Baby weaning does not look the same for any two mothers. Every baby and mother are unique, and so is their weaning experience. For some it may be very easy: both mom and baby are ready and it just happens naturally. For others, it is more emotional: mother may need to stop for some reason, making her and/or the baby very sad.
So, how do you wean your baby? When do you know it is time? What is best for mother and baby?
Some babies decide on their own that they are done breastfeeding. This typically happens after their meals primarily consist of solid foods. They may only nurse to go to sleep at night, or if they are teething or need comfort. If you are only nursing once or twice a day, it can be very easy to cut out all nursing at that point to complete the weaning process.
Some babies, on the other hand, are content to continue nursing, possibly forever if they are allowed. If you need to begin weaning due to your return to work or your baby’s ability to demand milk (like lifting up your shirt in public), start by cutting back one feeding at a time. Most likely the first to go will be in the middle of the day, which tends to be the one that babies are least interested in.
Weaning can be difficult for mom and baby. It has been such a close, intimate time between the two of you. To cope better, and to distract your baby from demanding milk, find new ways to bond with each other. Play a fun game together, sing songs, or read books. Give both of you some way to distract your minds from the fact that you are no longer nursing.