Baby's 12th month

Your baby’s 51st week

Although at times it may be difficult to believe, your little one has learned the meaning of the word, “No.” Rest assured she will understand your words and stern tones as you tell her not to perform a certain activity. She may, however, discover that it can be great fun to make Mom and Dad repeat this simple word many times. Help her to follow your instruction regularly by simply telling her “No” without making animated faces or gestures. These can easily be mistaken for play.

As she nears her first birthday, you may be thinking of weaning her from the breast. If you are both enjoying your nursing relationship, consider continuing for another few weeks or even months. The benefits of breastfeeding continue far past her first birthday. Actually, the worldwide average age of weaning is between three and four years of age. Not only will she continue to receive a very beneficial boost of infection-fighting antibodies each time she nurses, she’ll continue to enjoy a wonderfully nurturing time with Mom. The act of sucking will continue to be quite comforting for her. The show of comfort and support you exhibit each time you offer her your breast will encourage her to grow into a confident, self-respecting child. Enjoy this relationship as long as possible!

If you do decide to wean in the coming weeks, be sure to do so slowly. Allowing her to wean gradually will make the transition less traumatic for her and physically more enjoyable for you. Remember that in addition to upsetting your baby, stopping abruptly can cause health problems for Mom. Be sure to replace the missed feeding with appropriate beverages and lots of cuddling.

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