The breastfeeding experience is often a pleasant experience for the baby and the mom. And there can be many valid reasons why you might need to wean a child from breastfeeding.
When you introduce a new routine to your child, you want to be respectful – talk to your child about it, be honest, and be confident about your decision. Children want and need their parents to be their leaders.
When a mom feels confident and stays calm the child will sense this energy. While your child might be still not thrilled to have a new routine, it is easier for a child when the mom is not feeling guilty.
What can you do?
1. Create a plan
- Who is doing what? If dad is going to help with the sleep routine, involve him beforehand.
- When is the routine change going to take place?
- Are you going to do that gradually or all at once? (for example, keep the evening breastfeeding and wean from the others)
- What will the new routine look like? If you used to breastfeed right before sleeping time, you might want to insert another activity after breastfeeding and before sleeping, such as diaper change or storytime.
- What can you offer to the child instead of breastfeeding: milk, water, or a snack? What kind of cup are you going to use?
- What words will you say?
2. Tell the child what you are going to do
Also, you can:
- Write a Social Story
- Mark the calendar (real paper calendar). Look at it together with your child – talk about the plan.
3. Don’t distract your child
- Give him a choice of a couple of types of drinks in the choice of special cups, or a snack.
- Accept all his feelings, acknowledge them, and give him empathy.
- Stick to the plan.
4. Feel good about your decision
Children are very sensitive when their parents feel guilty or uncomfortable.
Let me know if you need more information about RIE® Parent-Infant Guidance™ Classes.
Wishing you all the best in the difficult yet exciting journey of parenting!