how to wean baby from the breast(not taking bottles)just blw

Oh, we're done with all that vegetable-steaming and mess, our children are cutlery-wielding, spaghetti-chomping angels... at least some of the time.

how to wean baby from the breast(not taking bottles)just blw

Postby betty » 17 Apr 2012, 10:12

Hi There

My LO is not so little any more as he will turn one on the 7th of May, we do struggle with blw science we have started as his appetite does not seem very big, he will try things and play with the food but refuses to eat it, sometimes he will even chew food and than spit it out!
Occasionally he will eat some foods but most of the time he just want the milk from the boob;D and I dont mind as I really love BF but my only concern is that he is on the breast every 2-3 hours and recently he enjoy just staying on the boob and lying on my chest for hours until I will drag his attention to something or he will fell asleep...also he does not take a bottle, almost a year now so I think its no point to try to teach him now! when trying to use a sippy cup he refuses even from someone else.
I know that he wants the boob and I don't want to make any dramatical weaning strategy's that I overheard from people like leaving him with his dad for couple of days!I am happy to continue to BF but I find that we feed to often and I wonder how long I should actually continue BF as there is so many different views on this? So many people is telling me now that I should have stopped earlier or should do it now as I will have to BF until he is 3 or 4 years old if I dont wean him now.

Somewhere deep inside me I believe that he will naturally wean himself out when he is ready but what if they are right and that will be in 3 years time. I love BF but I dont think I can carry on that long do! On the other hand I am also worried that he is not eating food because he is full of milk and that is not enough nutrition any more and he will get thinner and weaker...

Please adwice!
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Re: how to wean baby from the breast(not taking bottles)just

Postby thebean » 17 Apr 2012, 10:20

when my DS1 turn 1 he didn't eat much and was a real boob monster i started offering food rather than milk and try and stretch the periods between foods out as much as possible. Within a few weeks he was eating much more (but was more grazing that eating big meals) and feeding much less.

As to weaning if you are happy to continue feeding then carry on. Peole are full of "advice" on when you should wean and how they will still be feeding when there at secondry school but honestly i think if you dicided you want to wean before your little one was ready they are receptive to a little gentle persuasion.
Sarah mum to Harry born 26.01.09 and Jack 5.04.2011
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Re: how to wean baby from the breast(not taking bottles)just

Postby Allium » 17 Apr 2012, 10:33

When Twink was about 15/16 months old I had to dramatically cut his feeds down (as I was about 3/4 months pregnant & was getting nursing aversion) from every 2 hours during the day to twice a day. The only thing that worked was distraction. I basically booked ourselves solid for a week or so. We would leave the house almost straight after he'd had his morning bf, breakfast & got dressed (in varying order!), and wouldn't come home till dinner time. For us he always wanted milk more at home, even if we had friends round, so I just had to invite myself round to other people's houses for that week! He was never a big eater, and actually, cutting down his milk made very little difference. I suppose I'm lucky in that he has always been a big boy so I didn't have to worry he'd lose too much weight, but despite that, he often has days when he appears to live off thin air even now (nearly 4!)...so just to say that while cutting down bfs is definitely possible (& was relatively painless actually...despite previously having meltdowns if denied, he just got used to it over that week), it won't necessarily lead to your LO eating more if that is what you're really hoping! (On the flip side of course, my daughter is fairly lanky, but has always eaten masses of food and at various points over the last year has 'needed' a bf every time I sat down...every child is different...so maybe your LO will want more food instead of milk...who knows!)

betty wrote:So many people is telling me now that I should have stopped earlier or should do it now as I will have to BF until he is 3 or 4 years old if I dont wean him now.


With natural weaning you can't really predict when they'll stop, so maybe he will be 3 or 4...but there's lots of anecdotal evidence (here, for example!) that those people are just scaremongering. They stop when they're ready. For some that is around the age of 1, for some it's a bit older, and for some it's older still. All normal. And at every point it is still your choice to continue - it's not something your LO gets to dictate...it's a nursing dyad...it takes two & both of you have to be comfortable with it...you don't 'have' to do anything!
Mummy to Twink - 8/05/08, Squishy - 7/02/10 & Flopsy 1/11/12
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Re: how to wean baby from the breast(not taking bottles)just

Postby Sienasmum » 18 Apr 2012, 05:28

It's an emotional roller coaster ride isnt it?

My DD is turning 1 next week and in a perfect world I wld let her wean herself (she is big fan of the boob) but my DH and I have been trying for another bubba & we think the bfing is still acting as a contraceptive so I have made the decsison to wean her down. I have successfully gone from 4 day feeds (she sleeps through the night now) to 3 and now she down to 2. It was hard and required CONSTANT distraction with the help of her dad taking away to the park at the worst times and me going out every day or having little friend over to play.

I also give her the meals before her morning and night feeds and she drinks soy milk in between whenver she gets whingy for boob. It only took 3 days this time to drop the middle feed and she is happy & hasnt noticed it now.

I think it is important for you and your DH to discuss what you want and make a plan (or make your plan not to have a plan lol)
and then once you have decided then it doesnt matter what other people say or advise. It helped me to know that from 1 year on they dont need ANY milk at all (providing they eat other dairy products) and I didnt feel like I was depriving her of nutrients.

From 1 year they need to be getting other nutrients from a variety of food sources (food for fun, until they're one remember) nut in saying that they also get FUSSY at this age too!

MY DD also used my boob as a dummy (wld never take one or a bottle) but we introduced a straw and a little cup and she LOVES to suck until she hears the slurping noises (no manner, I know) and a comforter balnket to cuddle.
Goodluck!
First time mum to Chatterbox who came into our world on 27/04/11 and wiggled up my belly, latched on for a feed, opened her eyes and smiled.
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Re: how to wean baby from the breast(not taking bottles)just

Postby betty » 18 Apr 2012, 09:22

Hi Ladies

Thank you so much for your advice! I will try to stretch and cut down feeds by distracting my LO but please with this weather :o !
I normally keep us busy going out and about and seeing other little friends but my little boob monster scream for a feed even when we are in the park or friends house :o we will try anyway, if I could only make it 2 feed par day...
He got used to feel asleep on the boob and now I just cant see his naps working, if I skip this and take him out for a playground he will keep going until he pass out from being overtired - I should think - but is this any good...
We are also trying for another baby but I shall think that with that many feeds there is not much hope for that so really need to wean my LO a bit but even thinking about it makes me sad and worried about my poor little mouse

There is also another problem as Max is intolerant to cows and soya milk! so he gets no cheese etc, the only milk he gets is my milk so I need to keep it going until his intolerance improves so I guess if there is no other source of calcium... I have to keep going with boob at least 2-3 times a day plus night as he still wakes up. I find that he cant cope with gas at night and eventually will wake up and request dummy which in our case is my boob... grrr I am so so milky cow right now...and when he wants to wee he always wake up and cry (like if he was doing something wrong) and ask for boob and than again and again as he need to wee more when he drinks more its newer ending story! What about your babies? how did you make them sleep at night? He has to sleep with us, otherwise he won't sleep at all and still wake up 2-5 times a night! I thought that he is hungry at first but I know its all the wee and gas makes him wake up...

Best Wishes to all milky cows :)
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Re: how to wean baby from the breast(not taking bottles)just

Postby Allium » 18 Apr 2012, 10:38

betty wrote:We are also trying for another baby but I shall think that with that many feeds there is not much hope for that so really need to wean my LO a bit but even thinking about it makes me sad and worried about my poor little mouse


This is one of those things that is different for everyone. Some people get pregnant while still nursing regularly (think Katgold holds the forum record on that!) - Twink was still nursing two hourly when I got pregnant with Squish, and Squish was nursing 3 or 4 times a day (depending on if she was at nursery or not) when I fell pregnant this time. But some people find they don't get pregnant until they stop bfing completely. So you need to decide how upset you would be if you stopped bfing and found it still takes ages to get pregnant.

As for sleep...who knows! Both of mine started sleeping through on their own at 9 & 11 months. one continued till she was over 2, while the other stopped sleeping through at 14 months, then started again, then stopped again...he's nearly 4 & we're still waiting! Like everything with kids, they don't do things in a straight line!!
Mummy to Twink - 8/05/08, Squishy - 7/02/10 & Flopsy 1/11/12
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Re: how to wean baby from the breast(not taking bottles)just

Postby peepo » 23 Apr 2012, 14:47

Hi,if you are happy to carry on breastfeeding then do so,i personally believe that letting them self wean is better for them emotionally and nutritionally.There is a natural weaning age between 2 and 7 where the jaw starts to change shape which makes breastfeeding difficult/impossible.I know lots of people who have let the child decide when to stop and have fed until 3 or 4,some even at 7.I know this isn't to everyone's taste but all im really saying is that as long as you are both happy to carry on then do it!

As for eating more,it will happen,keep offering him food and eventually he will become interested.It is up to you at the end of the day but these things happen in their own time.
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Re: how to wean baby from the breast(not taking bottles)just

Postby RegansMom » 23 Apr 2012, 23:47

Just wanted to chime in and say, I let my son self-wean, and he ended up bf'ing until 4-1/2, but for the last 2 or so years, the bf-ing was down to once when he woke up and once before he went to bed.

Personally, I think you have to take this one day at a time and do what feels right today. Worry about tomorrow, or next week, or next month, or next year only when they arrive.

As for trying for another baby, as someone else mentioned, it's not always linked to whether you're bf-ing or not. I have a friend, who got pg while bf-ing and ended up bf-ing both children until the youngest one weaned himself. And fwiw, we didn't get pg while I was bf-ing and ended up having two children over 8 years apart, and honestly, it's been fantastic -- almost like being able to give both children the same attention they'd get if they were both onlies.

So, follow your heart, not your head, and it'll all work out, possibly not the way you expected, but maybe better than you expected. :D
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Re: how to wean baby from the breast(not taking bottles)just

Postby cvious » 24 Apr 2012, 01:31

I have a nursing 21-month-old, and still enjoy nursing her, especially knowing she's getting enough to eat and drink every day. It's very hard to come up with a solid food diet as nutritious as breastmilk, so don't worry he's going to be skinny or malnourished because of too much breastfeeding! Stopping and having him unable to drink milk is more of a problem. It's natural for toddlers to need a lot of liquid calories. My pediatrician said if we weaned at 1 year, we should make sure she drinks at least 16 ounces of cow's milk a day because it's hard to get enough fat from solid foods. I'd much rather she drank human milk than that much cow's milk.
Mama to Strawberry, sprouted July 2010, and Baby Bird, June 2013
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Re: how to wean baby from the breast(not taking bottles)just

Postby CPinho » 25 Apr 2012, 00:30

My DD is almost 14 months; she is still not eating much (she is getting better at it though), and breastfeeding a lot. Typically she will BF every 3-4 hours or so, with meals in between.
Until recently (1-2 months ago maybe), when I left her with my mom while I was working she could go 6-7 hours without BFing but she would not eat to compensate - she would rather wait until I got home. So despite everyone telling me "she does not eat because you BF her too much" I knew it wasn't the case - she didn't eat because she didn't want to, not because she wasn't hungry.
But now I notice that this has changed: whenever she stays without breastfeeding for more hours (which only happens occasionally) she eats A LOT more and she will BF less afterwards - so she is definitely compensating with food.
So I think you could try to stretch the periods without BFing, but I am not sure it will work: it will depend on whether or not your baby has made this association ("OMG, I can get a full stomach from eating food!"). I didn't realize mine had until recently.
So now I am thinking of cutting down one BF and to start offering BF right after meals, not in between meals, to see how it goes - I feel like it should be her, not me, imposing this change, but I don't think she will ever reject BM on her own. I think she still prefers it over food...
Mum to R, born March 2011, and S & I, born October 2013
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Re: how to wean baby from the breast(not taking bottles)just

Postby Sophie2011 » 06 Jun 2012, 12:02

Don't stress about what other people think, they don't have to parent your child and you need to be happy with your choices including how YOU wean YOUR baby!!

The only feed of the day i had to stop, not Miss I self weaning, was the lunch time feed because I had to start leaving her at daycare. It was really hard, but I noticed that if we were out and about she wouldn't necessarily miss her feed. If really upset, I would reintroduce the arvo feed so that we gradually lengthened the lunch time feed into tea time. On days where Miss I is really upset/teething/unwell or just had't eaten much and not at daycare I will give an extra feed. Gradually she just didn't want it anymore. BUt you don't have to go cold turkey at all and very very slowly start dropping feeds.

Nights I feed when she wakes which depends on if shes unwell or not. I find that I try to not feed after 5am as she won't eat breakfast, but it depends if i've been feeding during the night too.

Finally re contraception, I think its more the nighttime feeds which have the biggest impact. So maybe speak with your doc and check if there is nothing else going on.
Michaela, mummy to Miss Independent.
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Re: how to wean baby from the breast(not taking bottles)just

Postby BigFlower » 06 Jun 2012, 20:10

betty wrote:So many people is telling me now that I should have stopped earlier or should do it now as I will have to BF until he is 3 or 4 years old if I dont wean him now.


This is rubbish! My DD was a real boob monster at that age and continued to love it. However I weaned her relatively painlessly at 23 months. Started by talking about "one day there won't be any milk in mummy's boobs" from about 20 months then one day when she was 23 months old I was ill and couldn't face it and so I told her the milk had all gone. She had one big upset that day but I comforted her with cuddles and she has asked a handful of times since then and been totally fine when I've said there is no milk left in my boobs. IME it is a complete myth that you have to wean before 1 or you're stuck doing it for ever. There are others on this forum with similar experiences as well.

betty wrote:Somewhere deep inside me I believe that he will naturally wean himself out when he is ready but what if they are right and that will be in 3 years time. I love BF but I dont think I can carry on that long do! On the other hand I am also worried that he is not eating food because he is full of milk and that is not enough nutrition any more and he will get thinner and weaker...

Please adwice!


He will not get thinner and weaker. Breatmilk is liquid gold - one of the best foods in the world! It is well balanced, easy to deliver, easy to digest. A fantastic food!! Please do not fear that he will waste away on it!

I always found that being out and about a lot helped with cutting down the frequency between feeds, I'm sure some were just boredom/comfort. Also I started refusing occasionally from about 18 months or saying she could have some in x number of minutes if she still wanted it. When she wasn't bothered and/or forgot to ask I didn't remind her. Stretched her out a bit. Can't say whether it helped with her appetite for food though as that was always pretty hit and miss (still is...).

WRT the contraceptive advice I was told that if feeds are less frequent that every 3 hours you will probably start ovulating. In my case though my periods came back when DD was 5 months old and feeding at LEAST every 2 hours around the clock so I don't think there is any real pattern to it. Would maybe be worth a trip to the doc to seek some advice or maybe try some ovulation tester stics to see if you are ovulating.

All the best to you
DD - Feb 2010
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Re: how to wean baby from the breast(not taking bottles)just

Postby Sandytoes » 10 Jun 2012, 17:35

On the food issue, I wouldn't be too worried about him not having a big appetite at this age. Most kids don't! T played with food and ate very little for the first 6-8 months of BLW, and it wasn't until she was about 14 or 15 months old that she really started getting very interested in eating. Since then she's gone in phases of sometimes eating a lot, often being quite picky, sometimes eating very little. Mostly we just go with the flow as she always comes back to eating lots (and even trying new things) again. Little people have little stomachs and they don't need a lot!
mummy to T, born 21st August 2009

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