Weaning your baby
Method for a smooth transition
Regardless of your baby’s age, it is important to wean him or her gradually. This will facilitate his or her adaptation to the bottle while ensuring a gentle transition for your breasts.
- Plan to wean your baby over a period of several weeks. If you must return to work, begin the weaning at least one month beforehand.
- Begin by replacing one of the daily feeds with a bottle of formula or your own milk. Choose the feed at which you have the least milk. This will often be in the afternoon.
- 5 days later, do the same with a second feed, and then a third after another 5 days. Continue in this way until you breastfeed only in the morning and at night, or not at all if this is your preference.
- If your baby seems too destabilized, you may wish to take a break before eliminating an additional breastfeeding session. You can even reintroduce a session for a few days.
- If you have no time constraints, you can slow this method down even further, eliminating a breastfeeding session only once a week or once every ten days. The transition will be all the smoother for both you and your baby.
- With this method, it is unnecessary to take medication to end the lactation. Your breasts will progressively adjust to the reduced demand and you will be less likely to suffer from engorgement.
- If you cannot or do not wish to express milk, ask your doctor about the best formula to give your baby.
- Not only does breastfeeding supply your child with nourishment, it also provides opportunities for bonding. During the weaning period, be sure to hold your baby in your arms and cuddle him or her as much as possible to compensate for the less frequent moments of body contact.
- Don’t worry if you feel a bit sad. An important stage in your baby’s life is ending, so it’s normal to experience a kind of loss.