Times you should not wean your baby

You should not wean:

  • Before the baby is 6 months old. Babies need to suck. When a baby is switched to a cup too early, the urge and need to suck remains strong. Not being able to suck may frustrate your baby. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that babies be breast-fed until they are at least 1 year old.
  • When a child is learning new skills. Learning new skills, such as crawling or walking, can be stressful for your child, and the breast or bottle may provide comfort and security.
  • When there is stress in the home. A new tooth, an illness, a new day care center, or the caregiver starting back to work can all be stressful. Weaning at this time, or during any difficult time, results in more stress and more difficulty weaning.
  • During unusually warm weather. During weaning, babies sometimes refuse any liquid other than breast milk for 24 to 48 hours. This can put the baby at risk for dehydration.

Last Updated: June 19, 2008

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