Weaning help!

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-29-2007
Weaning help!
14
Wed, 03-11-2009 - 12:11pm

Hi ladies,

I've never posted here before, but I am in dire need of weaning help! I have no idea where to start, and I would love some great advice!
I have been exclusively nursing my daughter coming up on 9 months now. I have enjoyed the whole process, and so has my daughter, but I will be going back to work by the time she turns one. Unfortunately, I will not be able to factor in pumping with my job. I would love to let her self-wean, but that's just not a possibility :(
Anyways, I have no idea where to start. The one thing I have started to do is stretch the time a little bit between nursings during the day. She doesn't seem to have a problem with this. We're nursing about every four hours or so. I'm not even beginning to think about nighttime nursing, I will keep those for as long as I can. Daytime is my main concern!
Tatum is eating solids 3x a day plus two little snacks in between. She gets a wide variety of foods, and eats pretty much anything I put in front of her. She also gets sips of water with her meals, and she drinks that very well (from a regular cup). I'm a little confused about the guidelines regarding cow's milk -- I've been hearing not to introduce it until 12 mos., but I've also heard that it is safe to slowly start offering it at 9 mos.?
Besides stretching out her daytime feedings, what other things can I do to begin the weaning process during the day? I am totally lost! Any advice or help would be MUCH appreciated! Thanks!

siggy

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iVillage Member
Registered: 01-12-2006
In reply to: bellamumma
Wed, 03-11-2009 - 1:24pm

Forgive me if I've misunderstood anything in your post.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-06-2008
In reply to: bellamumma
Wed, 03-11-2009 - 2:39pm
With my daughter I replaced breastfeeding with meals. I would feed her a vegetable or whatever you have introduced as far solid foods and let her eat her fill and then wait. If she was still wanting more food I would offer her the breast. Gradually she took less and less from the breast at each feeding and more solids. I replaced one meal every two weeks(ish) depending on her mood. I personally started with dinner to help her sleep through the night but what ever works for you. So after a month or two she was eating a breakfast, lunch, and dinner without nursing to accompany it. I was still nursing in the a.m. in between lunch and dinner and then before bed but she would sleep through the night. I then replaced the after lunch one so she was only nursing from me in the a.m. and p.m. and if she required throughout the night. We did that for almost two months before she just weaned herself from it on her own. She was 13 months when she finished and even then I had a hard time saying goodbye to the closeness. Because she was nursing up until 13 months I didn't feel the need to introduce cows milk until she was over 12 months.
Hope that is helpful
Good luck
POTW

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-25-2006
In reply to: bellamumma
Wed, 03-11-2009 - 4:05pm

Hi Franki.

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-20-2008
In reply to: bellamumma
Thu, 03-12-2009 - 3:29am

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I think you have a misconception about what self-weaning means. The concept of self-weaning means different things to different people but the main element common to all definitions is that the child is allowed to decided when to give up the final nursing session. As I define "self-weaning", so long as the child is allowed to nurse at least once a day for as long as they desires then that is self-weaning. Thus if your child is allowed to continue to nurse mornings and evenings for as long as she desires then your allowing her to self-wean. The fact that you would no longer be BFing during working hours does not preclude self-weaning.

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You should have no problem continue to produce milk during the mornings and evenings at one year of age without needing to nurse or pump during working hours. The fact is you can go for years just nursing a few times a day with loosing your supply completely, something others mother's I know have done.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 12-29-2007
In reply to: bellamumma
Thu, 03-12-2009 - 1:13pm

Hello! Thanks for your reply! I could kick myself, because I just wrote out a detailed reply to your post, and I hit the back button and lost it all. UGH! I will try to remember everything I typed out!

-Regarding the cow's milk, thanks for the information you gave me, I did more reading on that subject and definitely won't be relying on that as a source of nutrition until she's a year. She gets yogurt and cheese here and there right now, but that's it as far as anything containing milk.

-I do plan on continuing to nurse over a year with the bedtime/nighttime nursing, and let her wean herself off of those eventually, but as far as the daytime sessions, I would like to wean those completely by the time she's a year (even during the weekends). I'm assuming that will be considered partial weaning still? Since I want to eliminate those completely, what is the best way to go about that? My biggest concern is depriving her of any nutrients that she should be getting. If I slowly start phasing out the daytime nursings now, will that be harmful to her, especially since I won't be replacing it right now with cow's milk? She does drink water out of a cup very well, and I offer that to her after each of her meals. I very rarely give her juice though. Like I mentioned in my original post, I give her a wide variety of foods, so will she be getting what she needs through that, and the amount of breastmilk she's still getting? That's where it gets a little confusing for me. Sorry if any of this is unclear, being a first time mom and first time breastfeeder, a lot of this is really new to me! And of course I want to go about it so it works out the best for my girl...so I have a lot of questions!

-As for pumping at work during lunchtime, that shouldn't be a problem at all. I have a pump that's good for occasional use. Should I pump as much as I can at that time, or just enough to relieve the engorgement?

-A friend of mine actually brought up the don't offer/don't refuse technique. Yes, I'm only nursing about every four hours right now anyways, so in a typical work day, I would only nurse her probably 3 times. But I do plan on eliminating those, so would the don't offer/don't refuse technique still be a good way to go about that?

I really do appreciate your help. I am lost as far as this weaning thing, and there is so much information out there that it's overwhelming sometimes! Thanks for your help and TIA for answering my questions!

siggy
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-29-2007
In reply to: bellamumma
Thu, 03-12-2009 - 1:26pm

Thank you! I have really enjoyed this time. Yup, I have three months left until she's a year and I'm going back to work. I'm happy to hear I have a lot of time left...I thought I was late to start and would have to scramble to figure things out!

The first poster to my question really gave me a lot of good info and I asked her more questions, so hopefully she will get back to me!

My concern about taking away breast milk right now was that I would be depriving her of any nutrients, and like you said, if I'm taking it away, I need to be replacing it with formula, which I don't want to do unless it's necessary. Like I mentioned to the first poster, that's where things get a little blurry for me. I don't want to wean her off of the breast and give her a bottle of formula, and then have to wean her off of the bottle. Besides that, I don't think she will take the formula. A while back, a doctor I had seen had told me that she wasn't gaining enough weight (but, she was, he wasn't taking into consideration that I am not even 5'0 and am just under 90 lbs, and she is just a little girl like her mommy!), and she would not take the formula no matter how I prepared it.
So, that is where I'm a little stuck! I'm not sure how to go about this so Tatum is getting everything she needs, but I just will not be able to nurse her during the day by the time June rolls around!

Thanks for your reply, like I said to the other poster I replied to, I appreciate all of the help I can get!!

siggy
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-29-2007
In reply to: bellamumma
Thu, 03-12-2009 - 1:31pm

Thank you so much for clarifying that. I had the main idea of what self-weaning was, but I wasn't aware that as long as they at least have one nursing session that can continue as long as they choose, then that is considered self-weaning. What I am ultimately going to do, though, is eliminate the daytime nursing session, and keep the bedtime/nighttime for as long as she likes. But, since she will still have those sessions, then that's still considered self-weaning.

I'm so glad that I can continue nursing her at bedtime/nighttime without having my supply dry up, that was one of my concerns! It's amazing that your body adjusts that way. Thanks for all of your info!

siggy
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-25-2006
In reply to: bellamumma
Thu, 03-12-2009 - 1:35pm

If she's already taking a cup, I wouldn't give formula in the bottle, just a cup. Do you have any pumped milk available, or could you pump and combine that milk WITH formula to see if she'll take it that way?


I wonder if you're not just starting out expecting this to take longer than it will. 3 months is a really long time, kwim?


If you could get to even 11 months, the amount of formula probably wouldn't be so much of a big deal. Would you consider

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-12-2006
In reply to: bellamumma
Thu, 03-12-2009 - 2:22pm

I'll do my best to answer your questions.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-29-2007
In reply to: bellamumma
Thu, 03-12-2009 - 2:56pm

I think you're right, that I'm starting now thinking this will take a lot longer. My pediatrician seems to not really have a lot of information about breastfeeding, and when I told her that I will have to be done breastfeeding once she's a year, she told me "Oh, you have a lot of work ahead of you!" and she was only six months at that time. So I thought I was way behind!

I would absolutely continue nursing until 11 months and then start cutting back from there. So, if I were to do that, then I would nurse as usual until then, and then what would be the best way to start dropping daytime feedings? She should be using a cup pretty well by that point -- I will try formula mixed with breastmilk in the cup and see how she likes that. I don't have any saved up, but once it gets closer to 11 months, I'll try and pump a bit and save it up. I've never been very successful when it comes to pumping, but I guess this time around, it's not like I need a whole feedings worth since I'll be mixing it with formula, correct?

Once she's turned a year old, I will start offering cows milk to her. I would imagine offering cows milk would be a gradual process wouldn't it? Once she's a year can I forgo the formula and breastmilk in the cup, and the bedtime/nighttime feedings will suffice for her, nutritionally?

siggy

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