Weaning off the bottle or breast

Cynthia Epps, Infant Feeding Specialist, shares advice for parents on the best way to wean your baby or toddler from the breast or bottle
Weaning from the Breast or Bottle
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Weaning off the bottle or breast

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Weaning comes up whether you are using breast or bottle, usually after the first year; sometimes between one, two, or three years of age. Weaning is really attached to the child's increasing caloric load from their daily diet. When your child is eating three meals a day, two snacks, and taking milk at those meals and at those snacks; then the bottle feeding and the breastfeeding is available for weaning. This can happen when they are mid-year, at eighteen months or two years of age. When you decide to begin weaning, the key is to go slowly, and to honor the emotional connection between the breast and the bottle. By offering more ounces of milk at the meal, you can then begin to shave the ounces that you are offering from the bottle. You can begin to shorten the time the child is nursing at the breast. Doing this at 7-10 day intervals, and no faster, allows the child to get used to the change, one weaning at a time, without experiencing the anxiety with losing the breast or the bottle as synonymous with losing the mother.

Cynthia Epps, Infant Feeding Specialist, shares advice for parents on the best way to wean your baby or toddler from the breast or bottle

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Cynthia Epps, MS, IBCLC

Infant Feeding Specialist

Cynthia Epps, MS, IBCLC holds a master’s degree in nutritional biochemistry and is a board certified lactation consultant in private practice in Los Angeles, California. She specializes in home and internet consults for new mother/infant couples from birth through two years of age. She covers early breastfeeding questions such as learning to trust the breast, establishing a good milk supply, sore nipples, colic and reflux; as well as “back to work” protocols for the working mother and “transitioning to solids” at six months per the American Academy of Pediatrics and World Health Organization guidelines, plus food wars and gentle weaning guidelines for the older infant. In addition, she has written for LA Family Magazine and Mothering Magazine, and leads infant feeding workshops throughout the community. With the wisdom of motherhood still largely negated or ignored, she specializes in combining ancient matriarchal traditions with modern science to help the new mother transition into the time-honored role of nurturing her baby with body and breast. She continues to pursue the goal of redefining the human infant feeding norm as breastfeeding or breastmilk for all children.

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