Encouraging BFing past a year

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-28-2011
Encouraging BFing past a year
Tue, 02-21-2012 - 3:29pm
I can't believe we are almost eleven months in! As time went on and we got past our rough EPing start I have gone from wanting to provide BM for the first six months to aiming for child lead weaning. To ensure I don't encourage early weaning, I have a few questions:
1: The only scheduled thing is bedtime and when I let her "get up for the day". Other than that I try to feed on demand but she doesn't always ask and on busy days we can get as low as 4 nursings in 24 hours. She is not night weaned but will STTN for 8 hours two or three times a week. Other days she will nurse 6 to 8 times in 24 hours. Are the 4 session days a problem?
2: she gets two solid meals a day sometimes with a tiny snack (like six Cheerios) in between. The majority is self fed finger foods with the occasional yogurt or bit of unsweetened applesauce. She also loves water and I give her 3oz once a day in a straw cup. Sometimes she demands water with both meals so I try to limit the second one to a few sips but she doesn't always let me lol. Is she getting too much solids or water?
Am I doing anything that would sabotage full term BFing? I'm a SAHM but I'll try to find some part time work after her first bday so I'm trying to balance being able to leave her for a number of hours wo BFing without compromising our BFing relationship. (as a side note I'd like to avoid EBM since I barely get 0.5oz a session both breasts combined) Once she is over 12 months is it okay to leave her with solids and water while I work and just bf when I'm home? Should I wait to 18 or 24 months instead?

TIA. I'm trying to come up with a plan rather than problem solve on the spot. :-)
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-12-2006
Tue, 02-21-2012 - 5:51pm
Things sound pretty good. 2 small meals at 12 mos is perfectly ok. The only thing I'd do differently is to offer to nurse more often during the day, especially on busy days when she might get too distracted / busy to remember that she needs some milk. My 2 oldest kids both nursed past their 3rd birthdays. And they just naturally began taking more solids and less milk as they got older. It wasn't measured or planned.

Prior to the first year birthday, it's advised to offer milk BEFORE solids. But after the 1st birthday many feel it's just fine to offer solids first.

Congrats on a year of nursing ... and best wishes for many more blessed nursing days and memories.
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-10-2008
Tue, 02-21-2012 - 6:22pm
It's wonderful that you're trying to be proactive about this. Other than continuing to offer regularly and Tonya's words of wisdom, I think you've pretty much got it covered!!
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-27-2006
Tue, 02-21-2012 - 9:49pm
Like Tonya said, I continued to offer during the more distractible months, around 9 to 12 months. I offered at least every 3 hours during the day, but I also had a teeny tiny girl so I pushed her to nurse a lot to gain more too. She naturally picked up around a year, then slowed down on her own. She weaned at 4 and some days, when she is all over my chest, I'm pretty sure I pushed her too hard and she'd still be going. Anyway, what you're doing sounds great.

I think working part time is OK after a year. I've known a few kids with moms working full time who have kept just morning and night nursings for literally years. If you're only part time, you still have plenty of time together to nurse. As the milk itself becomes less important and the comfort more so, she won't slow down drastically until she's really ready.

Enjoy, it was so easy after a year for us! Tantrum soother, illness preventer, cuddle time with a busy toddler, no pressure since it wasn't their sole sustenance anymore.
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-21-2009
Wed, 02-22-2012 - 7:32pm

Just wanted to add my thumbs up, sounds like you have it all covered. It's perfectly fine to offer solids and water when you are away and bf when at home.

Sounds like your baby is a lucky little one.


Kathy Kuhn IBCLC

iVillage lactation consultant

and Grammy to Brennan, Elias, Elianna, Tahlia, Makenna, Maura, and Silas

Kathy Kuhn IBCLC ivillage lactation consultant Grammy to Brennan, Elias, Elianna, Tahlia, Makenna, Maura, Silas, and Charlotte

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-28-2011
Thu, 02-23-2012 - 8:42am
Thank you ladies for weighing in. I do try to offer every three hours during the day or more, there were just a couple if insane days which happened to coincide with nights where she slept 8+ hours. When I thought back and did the math I realized we only nursed four times. Those are definitely not typical for us. I'm very happy to hear that in the spring I would be able to leave her without EBM and wouldn't need to pump.
Thanks again.
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-17-2007
Thu, 02-23-2012 - 1:26pm
I also think it will be fine. I still gave my daughter a bag of milk at daycare every day until she was almost two (I had stopped pumping at 16 months), but it was only because I actually had it to spare. Apart from that she just got water or goat's milk.

On a limited basis, Francis (who is the same age as your daughter) is gone from me for 2-3 hours a couple times a week. He rarely gets a bottle during that time, I just time it so that he gets a solid meal or a good snack at that point.

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