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Updated: 1/14/2003 11:29 am
When is the right time to wean (WEEN) your child from bottle or breast-feeding? If you're nursing, that can be an open-ended question, because in some cultures mothers nurse a child as old as five. Nursing for too long, however, could make either the child or the mom too dependent on the other, as well as creating potential friction in the marriage or modesty problems in deciding where to nurse an older child. Older baboes who reject the breast may be telling you they're ready to move on. It may take a baby who's been breast-feeding a while to catch on to how to drink from a bottle or a cup, so you may want to start introducing it in advance of totally weaning. It's best for both you and the child not to go 'cold turkey.' Your breasts and your baby have to adjust to the loss of feedings, so you may want to start eliminating them one at a time over a period of several days or weeks. With both bottle- and breast-fed babies, early-morning and late-evening feedings are usually the last to go. Once you start weaning, you may find your milk supply depleting rapidly. Once babies start taking solid foods, and later can feed themselves, that's the time to introduce them to drinking from a cup.

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