C.T. asks from Orem, UT on August 27, 2009
Need Advice on Weaning - Orem,UT
I have been gradually weaning my daughter over the past couple months. She is going to be turning 1 in Sept and I am only nursing her at night before bed. Once I take away that last nursing session do I replace it with something else? Do I give her cows milk, juice, water... or a snack? She doesn't use a bottle she only uses a sippy cup and she never liked formula. Any advice on what I should do for her before bed?
B.J. answers from Provo on August 28, 2009
I am facing the same exact step, except that my son is 14 months, but we are down to one nursing session right before bed. He does not take cows' milk very well--probably only 2-3 ounces a day...so I am hoping once the nursing is gone completely that he will start drinking more of it. I don't really know if the milk should just be given with meals, or if a cup of milk right before bed is okay...sorry I'm not much help, just trying to figure this out myself!
E.P. answers from Denver on August 28, 2009
I am in the same situation. My 13 month old is down to one feeding of breast milk a day. My Dr. told me that we should be giving him whole milk with every meal and then again at bedtime before we brush his teeth. If you're daughter won't take cows milk very well, you might want to consider nursing her at night for a while longer. "They" say that children can actually benefit from breastmilk for 2-3 years. Personally, I usually enjoy that time at night, but I also sometimes feel like I'm totally over it :)
V.G. answers from Salt Lake City on August 28, 2009
If her bedtime is close to dinnertime, she probably doesn't really need the extra calories as long as she's getting cow's milk at dinner and eating well. You could certainly give her some milk in a sippy cup after dinner (before teeth-brushing!), but docs advise not taking milk to bed because of the potential for tooth decay. Since it's so dry out here in SLC, I send my son to bed with a sippy cup of water (pick one that doesn't leak much). I'm sure I'll regret that when it's time to potty-train, but he asks for it during the night if I forget. Consider your bedtime routine - if she has appropriate wind-down time (bath-books-songs or whatever you do), she will get used to not having the boob before bed. I usually take my son's stuffed animals and have them pretend they're saying goodnight to him and tuck them all in together, so he can choose to cuddle with them (or not). Good luck!
J.P. answers from Salt Lake City on August 31, 2009
The world health organization recommends breast feeding a minimum of two years. If you MUST fully wean before then, then it is recommended that children under 1 receive their nutrition from formula, and after one from either formula or whole milk. They should not be getting their nutrition from juice, but only getting it as a snack. They need the fat from breastmilk, formula and/or whole milk.
H.F. answers from Pocatello on August 28, 2009
I have replaced nursing with other "cuddly" activities like back rubs, snuggling together and reading stories, etc. It is the closeness and not the milk that your daughter will miss the most. It is what you will miss the most too! It's good that you are weaning slowly, it can be a really traumatic event if all of a sudden there is no more nursing. Just remember that one year is not a magical deadline by which a child MUST be weaned, do not start to rush the process when she is officially one year old and you feel like she is "old enough" to hurry up and be done nursing. As you know, these things take time. Good luck!
S.B. answers from Boise on August 28, 2009
She sound close enough to one that I would try whole milk in her sippy cup before brushing her teeth and starting the bed time routine.
You could do a small snack if it has been a few hours since dinner before this if you wanted.
Enjoy her next year it goes too fast.
Mother to Kai
C.C. answers from Salt Lake City on August 28, 2009
My Advice would be first to consider if you really want to stop. There is no need to hurry and stop breat feeding. If you enjoy it and your daughter enjoys it I would just keep that night feeding longer. However if you are at a point when you want to stop my advice would be to give a sippy cup of water in place of the nursing session. She is old enough now to not need the nutrients at night it is now a comfort thing so you can keep the comfort and mommy daughter time without the nursing. Give lots of hugs and kisses talk to her about what is going on they understand so much. Talk in a soothing voice about how much you love her, you are there for her comforting things like that, even keep her on your lap for the sippy cup of water if she wants to, but not if she is too upset that she is not being nursed. I would stick with water at night for the health of teeth. I have a book that has been heaven sent with helping me establish moring, night, and day routines that help my kids feel secure, and make things run smoother all around. It sometimes takes some tweeking and practice, but things are going great. The book is "Good Night Sleep Tight" by the sleep lady Kim West.