Extended nursing provides your toddler with both the nutritional benefits of mother’s milk and with a special quiet time that helps an energetic toddler wind down and bond with you. There comes a time when toddlers must wean, which can cause certain temporary behavioral problems. Weaning should feel smooth and stress-free, for both you and your toddler. Although frustrating at times, you can avoid and solve toddler weaning problems with a basic plan.
Nursing whenever your child wants to may work well when your child breastfeeds regularly but can cause problems when you try to wean her. Set a schedule for nursing times so that your toddler only has access to your breasts for a set period of time during the day. This limits when she can nurse and prevents her from feeling like she can nurse whenever she wants to. Over time, you can gradually schedule nursing sessions farther and farther apart.
Des crease Nursing Length
When your toddler nurses for nourishment, you can nurse him at length without concern for time. However, weaning can prove difficult when your toddler nurses until he feels finished. Shorten the length of nursing sessions gradually. Instead of 20 minutes, decrease the time to 18 minutes. Continue to decrease the length of nursing time until your toddler only nurses for a few minutes per session. Pretty soon, he will likely lose interest on his own.
Increase Nutritious Snacking
When you substitute breast milk with small nutritious snacks, your toddler will feel satisfied and nourished without the need to nurse. Once you have scheduled nursing sessions and decreased nursing time, replace short nursing sessions with snacks that your toddler will love. These snacks can include toddler favorites like fresh fruit, cheese and crackers, or carrots sticks and yogurt dip. If your toddler begins to stress about the change, try including the snack along with your usual nursing session for the first few attempts.
Provide More Active Play
Toddlers at play quickly lose interest in nursing, especially when they can play with other children. Set up regular play dates with friends, take your toddler to a playground daily and organize play groups to help you toddler use up nursing energy through healthy activity. Over time, replace shorter nursing sessions with active play, followed by a nutritious snack.
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