Weaning Your Older Baby or Toddler – Part One:
How to Tell When Your Baby is Ready to Wean
All children wean eventually and at their own pace. How can you tell if your child is ready?
First off, realize the weaning process starts when you’ve offered your baby that first spoonful of solid food. Weaning doesn’t refer to the day your child stops drinking breastmilk—rather, think of weaning as a process similar to learning how to walk.
You may think you child is initiating weaning because she suddenly refuses to nurse.
Natural weaning is rarely abrupt.
Your child is probably going through a nursing strike for a few days. Active weaning should happen when your child and/or you are losing interest in nursing.
Remember that breastfeeding is a two-way street. If your child is drinking from a cup and is more interested in solid foods, try dropping an unimportant nursing session and see what happens. If your child is OK with the reduction in nursing, then you’re proceeding with the right pace. Wait awhile and drop another session until your baby is completely weaned. If your baby protests, consider pushing off active weaning until your child is older.
Above all, use guidance, understanding and love. Follow your instincts and listen to your baby’s cues.