My daughter turned two in January, a perfect time to wean her off breastfeeding. I described it as a perfect timing because in the contemporary Ghanaian household a child is completely weaned on his/her second birthday. But to my surprise mine was the opposite, after her first birthday I decided to wean her off the breast gradually since she start eating well and I introduced more of the family foods to her which is took as well as giving her formula milk.
I only offered her the breast in the evenings when I am back from work and during bedtimes, we did that for nearly six month and she was okay. She ate well, so I decided to go a step further by eliminating evenings feeds, that was when I got the surprise of my life. she will cry so hard and throw herself to the floor, she started refusing any meal or snack I offer her.
Then I decided to resort to the unconventional traditional way of weaning babies of the breast in Ghana which involves;
- Applying a bitter pill ( paracetamol)
- Fresh Aloe Vera on the breast
- Send them to grandparents house to spend some few days.
I tried all in vein, so I decide to let her have her way until she turned two, that was when I came up with the idea because I saw that the breast was mainly for comfort and that anytime I see her bored (mostly that is the time she wants to feed), I either distract her by reading a book to her which is loved so much or play music and we have a competition to see who wins.
Another ideas I came up with was to pretend to call her teacher at school or her grandmother on phone to report she wanted to breastfeed, there and then she will says I don’t want to popo (word used for breastfeeding). I did that for two months, yea before I saw results. She woke one morning and she said to me “mummy’s popo is sick” and I have never seen her wanting it even if I offer her willingly. She eats a meal and is willing to try new things I give her.
I did it and I am super proud even though it took me 14 months to wean her.