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6 Signs You’re Ready to Stop Breastfeeding

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If you’re nursing on demand, pumping, supplementing with formula – or any farrago of the above, you’re most likely aware that the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends you breastfeed effectively for six months, and keep going for about a year.

Although if you’ve crossed that finish line, stay put, Imma go get your engraved medal.

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Here’s your *imaginary* medal for staying up all night, most nights, nursing every hour with crazed nipples, wondering if there was even an end in sight. Or maybe you’re one of those moms who love to breastfeed and the bonding which comes with it.

6 Signs you’re ready to Stop Breastfeeding

As happy and sad stopping to breastfeed is, all good things must eventually come to an end. Here are 6 signs that tell you it’s time to stop breastfeeding.

1. Your child is at least a Year Old

signs you're ready to stop breastfeeding

There is never a desirous time to stop breastfeeding if you ask your baby the question. Although, it’s advisable to breastfeed your baby at least for the starting six months.

Keep in mind that most babies won’t self-wean until they are older than 12 months,” says Jennifer Lincoln, MD, an OB/GYN and lactation consultant at Bundoo.com, which connects parents with doctors and other childcare professionals online.

“So any signs of weaning before that may be related to a nursing strike, which is usually temporary and can be related to stress, teething, an illness, or a changed routine like a big move or the holidays.” But if your little toddler is older than a year, he must be ready to wean.

What is Weaning?

Weaning is the transition in the baby’s and the mother’s life from “breastfeeding” to “not breastfeeding”. In simpler words, weaning is the baby’s switching of breastmilk (the primary food source) to solid food.

2. You’re Pregnant

signs you're ready to stop breastfeeding

Being blessed with another baby is one of the major reasons for weaning. Though some mothers choose to breastfeed a toddler and a newborn simultaneously, others view the news of their pregnancy as a natural alert to wean their older child. 

If you’re going down that road, it’s advisable that you begin the weaning process halfway through your pregnancy as nursing with a baby in your womb can cause premature uterine contractions and nipple soreness. 

Other than that, it normally would take weeks or maybe months to transfer your toddler from breast to sippy cups. 

If you’re looking for good sippy cups, Munchkin Miracle 360 Trainer Cup is the best! It has a 360-degree drinking edge which eliminates spills completely.

Make sure you replace the time you used to spend breastfeeding with extra attention. bonding time, cuddles, reading sessions, bedtime stories and much more.

3. Your Child is slowly cutting back on the number of Nursing Sessions

A gradual decrease in the length and frequency of nursing sessions is also a sign that your baby is ready to wean,” says Lincoln.

If your baby starts to drink from cups and gets most of his daily nutrition from solid foods, he’s ready to wean as Zliza Bancodd says, founder of MainLineDoulas.com.

Another clear sign a baby is ready to give up breastfeeding is he consistently refuses the breast for two weeks. If your child is cutting down to breastmilk just like this, you should help them with a substitute, bottle-feeding.

signs you're ready to stop breastfeeding

Bottle-feeding helps your baby to get over your breasts quicker than it normally takes. You can begin bottle-feeding 6 months onwards and divide breastfeeding:bottle-feeding schedule on an 80:20 ratio. Later, gradually balance it in the coming weeks.

4. He’s Eating Plenty of Solids

Once your baby is at least 12 months old, a well-balanced diet of veggies, grains, protein, and whole cow’s milk can likely replace the nutrients he was getting from breastfeeding.

Although make sure you confirm with your pediatrician about whether you should yet keep some breastmilk or formula in the mix.

5. It’s Not Working Out Healthy for you

For some mothers out there, 24 hours aren’t just enough to pump or breastfeed round the clock while also holding down a job, cooking & eating food, showering regularly, looking human, maintaining a relationship, having friends, crafting holiday cards, keeping a pet alive and um yeah – taking care of other kids.

signs you're ready to stop breastfeeding

This might sound pretty basic, but it is time to stop breastfeeding if a mom decides she doesn’t want to continue anymore,” says Lincoln. “This could be after a few weeks up to a few years — anytime that she feels like she is done.”

And since most of the time kids are often too happy to breastfeed for years, moms are the ones ready to wean before the baby is, and that is very okay.

6. If you’re on certain Medications

If you’re taking any medications that are known to be excreted in breast milk that could potentially cause adverse effects for a baby, stop breastfeeding.

There are certain medicines that aren’t safe for babies:
  • Aspirin
  • Codeine (can cause the baby to be sedated)
  • Guaifenesin
  • Pseudoephedrine (known to decrease milk supply)
  • phenylephrine and phenylpropanolamine
  • other medications that have drowsiness as a side effect

While we as adults can tolerate these higher dosages and effects of drowsiness, babies have a much harder time. Plus, their bodies do not filter the medicines as our bodies do, which would make the medicines last longer in their body.

The endpoint is if you’re on any medicines that might play with your baby’s health, go with weaning.

# Wrapping Up

If you come across these 6 signs, it’s probably time you should stop breastfeeding. Share this article with other mothers looking forward to weaning.

Also, if you found this post helpful, I’d really appreciate if you could take a few seconds out of your busy schedule post your thoughts on the post below in the comment section.

That’s all for today, Ciao.

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