What's the best way to begin weaning?

Take it slow. Slowly tapering off how long and how often you breast-feed each day — over the course of weeks or months — will cause your milk supply to gradually diminish and prevent engorgement. If you experience engorgement during the weaning process, apply cold compresses to your breasts to help decrease swelling and discomfort.

Children tend to be more attached to the first and last feedings of the day, when the need for comfort is greater. These feedings might be the last ones your child drops. As a result, it might be easier to drop a midday breast-feeding session first. If you're weaning a child age 1 or older, consider not offering this feeding and seeing if he or she requests it. After a lunch of solid food, your child might become interested in an activity and naturally give up this session. Once you've successfully dropped one feeding, you can start working on dropping another.

You might also choose to wean your baby from breast-feeding and offer expressed breast milk in a cup during the day but continue breast-feeding at night. Remember, it's up to you and your child.

Feb. 03, 2016 See more In-depth