Breastfeeding is by far the healthiest choice you can make when it comes to feeding and raising your child. Your body creates a formula perfectly suited to your child’s physical needs, including vitamins and nutrients that can help bolster the immune system and support a growing infant.
But how long you choose to breastfeed can be a difficult decision. Breastfeeding is definitely the best choice, but it’s not always the most convenient choice, so how long are you really expected to keep breastfeeding?
The reality is most mothers don’t breastfeed as long as is recommended by pediatricians. This is due to a number of factors that aren’t necessarily the mother’s fault, and research shows that formula also does a good job of nourishing a growing baby, but if you really want all the benefits of breastfeeding, you should try to stick it out a little. Here are five signs you can stop breastfeeding your child.
1. Your child is at least a year old
Your child should breastfeed for at least a year. However, once they reach 12 months of age, you can begin weaning them off without worrying about depriving them of essential nutrients. You can choose to keep breastfeeding for longer, and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends continuing as long as possible, but a year is a great goal to set.
2. Your child begins losing interest
The best method of breastfeeding is to continue until your child begins weaning herself off naturally. Children will begin to lose interest in drinking or primarily relying on breast milk, and will instead prioritize solid foods. Some kids will not naturally lose interest in breast feeding for several years, which is also perfectly fine.
3. Breastfeeding becomes inconvenient
Another good reason to stop breastfeeding is because it simply becomes too inconvenient to maintain. Now, it is to make things more convenient with a good breast pump, and if you check ameda vs medela reviews, you can decide for yourself which is right for you. But this may not solve all your problems. This can be for a number of reasons, ranging from you need to get back on a medication that might pass through the breast milk to you have to return to work and don’t have time to keep breastfeeding.
When possible, you should attempt to pump milk instead, but even that can be a challenge for working mothers. When breastfeeding feels impossible to accomplish, it’s probably a good time to begin weaning. Breastfeeding is helpful, but not at the point of sacrificing your ability to function and mother your child in other ways.
4. Your baby is requesting solid foods
After a certain point, babies develop an independent interest and even a preference for solid foods. Breast is best, but solid foods provide ample variety and nutrition for your baby, especially if they’re nibbling on nutrient-rich foods. Feel free to switch over to this if your baby appears sick of drinking and ready to chew. There’s no point in inhibiting natural development for the sake of more breastmilk.
5. It doesn’t work for your lifestyle
Sometimes breastfeeding just isn’t working out anymore. This can be because your body isn’t producing enough milk, your breasts hurt, or your child is getting a bit too big to easily feed. Breastfeeding is not meant to last forever. However, most moms stop feeding earlier than necessary. Waiting at least a year before weaning your baby gives them the best shot at a healthy life.