Please Note: This post may contain sponsor, affiliate, and/or referral links. Read my full disclosure statement. 

Disclaimer: The information in this post is for educational purposes only. I am not a doctor. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. None of the opinions are meant to diagnose or treat any disease or illness. You should always consult your healthcare provider.

Weaning Baby Off Breast Milk Before Six Months

Sometimes there are factors outside of one’s control that lead to weaning baby off breast milk before six months. It can be disappointing and disheartening. Nothing tops the bond felt while breastfeeding. However, sometimes, a bottle of formula is what’s best.

There are no hard, fast rules as to how to wean baby off breast milk before six months; however, there are two tried and true ways that have historically worked best.

weaning baby off breast milk before six months

The Top Two Ways of Weaning Baby Off Breast Milk Before Six Months

1.  Enlist the help of your spouse or that of a close relative.

My body wasn’t producing enough breast milk: it was time to wean my second child. Living in San Antonio, Texas, my girl was born as spring began to heat things up around us. Despite my large intake of water and calories alike, despite the intervention of medication (under a doctor’s supervision) that was meant to help increase my milk supply, my body simply wasn’t cooperating and my daughter desperately needed more nutrition than I was able to offer her.

At three months of age, too young to have most things introduced (outside of formula) into her cycle of feedings, I needed help! My husband was traveling for his job, and was going to be gone for a two-week stretch. Using airline miles, we purchased a mileage ticket for my mother to fly from Michigan to Texas for the assist in extra-hands and aid.

Babies have a sixth sense in their ability to smell breast milk. Like a bloodhound they can smell you from miles away! This can make weaning baby off breast milk before six months incredibly difficult. When enlisting the help of your partner, or that of a close relative, the key is to isolate yourself from your child as a substitute caregiver introduces a bottle to them. First, introduce a bottle filled with breast milk, then bottles filled with a mixture of breast-milk and formula; then, transition to formula feeding your child solely.

Every time my daughter needed to eat, for a week, I left the room. I segregated myself in my bedroom and closed the door behind me. After three days my daughter had begun accepting breast milk mixed with formula, via a bottle, without crying or complaint. By the end of a seven-day stretch, I began feeding her bottles of formula myself replacing my mother’s substitution. My daughter accepted bottles from me without seeking out my breast!

My milk supply had steadily decreased of its own accord. With my milk supply low, engorgement pain was minimal as my body fully shut down its milk production. The experience of weaning my second child early wasn’t what I had wanted; however, the transition (after the first three days) all I could’ve hoped for! My daughter became healthier, happier, and steadily gained weight. I went from stressed to blessed. My body hadn’t been able to keep up with her demands, but with an intervention of formula I was able to meet all of her needs.

weaning baby off breast milk before six months

2.  Gradually introduce new foods alongside of breast milk.

Another way of weaning baby off breast milk before six months is to introduce new foods alongside of your breast milk. Start with rice cereal, mix with water or breast milk, and allow baby to get used to the texture. Add fruit puree into your baby’s daily food intake next!

Pureed fruits, whether homemade or bought from the store, are referred to as stage 1 foods. Applesauce, bananas,and apricots are all great choices to begin your baby’s “solid” food journey.

Introduce new foods at three-day intervals. For example, try rice cereal for three days, then rice cereal for breakfast and applesauce at lunchtime. Follow a pattern. Do the same when introducing other fruits too.

If your milk supply isn’t satisfying your baby’s appetite: Feed your infant breast milk before meal-times. After breastfeeding, offer your baby the rice cereal and/or pureed fruits and veggies. Do this every time your infant is hungry. Once your baby has begun accepting new foods, begin introducing your breast milk within a bottle.

When your infant begins accepting breast milk within a bottle, pick one feeding where your breast milk is mixed with formula. Stick with this for a few days before adding in two feedings of the breast milk mixture. Follow this pattern until all of your baby’s feedings contain a breast milk/formula mix.

Then, replace one feeding at a time with formula only bottles until formula has fully replaced the previously used breast milk mixture.

If your baby refuses to take a bottle from you refer back to the #1 way of weaning baby off breast milk before six months: Seek out the assistance of your partner or close relative.

There are no rules within a breastfeeding mom and infant’s journey. Everyone’s experience is unique. When weaning baby off breast milk before six months my hope is you find one of the top two ways of transitioning to work for you and your baby. I encourage you to share your experiences below so that other mamas may find encouragement from you too!

No worries, mama. You’ve done your part. You’ve given your baby the very best start.


Speak Your Mind