Up until weaning begins, breastfeeding or formula is all you and your baby have known. So it’s only natural to feel unsure about how to juggle both together.
It’s important to remember that your baby’s regular milk, be that breastmilk or formula, can stay as their main source of nutrition up until the age of 1 year.
So the best thing to do is continue offering your baby their milk feeds at the same time (if formula feeding, the same amount in ounces) as you have been doing prior to starting weaning.
Your baby will give you plenty of signals when they’re ready to reduce their milk feeds and the amount you give. Either by refusing the breast/bottle when offered at the time they would normally receive it or by not crying for the feed.
The first time I weaned, I felt so unsure if and how I would know when to drop milk feeds. But after a while it became very obvious from my sons cues, from that point I let my son guide me.
By the age of 18 months he had dropped all his feeds and was eating 3x meals a day and a snack late afternoon. I’d had no real involvement in the process at all, I’d allowed him to guide himself onto eating foods.
From my smooth experience of weaning Ewan i decided to follow the same process with Roo. Roo took to weaning so much quicker then Ewan had done. By the time he reached 9 months he had gone from Breast feeding every 2 hours! To breastfeeding just 3-4 times a day. Whereas Ewan had still been heavily reliant on milk until just over the age of 1 years. So i was really glad i had followed their lead and allowed them to guide me as they had both been very different in their weaning journey. At 13 months old Roo was fully weaned, enjoying x3 meals a day & refusing his milk feeds. Much to my sadness.
As you can see there really isn't a process or guide to stopping Breast/Bottle feeding that fits each child's journey into the world of food. Please try not to worry about how weaning and breastfeeding will fit into one. And equally don’t feel like food must replace their milk feeds, because you may find they still want as much milk as they did before weaning. During times of teething or being unwell they may even revert back to being largely reliant on milk as opposed to food, because milk is a familiar comfort to them.
It’s important to remember they’re growing all the time, not just in size but also physically, which requires added energy, so just like when they're unwell or teething. you may even find they increase their milk feeds during these times too, this is all normal. My best advice is that you allow them the freedom to transition from solely reliant on you feeding them to independently feeding themselves by following their lead. The more freedom you give them to take control of their own hunger the easier the changes will be for both you and baby.
Try to relax and enjoy watching their independence grow at a steady pace!