Weaning Problems: Prevention
Weaning is replacing bottle or breast-feedings with solid foods and drinking from a cup. Infants will normally initiate weaning between 6 and 12 months of age, if you do the following:
- First: After 6 months of age, keep milk feedings to four times a day. Infants who nurse or bottle-feed more than this are very reluctant to give it up.
- Second: Hold your baby for any distress, rather than nursing him. Try to separate comforting from nursing.
- Third: When your baby needs to suck, but is not hungry, provide a pacifier or thumb, rather than feeding him.
- Fourth: Don't let your child go to sleep at the breast or bottle. Stop the feeding as soon as he becomes drowsy.
- Fifth: Don't let your infant hold the bottle or take it to bed. Your child should think of the bottle as something that belongs to you.
- Finally: By 6 months of age, offer your child fluids from a cup and solid foods by spoon. In this way, exclusive milk feedings never become overly important to him.
If you have other questions about weaning, consult your healthcare provider.
Disclaimer: This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. It is provided for educational purposes only. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information.
Author and Senior Reviewer: Barton D. Schmitt, M.D. FAAP
Last Review: 6/1/2008
Last Revised: 6/1/2000
Copyright 1994-2008 Barton Schmitt, M.D. Parent Advice Messages.