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The baby hasn't gotten used to nursing so transitioning to a bottle will not be an
emotional experience. The engorgement for the mom will likely not be any worse for
any other new mother, both breastfeeding and formula feeding mom.
There comes a time when every mother decides it is time to wean. These are often
the toddler years. Toddlers are very smart. It will be helpful if you talk to your
toddler about the process. Tell the little one that it's time to drink from a big
boy cup. Just like potty training, when the toddler finally understands and accepts
the change; celebrate it. Toddlers need nursing for different reasons than infant
do. For many toddlers, the need is emotional. When you can find a way to fulfill
the emotional need in another way, weaning will be easier. Night time will be the
hardest with a toddler in the weaning process.
As the name suggests, cold turkey weaning is going from one feeding to the next, deciding not to feed your baby with breast milk. Some mothers may need to do this for medical reasons, or maybe work reasons. The method is easy; you stop offering milk to your baby. Instead of nursing offer a bottle of formula. This may cause stress for the baby, but they will get used to it. It may be beneficial to have the grandma or father help with the feedings so the baby cannot smell your milk when you offer a bottle.
This method will leave you uncomfortable. To manage the discomfort, you can use ice in a sports bra or use cold cabbage leaves. Doctor will sometimes suggest using a decongestant to dehydrate you, which will reduce your supply. Within a few days, the pain will be less. With each passing day, the pain will be less and less.
Gradual weaning is the preferred method to stop breastfeeding your baby. It creates
time for the baby to adjust to not nursing and provides time for your body to get
used to not nursing the baby and reduce the supply naturally.
For young babies, the best method is the dropping feeding method. In times, you would normally nurse your baby, give a bottle instead. If you keep that same schedule for a few days, your body naturally and painlessly will make less milk. To completely wean, you would replace another feeding with a bottle for a few days, reducing your supply a little more. Repeat the process until you are no longer nursing. The whole process should take two to three weeks. The biggest obstacle is finding an acceptable bottle.
For toddlers, the best method is 'do not offer, yet do not refuse' method. With this method, you keep them busy all day. Offering the toddler snack during the day will help the hunger. Talk to your toddler, so they know what to expect throughout the process. Do not sit or lay down with them. This will encourage a nursing hold. When nursing, make the session much shorter than it was before. This method for a toddler can take a few weeks to a few months. It will depend on how ready the toddler is to wean. When the toddler does wean, celebrate the milestone. Treat the occasion like any great milestone making the toddler feel like a big girl or boy ready to reach the next milestone.
The best way to stop breastfeeding is a gradual decrease in feeds. Choosing to stop nursing abruptly or known as ‘cold turkey’ cannot only be uncomfortable for the mother but can invite a breast infection from the breast becoming engorged. The best way to wean is gradually decreasing the feedings over a period a few weeks, until you are no longer breastfeeding. This will be the most comfortable method for mother and baby.
If you wish to wean your one week old from nursing, this may be the easiest age. The baby likely will take the bottle very easily.
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