Is It Time to Wean?

Ideally, a baby should be breastfed for at least her first year of life. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that babies be breastfed exclusively for six months. At six months solids can be gradually combined with breast milk. Many moms decide to continue breastfeeding into the toddler and even the preschool years. However, any amount of breastfeeding is extremely beneficial to baby, even if it is only for the first few weeks.

The Breastfeeding Toddler

Considering the many benefits to nursing a child beyond the first year, it is surprising that so few mothers in the United States do it. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics:

Starting Solids

You probably already know that your baby is not ready for solid food until he is at least six months old. Until that time, he is getting everything he needs from your breast milk. At six months you can begin slowly introducing solid foods. Remember that during this first year, solids are meant to complement breast milk, not to replace it. Follow your baby’s cues. Some babies take to solids right away, while others refuse to swallow anything solid until they are eight or even nine months old.

Gentle Ways to Wean

Ideally, weaning a toddler should be a slow and gentle process. Forcing a to toddler to go “cold turkey” is likely to be traumatic for both of you. However, if you can spend several months weaning your baby the process will be much less painful.

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