When is it easier to wean?

When is it easier to wean?

You will know when the time has come, and you are ready to start with the weaning process. But it is interesting to know that there are certain “opportunity windows”, which are the moments when it is easier to wean your baby from breastfeeding. These are the periods of time when the baby’s development can make the weaning process easier. Did you know them?

Weaning is a process that can be complex and requires information and support. This is why we want to discuss the moments in which weaning can be easier for your baby and for yourself. These moments are usually outside of the stages of a breastfeeding crisis, growth spurt, or high-frequency periods. To make this easier to understand and to use a visual example: breastfeeding crises would be the peaks of the mountains, while windows of opportunity would be the valleys.

Before a baby is 6 months old, it is difficult to determine a valley stage. Therefore, the windows of opportunity are smaller because babies breastfeed frequently and go through many high-frequency stages (also called breastfeeding crises). So we find these stages from 6 months onwards, which is when in principle, weaning will be easier.

What is the first window of opportunity?

The first window of opportunity is around 9, 10, and 11 months of the baby’s age. Once the stage of separation anxiety is over, babies tend to lose interest, at least during the day, in breastfeeding.

They are discovering everything around them, and discovering the world is often more interesting to them than the breast. At night they feed frequently, but during the day, it is likely that the mother will have to insist that they come to the breast. This is when daytime weaning can be started, and then either a partial weaning or a total weaning can follow.

And if my baby is over one year old, will there be another window of opportunity?

By one year, babies have usually tripled their birth weight or are close to it. This causes them to give up most solid foods and only nibble throughout the day. The so-called one-year breastfeeding crisis is when the baby breastfeeds a lot and hardly eats any solid food anymore, which usually lasts until about a year and a half. From this point onward, the intake of solid food usually increases, and the demand for breastfeeding decreases. Therefore, this is a new stage in which weaning may be easier. A stage of opportunity that lasts a few months before toddlers start the two-year breastfeeding crisis.

What if my baby is two years old?

Two years old is another stage of high demand. They breastfeed a lot, they demand the breast, and in general, this is a stage in which mothers tend to get desperate and want to wean. Achieving weaning at two years is not impossible, but it will require much more time and patience. If you can wait a bit, you could wait for your child to get over the crisis phase and then take the opportunity to wean. The two-year crisis does not have an exact duration, so you will have to evaluate your own child on an individual basis.

And even if it happens not to be a specific “age” or moment, there is always the possibility of weaning the baby when you see that they have lost interest (yes, sometimes this happens), or you might also have to separate for a few days from your little one.

Do you need support in your weaning process?

If you want us to accompany you in your weaning process at any time, you can find our team of experts in the online consultations channel inside the LactApp app, which is free to download for iPhone or Android.

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