Weaning your baby
It’s recommended that breastfeeding be continued for as long as possible. Breastfeeding provides important nutrition as well as emotional benefits:
- Soothing your baby. The warmth and security felt during nursing can readily soothe a cranky, frightened, or tired baby.
- Protecting your baby. The immune benefits also continue throughout the course of breastfeeding.
- First flavors. As you continue nursing, your baby will also experience some of the flavors of the foods you eat because food flavors pass through your milk. These flavors teach the baby about what the family eats, even before she has a chance to taste them.
When the time comes to wean your baby from the breast, do it slowly and with love. Substitute one feeding at a time with a bottle or other age-appropriate food and provide other kinds of loving care—reading a story together, going for a walk in the stroller or playing with a favorite toy.
Engage other caregivers
Many dads, grandparents, and other caregivers can bond with the baby by participating in the feeding process. They can give a bottle of expressed milk or formula in the early evening or in the middle of the night. This gives mom a chance to rest and gives other special caregivers an opportunity to feed the baby and bond emotionally.