Graduating from Breastmilk
What is graduating from breastmilk?
When your child doesn’t breastfeed as often and says they are ready to stop breastfeeding in words or behaviors. This is different from weaning, which is when you decide on your own to stop breastfeeding.
Nutrients from breastmilk
As your child breastfeeds less often, the nutrients and calories she used to receive from breastmilk are instead provided by solid food. By the time your child is around one year old, breastfeeding is no longer necessary to provide nutrients.
Breastfeeding also nourishes the heart. The feeling of being held in a soft, warm place, looking into your eyes and seeing your smile is the best feeling for your child, and all of their worries from just a moment ago are soothed.
When will my child graduate from breastmilk？
Around one year, when they gets enough nutrients from solid food, are beginning to walk and take more of an interest in things around them, and have simple conversations with adults. When your child indicates that they don’t need to breastfeed anymore and has found other ways to interact and fun things to do, they are definitely ready to graduate from breastmilk. This may be before one year or after three years.
Heading towards graduation from breastmilk together
“Even though they're not breastfeeding anymore they still seems to want to.” “When they're sleepy, she insists on breastfeeding.”
Sometimes when your child seems to be saying, “Milk, please!” what she really wants is for you to hold her, give her a piggyback ride or interact with her in some way. Try smiling and picking her up or tickling her to find out. If she still seems to want milk, it’s okay to give it to her.
Try to get exercise during the day. Laugh together, go for a walk, or be adventurous and try going down a slide. In many cases your child will find something more fun than breastfeeding, and she will also sleep well at night.
If your child seems to want to breastfeed before bed, try reading her a picture book. This may give her the same good feeling as breastfeeding.
- Don’t be in a rush. Spend time with your child.
- Remember that every child graduates from breastmilk eventually!