If you are breastfeeding, you'll want to know when to begin weaning your baby from breastmilk. There is no generalized answer to that question. However, the following information may be helpful in determining an answer. Some may be weaning in order to go back to work while others may be weaning for other reasons, such as the transition into solid foods.
When Should I Start Weaning My Baby?
According to KidsHealth.org, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that babies are breastfed until at least 6 months of age. At that point, it is recommended that a combination of breastmilk and solid foods be given until the baby is at least 1 year old.
Experts will vary on the exact time when moms can begin weaning their baby. Consulting with your child's pediatrician is a great way to be sure that the choice you make is catered to your baby's individual needs. Beyond that, watch for cues from your baby's actions, combining that with the doctor's advice. I always found that combining the doctor's advice with baby's cues led to a successful weaning process.
Transitioning to Solids
Some babies will wean on their own naturally during the transition to solid foods. Others may need their mother to take a leadership role when it comes to weaning. Some are not as willing to wean as others. It may be the easiest to begin weaning your baby when solid foods are a particular interest or distraction. The excitement of new foods may distract the baby's attention from breastfeeding.
When a baby is showing more interest in transitioning to drinking liquids in a cup and eating more solid foods, this is a good indication of when to begin weaning. Baby food and liquid amounts should be discussed with the pediatrician to be sure that baby is eating the correct amount.
Reducing & Eliminating Nightly Feedings
The nightly feedings seem to be the hardest to shy the baby away from. Therefore some mothers opt to use transitioning to solid foods as a perfect opportunity to eliminate nightly feedings. Some mothers may still choose to offer a nightly feeding while transitioning the baby to solids.
Importance of Gradual Weaning
During the process of weaning, you don't want to just stop breastfeeding all of a sudden. Weaning a baby should involve gradually decreasing the amount of breastmilk given, while gradually increasing other forms of nourishment. This helps to ensure that the baby is getting the proper nourishment needed to thrive. If you are at all unsure of what to do during the process, don't hesitate to talk to your child's pediatrician to accurately assess what is healthy for your baby.
-- Note that the author is not a licensed medical professional. The above is provided for informational purposes. Always consult a licensed medical professional for any advice pertaining to health matters.
by Lyn Lomasi, Staff Writer
My kids absolutely love the outdoors. If you'd like yours to do the same, perhaps some of our family habits will inspire you to get your kids out there. Raising kids who love the outdoors is not as hard as you may be thinking right now. It's best to start early. But it's never too late to get in on the outdoor fun and adventures.
Make the outdoors a part of your normal family routine. When the kids and I go to any nearby stores, we always walk. We found a walking trail in our area that leads to pretty much every destination we have nearby. Whenever possible, we walk on this trail. We are a green family and try not to use vehicles if we don't have to. If we can walk or use a city bus, we will. This involves a great deal of walking. But we turn it into an adventure by using the trails or whatever else is around us. If we aren't outdoors in that way, you'll catch us outside reading, playing in the garden, and more. I work at home and the kids are homeschooled. So you'll even catch us working and studying outdoors. What each family does will vary. But the point is to be outdoors as much as possible.
Most babies will get diaper rash at some point. As a mother to multiple children, I have dealt with diaper rash more than once, for sure. According to pediatricians I've talked to, as well as through personal experience, I learned that prevention techniques can make those occurrences minimal. To prevent diaper rash, it is important to know the main underlying causes and what can be done to avoid them.
This hopefully goes without saying, but a baby should always be kept clean. This means that a baby should be cleaned during diaper changing, but it also means regular baths. Before a fresh diaper is put back on, baby's skin should be completely dry. This can prevent diaper rash that occurs due to moisture.
Diaper chafing is likely the number one cause for diaper rash. This type of rash can be very uncomfortable. To prevent diaper rash due to diaper chafing, be sure that the baby is changed frequently. Being in a soiled diaper for too long can irritate (or chafe) the skin.
Another type of diaper rash can actually be caused by the diaper itself. Some babies have sensitive skin. Thus, to prevent diaper rash caused by diapers, it is important to note what materials they are made of prior to using them on the baby. For instance, diapers that contained too much elastic or were made with fibers other than 100% cotton would irritate the skin of a couple of my children as babies.
Another cause for diaper rash can actually lie in the products labeled for use during diapering. For instance, many baby wipes contain harsh chemicals and fragrances that can irritate a baby's sensitive skin. This can be confusing, especially to first-time parents. These companies are likely not out to intentionally harm anyone. It just is common practice to add scents to cleansing products. However, in order to prevent diaper rash, it probably is a good idea to avoid diapering products containing these.
The baby wipes are not the only diapering products to look out for. Chemicals, fragrances, and dyes that may irritate baby's skin and cause a diaper rash can be contained in baby wash, baby powder, diaper rash cream, lotion, and just about any other product that may come in contact with a baby's skin. To prevent diaper rash due to these sensitive ingredients, check all ingredients listed.
Diaper rash cream itself is one of the products that surprised me by irritating the skin of my first child. Apparently, some babies can be sensitive to the zinc oxide, the main ingredient in most diaper rash creams. In addition to that, it also contains fragrance and other chemicals. To prevent diaper rash, it is better to use nothing on baby's skin than to use baby powder and diaper rash cream. If you are unable to prevent diaper rash, natural air and frequent diaper changes are the best treatments, unless a bacterial or other infection is involved. In which case, a doctor should be consulted for the best treatment.
Cure Baby Diaper Rash Quickly and Naturally
*I originally published this via Yahoo Contributor Network
by Lyn Lomasi, Staff Writer
Diaper rash is a very common ailment among babies. There are so many different remedies out there. But there’s no need to waste time researching and buying any of them. As an experienced nanny and mom of many, I found the most effective cure for diaper rash was also the simplest one.
Step One: Bath Time with Specific Soap
As soon as you notice a sign of diaper rash, give your baby a lukewarm bath with a very mild, fragrance-free moisturizing soap. I prefer homemade soaps. But of course, not everyone feels like making homemade soaps. Health food stores usually have similar choices. Look for those with the least amount of ingredients, that have no fragrance, and that contain mostly moisturizers.
Step Two: Air Dry
Once your baby is done with the bath, pat the skin dry gently, with no rubbing. Then, place him or her on a towel to air dry with an open diaper underneath, in case of an accident. If your baby can play, provide some toys for entertainment. Leave the baby like this as often as possible until the rash is gone. The air helps keep moisture away from the affected area and should feel good on the rash. You will likely notice your baby is much happier without the diaper, for this reason.
Step Three: Homemade Powdering
If the simple air dry technique isn’t working, try making a homemade powder. Never use over-the-counter powders, as they contain talcum, fragrance, and other ingredients that can cause or worsen diaper rash. Talcum is also bad for your baby’s lungs. To make the homemade powder, simply heat up some plain, unbleached flour in a saucepan. Test the temperature and when it’s warm, but not too hot for baby, sprinkle the flour onto the baby’s skin and on the open diaper. Be careful not to allow the baby to inhale the flour. While it is less harmful than talcum powder, it is still not ideal for your baby to inhale it.
I recommend never using the over-the-counter diaper rash treatments. With many babies, these can cause more problems than they resolve and are full of harsh chemicals.
If the above advice isn’t working, it’s possible your baby may have a yeast infection, rather than diaper rash. It causes similar symptoms and looks similar. Yeast infections are extremely common in baby girls, due to the moisture from the diapers. Your pediatrician can prescribe medication safe for your baby, if this is the case.
Switching from disposable to cloth diapers can help alleviate diaper rashes, especially frequent ones. The cloth helps your baby’s skin breathe easier. Disposable diapers also have chemicals and other harmful materials that may be causing your baby’s skin to get irritated.
*I originally published a version of this elsewhere (no longer published there).
Lyn Lomasi is founder and owner of the Brand Shamans network. She is your brand healing, soul healing, marketing & content superhero to the rescue! Running a network of websites, tackling deadlines single-handedly, and coaching fellow writers, brands, & entrepreneurs to be thought leaders is her top priority.
While rescuing civilians from boring content and brands, this awesomely crazy family conquers the world, managing Intent-sive Nature while going on Upstream Parenting adventures & lessons, sometimes in an RV. They strive to cuddle with lions and giraffes. Until then, they settle for rescue dogs and cats.
By supporting us, you support a single parent, healer, and minority small business that donates to and/or stands for several causes, including homeless pets, homeless people, trans youth, equality, helping starving artists, and more! A portion of all proceeds from our all-inclusive store, Intent-sive Nature goes toward worthy causes.
For guidance in the world of freelance writing or for advice on her specialty topics, Ask Lyn.