First of all, any mom who needs to read about the tactics to wean successfully, must put her calming pants on.
I’m a relaxed mommy now. I can go wherever I want to without the fear of a baby crying off inconsolably back home and without the worry that he would be crying because of hunger, unlike a year ago, when the only thing on my mind was to wean off my baby.
I was clear about feeding the baby with bm for the first six-eight months and then switch to fm while starting semi-solids simultaneously. The plan that only ended in a faux pas. Weaning him from bm to bottle was by far the most difficult challenge I have experienced in bringing up a baby.
Little had I known, that bm would become his means of satisfying hunger, thirst, pain relief, soothing himself emotionally and whatever not. He was doing anything but giving up on it. The moment I used to put the bottle in his mouth, he pushed it out with his tongue. I knew it was going to take time but how much?! I tried Avent, Tommee Tippee, Dr, Browns, Chicco and whichever other bottle he would be willing to accept. I had to go shopping, to the gym, to meet friends, attend parties and I absolutely couldn’t go anywhere without him.
By the end of year one, I tried to stay up all night, to discontinue feeding to pacify or to help him fall back to sleep. He used to be up with me, until I decided to give up and end up giving him bm. He was absolutely stubborn. I tried all means, not only because I started to feel bound but also because I was afraid this wasn’t ending anytime soon.
After much try, I had actually given up on it. It was clear to me that he wasn’t weaning off anytime soon and was becoming more clingy every time I pushed it too hard. So, I decided for him to take the lead and go slow, quitting one feeding session at a time.
Eventually when he learned to walk at 14 months, he was more interested in staying on the floor than in my arms. Running around the house made him more independent and less clingy towards mom. He could be easily distracted with his favourite toys for hours by then and missing out on feeding sessions became easier.
The day time feeds started to lessen because he started getting fuller with his meals. Every time he asked for milk, I gave him a cookie or some fruit to take his mind off the cravings. Now, since he got detached from bm, I tried giving him the bottle, which he reluctantly accepted after few tries, only because it had started to amuse him now. Finally, after months of efforts, at 15 months he accepted the bottle.
I would like to console all moms trying to wean their babies, some of my closest friends who I see struggling each day, patiently trying all means. All I have to say is that it is not easy, for you or for the baby, but you must keep trying. Weaning doesn’t happen over days but over months but if you don’t try it becomes a habit and gets more difficult to give up.