Originally published at Muslimah Bloggers
Weaning a baby – specially if you have nursed the child up to 2 years; by the time she is capable of determining her WANTS, can be difficult. But following these steps can surely help reduce the pressure:
- Intention & dua: Since you nursed a child probably because Allah SWT wants you to do so, make the intention that you will wean around 24 months as Allah swt advised is best for them. And then make dua that it be easy for you. And insha Allah it will be.
- Plan ahead Weaning hardly happens overnight, sometimes it takes way longer. Both of my kids took around 2 months till they were completely weaned off. It started by the time they were 21m old and ended somewhere when they were 23m. So yes, plan ahead.
- Discuss with the child: It is always better to include the child in the process. Explain it to her that she needs to wean off because she is growing up and weaning is the sign/milestoneof ‘Being a grown up’. (Toddlers are often obsessed with the idea of growing up so hopefully it will be enough motivation for them to wean).Conversation about the process will allow her logic to kick in and she will feel more in control of the situation (because she now knows ‘why’), and hopefully it will result in easy weaning. Sometimes the child grasps the concept so well that she can self-wean without hassle.
- Start Replacing BF with other milks It is easier to wean smaller babies and seamlessly shift them to feeders. For toddlers, the solution lies in supplementing them with various kinds/flavours of milk along with their regular food at least 2/3 months before you plan weaning. And gradually increase their intake of regular milk while simultaneously reducing nursing untill the baby is only nursing at nights.
- Make the whole process slow Gently limit nursing. In the beginning follow the “Don’t offer Don’t refuse” rule by only nursing when the baby demands it. Toddlers are usually so busy during the day they forget to ask for it and slowly, even when they demand during the day give any alternative milk/snack and tell them that they can only nurse at bed time.
- Tire the baby and feed them to their full at night Toddlers get really fussy if they are being denied nursing specially at the night time. The trick I used while weaning both my kids was to tire them throughout the day (by adding more physical exercises) then fed them to their full and allowed them to have regular milk as well, gave them a warm bath and an oil massage! So by the time we would lay down they would fall asleep in seconds, or just fall asleep on their own while I was massaging their legs. Sometimes I would hold them in my arms rocking them to sleep to avoid nursing at night. And soon they learnt that they can sleep WITHOUT being nursed and were less fussy.
- Make it gross Sometimes nothing seems to work and the child is
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