Is The Baby Self-Weaning

 

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Is My Baby Self Weaning This Early?

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Baby-led weaning basics

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Self-weaning is when a baby stops breastfeeding on his or her own. Self-weaning usually happens at a gradual pace over time. As children grow older, get more of their nutrition from solid foods, and become more independent, they will eventually begin to nurse less often than they did when they were younger.

Self-weaning is when a baby, over a year old, gradually reduces her intake of breast milk and finally stops nursing altogether. This happens because the baby starts getting more nutrition from foods other than breast milk once she starts solids. This means she will nurse less regularly and eventually stop nursing.

A typical sign of your baby beginning to self-wean is they begin to cut their typical feeding times short. What you expect to be a typical feeding time will slowly decrease when they are in this stage. The typical time they spend nursing will. According to Certified Lactation Counselor Danielle Downs Spradlin of Oasis Lactation Services, it is normal to think your baby is self-weaning at an earlier age.

Children do not self-wean without solids being a substantial source of their nutrition intake. If it seems like your baby is refusing to nurse, but they aren’t replacing their caloric intake with solid foods, weaning is not the likely scenario. Age is relevant.

My heart broke right along with yours while reading this, because 1) ohhhhh yes, been there, done that, and 2) SOME BABIES SELF WEAN BEFORE 12 MONTHS FOR NO PARTICULARLY OBVIOUS REASON AND YOU DIDN’T DO ANYTHING WRONG AND IT’S OKAY TO STOP WHEN YOUR BABY IS READY TO STOP AND ASDSHSOFpfgogjsofvoposf924y3r4oyqr3AAHHH!!!!A baby who self-weans is usually well over a year old, is getting most of his nutrition from solids, is drinking well from a cup, and cuts down on nursing gradually. If children are truly allowed to self-wean in their own time, most will.

Breast-feeding is recommended as long as you and your baby wish to continue. When to start weaning your child is a personal decision. It’s often easiest to begin weaning when your baby starts the process.

Changes in breast-feeding patterns leading to eventual weaning often begin naturally at age 6 months, when solid foods are typically introduced. Weaning is a vital process in which your baby transitions from breastmilk or formula to food. Whether you choose baby-led or traditional weaning, or a mix of both, you should begin giving your baby.

Generally, at some point between 1 and 2 years of age, a baby will show signs of self-weaning. Baby-initiated weaning like this is usually easier and takes less time. Of course, baby-initiated weaning isn’t always possible; sometimes weaning has to happen earlier!

List of related literature:

The parents may be told that their babies are “self-weaning.”

“The Nursing Mother's Companion” by Ruth A. Lawrence, Kathleen Huggins
from The Nursing Mother’s Companion
by Ruth A. Lawrence, Kathleen Huggins
Harvard Common Press, 2005

Conversely, if she expresses resentment each time her baby breastfeeds and is impatient for each feeding to end, she is entitled to know options for safe and comfortable weaning techniques.

“Breastfeeding and Human Lactation” by Karen Wambach, Becky Spencer
from Breastfeeding and Human Lactation
by Karen Wambach, Becky Spencer
Jones & Bartlett Learning, 2019

Self-weaning is developmentally unusual and unlikely to occur before 1 year of age, at a minimum.

“Comprehensive Lactation Consultant Exam Review” by Smith
from Comprehensive Lactation Consultant Exam Review
by Smith
Jones & Bartlett Learning, 2016

What does weaning mean?

“Breastfeeding: A Guide for the Medical Profession” by Ruth A. Lawrence, MD, Robert M. Lawrence, MD
from Breastfeeding: A Guide for the Medical Profession
by Ruth A. Lawrence, MD, Robert M. Lawrence, MD
Elsevier Health Sciences, 2015

The biologically normal and desired method for weaning is to allow the baby to self-wean.

“Counseling the Nursing Mother” by Judith Lauwers, Anna Swisher
from Counseling the Nursing Mother
by Judith Lauwers, Anna Swisher
Jones & Bartlett Learning, 2015

As we described earlier, one study found that for many U.S. mothers, the biggest challenge of natural weaning is coping with others’ opinions, and the older the child, the more challenging this becomes.

“Breastfeeding Made Simple: Seven Natural Laws for Nursing Mothers” by Nancy Mohrbacher, Kathleen Kendall-Tackett, Jack Newman
from Breastfeeding Made Simple: Seven Natural Laws for Nursing Mothers
by Nancy Mohrbacher, Kathleen Kendall-Tackett, Jack Newman
New Harbinger Publications, 2010

Therefore, weaning from a bottle should be attempted gradually because the baby has learned to rely on the comfort that sucking provides.

“Maternity and Women's Health Care E-Book” by Deitra Leonard Lowdermilk, Shannon E. Perry, Mary Catherine Cashion, Kathryn Rhodes Alden
from Maternity and Women’s Health Care E-Book
by Deitra Leonard Lowdermilk, Shannon E. Perry, et. al.
Elsevier Health Sciences, 2014

Weaning doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing phenomenon.

“Dr. Spock's Baby and Child Care: 8th Edition” by Benjamin Spock, Robert Needlman
from Dr. Spock’s Baby and Child Care: 8th Edition
by Benjamin Spock, Robert Needlman
Gallery Books, 2004

Ironically, babies seem to do this when their mothers are not the least bit interested in weaning, rather than when mum’s ready to quit nursing.

“What To Expect The 1st Year [rev Edition]” by Heidi Murkoff, Sharon Mazel
from What To Expect The 1st Year [rev Edition]
by Heidi Murkoff, Sharon Mazel
Simon & Schuster UK, 2010

Weaning is important for both babies and mothers, not just physically but emotionally as well.

“Dr. Spock's Baby and Child Care: 9th Edition” by Benjamin Spock, Robert Needlman
from Dr. Spock’s Baby and Child Care: 9th Edition
by Benjamin Spock, Robert Needlman
Pocket Books, 2011

Oktay Kutluk

Kutluk Oktay, MD, FACOG is one of the world's foremost experts in fertility preservation as well as ovarian stimulation and in vitro fertilization for infertility treatments. He developed and performed the world's first ovarian transplantation procedures as well as pioneered new ovarian stimulation protocols for embryo and oocyte freezing for breast and endometrial cancer patients.

Mail: [email protected]
Telephone: +1 (877) 492-3666

Biography: https://medicine.yale.edu/profile/kutluk_oktay/
Bibliography: oktay_bibliography

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41 comments

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  • Sounds like the solid foods she really loves so I would just pump and use breast milk as a ingredient in foods she likes. Also they have liquid vitamins too to mix in water. You can put some breast milk in a sippy or they have these pediasure vitamin shakes too to give her a boost to her immune system.

  • My daughter was a preemie and one thing I learned in NICU was to listen to the child. They really will “tell” you what they need. I still called our pediatrician a lot and that office had a feeding schedule chart that will be saved for future kids. My daughter is almost 2 now but still doesn’t vocalize helpful words, just animal sounds, but I almost completed a sign language interpreter program in collage, so I started signing with her. She picked that up so well and it has saved our communication frustration tremendously! Get on Amazon and there are some great signing books for kids. Or even better is look for the Deaf communities around you and ask them for help. That culture loves to share and help each other. And by asking them they usually feel that you respect their language more rather than only helping someone else capitalize from it.

  • It doesn’t seem like she’s actually eating and digesting much food? I think the BLW is a great method but always wonder if the baby is getting enough food, especially when they’re first learning. She’s doing a great job!

  • thank you so much for sharing your experience, tips and all your informative ideas. I surely appreciate this video. May God bless you and your family.

  • Do you feed any cereal at all? Our pedi mentioned that because of the iron, he still thinks it is good for baby to eat the cereal. Thank you in advance!

  • How long did it take Micah to sign independently? I’m trying to teach my son sign language for more and he just reaches for whatever he wants more of… I guess that’s a way of saying more? Haha

  • Hi.. my baby is 6.5 months old..she is playing with food and then throw.. but doesn’t put in the mouth.. then I get scared that she will not get enough nutrients so when I try to feed..she refused.. plz help

  • Have you started getting your period yet. Breastmilk will change and some baby’s just don’t like the taste during certain time in a mothers cycle

  • Micah is doing well and I think it is great that she can sign. I love her two teeth when she is smiling or pulling faces, she is a character. You live in a beautiful place and I liked the mountains in the distance with snow on top, stunning. ������

  • I’m so glad you talked to her doctor!!!! If you start to supplement your supply will drop even more! I love and agree with his advice 100%. Good job mama, listen to your baby and her doc. Don’t stop nursing!

  • Maybe she is just ready to drink from a cup.my be she see that u to are drinking from cups and want to copy what u are doing. Just want to be like mom and dad.she is learning from u

  • That’s adorable! We did purees and then finger foods because my daughter was a gagger. But hopefully if we get pregnant again we can get a do over.

  • My baby is 6 months.. I wish I would’ve found this video when I started her around 4-5 months ���� my daughter was so ready she was grabbing her own spoon.. but I wouldn’t let her because I didn’t know any better.. THANK YOU FOR THIS MAMA!!!! ❤️ im about to watch all these videos lol

  • Jess, have you accidentally jumped, and yelled when she bit you? She may of realized that she is hurting you, and stopped for a few days! If she is getting enough with bottles, that is probably what she is doing!

  • Hi there! thanks for your lovely videos. I always enjoy watching them and I have learned a lot too! I came across this video quite late and my daughter is now 11 months old. Do you think I still can start baby led weaning? And what are your suggestion? (my daughter loves to have spoon on each hand and throws her spoon and food a lot). I would appreciate if you can help me. Thank you! Soli

  • Your comment about third world countries is incorrect. Please read the UNICEF and WHO guidelines. There are softer foods for babies, many of these countries use rice as staple which is fine as small, also don’t forget that mum/ dads can chew the food for their babies, another cave man strategy if you like. None in their right mind will give a big chunks of food to their 6 month old baby. Seeing pictures of 7 month old babies with steaks in their hands is very concerning. 81% of babies who were admitted to hospital with foreign objects were self-feeding in recent study. Your baby will probably be ok but may not get the right nutrition and why risk a 5-10% of of a serious chocking episode. And as we are not cave women/ men anymore and we have a blender for our 6 month olds why not help the baby with their first steps with food.

  • BLW for small babies is dangerous. Pls read some studies in scientific articles. Any benefits vs the risk makes the method too unrealistic, plus food waste, mess. Also the original BLW author suggesting BLW at 6 months when babies don’t have any other experience eating and also need iron etc is extremely controversial and crazy. BLW might be ok as the baby matures and reaches 1 year old. In a recent study among women who started BLW and continued 30% of them reported a chocking episode during the study. Not gagging, chocking! and this is for the hardcore who stayed with BLW, the study didn’t consider people who gave up. We tried BLW for our baby and it was too dangerous, we had some bad moments. He is eating pretty much everything now in his puree and with varying consistency as he grows older. We will try more solid stuff as he matures.

  • Thank you so much for this video! I’ve been so worried about starting solid foods an you’ve really broken it down an helped me a whole lot!

  • What I dont understand is if they don’t have teeth yet, are they not just..basically.. swallowing chunk of food? I know they can mash it up a little with their gums but not probably

    (No hating, video is great, I’m just genuinely interested?)

  • there is a great baby weaning book by annabel karmel that has meal plans worked out for you so that all nutrients are met. hope that is helpful

  • Great series! Thank you, I love watching these videos and learning so much! A question about the foods you introduced, is it ok to leave the skin on, especially for avocado, isn’t it too hard and potential choking hazard if the baby swallows a little piece of it?

  • Hello, I recently subscribed and love all the information you share! Thank you so much. I have a question did your babies sit completely unassisted on the floor at 6 months when you started BLW? My baby can sit will in the high chair but can not sit completely unassisted on the floor for longer than a minute. Wondering if it is still fine to implement BLW at this point

  • So glad to see someone else who is going from purées to BLW makes this anxious momma way more comfortable! I’d love to chat about it sometime!

  • Wow! Great video!! Thank you so much for sharing. I was definitely starting to set the pressure on myself about feeding. Thank you for the tips!

  • I think it’s awesome that you are recording what happened every day… and you are right… you never know when it will be your last. I totally can understand the bittersweet thing because Porter and I are going through the same thing. Good luck with everything:)

  • They cant eat whats in their fist. What ever sticks outside the fist is what they can go to town on! Cutie pie. Apple and harder items would be too scary for me. I thought the food needed to be mashable.

  • Both of my children weaned themselves once they started teething…my son went straight from nursing to a sippy cup and vitamin D milk, since he was eating regular food without issue (he was 8months and walking) we consulted with his Dr. first.

  • Bananas and any round foods should have their round shape removed by slicing length wise, usually in at least quarters incase of choking as a round shape will completely block off airways, skins should NOT be left on avocados as it is a choking hazard.

  • Thank you for the amazingly informative video! I am curious: is there a reason for including skin in the pieces you gave to your baby?

  • I was so scared of gagging but thanks to your videos I got over the fear.. please see my experiences in Instagram handle rearing_dev��

  • If you want to increade your milk supply, try pumping 2-3 times a day when shes not nursing. Then you can give her that milk in the baby cereal or a bottle.

  • Thank you so much iv been terrified and didn’t want to start just yet she is almost 5 months and have been judged heavily because I want to wait till she is 6 months old but my mother and MIL want me to start now����‍♀️

  • Baby gagging really freaks me out initially, but now they are very good eaters �� they are sharing foods with us and turns out, our diets are becoming healthier.

  • Both my kids self weaned at 10-11 months. They became so mobile that they didn’t want to nurse. I gave them breast milk/formula in a sippy cup instead so at least they got the nutrients. I didn’t give them water, only milk or formula.

  • Being 10 months old, 3-4 times a day is completely fine. Even 1-2 times is good to, she’s eating 3 meals and snacks. She doesn’t need formula or any milk substitute. By 12 months she would be completely fine with milk every day or every other day. Breastmilk was her food source while she was a baby now she’s on solids she doesn’t need to nurse so much anymore.
    Just go with her lead Jess, she’s growing into a toddler now and would prefer her food and that’s ok:)

  • Thank you for another wonderful video! I love that you have a mini-series dedicated to this topic and look forward to future information. I did have a question for you. I have an almost 3 year old boy (33 months currently) and have quite a picky eater on my hands. I am just starting the Montessori approach in the home (I wish I had started earlier!) and we did not do baby-led weaning (thought definitely will with a second child. Anyway, I was just curious if you have any tips on dealing with pickiness as it pertains to baby-led weaning later down the road when they are toddlers? Thank you!

  • She’s eating a normal amount! If you don’t want to stop breast feeding, don’t supplement with formula! If you’re worried about your supply, just pump. Supplementing with formula so she’s “getting enough” will only hurt your supply. Personally, it just sounds like she’s going through a phase. But you do what’s best for you, momma! BUT if you aren’t ready to give up breast feeding, don’t supplement!!!

  • Thanks a Lot for the videos, you ser great!..im not sure ir you mention it, but, do we need to ofer the same food for the first time to the baby, for three days?

  • This is the first time I came across Montesori approach and I am pretty excited. I just wanted to ask something although I am not sure if you are still answering. My baby is now 9+ months old but I started with traditional eating methods (In India, traditional means on laps and not on table and chair). But now I want switch to baby led weaning. Can you please give me some tips to switch.

  • I love how your so informative and really good in explaining. I just don’t like that took me so long to search about Montessori approach that’s why i just found your channel. thank you. I love your channel. My baby’s 3months old now.

  • Do you still practise BLW when you’re dining at restaurants with your kids? Any tips on how to do so? Bring the bibs and cups along etc?