A mother bottle-feeding a baby

How to Wean Your Baby from Breastfeeding to Bottlefeeding

A mother and her baby share an emotional and physical connection unlike any other. Babies rely on their mothers when it comes to many things, including their feeding. It is recommended that babies are breastfed for up to the first six months of their life. After six months, mothers can start considering moving to the bottle. Of course, every mother and her child are different, so the timeframe can vary, but when you do decide to transition to the bottle, it is important to know just exactly how you can go about the process. We’re here to help you and your child make a successful move with their feeding! 

Two Methods of Transitioning 

There are two ways you can go about weaning your baby from breastfeeding to bottle-feeding. Some mothers will go about the process slowly, others will completely switch methods of feeding from one day to another. You can try either method and see what works best for you and your child’s transition. 

Partial Weaning 

With partial weaning, mothers can start by breastfeeding their babies at certain times of the day and alter with bottle-feeding at other times. Oftentimes, working mothers will go about partial feeding so that they can accommodate their working schedules. Most of the time, mothers will only breastfeed in the morning and the evening so that their babies get used to the bottle during the day. 

Full Weaning 

For some, dropping breastfeeding may be immediate and necessary, and have to completely switch to the bottle. This can either have very quick, positive effects or leave your child confused, which can cause them to become fussy and irritated with their feeding. If you find that your baby is having a negative reaction to full weaning, you should try partial weaning. You can partially wean between days, as well. You don’t have to necessarily do partial weaning on a day-to-day basis. 

Starting the Weaning Process 

The process of weaning becomes more specific if you plan to transition methods of feeding before your child reaches six months. Weaning a younger baby can have different results as opposed to older babies or a toddler. There are different strategies to take when cutting back on breastfeeding for different age groups. Whether you plan on weaning your baby earlier or later, we have the information you need to know. 

0-3 Months 

Earlier weaning tends to be easier for some mothers because babies may not be too attached to breastfeeding just yet. If you plan on weaning your baby onto the bottle during this age group, you need to familiarize them with the bottle and offer the bottle as frequently as possible. Once they are comfortable and accustomed to having a bottle in their hand, you can taper off breastfeeding completely. 

4-6 Months

Weaning during this age group is tricky because your baby will most likely already be attached to breastfeeding. The best way to wean your baby from breastfeeding to the bottle is by using the method of distraction. This is also when your baby starts to become curious about the world around them, so what you can do is start with the feeding the baby is least interested in and go down from there. 

6-12 months

Some babies will become more open to other forms of feeding after they have grown past their attachment, but it’s still important to understand that not all babies take this transition well. You can start by introducing solid foods as a snack and then start introducing them more during meals when you’d naturally breastfeed. Some babies may even lose interest in breastfeeding, so it could be a simple process. It all just depends! 

How to Care for Yourself After Weaning 

Not only do you have to care for your baby while weaning, but it’s also important that you provide yourself with the care you need after months of breastfeeding! The best way to care for yourself is by keeping some things in mind. You may not immediately feel like yourself. You and your baby become so used to the process that it may feel odd when you stop, but just know you won’t feel like that forever. Secondly, if you do experience any pain from time to time, know that it’s normal and you can take pain relievers as needed. 

Get the Highest Quality of Newborn Care from Minis Pediatric Walk-In Clinic 

If you want additional help from a medical professional to alter your baby’s feeding, you can come to our walk-in clinic. We want to support your endeavors as a parent, so contact us today to learn more about how we can help! 

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