Moving on from breastfeeding - help!

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.

Moving on from breastfeeding - help!

Postby Agatha'sMama » 04 Jul 2012, 11:30

Hello,

I'm thinking about moving on from breastfeeding my 13 month old, and would be very grateful for any advice you might have to share!

Having gone backt o work 4 days a week from12 months, she is already used to not having BM during the day (I tried leaving her with expressed milk to drink from a beaker / lidded cup with soft spout and she was just never very interested) so we only have feeds in the evening before bed, over night (usually about 11 and 1 although sometimes more - yawn!!) and then first thing in the morning before we get dressed. She doesn't co-sleep as such but if we are having a multiple feed night she generally ends up in bed with us about 5am onwards so I can get at least a little bit of sleep.

I think she is BF now primarily for comfort, with hunger /thirst a secondary motivator. I'm upping what I give her for tea a bit as she seems to be hungerier for food now, choosing to eat more carbs and wanting a little bit of supper before bed. She's only ever had water as a drink apart from BM, although I've started offering her cows milk (warm and cold) and she pulls very funny faces and isn't too keen. She's been happily having cows milk in cooking and on porridge etc for months now though so hoping it will just take a while for her to decide it makes a nice drink too.

Other half and I are thinking about trying for baby number 2 soon, and given how tired I was / constant day long morning sickness with my first pregnancy, I think it would be great if hubby could take over some of the bedtimes / mornings, so want to gradually move away from BF in readyness.

She's never had formula / follow on milk or a bottle, but does happily drink from either a beaker or lidded cup.

So, any of you who have made it through this mini essay, thank you! I guess what I'm after is any tips you may have please!
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Re: Moving on from breastfeeding - help!

Postby squirt » 04 Jul 2012, 12:26

well done for getting so far!

No experience, but I've read others in your situation who found that cutting back just a little satisfied them enough. They didn't actually found they had to stop.

I've also read women describe that when hubs just took over the night settling, they found that that was easier than going in with the boob! so might be worth to just try it.
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Re: Moving on from breastfeeding - help!

Postby Agatha'sMama » 04 Jul 2012, 16:49

Hi squirt, thanks for replying! I'm really please I've made it so far, around 6 weeks when all my friends seemed to have totally got the knack, and we were still struggling to get it right, I very nearly caved, but so glad now I didn't because we've both loved it so much.

That's a good idea to sent the hubby in solo, he might have to psych himself up to that though :)
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Re: Moving on from breastfeeding - help!

Postby tubstersmummy » 06 Jul 2012, 12:22

Hi
I did 'night weaning using daddy' and sought advice here - maybe search? Not sure how people manage to put in those links to old threads, probably very simple..
Anyway, basically just sent in DP and poor wee DS1 cried and cried, but with his Dad cuddling him and possibly woke up more than he had been. This went on for a few nights, and DP (remembers and gets angry) ended up going on a bit of a late night session - probably to avoid coming home...so I had to respond. DS1 didn't indicate he wanted milk at all, the association seemed to have been broken (I had only been feeding at night by this point - 15 months ish). I then started doing 'pick up put down' and he ended up sleeping all night for the first time ever not long after.
Mine was never particularly interested in drinking cows milk either. He took dairy from other sources so I was never very bothered from a calcuim/fat point of view. I didn't have any success with trying to replace the BFds with anything else - bottles, cups etc, but I think in the end that was a good thing as we never had to go through any more 'getting rid of' stuff.
DS1: 04/08
DS2: 08/11
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Re: Moving on from breastfeeding - help!

Postby oriel » 06 Jul 2012, 13:27

I remember receiving advice from a midwife to mix cow milk with your milk and gradually increase the proportion of cow milk, to get them used to the idea. It seemed to work very well and Faith took to drinking cow milk fine at nursery. But at home she still had boobie, especially at nap- and bed-time. And I was fine with that!
Faith 12.12.2007—29.12.2009.
Zoe 19.07.2013.
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Re: Moving on from breastfeeding - help!

Postby A_W » 06 Jul 2012, 16:03

I kept on bfing and got pg with no.2 when H was 2. When I was 8 weeks she stopped herself so my worries of feeling awful with morning sickness whilst still feeding never happened. Plus I didn't feel that bad the second time around so you never know it may be the same too. But if you are ready to stop yourself then I second the night weaning tips getting dh to go in instead of you. And upping the drinks in the day. Plus changing any routines you have like feeding to sleep or doing a milk drink earlier before book/bed so the link with bf and sleep is eased?
H - big school girl - April 08
A - my gorgeous boy - Jan 11
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Re: Moving on from breastfeeding - help!

Postby Agatha'sMama » 07 Jul 2012, 08:26

Thanks for the tips, I'll give them a go! Sorry that I didn't find the earlier thread on this, I did a search before posting but possible didn't use the right parameters,ust try harder next time!

Wish me (and more importantly DH) luck!x
Last edited by Agatha'sMama on 08 Jul 2012, 07:00, edited 1 time in total.
Mama to A - May 2011

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Re: Moving on from breastfeeding - help!

Postby tubstersmummy » 07 Jul 2012, 09:14

BF- nightweaning using daddy - how long? 2009!
Can't work out how to make it a link, sorry.
Good luck!
TMI but feel the need to share :oops: - interestingly, it took about a year for my milk to dry up! My initial plan was DP should respond till this happened (I thought it'd be days/weeks!).
DS1: 04/08
DS2: 08/11
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Re: Moving on from breastfeeding - help!

Postby Agatha'sMama » 08 Jul 2012, 07:02

A year?!! I was thinking it would be a few days too!! I foun your other thread, hadn't thought to search for night feeding. Feeling like I've got a few good ideas I have ready to try now, thank you all!
Mama to A - May 2011

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Re: Moving on from breastfeeding - help!

Postby ToothFairy » 08 Jul 2012, 07:31

SugarFreeMama wrote:A year?!! I was thinking it would be a few days too!! I foun your other thread, hadn't thought to search for night feeding. Feeling like I've got a few good ideas I have ready to try now, thank you all!


I have a nine year age gap between number 1 and number 2, and was able to express a few drops of milk the whole time between them!
Mummy to M - September 1998, D - October 2007, and E - May 2010. All BF, cloth nappies, and carried in the same sling, not sure BLW existed in the 90s though!
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Re: Moving on from breastfeeding - help!

Postby claireec » 08 Jul 2012, 14:38

i found night weaning really improved sleeping (eventualy) and i feel a lot less tired now. T is just 2 and we still feed morning and when we get home from nursery each weeknight and then at weekends whenever he asks when we are at home during the day. I tried night weaning 3 time before he took to it... 13mths, 18mths and then finally succeeded at 21mths. He was more or less cosleeping with us at that time thought so it was dificult to rely on dh. I think that eventually T was just ready for it, whereas before he wasn't. He was using bf to get back to sleep each night. The first thing I did was stop the feeding right before bed and then slowly through the night reduced the number of feeds he would get. I would hold his hand and rub his back to get him back to sleep. Good luck!
DS1 - May 2010; DS2 - coming soon.....
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Re: Moving on from breastfeeding - help!

Postby Agatha'sMama » 09 Jul 2012, 12:07

ToothFairy wrote:I have a nine year age gap between number 1 and number 2, and was able to express a few drops of milk the whole time between them!
:o wow!

Last night I tried giving her a BF before we put on her sleepsuit and had stories, then she had a bit more after before lying in her cot to go to sleep (with me sitting next to her singing) and she didn't mind the change around at all, in fact it stopped the usual meltdown while I was changing her so that was a bonus. Why on earth had i never thought to do that before? My common sense has long since departed!

Then, she only had a feed at 10 and at 4, and because she had such a big feed at 4 I didn't give her a feed this morning, just straight up for breakfast and she didn't notice at all.

Felling much more positive that a week ago, and I don't think I'd mind still doing the night feeds til she's ready to give them up, I think what i'm most after is for DH to be able to put her to bed sometimes! I'll carry on like this for a while and hopefully break the BF / sleep link before I try sending daddy up to put her to sleep.

Thanks again all, it's so helpful to hear what worked for other people, and what didn't work. I feel much more relaxed now that if it's a nightmare this time it's not that unusual for people to give it a break and try again a few months later.
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Re: Moving on from breastfeeding - help!

Postby busmother » 09 Jul 2012, 14:25

If you want DH to put her to bed, I'd suggest he just tries it and see what happens. I can't remember when my DH first put ours to bed. I think it was just before they were 1 because he tried them with cows milk in a cup as I couldn't face expressing, and it went absolutely fine. But when we finally weaned them completely, we dropped the cup of milk and they didn't mind at all. If you're not there, she won't expect a feed, and either she'll take a cup or she won't, and she might wake a bit earlier or be a bit hungrier when she next wakes, but it won't do her any harm to try.
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Re: Moving on from breastfeeding - help!

Postby Agatha'sMama » 09 Jul 2012, 15:08

That's true, I know she's not going to fade away if she doesn't have anything til her 10-11pm feed. Guess I'm just trying to make sure that the experiance for her and DH is as stress free as possible - don't want to scare him off trying more than once.

Might just have to ask him to have a go and see what happens. I can always go in and take over if it results in too long a melt down.. :(

It's so hard to seperate my emotions on this, how much of this is my reluctance to finding out that she DOESN'T need me? :)
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Re: Moving on from breastfeeding - help!

Postby annieirvine » 02 Sep 2012, 22:21

SugarFreeMama wrote:It's so hard to seperate my emotions on this, how much of this is my reluctance to finding out that she DOESN'T need me? :)


Aww, I hear you on that one. We've just finished BF at 12.5 months and I think D was ready a good few weeks before I was! I shed a few tears during our last feed :(

How we did it...
I was lucky that D night-weaned himself around 9 months, so we were going from around 10pm to 7am without BF (though still mostly co-sleeping as he was not a fan of being in his own room!) By 11 months, we'd dropped down to just first thing on a morning, last thing on a night, and then once at some point in between when it felt 'right' (usually late afternoon). And by this stage, I was noticing that if he was engaged in more exciting things, he would quite happily bypass the daytime feed.

When I took a proactive decision to drop the daytime feed, I ended up with a bout of mastitis (from engorgement) - too much too quickly! A useful tip from the HV was to reduce the length of the feeds, rather than the number of feeds, at first - so mum being a bit more assertive in deciding when the feed is over and babe is to come off the breast.

I then experimented with dropping the morning feed and offering a beaker of cows milk instead (unless he woke unusually early, and I didn't want to get up yet, in which case it was a breast feed for my own convenience!). D had no objections to this, and it went really smoothly.

Bedtimes were the last to go, just last week, all a bit unplanned. A friend who lives around the corner invited me at the last minute to go over to her house on Friday night, so I just thought I'd give a milk-free bedtime a try, and left D and his dad finishing their tea, with a promise that I'd come back to feed D at bedtime if he wasn't happy to settle without me. But he did! So we had our last feed the next night, when I had my little cry and explained to him how it was going to be our last one, and he's been fine going to bed without milk every day since. (When I say fine, it still takes the usual 45 minutes to settle him, but this was always the same with or without milk!)

So, after that long-winded reply (a bit cathartic for me to write it down, I think!), I would agree with the others that bringing in Dad is a good idea - by the time the babe is around one year, I think they have often worked out that different circumstances apply when mum is not around, and it's not worth making a fuss! I also think, although it feels a bit mean and sad, that if you've enjoyed a happy BF relationship, it might take a bit of assertiveness on your part to bring things to an end. I think my little boy would have taken BM whenever offered indefinitely, but then again, he wasn't too bothered if it wasn't on offer, so it was up to me to feel strong enough to instigate the final chapter :D

Good luck with it!
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