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  Baby: Weaning – Self weaning baby
I had planned to breastfeed for at least a year, but my six month old baby shows less and less interest in the breast and prefers to drink from her cup and be independent. I feel so sad and wonder if there was anything that I could have done to change this situation?

Firstly, motherhood almost never turns out the way we planned. What we fail to take into account is that baby will have her own ideas and thoughts from day one, and often will not fit into our rosy dreams.

However, with a small baby it is possible to mix your signals. Sickness, teething and a general growing interest in what is going on around them will make babies seem disinterested in feeding. It is worth persevering for a while and trying a few different tactics. Some babies need to be fed in a quiet place so that they can concentrate on the task and not be distracted. Some babies can feed quietly and contently when they are sleepy, after a nice bath or any time like that. Interestingly, the opposite is also true. There are some babies that prefer to know that they are not missing out on any event that may be happening. Some of them will feed very well in a sling while you do your chores. Then they can suck while keeping one eye on the world, and feel contented because of the activity. So, it’s up to you to experiment and see if you can find a solution to your baby’s seeming lack of interest.

However, some babies naturally do have restless natures and find it very hard to settle down to a feed. These babies are prone to weaning themselves at an early age. What you have to accept is that this is a reflection of the inherent personality of the baby and not any failing on your part. It is also possible that because your baby has been feeding erratically, that your milk supply has diminished and now no longer fulfills the need of the baby. You could try doing some expressing after every feed to boost the milk supply, but this can be quite tiring unless you are very determined.

It is extremely common for babies to wean themselves around a year old. If they continue feeding for much longer than this then they are unlikely to wean themselves.

See also:

Weaning - Bottle

Weaning - Cutting down on feed

Weaning - Demanding dummy

Weaning - Exhausted mother

Weaning - Mother’s discomfort

Weaning - Preparation

Weaning - Regression

Weaning - Sick baby

Weaning - Weaning off bottle

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