Transitioning From Bottle to Solids – Ways to Wean
Is there a right time to wean your child onto solids?
In this Tot Spot update, we’ll be sharing some ideas and insights into how to know when it’s best to give baby bottle feeding and your breasts a rest.
The first 6 months of your child’s life should see them exclusively breast or bottle fed with weaning taking place 12 months into your child’s life. In some cases, the process starts much later with baby being 2 or older. It can even happen when mum has simply had enough of breast or bottle feeding. Each child’s weaning process will be different.
Generally, your bub will begin to naturally wean off the bottle at the time that other foods are introduced into their diet. This includes water, juice, other milks, and solid foods. Weaning is often thought of as the time when babies begin to have fewer breast or bottle feeds with their diet completely replaced by other foods and drinks but this is not the case.
At the first sign of other solid foods, weaning naturally starts. This mutual weaning process is nature’s way of transitioning your baby from bottle to food and is a common form of transition. However, there may be two other ways where the weaning process can be initiated by either mother or child. These processes are baby-led weaning and mother-led weaning.
Don’t be surprised if your baby decides they’ve had enough bottle or breast milk and are ready to move on. This may cause feelings of rejection or sadness for you, which is particularly normal.
The unexpected push by your child to stop feeding, combined with huge changes in hormones can see this process become difficult. Let them take charge, this refusal may be temporary. Baby-led weaning can turn into mutually-led weaning over time.
There can come a time when mum has simply had enough of breast or bottle feeding. This is particularly common for mums with older babies and toddlers. Children that love to feed frequently, often at nights can need a bit more of a push towards weaning.
Here are some steps to help encourage your bub to stop breast or bottle feeding thanks to The Australian Breastfeeding Association:
- Have a chat to your toddler
- Praise them, this is an exciting time to let them know that they’re growing up into a big kid. If they’ve gone for a long period of time without a feed, let them know this is huge progress.
- Schedule in snack times
- This can help your child establish a new routine and begin to really enjoy learning about new foods for “big kids”
- At bedtime, try another drink to help them fall asleep.
- Consider their sucking need. Replace bottle sucking with dummies or a cuddle toy.
At Dr Brown’s Australia and New Zealand, we have just the right transitioning options for mum. Try our Dr Brown’s beginning range of bottles with attachable silicone handles and for those who are a little older, straw and insulated cups work a treat. Soft-Soup Cups, Straw Cups, Insulated Cups, and Solid Feeding Utensils. We also have the Snack-A-Pillar for those up-and-go moments.
You can explore our range of options for your child’s growth stage below.