When Should You Stop Breastfeeding?
According to the WHO, all babies should be nursed exclusively for the first six months of their lives before being gradually introduced to acceptable meals, continuing to breastfeed for the next two years or longer. Weaning refers to the process of removing a child from their mother’s breast milk. You and your baby will have to decide when is the best moment to introduce solids.
As they begin to eat solids, some newborns’ need for breast milk decreases. The first meals are mostly instructive in nature, therefore just a small amount of food is consumed. They begin to get the nutritional benefits of solids and rely more on them for their growth and development once they are established on solids and taking three solid feeds each day (around 9 months). Breast Milk is the only meal a baby needs for the first six months of life, and it remains that way for the first year.
Solids are meant to be a supplement to breastmilk, not a replacement for it. Until the end of the first year, your baby should still be breastfed on demand because breastmilk is their main source of sustenance.
Babies who are weaned from breast milk before their first birthday will require the use of infant formula. For more information, speak with your local mother and child health nurse. After the first year, infant formulae are no longer required because your child should be eating a wide variety of foods, including dairy products. Full cream cow’s milk can be used to substitute a milk feed (breastmilk or formula).
Even if you only breastfeed for a few weeks or months, it’s still advantageous.
Your breasts generate colostrum for the first few days after giving birth to your child. Immunoglobulins and cells strengthen your baby’s immune system, and this rich substance contains them. There’s plenty of data to suggest that babies who are breastfed for the first six months of life have fewer (or milder) occurrences of common childhood illnesses. Infectious diseases such as gastroenteritis, pneumonia, and middle ear infections are among them. Your baby’s age and requirement for sucking will determine whether or not you should wean him or her from the bottle or to a cup. If you opt for a bottle, you will have to wean your child from it eventually. When you breastfeed, it’s best to keep some breastfeeding nipple shields by your side.
As weaning proceeds and milk supply decreases, the concentration of antibacterial and antiviral antibodies in breastmilk increases. In this way, you can rest assured that your kid is safe as they experiment with new foods and environments. Don’t forget to give your baby lots of cuddles as you’re weaning him/her so that you and your baby can spend lots of quality time together thereafter. Slowly reducing the amount of breastfeeds protects your baby during the weaning process and helps you avoid complications like mastitis. Consider seeking the advice of a healthcare expert or lactation consultant if you need to wean your kid soon.
If you’re a new parent who’s enjoying breastfeeding your baby, you may not want to stop. Breastfeeding is common for children up to the age of 4 years.
Extended nursing can make family and friends uncomfortable, so having facts to share with them about why you’ve chosen to continue breastfeeding might be beneficial. This could contain details regarding your child’s future health, safety, and comfort.