17 answers

8 Month Old Weaning Himself?

I have noticed that my 8 month old son is not breastfeeding very often. I know he is teething a little, but when he does nurse, he doesn't seem to have a problem. Yesterday he nursed only twice once first thing in the morning(like always) and once shortly before bedtime (like always). If I try to feed him any other time during the day, he is disinterested and acts like he is not hungry and has better things to do. I am feeding solids three times a day. Mornings he has cereal and a fruit, Lunch time he has cereal and a veggie/meat combo, and dinner is generally the same a lunch (different entree). I don't give him any juice or water between meals and I make his cereal with formula (1-2 oz per bowl) rather than water. He seems to be content between meals. Also, he wets diapers regularly. I just worry that he may not be getting the nutrition he needs. I read somwhere that babies at this age should still be nursing 4-6 times a day. Is it possible that he is weaning himself? Is there anyone else who has has a similar experience?

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So What Happened?™

My doctor called me today regarding a birth control issue I am having, and I mentioned this to her. She said he is likely weaning himself and that I should go with it since most children are not as easy. She said I should keep doing what I am doing and keep practicing with a sippy cup, breastfeeding whenever possible and supplementing with formula until he is old enough for cow's milk. He just doesn't seem to understand that sippy cups are for drinking from and not for throwing, chewing on, and banging...

Featured Answers

You are correct to be concerned-- babies should get the bulk of their nutrition from breastmilk/formula for the first year. My baby really likes solids, and would probably do the same if I let him. I called a lactation consultant. She said always breastfeed right before giving solids. In the morning, I don't feed solids until he has had a good breastfeeding. Same at lunch and dinner. This seems to help a lot. Also, for a few days, I pumped for about 8 min., 4 times per day to get my milk supply up. This seemed to increase my flow and his interest in breastfeeding.
I've found the lactation consultants at United Hospital (St. Paul) incredibly helful! You can reach them at ###-###-####.
Best of luck!
:) M.

More Answers

Babies don't wean themselves, they have nursing strikes. This sounds like a mini-nursing strike. HE is content with the twice a day because right now he is busy, learning all kinds of new tricks. Try nursing him before his naps, like you do before bed. When my boys hit the nursing strikes I would nurse them before naps and bedtime when they were sleepy, and in a day or two they were back to their usual 'schedule'.

Just keep offering and you'll find he will be nursing like normal. Again babies don't wean themselves, they have strikes. Go with it nad he'll be good to go in a few days!

***I just am editing my response to say that I really really disagree with your doctor. He did not give you good advice at all, and it would be silly to supplement with formula at this age, or go to formula. If he is nursing twice a day, thats fine, let him practice with water in a sippy during the day, but keep offering the breast before meals, before naptimes, and before bedtime, and first thing in the morning. Giving a bottle or sippy in place of a nursing will only encourage him to wean, and it will not help your situation any. This is a phase and it will pass. Babies this age are very distractable, try a nursing necklace or nursing in a very quiet dimly lit room. He is not weaning, just keep offering and don't stress. I dont' know what your birth control issue is but your doctor didn't give good advice about the breastfeeding at all.

1 mom found this helpful

Unfortunately I'm with Amy D on this one. My daughter weaned herself around the same age. I worked with lactation consultants, worked with la leche league, I tried everything these other moms suggested. I was devastated and hell bent on breastfeeding for the first year. For us it just did not work. I encourage you to try everything to increase nursing but I spent so much time feeling like a failure when I know now that it wasn't my fault. Don't give up but don't beat yourself up either. I even continued to pump for months afterward and looking back it was too much stress on my self. You should be so proud of yourself for the amazing milk and nourishment you have already given him. Good luck, keep your spirits up and listen to your heart, not what everyone else says :)

1 mom found this helpful

My son is 7 months old and he is VERY easily distracted when he's nursing. I have to say, I wouldn't wean at 8 months if you can avoid it. Keep trying to nurse him. This might just be a phase, or it might be teething. It's really too bad your doctor isn't more encouraging of breastfeeding. As far as nutrition is concerned, I wouldn't worry just yet about it... give him some time to see if he starts nursing again. Also, what is your bc issue? Some birth control can really affect what's going on with your breastfeeding. You might want to do some research on that. Good luck to you! I know it's difficult nursing a "bigger" kid but please keep trying.

1 mom found this helpful

A baby would not wean himself at 8 months old. 3 meals a day is quite a lot, probably too much for an 8 month old's belly. Remember, his stomach is only about the size of his fist. You might try nursing before meals, feeding less solids at mealtimes, and set up some other quiet cuddle times and offer to nurse him. Does he have a regular nap? Maybe nurse before naptime.

Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful

It absolutely sounds like a strike. Three other things to consider:

1) I don't know what your BC issue is, but some forms can supress your milk supply, you may already know that or it may not be applicable...
2) That sounds like a lot of food for an 8 month old. You should always nurse first, food second. In fact, La Leche League doesn't advocate solids really at all for the first year. I would contact your local chapter and call the leader. You will definitely get some answers there, whether you continue to offer solids or not.
3.) DS, 20 months now and still nursing, went through a permanent shift around that age where he was incredibly distractable. I had to set up totally new nursing routines: no TV or music on, we would have certain spots to sit, no toys, etc. The sound of a plastic bag crinkling would cause him to lose interest, yk? We just had to create a really calm setting first. Do you have a nursing necklace? That might help hold his attention... Google image search "nursing necklace" to see lots of examples. Little things for him to fiddle with while nursing.

Good luck. Don't give up. It would be nice if they'd hold still and shut off their brains to nurse, but nursing an older baby is a totally different deal. Call La Leche League!

*edit to add* Also, here are 2 book recommendations:

Mothering Your Nursing Toddler by Norma Jane Bumgarner.

How Weaning Happens by Diane Bengson

1 mom found this helpful

I would think that as long as his diapers are wet and he seems happy I would not be too worried. I would maybe try offering water, thoughout the day too! I too am a 25 year old mom with a baby boy born on Aug. 16th! He may be tryint to wean himself or maybe just going through a stage. My 8 mo old is still very interested in nursing, sometimes I wish he wanted less to do with it, but oh well! Hope this helps!

My son went through similar phases with nursing. The timing, I sensed, had something to do with his increasing mobility and broadening sense of the world. He was just to fidgety and excited to nurse. I mostly let him call the shots, but about once a day I sorta manhandled him into position in a quiet, darkened space. I'd hold him tight for a few seconds, he'd latch on and usually relax right into it. DON'T wean if you don't want to. Just keep offering and counting the wet diapers. This phase will pass in a few weeks, I'd bet. My son, now 16 months old, is very happily nursing these days.

Becky is right. Here is an article on nursing strikes.
Good luck!

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