Night weaning is a decision that parents make for different reasons, either because it is a demanding task, which forces them to interrupt sleep time night after night, or because the child has reached the age established to be breastfeeding, according to the World Health Organization.
Breast milk is a special food for newborns during their first six months of life, since, through this substance, the infant obtains minerals, vitamins, fats, enzymes, proteins, hormones, carbohydrates and a high percentage of of water, which is essential to balance the electrolytes in your body. After this period of time, breastfeeding becomes, on many occasions, a food that will complement formula milk, baby food and food eaten by the child up to two years of age, which is when a respectful weaning can be carried out.
Although the World Health Organization establishes that breast milk, during the first six months, is a child’s right (which can be extended until they reach two years of age), during this period the mother will be able to prepare the child for avoid aggressive weaning, which generates the well-known 2-year lactation crisis. In this sense, the ideal is to carry out a progressive weaning, which does not emotionally affect the child or the mother.
In fact, there are mothers who, although they want to feed their little ones, are forced to learn how to wean a 4-month-old baby, because the child has an allergic reaction to the sugar contained in breast milk.
Likewise, other women wean the infant after six months, but only at night, in order to avoid wakefulness and encourage the child to sleep soundly. However, sometimes, despite achieving weaning, the little one will need a bottle on demand or every 3 hours, which is less messy for the mother, since the father or another member of the family can get up to give the baby a bottle. baby.
Whatever the reason for weaning, the important thing is for parents to find out about the subject, for which they can consult the infant’s pediatrician, and thus clarify their doubts about how to wean a baby. Similarly, there are many texts written by specialists that parents can consult, whose content focuses on how to stop breastfeeding.
3 recommendations to achieve a gentle weaning
The weaning of the child can be a bit complicated, since we are not only talking about a vital feeding process in the first months of life and complementary in the following years. Also, it is a unique bond between mother and son. In this way, during breastfeeding, the little one feels protected and loved by his mother.
If you are a new mother and you still do not know how to wean your little one, then you should pay attention to the following recommendations that we will list, with which you can gradually stop breastfeeding the infant, without generating the feeling of punishment or rejection in him.
Identify the reasons why you want to wean
Before abruptly starting the weaning process, it is recommended to identify the reasons why you consider it necessary to carry out such action. Among them we can mention the intolerance of the newborn to sucrose in breast milk, which would force the mother to wean immediately, to promote the baby’s health.
Another reason is the false belief that if the baby is weaned after six months or one year, then the little one will not wake up asking for milk at night. This is an implausible assertion, since the sleep cycle in children is evolutionary, that is, despite weaning, they will continue to wake up as a natural act.
On the other hand, there is the physical exhaustion of the mother, having to wake up repeatedly late at night, in order to feed the little one. This supposes for her the rupture of the phases of sleep, which leads to experiencing exhaustion and tiredness to start the new day.
Involves the father in the weaning process
Learning how to wean a baby of 18 months or two years is not a task that the mother must face alone, since the support of the father or other relatives is essential. In this sense, experts advise implementing the “Father Plan”, which consists of putting the father figure in the middle of the mother and the child.
Thus, when the little one wakes up at night and receives his father’s lullaby, he will necessarily begin to reduce breastfeeding. The child may cry a little due to the absence of the mother, but the father can offer him a bottle with a little water or milk, which will allow him to quench the anxiety of this micro-arousal. In this way, he will fall asleep again.
In addition, if the child sleeps in the same room as the parents, the ideal is that it be in a crib and that it be located towards the side of the father figure, so that it does not require immediate contact with the mother.
talk to the child
If it is a child between the ages of one and two, then talking to him may be a good option. Explain to her in a kind and loving way the situation experienced, that is, that mom is tired and needs to sleep at night, so she will not be able to breastfeed at certain times. Instead of her, she offers him a bottle or pacifier and make it clear that the next day you will breastfeed during the day.
Obviously, the child may object, cry and get upset, but you can persuade him by putting him on some nursing pillows, to hug him and pamper him while you read him a story, play with him and accompany him while he sleeps.
Likewise, you can buy a camera like the Canon EOS 2000D with favorable purchase opinions, due to its simple design aimed at amateurs, which will allow you to photograph the little one, close relatives, landscapes, among other scenarios, thus creating a story told not only with words. Thus, the child will be distracted and little by little will leave the dependence on breastfeeding at night.
Remember that weaning at night or in general is a process that should be carried out gradually, since each child will experience it in a different way, so for some it will be easy, while for others it may take longer to stop lactating.