How do I know?

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-15-2010
How do I know?
Mon, 08-01-2011 - 1:35am

How do I know when it's "safe" to start weaning from the pump? For one thing, mentally I'm a wreck just thinking about intentionally losing ounces!! But I'm getting really tired of having to stop what I'm doing in the middle of the day to pump, so I know that it's gotta be soon - for my sanity's sake!

My DD will be 1 year old in 9 days. (I can't believe it!) But she's just not a fan of solids. She still drinks 7-8 bottles a day, 3-4oz per bottle. I give her 2-3 meals a day, and snacks through out the day. She's never liked purees, only finger foods. But it's really hit or miss whether or not she eats it that day. Or how much she eats. Most of her food ends up in her high chair or on the floor. Even on good days when she eats "a lot" of solids she doesn't decrease the amount of BM she drinks. So I'm afraid to start dropping pumps because when my freezer stash is gone, it's gone. (If my supply dips down to 18ish ounces a day from the 30ish it's at now she'd need about 2 frozen bags of milk a day. At that rate I'd have enough frozen BM for 3ish months.) But I don't want her to be 15 months old, still not eating hardly any solids, and me run out of BM.

So what do I do? How do I "make" her eat more solids and drink less BM? Until she starts eating more solids I just don't see how I can start weaning.

Right now (and for the last 3 months) I'm pumping 3x a day, 40 mins at 9am, 30-40mins at 3pm, 40 mins at 9:30pm. I understand how to drop down to pumping 2x a day, but I'm just afraid to since she still relies so heavily on my BM and my supply will inevidibly drop when I drop to 2x a day.

I also understand about "diluting" the BM with cow's milk, but when I HAD to do that last week while I was on vacation there was a unpleasant incident with a LOT of vomit one night. (I didn't bring any frozen milk with me, but still pumped 3x a day. I always pump enough at home so I didn't think it'd be a problem. But, there were a few days where I just didn't make enough. So, 3 days I had to add 1oz to one of her bottles, and then one day I had to add 2oz to one of her bottles. The day that I HAD to add 2oz to her bottle was the night she threw up ALL OVER me, the bed, the floor, herself. She didn't seem to notice or mind the cow's milk taste at all and happily drank the entire bottle. I don't know if it was a reaction to the milk, or if she was just not feeling well, but it scared the crap out of me and I'm afraid to try adding milk again any time in the future.) However, even if there wasn't the scary vomit incident looming in my head, I still can't imagine her drinking 24-30oz of cow's milk a day!

Any advice would be great! If I were nursing her I wouldn't think twice about just letting her nurse as much as she needed throughout the day to meet her nutritional needs, and i don't see anything wrong with a child still getting most of her nutrition from BM at 12+ months, but I really really dislike pumping and would like to be able to eventually wean...

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-26-2011
Tue, 08-02-2011 - 3:54pm


I am assuming that since your LO is coming up on 1 year (Happy Birthday!) that you will be seeing her doctor for a well baby exam and/or vaccines soon. I would definately talk to the doc and see what he/she thinks about your situation. Once you know where LO is in terms of growth it may be easier for you to decide what to do. I agree that it would be totally different if you had a baby who easily BF and could just wean themselves when they were ready (although I know lots of moms who have easily BF their babes and at one year they just cut them off because they just weren't interested in BF a toddler). EPing is an unbelievable personal sacrifice of your time, body, and sanity. It is also a challenge for the whole's too! The fact that you have made it to a year is incredibly awesome so whatever you decide feel amazing about what you have accomplished!

For what it's worth my lo just turned 9 months yesterday and about a week ago I dropped to 2 pumps a day. It is incredibly difficult to lose ounces but in the end my DH and I decided the toll on our sanity outweighed my obsession with ounces. I have only lost about 3 - 4 ounces so far and still produce more than she takes in a day (barely). I have a decent freezer stash that I can tap into if I need to supplement that will at least get me to a year. I was so annoyed at the middle of the day pump that it was making me crazy...and grumpy! At 2 pumps a day I can definately see that it will be easier to get to 1 year and then who knows. You might find pumping a little more bearable at 2 pumps and if doc says it's ok just try the cows milk again and supplement with that for whatever ounces you lose. Like you said, the vomiting may have been completely unrelated to the cows milk. Maybe she just needs a more gradual transition, or perhaps you could try goats milk instead. Either way...good luck :)