Is There a Right Time to Wean a Breastfed Baby?

Sona Charaipotra
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Does baby prefer the bottle?
Does baby prefer the bottle?
I was talking to another mom yesterday about breastfeeding. Her little one, who's about 7 months old, like Kavi, has decided she no longer wants to nurse. Or at least that's what her mama's thinking, because lately she fusses at the breast and happily takes a bottle.

So it made me think: How do you know if your little one is done with nursing?

I've read about the distracted period babies get into at about 7 or 8 months -- and Kavi's certainly a curious character. But she's still very much into the boob, despite the teething and the short attention span. She likes feeling like she can pause, take a look around, then come back to the task at hand.

She's quite pleased with the bottle, too, especially now that she's got the hang of holding it a bit -- although sometimes she doesn't actually lift it up enough to get any milk out!

But there are certain times, like bed time and if she wakes in the middle of the night, that she particularly wants to nurse. It's the coziness she craves more than anything else, which is very understandable.

Before Kavi was born, I had planned to breastfeed until she was 6 months old, and here she is already 7. I won't really force the issue unless her teething becomes a problem. She's already testing her boundaries -- biting fingers and whatever else she can. But I wonder if I'll be able to read her cues once she's ready to wean herself. She seems content, at least at the moment, with the way things are -- a mix of bottle and boob. Perhaps that will change once she starts day care next week and starts getting into more of a routine, especially with some time away from mama. Or maybe she'll want the cuddliness of nursing more than ever then. In any case, for now, I'll let her guide me in this process.

How -- and when -- did you decide to wean your breastfed baby? Or did you leave it up to your little one?


Image via inferis/Flickr

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