I have found that there is no standard way to ween a baby, just like there is no perfect way to raise a baby. There are about a million challenges:
- Switching the baby from breast to bottle. Check! Thanks to day care, LP is already used to drinking from a bottle.
- Getting the baby to take a bottle instead of the breast from Mommy. This might be harder. This weekend will be the real test.
- Ensuring the baby's digestive system is ready for whole milk. So far, so good. On this point, I have basically followed the pediatrician's advice that now is the right time. Some concerns about constipation, but all systems seem to be getting back on track.
- Preparing the baby's palette for the taste of milk. Check. LP hasn't met much in the way of food or drink that she doesn't like.
- Figuring out how to integrate milk into the baby's diet. I kicked off my plan earlier this week and have begun switching out one of the three bottles I send to school with LP with the whole milk. Next week I will try two bottles.
- Next step - moving LP from the bottle to the cup.
I have been fortunate to have only had engorgement problems twice during this time span - first, when LP was 6 weeks old and I went from feeding her every 2-3 hours to feeding her every 3-4 hours; second, my horrific trip to Phoenix. At this point I am hopeful that simply gradually reducing the number of times I pump while at work will result in a successful and painless weening experience. Stay tuned.