Breastfeeding starts immediately after the birth of the baby. It may take time for the mother and baby to adjust to this process. Whatever nourishment the baby requires for up to six months of age is provided by breastmilk and exclusive breastfeeding for six months is recommended as it is necessary for baby’s growth and immunity.
At some point during this period, all mothers face the question, “when is the right time to stop breastfeeding and how to do it?” Some suggest that breastfeeding can continue for up to three years and some advise breastfeeding for only a year. However, this is an individual choice for every mom and child. The World Health Organization recommends complementary foods from the sixth month onward along with breastfeeding for up to two years or beyond.
Most babies associate breastfeeding with comfort and your baby could become fussy in the initial stages of weaning. Weaning could also affect the nighttime sleep of the baby if the baby is used to being breastfed to sleep every night. However, there are multiple benefits of weaning as well such as:
Stopping breastfeeding could also affect moms in the following ways:
Sudden weaning is discouraged, as it is not healthy for the mom and the baby.
Every baby is different and some may take more time than others to adjust to solid food. Therefore, it is best to withdraw breastfeeding gradually. This makes the transition from exclusive breastfeeding to solid foods much easier.
Breastfeeding leads to a beautiful bond between the mother and the baby. Stopping breastfeeding is also a part of this process. If approached positively and gradually, it can make the mother-child bond stronger.
Also read: Weaning Worry: How To Stop Breastfeeding
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