition such as “when we get home or when we go back to the car, you can get breast milk” and make sure to follow through on your promise. By doing so, your baby will learn the meaning of waiting and trusting you.
6. When your baby is 2 years old or so, it may be possible to reduce the duration of feeding by counting aloud for 10 seconds and tell your child “You can have breast milk while I count from 1 to 10”.
7. Make a promise to stop giving breast milk after talking it over with your child. Generally, it is known that a child more than 3 years old can understand the meaning of a promise.
8. In order to avoid mastitis, decrease the frequency of nursing to once every 3 to 4 days. Take your time when you reduce the frequency. If you have pain in your breasts, please milk them lightly.

For the baby who wants to nurse for the sake of emotional support, it is natural that most babies try to satisfy their desire by sucking their fingers as substitutes. Please accept their behavior as they are, and give your love and attention to them.

The signs for too early weaning are as follows:

  • For babies, the signs are: stuttering, crying in the night, following you around, being attached increasingly to things like soft toys and blankets, fear of separation, and biting others
  • For mothers, the signs are: severe, unendurable pain in their breasts

You can wean at any time. In those cases above, you should consider nursing once again.    

Kin-ikyo Sapporo Hospital