This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SimplyBonding #CollectiveBias
Every nursing mother has a different breastfeeding journey. Some are brief; some extended. Some are mostly blissful, others are highly stressful—and most fall somewhere in between.
No matter how different breastfeeding journeys can be, they all have one thing in common: at some point, all breastfeeding journeys must come to an end.
Weaning a child from breastfeeding can be an emotional time for both mom and baby. If you’re trying to wean a clingy baby from breastfeeding? Things can get even more stressful.
If this sounds like you, fear not! These tips will walk you through how to gently wean a clingy baby from breastfeeding step-by-step.
How to Gently Wean a Clingy Baby from Breastfeeding
1. Set a Tentative Timeframe
Unless you need to wean immediately, a gradual wean will be easier on both you and your little one.
Aiming for a month long wean is ideal, as it will give your body and your baby plenty of time to adjust to the change in routine. Of course, you can always shorten or lengthen the timeframe, depending on your family’s situation.
2. Purchase Bottles that are Designed to Mimic the Breast
This step is perhaps the most important in the weaning process, and is typically what makes or breaks a smooth transition from breast to bottle.
The big key here: you need to find bottles that your baby will actually drink from. In our family, our daughter didn’t take the bottles that we originally purchased for her, which is actually pretty common. About 65% of moms have to switch bottles after their baby is born because the first bottle didn’t work, so if you’re in this group of mamas like I am—you’re not alone!
If you have to go repurchase bottles, go for something that has a high success rate and is recommended by actual moms.
NUK Simply Natural Bottles are perfect for this transition. Not only do the bottles feature a super soft silicon nipple that is the same shape as your nursing nipple, the bottle’s nipple also includes multiple nipple holes for milk to come out of—just like a real nursing breast. Brilliant, right?! This will help the feel of the bottle seem incredibly familiar to your baby, thus making her or him more likely to latch on and take the bottle.
These bottles were accepted by 93% of babies*, which means there’s a darn good chance that they’ll work for your little love.
I picked up a few of these bottles from my local Walmart in the infant feeding section. Follow and interact with NUK social channels for potential offers and giveaways, especially for Simply Natural September!
3. Gradually Replace Feedings With a Bottle of Expressed Breastmilk
Now that you’ve found the bottles that your little one will actually take, you can start replacing nursing sessions with bottles of expressed breastmilk, one at a time.
Starting with expressed breastmilk will help keep the feel of the feeding very familiar, especially when combined with the use of NUK Simply Natural Bottles that mimic the feel and flow of the breast.
You can either use milk from a freezer stash if you have one (this will allow your body start weaning quicker), or pump and give your little one the milk immediately.
As your little one becomes more comfortable with taking the bottle, you can decrease the number of nursing sessions and increase the bottle feedings until you are doing all bottle feedings.
4. Switch from Expressed Breastmilk to Other Milk of Choice
Once you’ve transitioned your little one off of the breast and onto a NUK Simply Natural Bottle, you’re ready to wean your body from breastfeeding.
Talk to your child’s pediatrician to find the milk option that will work best for your little one after the breastmilk is gone.
Once you find an option that you are comfortable with, start introducing the milk to your child in your bottles. Your child will still get the comforting and familiar feeling of mom from the bottles, while gradually getting used to the different flavor of milk that is not from the breast.
Because you will be physically weaning (which can be emotional and physically painful), make sure you have the right weaning supplies on hand to make the process as easy on your body as possible. Happy mom; happy baby!
*93% of babies accept the nipple on NUK Simply Natural Bottles, based on independent market research amongst 272 mothers in 2015/2016.