About Weaning | Introduction
This section of the About Breastfeeding Centre is dedicated to explaining all about weaning. On this page you will find what weaning is, the difference types, and other general information about weaning that you will find useful. Please also find at the bottom of this page links on when to wean and how to wean!
About Weaning | What Is Weaning
In a nutshell, the most widely accepted meaning of weaning is the process of tapering them off the breast. Obviously you can’t breastfeed your child forever (they are a life sentence but not that long!), so when you take them off the boob and get them onto the bottle or onto solids, that’s called weaning. When to wean your baby is a matter for you and your baby, as is how to wean your baby.
About Weaning | Different Types
A total understanding about weaning is important before you learn how and when to do it. You need to know what stage of feeding your baby is at to know where to go to next. In other words, you need to know where you are to know where to go, if you catch my drift!
Weaning Onto The Bottle
Weaning bubs from the breast onto the bottle is often required for mums that are returning to work, are going away or for any other reason cannot be with their bub for 8 feeds per day. This is a massively growing trend, and new research conducted in Australia in 2010 about infant feeding which was very much all about weaning (National Infant Feeding Survey 2010) confirms that only 15% of babies are exclusively breastfed at age 6 months (the ‘recommended’ minimum). Furthermore, at 4 months only 39% of babies are exclusively breastfed, and at 5 months 27% are exclusively breastfed. This indicates that the recommendations given by the World Health Organisation are nowhere near being met due to practical or physical reasons. Social trends are changing.
Most weaning from breast to bottle is mother-led, and lots of mums find weaning onto the bottle the most difficult because they generally need to do it quite quickly when they go back to work etc. There is a bit of strategy behind going from breast to bottle, so click HERE to see how to do it!
Weaning Onto Solids
- Baby-led Weaning
Baby-led weaning is when your baby decides for themselves when they are ready to wean off the breast. The crux of it is, that at between 4-6 months put food in front of them and if they want to eat it, they will, if not, they’re not ready. Some strong baby led weaning advocates even claim you can do away with easing them into pureed food and give them a pork chop to try straight off the bat, for example. The theory is, if they like it they’ll eat it, if they don’t they won’t (hence the baby-led). There’s also a strong argument in baby-led weaning that says chew first , swallow later, not the other way around. For example, if they are given a pork chop before mashed potato and get through it (albeit slowly), that’s claimed to be much better for them because they have learnt to chew first. It is claimed that learning it this way avoids them trying to swallow something un-chewed, which is what may happen if they learn to swallow soft food first. If you are interested to find out more about baby-led weaning onto solids I recommend you visit this very well written site: http://babyledweaning.com/
- Mother-led Weaning
This is when you decide that you have had enough breastfeeding, or your baby is ready for solids and you introduce them to the foods slowly.
We hope you enjoyed this page about weaning! please continue on with our How To Wean page by clicking NEXT below! If you’re done, please leave us your own tips about weaning in the comments section! Otherwise please continue on with our About Breastfeeding Centre
Although the information on this page includes well thought-out, educated opinions, and all care has been taken putting it together, it is intended to be a guide only, and is NOT intended to be medical or other professional advice. The information contained herein is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, and you should always consult your doctor or other healthcare professional on all issues relating to you, your baby or otherwise. We, any of our related entities, the author, or any other person or entity associated with the creation of this page or website does not accept any liability for any loss of any nature whatsoever arising out of them, and none of those parties shall be held liable to any extent whatsoever for any such loss.