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.
As you get closer to that big day, the day of your precious baby's birth, a variety of things will be going on inside your head, as well as your home. You probably will find yourself on a countdown of sorts. Anxiousness and excitement are just a couple of the emotions you might be feeling. Likely, with the help of your newfound "nesting" instinct, your home will be undergoing changes, preparing for the arrival of the new baby.
Seeing your precious little one through ultrasound or sonogram and hearing his or her tiny persistent heartbeat during the final stages of pregnancy may have you steadily finding yourself on a countdown. How many days until it is time for baby's arrival? You have been carrying and nurturing this sweet bundle and you are anxious to not only see the fruits of your labor but to meet this little person you have somehow come to love without yet seeing in the outside world.
It can be beneficial to feel excited or anxious, but it can also cause stress. One way to avoid this type of situational stress is to pour that anxiousness and excitement into planning for the baby's arrival. This is where the excitement and anxiousness actually will come in handy. There is plenty to do and plan for. Keep busy at it and before you know it, your pregnancy will be over and you will have given birth, in what can seem like a blink of an eye. Creating lists for each task can help make this aspect easier. Writing is also a great stress reliever, so the lists could have more than one benefit.
One thing you may be planning on your countdown is the type and style of furniture you would like in your baby's nursery. There could also be wall decorating or painting, the choosing of the nursery bedding, packing the hospital diaper bag for mom and for after the birth of the baby and many more tasks. A baby needs various supplies, some small and some large. It may take some time to come up with everything you feel is necessary, which is perfect for keeping your mind busy and focused, rather than stressed about the countdown to the big day.
Another great thing to do while on your birth countdown is to talk to family and friends who have experience with pregnancy and birth. Asking them what they did in their final days could yield some great tips and possibly uncover some ideas on preparing for the baby that you may not have thought about previously. Spending time laughing with friends and family can also be beneficial in preparing for the new baby. Not only can it be a stress reliever, but once baby comes, you may not be as available for this special time. For this reason, getting plenty of rest during the birth countdown is also a good idea.
*I originally published a version of this content via Yahoo Contributor Network
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.
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