14 May 2016

When Is The Appropriate Age To Start Weaning Your Child

If you're currently breastfeeding or maybe considering breastfeeding you may have some questions regarding baby led weaning and and what age to start the transition from breast to bottle or cup.  The first thing to do when approaching this topic is to look at some facts.  The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months.  They also recommend solid foods becoming introduced around the six month mark for nutritional value combined with breastfeeding at least until the one year mark (www.aap.org).  If you have questions on how to introduce solid foods your pediatrician should have some great information on this topic!

Weaning itself is going to depend on a variety of different factors.  Your child may initiate the process with changes in behavior.  Circumstances surrounding your schedule and needs may come into play.  The one thing to remember is that every family and situation is different and that comparing yourself to another mother's weaning choices is not necessarily going to be the best case for you.  Only you know as a mother what is going to work best for your child and your situation.
I touched briefly on changes in your child's behavior that may initiate the weaning process, and I would like to go into that a bit more.  As your child nears the one year mark and is transitioning to solid foods they may also be learning how to use a cup.  As they explore these new ways of gaining access to food, as well as being able to sit independently, this can cause changes in the breastfeeding pattern.  If you notice this you may find yourself ready to start the weaning process.  Weaning your toddler doesn't have to be stressful or shameful.  Follow each others lead and remember to ask for help from friends, family, and your pediatrician when needed. 

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