Breastfeeding: Reasons to Stop and How to Do It Properly
Only those who have felt it know how wonderful breastfeeding can be. The mere thought that a tiny little human being depends completely on you is mind-blowing. And except for creating that special mother-child bond, breastfeeding has a positive impact on both, the mom and the baby. In fact, according to WHO (World Health Organisation), infants should be exclusively breastfed for the first six months of life. The main reasons for this are optimal growth, proper development and better health.
After this period, babies should be introduced to solid foods appropriate to their age. According to WHO, infants should receive nutritionally adequate and safe complementary foods, while continuing to be breastfed for up to two years or even more.
Now regardless of how amazing and beneficial it is to breastfeed one’s baby, sometimes weaning it might be for the best. While it’s true that some moms don’t even try breastfeeding to avoid saggy boobies, usually, the reasons for weaning a baby are more health-related (both physical and mental).
The Baby Won’t Latch
This might be one of the most difficult reasons for moms to stop breastfeeding their baby. The main culprit for this could be the nurses who haven’t shown the mom how to properly put the baby on her breasts. However, sometimes, it is the babies who simply cannot latch because of numerous reasons. The signs of poor latching are painful breastfeeding sessions and a baby who isn’t satisfied after feeding.
Not Having Enough Support
Breastfeeding is a completely new job for the mom and if she is not that strong and doesn’t have enough support, she might feel lost and overwhelmed by everything. Being a new mom is exhausting, especially if the mom is left all alone with the baby without any support. Usually, resorting to formula is the solution.
Experiencing too Much Physical Pain
Cracked nipples, blocked milk ducts, mastitis – these are conditions most breastfeeding moms deal with. The truth is that all of these things are extremely painful and some moms simply cannot take such physical pain, so they are forced to give up on this journey.
Getting Pregnant Again
Although breastfeeding won’t affect the baby nor the pregnancy, there are some other reasons why moms decide to wean their kids. Sometimes it’s the age of the child (toddler), but most commonly it is the fatigue, nausea and constant tiredness.
How to Stop Breastfeeding?
There really is no right or wrong way to stop breastfeeding your child. Usually, breastfeeding stops gradually as the child grows and eats more solid foods. An important thing to know is that solid food should not replace breast milk since babies still need breast milk or formula as their main source of food at least until their first age of life.
The easiest way to wean a baby is to drop one feed at a time. It really doesn’t matter which feed you’ll drop first which leaves the choice up to you. However, breastfeeding moms usually, decide to stop breastfeeding at night since this is the easiest way for them to fall asleep. So, how to stop breastfeeding at night?
The answer to how to stop breastfeeding at night lies in the techniques. If your baby’s nighttime feed is shorter than five minutes, you can cut the night feeds immediately using some weaning techniques.
- Try having longer and more frequent breastfeeds during the day. This means that your baby should be 10mins or longer on the breast.
- Try feeding your baby before bedtime. The ideal before-bed food is drinking milk or any dairy-based food as they can help the releasing of Tryptophan which aids sleep.
- You can also try to give your baby water instead of a feed during the night.
- Cuddles are the best medicine for everything, and baby weaning is no exception.
- Go shopping with your baby and find his/her new favourite cuddling toy.
- Talk to your toddler about the new rules of breastfeeding. For instance, you can tell him/her that you can breastfeed only when the sun is up. And in case he/she wakes at night, make sure you remind your toddler about the new rules.
- Make sure you don’t change the bedtime hour and routine.
- Read your toddler a book before going to bed or tell him/her a story even if it’s made up. Children love listening to stories, so they won’t really care if you have made it up or not. Just make sure to remember it as children usually have impeccable memory. This means that the next time you tell your child this story, he/she will want to hear the exact version.
- Try letting your partner put your child to sleep. Sometimes it is the smell and the sight of you that reminds him/her of breast milk.
- Whatever thing, tip or technique you try, have patience. Rare are the cases when children stop breastfeeding at night from the first try. Usually, it will take several nights for this till you can celebrate your ‘victory’.
How to Stop Breastfeeding a One Year Old at Night?
Whether your baby is one, two or three years old, the procedure for stopping breastfeeding at night is the same. Just use some of these techniques and arm up with patience.