When to wean?
When questioned about when to wean from breastfeeding, I like to point parents to the American Academy of Pediatrics policy statement on breastfeeding when answering this question. The AAP recommends all infants be exclusively breastfed until 6 months and then adding complementary foods. They recommend to continue breastfeeding until a year, or as long as it is mutually desired by mother and child. Worldwide ages of weaning range from a few months to a few years.
Like I discuss in my Breastfeeding Basics 102 class, most babies will not self-wean until 18 months old or older. It’s important when making this decision that you remember the benefits of breastfeeding do not end at a certain age. Your milk continues to supply your child with antibodies, anti-allergens, growth factors and anti-viruses throughout the breastfeeding relationship. Some research shows that when breastfeeding for over a year, you milk has “significantly increased fat and energy contents” to benefit your child’s nutrition. When it comes to weaning, it’s really up to you and your baby!
What affected your decision to wean? Share in the comments.
I’ve created a free e-mail course to help you get breastfeeding started on the right foot! Click the image below for more info.
Thanks for stopping by,
Lindsey Shipley, RN, IBCLC