Every new phase in a child’s life is filled with ups and downs; some things will be easy and exciting while other things are harder and often dreaded. Weaning is one of the latter phases.
Deciding to stop the bottle or breastfeeding can be hard for both mom and baby. It brings many emotions as well as physical discomforts that occur for mom. It can lead to many sleepless nights and countless breakdowns – both baby and mom.
Weaning doesn’t have to feel like an impossibility though. With a few tips, you can make weaning easier on everyone involved, perhaps even make it a little fun for a child who may be hesitant to start the whole process.
1. Bottle vs. Breastfeeding
How you choose to feed your little one can make a difference in how difficult it may be to wean them. Neither is necessarily easy, but knowing what to expect can help you make the transition with fewer headaches.
Bottle feeding – whether it’s breast milk or formula – can be a bit easier to transition. Bottles are easier to take away if you need to quit cold turkey. You can also introduce sippy cups a bit easier since they already have an idea of how a cup works.
Breastfeeding can be a bit more difficult, especially if mom is the primary caretaker. It can’t be taken away as easily as a bottle; most breastfed babies automatically associate the presence of mom with feeding time. Also, sippy cups feel and taste a lot different from the bare skin of a breast.