The decision of when to wean from breastfeeding is one for each woman to make based on her own circumstances and family situation. I had two very different breastfeeding experiences with my own children, and have supported thousands of mums (through my volunteer and paid work) on their breastfeeding journeys, and each journey is unique.
There is a great article on the Australian Breastfeeding Association (ABA) website about weaning and how to go about it when you’re ready. The support of an IBCLC like me can be really helpful as you go through this process.
There’s also a good summary on the ABA website of what your baby receives if you breastfeed for a few days or for a few weeks, months or even years. Every drop of breast milk counts.
When you’re ready to wean, how you do it will depend on how old your baby is. It’s important to know that if you wean from breastfeeding before 12 months of age then your baby will need some formula as a substitute for the breastfeeds they previously had. After 12 months formula is no longer required, as a baby can get all their nutrition from the food and drinks they are given. This article has some good strategies to help you plan the weaning process.
Weaning can be an emotional time, whether you've been breastfeeding for a few days or a few years. Knowing about how weaning might make us feel can help us be prepared.
If you’d like some support with the weaning process, no matter how old your baby is, please get in touch. Together we can talk through your feeding options and I can provide you with all the information you need to make your own decision about what is best for you and your baby. Shona x