In India, we Breast Feed our littleones for more than a year, but medically its more than enough to breast feed a child until 1 year or max to max 1 and a half. I agree there would be an argument that in olden days people used to feed until 3 years of age, but on the contrary I would say that was possible and beneficial because of the food they ate. We don’t eat that kind of food so I would suggest feeding only for a year.
I would support this for a few more reasons :
1. After the age of 1, kids need some additional nutrients in their body, which only food can give and not breast milk. Nursing kids always tend to eat less, which brings a short fall in their nutrients.
2. Kids get addicted to their mothers feed, which is a trouble to wean off later.
3. The mother’s body gets effected.
4. They don’t like the taste of cow’s milk, so chances of adapting the Cows milk taste becomes tough.
5. The Mother’s stress also goes down as Breast feeding results to mood swings.
6. Increase in the Little ones diet.
A few things to remember before we start the wean off process :
1. Mom’s need to mentally prepare themselves to wean their kids off as it brings in a lot of changes into your body as well as emotionally.
2. Breast feeding is definitely a beautiful creation by God and it’s one of the best thing a woman can do, so letting that feeling go involves a lot of strength.
3. You need to make yourself & your family members understand that the baby will cry a lot.
4. You need to think of various ways to divert the baby.
5. Your husband or co family members play a major role in this.
6. No matter what happens don’t go reverse and start feeding the kid again.
7. Don’t try to adapt the baby for bottle feed in sleep.
Alternatives to Breast Feed :
- If your baby is already more than a year then you can start with Cow’s milk after discussing with the doctor.
- Make sure your baby eats proper meals especially for dinner.
- It is ideal to give the baby at least 500ML of milk in a day.
How to start the process :
A Mom will always know on when to wean the baby off. So when you think the time has come, start with the day first, once you succeed with that then you can start with the nights.
Try to make the kid very tired throughout the day and give them a heavy dinner, so this automatically will make the baby feel sleepy.
Create an atmosphere for sleeping where to take the kid into the room half an hour before sleeping time, do some massage, give them a good wash, change their clothes, play with them & also read some books.
Now the baby will ask for Milk, so when she/he does make the baby understand that the milk is over. There are a lot of people who apply Neem oil or something sour, you can give it a try but that didn’t work for me.
You can divert the baby while he/she is taking feed by playing with them or talking to them or telling them stories, that didn’t work for me either.
After discussing with a lot of doctors I then decided to Go Away from Avisha, so she would forget, that’s what worked, I agree this is tough for women staying without their in laws or whose parents are away. In such cases the husband should take the lead.
This really works, go away for 4-5 days and after your back also if the baby asks you for milk then give the baby a glass of milk and not breast milk. Try getting the baby used to style of sleeping. May be hugging a teddy, hugging you, rubbing their head, or smell of a particular blanket, a particular song.
All these things work well. There are many ways to opt, you just need to experiment, try different things and see what works well.
A mother is the best judge when it comes to their baby. So try what you feel would work, experiment and then proceed.
One more thing, consult your doctor post you stop feeding, also don’t try taking any medicines to wean off unless and until really required especially if your planning to have another baby too.
Also would want to add, if you feel your kids diet is perfect is not affected by breast feeding then you can continue until 3 years as well.