Importance & Benefits of Weaning Your Baby

What is Weaning and Why is it Important?

Looking for the procedures to be followed to wean your baby successfully? What is Weaning? Read on to know all about what weaning entail & facilitating the process.

Introducing Complementary Foods Alongside Your Breast Milk

Having a baby changes a lot of things in a parent’s life. Rescheduling daily activities and routines will become a normal thing after the delivery of a baby. Parents will undergo different changes, and it’s up to them to either cope or give up.

Although babies bring joy, happiness, and bonding into a family, parents also face a series of challenges. There’s no escape from challenges in life generally, so it should be obvious that having a child will only increase the challenges while adding happiness to your life. One of the challenges parents does face is Weaning. 

Do you know the moment when you get used to some object or equipment? Or the moment when you’re so used to a routine? Imagine someone asking you to alter all these, and, surely, you won’t find it easy to change them. That’s simply what weaning means.

What is Weaning?

In simple terms, weaning is the act of getting used to something that’s different from what you’ve always done. That’s the definition when it comes to adults and probably teenagers. However, weaning means getting your baby used to food that’s different from breast milk when it comes to babies. 

It can also mean making your baby cope without using toys or equipment he or she has grown to rely on. Let’s take a pacifier; for instance, most babies rely on a pacifier for comfort and to sustain their stomach before they’re fed, so the process of you making sure your baby doesn’t use a pacifier anymore is called Weaning. Sometimes, it might not be a Pacifier, and it might be some other objects or toys.

Parents will find out that there are different forms of weaning and weaning a child off; something is not exactly easy when it comes to raising a child. Why? It’s because children hate to lose things they’ve grown attached to; they hate to forgo things that give them comfort, and going out of their comfort zone is terrifying.

Why Should You Wean Your Children?

“Why Should I Wean My Children?” is a question many parents ask. They feel there shouldn’t be a reason why they should tell their children to grow up without one toy or the other. However, there’s no way you won’t wean a child off it in the case of breast milk. Even though breast milk has a lot of the nutrients a child might need for his growth and development, it’ll get to a stage where mothers will be tired of breastfeeding. 

Besides, as babies grow, their stomach tends to ask for more food, and breast milk won’t be satisfying. That is when you’ll see babies crying and getting agitated.  Therefore, it’s vital to wean your baby off breast milk and incorporate other foods into his or her diet.

Similarly, in the case of objects or toys, let’s continue using Pacifier as an example. Sucking a pacifier helps to soothe a baby, but simultaneously, it’s not the best. It’s incumbent on all parents to wean their baby off pacifiers because failure to do so will lead to dental issues. In the long run, when your baby isn’t quickly weaned off the pacifier, he or she can develop dental problems, which will definitely lead you to the hospital. Besides, if you don’t wean your baby off the dummy, he or she can rely so much on the object and struggle without it. It also applies to any objects your baby might own, either toys or loungers or blankets, so it’s important to wean.

Again, weaning children off things they’re attached to will teach them contentment and give them the strength to face their problems. When you wean your child off an object, you’ll realize he’ll become independent and have the ability to face his frustration rather than turning to his escape.

When Should You Wean?

Sincerely, there’s no standard time when you should wean. The period when you wean is dependent on how observant you are. How? You need to observe your baby, know the things that frustrate him, and see how he copes with his issues. It’s through this observation that you’ll know his escape mechanism, and you’ll understand if it’s time for you to wean him off the object or not. Also, babies are different, so the time when you wean will obviously not be the same as when your friends wean their children. 

Thus, you need to monitor your baby’s behavior and know the things he depends on; when you know that, then that is the right time for you to wean. However, you should be mentally and physically prepared as weaning your baby off; something can be challenging. But you can keep it at the back of your mind that you know better, so don’t be afraid. Just peruse the things that your child relies on and try to wean him against them.

How Should You Wean?

The methods used to wean depends on your capabilities as a parent. When you’re weaning your child off breast milk, most times, it’s not really challenging, but babies are different. You might think it won’t be challenging for your baby, and you get something severe. So, when trying to incorporate other foods into your child’s diet and weaning off breast milk, don’t give in to your child. 

Know that you’re the parent, and your child will eat whatever you give to him whenever he’s hungry enough so, don’t slack. However, this isn’t an excuse for you to starve your baby because that will be bad on your part. Just make sure he eats the food you give him and do it bit by bit. Don’t push your baby into weaning at once. Try to gently ease him into it so that there won’t be many problems.

Consequently, when in the case of Weaning children off objects or equipment, you might get something different. Just imagine how teenagers and adults do feel when taking some things they rely on; you know how they behave at that moment, right? That’s exactly how babies behave, too, when you take away objects or equipment that comforts and soothes them. However, you’ll see babies showing their disapproval by crying, screaming, fussing, and throwing tantrums. 

Thus it would be best if you did not let anyone off the disapproving techniques get to you as you’re the parent. You must steel yourself against all the screams & tantrums and stand by your decision. Besides, as said about, you should take one step at a time. Try to take the objects away for some hours, and dash out rewards if your baby makes it through that period without tantrums. Keep up with those methods, and you’ll see great changes. You’ll even be proud of yourself that you didn’t give in.

To conclude, what is weaning? When should you start weaning? This is just one of the many questions parents will ask after the delivery of a baby. Weaning is in different methods, and parents will learn them as they raise their children. However, weaning is simply the method of allowing your baby to cope without the objects that give him comfort. You can wean your baby off breast milk and incorporate other foods into his feeding routine as you can wean him off Pacifier.

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