Weaning

You Don’t Need to Wean at One

Quinn 8-11 months-easter 253Woohoo! You made it! You breastfed your baby to age 1!

Now what? Is baby supposed to smash her cake and say, “Okay, I’m done with boob juice?”

There is nothing magical about day 365 of breastfeeding. To baby, it is a day just like any other day. To baby, there is no reason whatsoever to stop breastfeeding.

If you want to continue breastfeeding, there are a lot of really great reasons to continue to breastfeed past her first birthday.

Don’t forget, the most important thing is if breastfeeding is working you and your baby. If you are ready to be done, make a change and celebrate your personal breastfeeding journey. Not sure when the right time to wean is for you? This blog may help.

1. Breastfeeding Fights Germs

Right around 1, your baby masters the skill of walking. If you thought your crawler got into trouble, watch your walker. Now EVERYTHING goes into her mouth. That is how she explores the world after all. Your shoe, the dog’s bone, brother’s backpack strap… she’s getting a taste.

Now, wouldn’t it be nice to know that your baby is getting a steady dose of live antibodies as she explores this new and disgusting territory?

2. Toddlers Are Picky (Solid Food) Eaters

You will spend a good part of your day chasing your toddler and offering snacks. Some days, she will seem to eat as much as your husband. Other days, she may refuse solids altogether. This is just the way of the toddler.  So, isn’t it nice to know that no matter how little or how much solids your child chooses to eat, she will always get complete nutrition from your breastmilk?

3. Breastfeeding Beats Pedialyte

If your toddler gets sick, your pediatrician may recommend supplementing with pedialyte. But, if it is an option, breastmilk is even better when baby is sick. It is mostly water and it is filled with nutrients, antibodies and lots of other fantastic stuff that pedialyte doesn’t have. Chances are, your baby will refuse everything you offer her when she is sick… except the boob. She will snuggle in and camp out on the boob until she feels all better.

4. Breastfeeding Is a Time-Out for an Overstimulated Mind

Breastfed babies must sit down and be still while nursing (try as they may to perform gymnastics while nursing).  Even if they only sit and nurse for five minutes, it forces both you and her to take a time-out, rest and reconnect. Toddlers are absorbing a big and overwhelming world. It is good for their little minds to be able to go back to home base every once and a while.

So, wean whenever you are feeling ready, but certainly don’t let day 365 be the day you automatically decide to say all done.

If you are ready to learn about weaning, you can learn more here.