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How to Do Baby-Led Weaning?

Questioner

S (29_female_Egypt)

Reply Date

Mar 02, 2019

Question

I have a problem with my daughter; she is now 2 years and 4 months old. I want her to stop breastfeeding but now she is big enough to protest, making it very difficult for me to make her quit. I know I am quite late, but I tried four months ago and have failed. Can you help me with this problem?

Also one more problem: My eldest daughter refrains from sleeping in her room with her younger sister. She always wants to sleep in my bedroom and if we force her to sleep in her room, she cries hysterically. Why is she so scared while the younger daughter never complains? I make them recite before they go to sleep; still she wants to sleep with me and not in her room. I would be extremely thankful if you help me.

Counselor

Answer


baby

In this counseling answer:

1. Find other ways to give your daughter her daily doses of close loving contact.
For example, hold her between your arms while reading a book, take her to the park, or just sit and play with her.

2. It is not recommended to let your child cry it out or withhold food.

3. Move along slowly.


As-salamu `alaykum dear mother,
Weaning can be very hard work for the parents if the baby isn’t yet ready to give up the special bond with her mother. Nursing is so much more than food to your little girl; she knows that this is the one time she has you all to herself.

During breast-feeding, she feels loved, enjoys skin-to-skin contact in addition to receiving milk, of course.

Weaning Plan

1. Find other ways to give your daughter her daily doses of close loving contact.
For example, hold her between your arms while reading a book, take her to the park, or just sit and play with her.

2. It is not recommended to let your child cry it out or withhold food.

3. Move along slowly.

First, observe how many feeds she gets per day and choose to eliminate her shortest and least important feeding and substitute this feed with some quality time of hugging, playing, and loving.

Then proceed to substitute one feeding every four days in the same way.

4. Wear clothes that are difficult to nurse in so that she has difficulty reaching your breast.

5. When she asks for a feeding, have her favorite snack and drink prepared but do not force her to have it; she will eat it when she is ready.

During these steps, try to get her out of the habit of going to sleep while nursing and put her in her bed while she is drowsy so that she learns to soothe herself to sleep. little-girl-eating-yogurt

6. After eliminating the daytime breast-feeding, you will have reached your final step, which is her bedtime feeding, which you can deal with as follows:

Establish a bedtime routine: a bath, reading a book, reciting Qur’an, or singing a goodnight song.

Stay in her room till she dozes off.

7. Do not return to giving a feeding after you have stopped it.

8. Again, move on very slowly, which will also prevent any breast pains.

As for Your Older Daughter

First, exclude any medical illness or nightmares.

Then, it would be most probably due to sibling rivalry.

Each one of your daughters seems to be finding that she has you completely for herself for some quality time. If you think of it, this must be the only time the older girl can have you all to herself while her baby sister is sleeping.

How to End the Bedtime Battles

Make sure she has quality time with you during the day.

If she naps during the day, either decrease the naptime or eliminate it altogether. It will be much easier if she is tired enough to go to sleep quickly.

Establish a bedtime routine with both your girls:

Bath time

Tooth brushing

Story time

Soft music or singing a bedtime song.

Reciting Qur’an

Stay in the room for a while, but not too long. You can also tell them that you are going to do something and come back again, and, of course, do come back.

Have one of those children’s night lamps in the room. You can also stick some of those glow-in-the-dark stars on the wall and ceiling.

You might want to try a soft doll or teddy bear for her to hug.

Make sure to reward her for sleeping in her bed.

Lastly, my dear mother, I think that your girls are fighting for your attention, so it is very important to give them both equal shares of your love. Take care because sometimes even an extra kiss to one of them is considered more love.

May Allah guide you to raise those lovely girls into good Muslim women.

Salam


 

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About Mona Youssri

Mona Youssri is having 17 years experience as a teacher, including two years as a head teacher (special needs). She has a special sense for children. Following up on her wealth of experience with children, and her MB Bch. at Qasr el Aini Medical School in Egypt, Mona Youssri is currently researching into psychiatry and neurology. She is CLC Founder.

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