Baby Addicted To Breastfeeding (Everything You Need To Know)

There’s no joy as that in watching your toddler enjoy your breast milk, their excitement is next to none and very cute to watch.

You want to keep them in that happy state where they’re carefree about what goes on around them for as long as possible.

However it becomes a thing of concern when you have a baby addicted to breastfeeding, this can be difficult to deal with especially when they’re well past the age of breast milk.

Albeit difficult, it is possible to gently reduce their breast intake and finally wean them off.

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Baby Addicted To Breastfeeding

It is interesting watching how excited toddlers get whenever they’re been breastfed especially if you’re a new mom.

The giggles, the gentle blinking, the twiddling are all beautiful things to watch. You can watch them do this on and on so long as they’d outgrow it someday and you’d have some time to do other things.

But there are situations where these babies do not know when to stop or rather they’re not interested in stopping or formula.

It becomes a thing of worry when they’re not interested in stopping anytime soon, especially if they’re well past the age when breast milk should be a thing of the past.

At such moments it becomes obvious that your baby may be addicted to breastfeeding and it is quite understandable seeing how comfortable they look when sucking.

The trouble comes when you try to wean them, if not careful, you may find yourself at war with yourself.

You may be emotionally and physically drained if you try to yank them off your breast because, unlike adults, babies do not understand that you also have a life aside from being their food supplier.

They sometimes may interpret it wrongly and this may affect their feeding pattern onwards and trying to rectify this will be an even tougher task to accomplish.

Read Article: Best Formula For Picky Breastfed Babies

How To Know If Your Baby Is Addicted To Breastfeeding

You can’t tell if a newborn baby will be addicted to breast milk just by looking at their faces, a breast milk addict will reveal itself with time.

Many babies do not exhibit signs of breast milk addiction, that is, there are no specific signs to look out for to tell you that your baby will be a breast milk addict.

How then can you as a nursing mother tell if your baby is addicted to breast milk?

Here are some tips on what to note about babies addicted to breastfeeding from parents who realized that their baby was a breast milk addict and how they found out.

Some parents who got to know that their babies were addicted to breast milk did so by putting one or two together.

Things like taking note of the baby’s age, their food preferences, and how often they consume breast milk should be able to tell you if your baby is finding it hard to let go of the breast.

Many babies are ready to start eating solid foods without taking breast milk alongside it at the age of 1 year and 6 months, which means by age 2, a baby still sucking breasts is considered a breast milk addict.

This may not be accurate because some mothers do not consider weaning their babies even at this age, but by the age of three when their teeth are fully formed and they’re already running around on their feet, they’re addicted if they still suck breastmilk religiously.

To know if your baby is addicted to breastfeeding, here are the things to note

  • If he/she has passed their weaning stage which for many toddlers is between 1 year and a half to 2 years. Although many babies who’ve been weaned still take breast milk from time to time, it is alarming when yours hasn’t been weaned at all or all efforts to wean them have been futile.
  • If you’ve exhausted all methods of weaning them and they’re still adamant about sucking breasts. Babies who’ve vehemently refused to eat other baby foods and have refused to let the breast milk go are already addicted to breast milk.
  • If they still need to take some breast milk even after eating solid foods.

Some toddlers who even after eating other solid foods, must have a taste of breast milk else they tumble the entire house, these babies do not mind threatening your sanity with loud cries while rolling on the floor, their goal is to get the breast milk and they’d do whatever it takes to get it even if they’re quite full on other foods.

Challenges of Dealing with a Breast Milk Addict

As earlier mentioned, the advantages of long term breastfeeding are numerous but as a parent, you won’t have to sit beside your baby all day just because they have refused to let go of the breast, you’d have to go to work or get a job or just do something with your life.

Doing all these things is not easy when a baby is tugging at your bra hooks and it can pose a lot of challenges trying to cope with it.

Challenges like working during office hours while your baby is crying to be fed in common with working moms. For full-time moms, getting up to fix a meal can also be a problem.

Generally, you just want to do something else aside from constantly breastfeeding a toddler who’s well past the age of breast milk.

Related Article: How To Dry Up Breast Milk Naturally

How To Deal With A Baby Addicted To Breastfeeding

There are tons of benefits of long breastfeeding, this includes boosting the baby’s immune system, protection against certain illnesses, growth, and general well-being of the baby.

However, babies will not remain babies forever, they’d have to grow up at some point and this will mean there would be some changes in their growth patterns, behavioral patterns, and how they reason.

These changes come along with certain requirements on what they are exposed to and the food they consume since they’d be needing a different kind of food as they progress.

It is only wise that you start preparing your baby’s mind and body for the changes that will unravel in the following years to come, starting with changing their food intake.

The best way to effectively wean off your toddler is by spacing out the meal times. You can create a timetable for breastfeeding your baby and space them out longer than your usual meal times.

If you’ve been breastfeeding him/her every 3 hours, you can make it every 5 hours and gradually increase the time until it is convenient for you.

While spacing out the meal times your baby will automatically not be hungry during those hours that have been stricken out so you’d have to introduce it to some other type of baby food or formula that tastes closest to breast milk to make up for the absence of the breast milk.

Introduce your baby to the use of a feeder. A feeder will serve as a replacement for the breast so that while you’re at work, your baby can still have that feeling of sucking a real nipple while eating.

Some women recommend the use of beakers in place of feeders so that instead of sucking, they’re getting used to sipping from the soft and flexible spout of a beaker.

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Dealing with toddlers is a different vocation altogether, it is like taking a new career path and working with it.

You get to unlearn certain things you knew before, you get to let go of certain habits and take up new ones.

The challenges of nursing toddlers range from the pains of breastfeeding them to the struggles of weaning them and when yours is that of a baby addicted to breastfeeding, your struggles become twice as tough because a lot of babies are adamant and will use all the strength their little hands can afford to drag for that breast milk.

Taking gentle strides towards weaning them without having frequent fights is a huge advantage on your path, and it’s only a matter of time before they lose interest in the breast milk they so much cherished.