Saturday, March 18, 2006

Weaning Your Baby From His Favorites

When your baby is first born, you will give him a bottle, or breast feed him. You might also give him a pacifier, a stuffed animal, and a blanket. Without you knowing it, your baby will become attached to one or more of these items, and when it is time to give them up, he will have a hard time. There are a few things to help you break your baby from the things he is attached to without hurting his feelings very much.

The first thing you will want to break your baby from is breast feeding or a bottle. This will be the easiest to break him from since most mothers break their children from breast feeding or bottles when they are just around one year old. When you want to stop breast feeding, weaning him from it is the best thing to do. If you breast feed five times a day, go down to four times a day, and give him a sippy cup or a bottle for the fifth. Do this over the period of a few weeks, and by the end, you will have your baby off breast feeding and onto a bottle or a sippy cup.

You can use the same tactic of breaking breast feeding when you are trying to get your baby to give up a bottle. To start with, give your baby a sippy cup a couple of times a day instead of a bottle. Eventually, take your baby's bottles away all together, and throw them in the garbage. If you keep them in the house, it is easier for you to hand one back to your child when he is whiny or crying for one. If you do not have any in the house, there is no way possible that you can give it back to him.

Another thing you will want to take away from your child before he gets to old is a pacifier. Baby's and children get very addicted to them, and it is sometimes very hard to break them of the habit. To start out, do not let your baby have his pacifier during the day. If your baby starts whining or crying for it, get him interested in something else, such as a toy he likes, or a book that he likes to read. Explain to him that he does not need a pacifier, and even though he would like one, he is not going to get it right at that moment. That way, he knows that you are not being mean to him, but you have a reason for why he is not getting it. A lot of baby's want their pacifier to go to sleep at night. When you are ready or you think your baby is ready to give it up at night, there are a few things you can try. First of all, give your baby his pacifier to go to sleep with, but as soon as he is asleep, take it out of his mouth. If he wakes up crying or asking for it, try to get him to go back to sleep by talking or singing to him for a few minutes. If this does not work, do not give up. Another way you can get your child to give up his pacifier is to have him throw it in the garbage himself. If your child is old enough to know that what goes in the trash does not come out, let him throw it away himself, and then when he asks for it, you can remind him that he threw it in the trash himself. Another thing you can do is ask him if he can give it to another baby. Tell him that he is a big boy now, and there are other baby’s who need pacifiers. Little babies and children are very compassionate, and he may give it up if he thinks he is making another baby or child happy.

Blankets and stuffed animals are also possessions that little kids get very attached too. If your child only takes his blanket or stuffed animal to bed, let him keep it until he decides to give it up on his own. Some teenagers still have blankets from their childhood, and that is fine. If your child insists on bringing their blanket or animals with them everywhere they go, you might want to think about getting them to give it up, or at least get them to leave it at home. One way you can do that is to get them interested in the places that they are going, and they might forget about their blanket or animals. Before you leave the house, tell them about the fun things you are going to do with them that day, or tell them who they are going to visit, and what things they will be doing during the day. This may distract them enough that they forget their blankets. Another thing you can try is sitting down and talking to them about it. Ask them why they think they need their blanket or animal, and then explain to them why you think that they do not need them. Tell them that you think they are a big kid now, and can do big kid things. Explain that if they need their baby things with them, they might not be able to do big kid things like play on the big swings at the park, or walk through the store instead of riding in the grocery cart. That explanation alone might be enough to get your child to give their baby things up.

Although you think your child may be old enough to give up some of their beloved things, they might not be mentally or emotionally ready. If you notice that taking away your child's blanket or bottle has really hurt your child, you might want to think about giving it back. In most cases, your child will let you know, in one way or another, when he is ready to be a big kid, and give up whatever it is he is attached too. You might fight, you might struggle, or your child may just give you what you want, but either way, you and your baby will be fine!

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