J.G. asks from Aliso Viejo, CA on July 08, 2008
A.H. answers from San Diego on July 09, 2008
When I stopped breastfeeding I took it away slowly. I took away nne feeding a week. I saved my favorite time for last. I think by the time my daughter was one I was only feeding her before nap and bedtime. I have three girls and did this will all of them. My first was 10 mo. when I stopped my second was 1 year and third was 9 mo. I had no problems.
S.T. answers from San Diego on July 09, 2008
For me, I just started by removing one feeding at a time, the first to go was the morning and the last to go was the night. I tried replacing the feeding time with play time and that worked well, or I would take my daughter for a walk, when she was busy it helped to not remind her about "her time" Good luck to you:)
M.S. answers from Los Angeles on July 08, 2008
Both of mine weaned in their own time, one at 2 years old and the other at 3. I realize this isn't the norm here but it is what worked for us. That being said, congratulations to you for nursing your baby as long as you did and planning for at least one year. I don't have any tips personally to use on a child that young but found the following article to be something that may help you. I found it at www.askdrsears.com, I've pasted the whole article but the tips are closer to the bottom.
You can also read it at the website: http://www.askdrsears.com/html/2/t026400.asp
WEANING: WHAT DOES IT MEAN?
Weaning is not a negative term, nor is it something that you do to a child. Weaning is a journey from one relationship to another. The Hebrew word for wean is gamal, meaning "to ripen." In ancient times, when children were breastfed until two or three years of age, it was a joyous occasion when a child weaned. It meant the child was filled with the basic tools of the earlier stages of development and secure and ready to enter the next stage of development. A child who is weaned before his time may show anger, aggression, habitual tantrum-like behavior, anxious attachment to caregivers, and an inability to form deep and intimate relationships. We call these traits diseases of premature weaning.
While we advocate extended breastfeeding that comes to a natural end when the child is ready, we realize this ideal is not always attainable in every family situation. Breastfeeding is meant to be a pleasurable experience. When one or both members of the mother-infant pair aren't enjoying it anymore, it's time to wean. After all, all good things must come to a timely end.
WHEN TO WEAN
In many cultures a baby is breastfed for two or three years. Our western culture is accustomed to viewing breastfeeding in terms of months. This is not the norm the world over. While weaning is a personal decision, nutritionists and physicians advise breastfeeding for at least one year because by that time most infants have outgrown most of their food allergies and will thrive on alternative nourishment. We urge mothers to think in terms of years, not months, when contemplating how long to nurse. Breastfeeding is a long-term investment in your child. You want to give your baby the best emotional, physical, and mental start. Extended breastfeeding is nature's way of filling your baby's need for intimacy and appropriate dependency on other people. If these needs are met early on, your child will grow up to be a sensitive and independent adult. We have noticed that children not weaned before their time are:
more independent and self-confident
Gravitate to people rather than things
Are easier to discipline
Experience less anger
Former Surgeon General, Dr. Antonia Novello, proclaimed: "It's the lucky baby, I feel, who continues to nurse until he's two." A baby's sucking need lessens sometime between nine months and three years. The age at which this need lessens is individual, yet very few babies are emotionally filled and ready to wean before a year. Have confidence in your intuition. While this beautiful breastfeeding relationship may seem like it will never end, you are laying a solid foundation for the person your child will later become. Cutting corners now will only create problems in the future.
HOW TO WEAN
The key to healthy weaning is doing it gradually. Remember, you are helping your child into a new stage of development, not forcing him into it. This is not the time for you and your husband to go on a week-long vacation to the Bahamas. Weaning by desertion is traumatic and may backfire. The following are suggestions for gradually weaning your child:
Start by skipping a least favorite feeding, such as in the middle of the day. Instead, engage in a fun activity together, such as reading a book or playing a game. Nap and night nursings are favorite feedings and will probably be the last to go.
Minimize situations that induce breastfeeding, such as sitting in a rocking chair or cradling baby. If you put baby in a familiar breastfeeding setting, he will want to breastfeed.
Use the "don't offer, don't refuse" method. Don't go out of your way to remind her to nurse. However, if your child persists, or her behavior deteriorates, this may indicate that breastfeeding is still a need rather than a want. Watch your child and trust your intuition.
Become a moving target. Don't sit down in one place for any length of time. But, remember, weaning means releasing, not rejecting. Breastfeeding helps the child venture from the known to the unknown. If you don't let your child make brief pit stops, he may insist on lengthy feedings when he finally gets you to sit down. Checking into homebase and refueling reassures him that it's okay to explore his environment, and gives him the emotional boost to venture out. Rejecting this need could developmentally cripple your child.
Keep baby busy. Nothing triggers the desire to breastfeed like boredom. Sing songs, read books, or go on an outing together.
Set limits. Putting limits on nursing, such as: "We only nurse when Mr. Sun goes down and when Mr. Sun comes up" does not make you a bad parent.
Don't wean baby from you to an object, such as a stuffed animal or blanket. Ideally, you want to wean baby from your breast to an alternative source of emotional nourishment. This is when dad should begin to take on a more involved role in comforting. As dad's role in baby's life becomes bigger, nursing will be less important.
Expect breastfeeding to increase during times of illness. These are times when your child needs comfort and an immune system boost.
Life is a series of weanings for a child: weaning from your womb, your breast, your bed, and your home. The pace at which children wean go from oneness to separateness is different for every child, and this should be respected. In our experience, the most secure, independent, and happy children are those who have not been weaned before their time.
5 moms found this helpful
J.B. answers from Los Angeles on July 09, 2008
we started to give her a sippy cup at around 8 months and then started giving her milk at about 12 months. she and i would cuddle like usual for naps in her rocking chair but she would use her cup instead of nursing. it was a gradual thing but it totally took. after that, we started with night weaning when she was about 13 months old. we were VERY READY to do some sort of gentle not-crazy sleep training and the night weaning fit into that really easily. we used this book: http://www.sleepyplanet.com/sleepeasyBookNew.html
and it saved us. seriously. i never thought it would work for our girl but it did! anyway, she was weaned and we were ALL sleeping by the time she was 14 months old. amazing.
3 moms found this helpful
S.B. answers from San Luis Obispo on July 09, 2008
I weaned both of my kids at about a year. It was really easy. Each time I would add a meal of solids, I would eliminate one nursing. When they were eating three meals a day, I was down to only 3-4 nursings between meals for snacks and at bedtime. Then around 10 months I added a snack of Cheerios, fruit, or whatever. At about 11 months I introduced milk so I never had to worry about formula. By 11 1/2 months I was only nursing at bedtime. At one year, I stopped nursing at bedtime and just rocked them to sleep. It was a piece of cake and I didn't have any pain and they didn't seem to realize that they weren't nursing. You may want to start eliminating a nursing if you are feeding your child meals of solids. Give your child juice or water to drink during the meal. Anyway, it worked really well for me.
2 moms found this helpful
E.N. answers from Los Angeles on July 09, 2008
My lactating nurse actually gave me this advice (i'm a first time mom as well). She said to mix the breast milk in with regular formula. She suggested doing it in stages though. Start with 3 parts breast milk to 1 part formula, then 2 parts breat milk to 2 parts formula, so on and so on. The Pediatrician also suggested this method once my son was 12 months and ready for regular milk. Mix the formula in with the milk using the same method as above. It worked perfect for my son. He is now 18 months and has no problems drinking a sippy cup filled with Milk.
1 mom found this helpful
M.C. answers from San Diego on July 09, 2008
2 or 3 days of a bottle at night
2 or 3 days of afternoon bottle AND bottle at night
2 or 3 days of late morning bottle AND afternoon AND night
then finally the early morning
the biggest pain for me is the huge breasts, but the gradual process makes it better for sure
be prepared to ice them
1 mom found this helpful
T.C. answers from San Luis Obispo on July 09, 2008
I am a mother of four breastfed babies. Each of my children were nursed for different lengths of time. I nursed my younger two longer than my older kids. When I weened, I did it gradually. Think of which feeding you like the most and get rid of that one last. I held on to the morning feeding because I liked to sleep in during the mornings. I found it easiest to stop the day time feedings first. I just replaced the nursing session with solid foods and formula/milk. At one year old, you can start to feed the baby cows milk (unless there are allergies involved). I kept the night and early morning feedings til the end.
I never had any issues with engorgement because I did it over a six week time span or maybe even longer. I did have milk still even months later, once they were weened. I would not even bother with transitioning your son to a bottle at all...just start putting his milk/formula in a sippy cup now. It will save you the problem of trying to ween him from a bottle later.
It would be a good idea to talk with your pediatrician about nursing and weening. They will tell you how many ounces of formula he should be drinking in a 24 hour period. My pediatrician also recommended nursing past one year. I nursed my younger kids around 15-17 months. I truly enjoyed every minute of nursing. But if you decide to nurse longer than 15 months, at that point, it will be more difficult to ween your son. When the baby starts to get older, they will need to be the one who decides that they are done. Pay attention to your sons needs, he will tell you what he wants/needs.
Just a funny story to share about my youngest weening...I had decided that it was time for her to be finished nursing. She was around 16 months old and she was only nursing once a day. On Mother's Day, that year, I decided it was time for her to be done. So, we had our last nursing session. Well, with in a week, she was sick with a cold. (Remember nursing really does help them with their antibodies!) So, in the middle of the night, she woke up all congested...i felt bad that she was sick then i wanted to nurse her again, so I tried. Well, she just did a raspberry at my breast, it was like she was saying "I dont want that"! It was pretty funny and i guess i got the message loud and clear..she was all done nursing! In a way, it was a sad day for me, but it was what was best! Just a funny story. Enjoy the last months of nursing, it really is a special time...
1 mom found this helpful
S.F. answers from Reno on July 09, 2008
Although it was a long while ago, my pediatrician recommended that I substitute one feeding for a bottle for a week and then the next week a second feeding for a bottle and so on. She said it would take about a month on that method. <chuckle> My son had his first bottle and loved it so much, he quit nursing then and there! Ouch! But, we both survived and I loved the fact that my husband could finally handle some of the "feed the baby" responsibilties.
E.O. answers from Los Angeles on July 09, 2008
My son is 2 yrs old and still nurses, but what have done is talk to him about what he is feeling (are you sure you want mama's milk? What about water? Food? Cuddling? etc.) just to make sure he's listening to the signals well. This probably won't work for you, but I was adamant that he be able to wean on his own. Good luck!