Weaning limbo

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-25-2009
Weaning limbo
11
Sat, 07-25-2009 - 1:31am
I started weaning my one year old several weeks ago, just before she turned 1 the end of June. Things were going fine- I cut out two feedings, which she really wasn't nursing for long anyways- lunch and mid-afternoon. I replaced the afternoon feeding with a snack. I have been trying to get her to drink from a sippy cup for months. She just recently started to and will drink water sometimes. I have tried to give her milk but she will not drink it. She vetoed the bottle months ago all of a sudden (with breast milk). In the meantime she went in for her 1 year checkup. The doctor is concerned about her slow down in weight gain and the fact that she isn't nursing for long periods. She is still within the "Cone" that they chart her progression on just in a lower percentage than she has been in. I have been bringing this up for some time now (the length of time that she nurses) and have been reassured that everything is fine so I am a LITTLE frustrated. She may nurse for 5 or more minutes each side or maybe 5 minutes total. So she is very active now so she is not gaining as much weight- which is normal. But the doctor said that she really needs milk b/c she needs the fat calories. The lactation consultant agreed w/ my thought on holding off on any further weaning while she wasn't drinking from the cup. I think she is eating solids pretty well and has always been a pretty good eater. My question (finally) is what do I do? I think that she is ready to be weaned except for the fact I am concerned about her liquid intake in general but less so now that she is drinking a little out of the cup. I don't know if I should continue to wean now or wait until she will drink milk and if so, how do I get her to drink it? The Dr is very nice but I don't feel like I am getting direct and specific answers to my questions. This is my first baby so I need more info and guidance. Plus, how often am I supposed to try to give her milk? I assume I only give it to her at snack times so she doesn't fill up on it and eats enough food.
Sorry for the long message. Any advice or suggestions?

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iVillage Member
Registered: 05-20-2008
Sat, 07-25-2009 - 2:50am

May I ask exactly what is your reasoning for wanting to wean your child at one years old? It sounds like you might have been given some bad advice about when a BF baby should be weaned. There really is no reason why you need to wean at one years old despite what some misinformed people, including some doctors might claim. The AAP recommends nursing for at *least* one year and as long thereafter as mutually desired by mother and child. Some people mistakenly interpret the AAP's guidelines as recommending one year as a maximum for nursing. It is not necessary to switch your child to cows milk if she is still getting breastmilk. If you where formula feeding, switching to cows milk would make sense since it is cheaper then formula but it is not necessary for the BF'd baby unless the mom wishes to wean completely. Doctors often push cows milk for the BF'd toddler because they are used to dealing with FF'd toddlers being weaned to it but the reality is that their is no evidence that cows milk is better for a toddler then breastmilk. Also, if you don't already know this, there are still benefits to nursing beyond one year. The following link covers the various benefits to nursing beyond a year: http://www.kellymom.com/bf/bfextended/index.html

So my advice would be unless you have a reason you absolutely don't want to nurse any more then I would just continue nursing for now and not worry to much about her cows milk intake.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 07-25-2009
Sat, 07-25-2009 - 11:50am
The reason I want to wean her is because I am ready and I feel that she is as well. She is eating solids well and she is distracted a lot while I am nursing her- not by anything in particular she just wants to look around. She just doesn't seem that interested. Like I mentioned, she may nurse for 5 or more minutes each side or she may only nurse for a minute or two. She nurses the longest in the morning of course.
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-07-2007
Sat, 07-25-2009 - 1:37pm

Well until she is drinking milk from a sippy I would hold all weaning and encourage more nursing. For a child that is only recieving whole milk they should be getting 3 cups a day. (or atleast 3 servings of dairy like cheese and yogart) they need the fatty acids for brain development and weight gain. Any less than that could really harm them. If you are only nursing at 2 times a day then they need atleast one cup of milk a day.

I would keep nursing morning and night, and try adding milk around lunch time. If you notice she is drinking that whole cup well, then try adding a cup around dinner and slowly take away that nursing and then do the same with the morning nursing session.

Also babies at this age do not need to nurse longer than 5ish minutes to get all the milk out. My daughter (18 months now) hasn't nursed longer than 5 minutes since around 9 months old. I know that in pumping I can get 2 oz out in 5 minutes. SO its very likely she isn't nursing longer b/c she doesn't need to. I've found that nursing a toddler is often very different than nursing an infant. They are more distracted and such BUT they do still want to nurse. Its also really common for them to not want to nurse much around the time they start walking, but that changes within a few weeks.

Good Luck.

Lilypie


Lilypie


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iVillage Member
Registered: 01-22-2006
Sat, 07-25-2009 - 8:45pm

A few thoughts on getting her to drink milk-


- What sippy cups have you tried? Every kid has their own preference and it can take a lot of trial and error to find a sippy they like. Softspouts are often easier and some people try having them use it without the valve at first to get the idea better (though of course this is messy).


- When are you offering milk? I would probably not try when she is really hungry if it is a new taste. That may frustrate her. Try it like a "dessert" after a meal or between meals.


- Some kids just take a while to like milk and some are never fans. The temperature of cold milk can also throw them.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-25-2009
Sun, 07-26-2009 - 12:16am
I have tried several sippy cups but she does like the soft spout ones (I have the Nuby) and she has started drinking water out of it in the last week or so. So I am feeling like we are starting to make progress. I have been trying to give her milk with her mid-afternoon snack. I have tried it warm, cold, mixed w/ yogurt and fruit, nothing. She tried it but would not drink it and just throws it on the floor. I think my main concern w/ nursing is that I am concerned if I am producing enough for her and she is getting enough and that I would like a break every once in a while. I do not mind continuing to nurse longer, especially on the schedule that we are on now, but I can not get anything if I pump and if I am unable to feed her every once in a while in the evening I don't know if that will be a problem for her. I always try to plan being away from her around her schedule. I have a wedding to go to in a few weeks and will not be able to nurse her that evening. I have tried pumping several times a day for several days but I get only a few drops. I have been taking Fenugreek, recommended by my Lactation Consultant, which has seemed to help with production. The Lactation Consultant told me that babies let down different than the machine and that everything is fine. I definitely want to make sure that she is getting all of the nutrition and fats that she needs. I will try milk at other times through the day as well, maybe I will get her at the right time.
Thanks!!
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-22-2006
Sun, 07-26-2009 - 9:18pm

It sounds like you are doing all the right things on all fronts!


Are you pumping just after a feeding or in place of a feeding? If it is just after a feeding, it is not unusual not to be able to pump much at all. Do you feel a letdown at all while nursing or have other indications (swallowing sounds, etc) that she is swallowing bm?


Does she have a good number of wet diapers? That should give you a good idea if she is getting enough.


This idea on milk may be controversial...


I have known people who put a few drops of chocolate syrup in the milk to get them to drink it (just a few drops to give it a sweet kick), then slowly back off the syrup over a few days, once they like the milk, until there is none in it. Just another option- not sure if it actually works!


Cathy

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-25-2009
Sun, 07-26-2009 - 11:14pm

Thanks, I am trying very hard and have been reading (probably too much) and trying to make sure that I do everything right. I have tried to pump several hours after feeding her but a few hours before I have to nurse again and still nothing. I have been having this issue for a while where I didn't get much when I pumped and now it has gone to nothing. I guess it is b/c I never really needed to pump a lot. We would give her bottles sometimes on the weekends if we were out running around or if I was gone for the afternoon and my husband would feed her but it just got to where it was easier just to nurse her than to pump. Then she vetoed the bottle on several occasions while I was gone and that was it. She seems to be getting her fill though. I don't feel anything but she is swallowing and sometimes she has a little milk on her lips. Her diaper count seems to be fine- usually about 4 wet diapers. I am still nursing her 3 times a day- morning, mid-morning before her nap and at night before bed. I am going to try to keep the morning and evening as long as I can. I see that there are several people who have been able to do that. I am hoping that I can too.
It's funny that you suggest the chocolate b/c I just mentioned that to my husband but we are concerned about the amount of sugar. Of course, as you said, just try a little to get her interested. We are concerned about milk in general because, as you also said, it's controversial. We are trying to give her organic as much as possible but I know the milk controversy is in general and even more so w/ nonorganic b/c of hormones, etc. I am just concerned about her getting enough fat and the doctor stressed that milk is the best way for her to get her calories and fat even when we expressed our concern.

Thanks,
Cheryl

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-12-2006
Mon, 07-27-2009 - 12:59am

I don't know that milk is the "best" way, but it is often the easiest way, which is why I think so many doctors are hung up on children drinking milk.


But, alternatives that provide very good, high quality fats include:


avocado


olive oil (tossed w/ pasta)


flax seed oil (I've used this to mix in all sorts of foods my children eat, including oatmeal, yogurt, etc.).


And you can buy whole milk yogurt if your little one will eat yogurt.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-22-2006
Mon, 07-27-2009 - 9:54pm

Cheryl,


I am wondering about your pump. What kind is it? Have you replaced the membranes or other parts at all? If the little white membranes get worn, it can really impact things. They are really cheap to replace and can make a difference.


It sounds like you are getting in some great nursing sessions though. Keep up all your great work!


Cathy

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-25-2009
Tue, 07-28-2009 - 12:04am

Thanks for the info. I think that I will try to incorporate a little of everything and see how she does. She does eat yogurt and some cheese (if it's melted in something like scrambled eggs, not a chunk).

I do not believe that I have replaced the valve membranes. I have replaced the breastshield. The originals were getting bent where they attached to the connectors from the way I put them together. I am going on vacation and not taking the pump so I will give that a try when I get back.

Thanks!
Cheryl

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