So what’s next? Make sure baby is comfortable with a sippy cup. This really can be started anywhere after 6 months. Practice makes perfect so don’t get frustrated if baby doesn’t take to it right away! BabyCenter.com has a great section on sippy cup do’s and don’ts here.
So you are ready to stop breastfeeding…but what do you do? It is a LOT easier than you think. I remember hearing horror stories about clogged ducts (see our post on how to get deal with those here), excessive leaking and sore boobs. I was really scared to stop pumping so I took it slow. And I mean REALLY slow. I think I took a little over a month to weaning myself of pumping…a bit excessive but I had the time and it worked for me. Here are a few tips to get started:
– Don’t quit cold turkey unless you have a super low supply…or want to have the worst pain in your life. Your breasts can get super engorged, clogged and even infected so it is best to take the “weaning” approach.
– Make sure you are ready. I was an exclusive pumper and there were so many times that I wanted to quit. I’m glad I stuck it out as long as I did…once you start dropping your supply it is VERY hard to get it back.
– Decide how you are going to go about doing this and set a time line. This will help you decide how aggressive you need to be in dropping feedings or shortening your pumping/nursing sessions.
So how did I go about weaning? I started by cutting a few minutes off each of my pumping sessions. I did that a couple of times and then started dropping session all together (daytime sessions first…my morning session next and night time was the last session to go).
If you are nursing, weaning may be a bit harder for your baby than for you. Ashley W used the same weaning method as I did, but had to be a bit more creative when it came to introducing this idea to her babies. She learned to distract her kids with meals or snacks in order to drop feedings and found that her night time feeding was the last to go.