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27 June 2006

The eleventh month

We look at playpens and weaning.

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What we will be looking at:

  • What your baby can do
  • Weaning your baby
  • “Weaning” yourself
  • Playpens
  • What you can do to help

What your baby can do

  • Your baby can say one understandable word
  • Get into sitting position from stomach
  • Will hold something out to you if you reach for it
  • May clap hands
  • Walks holding onto furniture

Weaning your baby
If you have decided to stop breastfeeding, it is important to wean your baby gradually. This will help your breasts and milk supply adapt and will ease the transition for your baby.

  • During the first week: breastfeed early morning, mid-morning and at bedtime. Give a cup or bottle after lunch.
  • The second week: breastfeed early in the morning and at bedtime. Give a cup or bottle at mid-morning and after lunch.
  • The third week: only breastfeed early in the morning.
  • The fourth week: don’t breastfeed.

In the beginning it will be easier if you ask someone else to give the cup or bottle because your baby will still associate you with breastfeeding.

“Weaning” yourself
You shouldn’t experience discomfort if you follow the steps above. Your breasts will gradually produce less milk.

If you have to stop suddenly it may take a while for your breasts to stop producing milk. Reduce discomfort by wearing a firm bra. Express just enough milk to relieve the tension but be careful not to express too much. This will only stimulate further milk production.

If you have extreme engorgement accompanied by fever and flu-like symptoms, see your doctor as you may suffer from inflammation.

What about playpens?
There are pros and con to using a playpen. Playpens are useful when you cannot supervise your child. However, they should only be used for short periods as they hamper your child’s chances of exploring the environment.

What you can do to help

  • Help her to put things into containers and to take them out again.
  • If your baby has a sandpit, cover toys with sand and let him look for them.
  • Toys to pull or push such as a wagon will encourage walking.
  • Use simple language but don’t use baby-speak.
  • Speak to your child and teach him the names of different objects.
  • “Read” books to together. Point and name items.
  • Play clapping games.
 
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