J.S. asks from Saint Paul, MN on May 02, 2006
Pregnancy Nursing and Weaning
I have all ready been thinking about 100% weaning and attempting night weaning, but am having a hard time following through with not nursing him at night (it is the fastest way to get him back to sleep and I have been SO TIRED), and don't really know how and when to start weaning him during the day.
I am looking for advice from other mom's who nursed for more than 1 year, mom's who have been pregnant and nursing, and suggested books that may help me know the best way to go about weaning my son.
6 moms found this helpful
So What Happened?™
Well - by 15 months we were 100% weaned! It took a few weeks once I set my mind to it, we first dropped the morning nap, which made skipping that nursing easy. Then after 1 week of no morning nursing, we started skipping the nursing right after lunch before nap, which went really really well. Then we dropped the before bed nursing and finally dropped the night time nursing (he was waking 1 time per night around 4:30 to nurse).
I was so happy that everything went as easy as it did :)
Thanks to everyone!
T.H. answers from Minneapolis on May 02, 2006
My pediatrician suggested going straight to the sippy cup to wean. My daughter has been drinking more at meals and dropped one of her feedings very easily. I too have two children. You definitely want to wean well before the second one comes along or it will be very hard on you.
A.S. answers from Minneapolis on May 02, 2006
I nursed my daughter until she was 17 months old. It was very difficult to wean her, the only way I was able to accomplish that was by taking a long weekend and letting my mother-in-law deal with the consequences. One thing that would have made it easier (i believe) would have been if she had taken a bottle. If your son will take a bottle try pumping and giving him your breastmilk that way-if he won't take the bottle try a sippy cup. It's worth a shot.
As far as books go, Dr. Sears has a great nursing book-"The Breastfeeding Book" otherwise I've heard good things about "The womanly art of breastfeeding"-not sure who the author is.
If your son is getting enough solid food during the day he should be fine over night without the nursing-if he's difficult to get back to sleep (and believe me I know how that is!!!) recruit your husband/partner in to settle him back to sleep-this will help too once the new baby arrives.
J. answers from Minneapolis on May 02, 2006
I have a three year old daughter who I breast fed until she self weened at 9 months old.
My advice for you? Stop nigt feeding your 13 month old. Starting at nine months of age babies no longer need to have night time feedings. Your son is waking up out of habit and because he wants your company.
The problem with continuing night feeding is not only does it make you tired, waking up at night makes your son incredibly overtired. At this age he should be able to fall back to sleep naturally on his own if he wakes up.
There is a book I read when my daughter was a baby that dramatically changed my life. It has taught me how to let her get the sleep she needs. She has an early bedtime at 6:30 and wakes up at 6:30 in the moring. She never tantrums and has very productive days with a great attention span. The name of the book is:
I also have a three month old son and have starting using the advice for infants in the book and it is going great!
If you quit the nightime feedings you can probably keep up the day feedings until you son decides to ween himself because both of you will be better rested. J.
D. answers from Minneapolis on May 04, 2006
I have a 15 month old and am 15 weeks pregnant with my 2nd child. It has NOT been an easy transition for us but I am almost done weaning her. Bedtime is still our biggest struggle and I'm not sure how to break that one but I can tell you what worked for me for the other times.
I was VERY persistent about offering a bottle versus the breast. The thing that made this the easiest for me (I was quite reluctant to give up breast feeding) was to stop wearing nursing bras. When it became inconvenient for me to even offer the breast was when it was easier to become persistent about offering the bottle. Often after she would finish her bottle at naptime she would then want to nurse - initially I let her and gradually we got away from that - she is normally asleep for nap by the time she gets done with her bottle.
During the night - I keep a pacifier and a bottle of mostly water with just a touch of juice mixed in (just for the flavor) by my bedside. When my daughter starts to fuss - I pop the bottle in her mouth and it generally only takes a couple of minutes for her to quite back down again and she is out. Sometimes just the pacifier works.
This was not an easy process for us - it took many weeks of persistent attempts to finally get to this stage. It really will be worth it though - I loved breastfeeding and fully intend on doing it with the 2nd child, however, I was not only SO tired but I was extremely ill which I never was with my 1st baby. The Dr. said it was putting too much of a strain on my body to be both pregnant and nursing - she also suggested that I probably wasn't eating enough to compensate for both.
Good luck - if there are any questions you have about what worked for us feel free to e-mail me.
M.B. answers from Minneapolis on May 03, 2006
I just wanted to chime in that if you don't want to wean, there is no physical reason that you can't nurse your son right through your pregnancy. Some mom's find that it is easier to deal with their toddler after the baby is born when they have this calming tool (can help with jealousy too) However, this is a very personal decision and if you are feeling tapped out by the nursing and pregancy combined, you need to do what is best for you to keep your sanity:>) I just wanted to say that I was surprised by your mid-wive's suggestion since I know MANY moms that have nursed through pregancy and went on to love tandem nursing both of their babies:>) The book mothering your nursing toddler from the La Leche League is a good one and has information about weaning as well as tandem nursing. I did not get this opportunity as my first baby weaned herself at 15 months (before my second pregnancy) and my 2nd is still nursing like a champ at 21 months. Good luck to you!
M. answers from Minneapolis on May 02, 2006
I became pregnant when my son was 9 months old. He weaned himself at 13months. I have heard that breast milk tastes different when you are pregnant and have wondered if this is why my son weaned himself. There is information on nursing two children of different ages but I was not looking forward to this. Can your husband help out with night time feedings by getting up with your child and helping him get back to sleep?
R. answers from Minneapolis on May 02, 2006
Ugh! I remember those days of trying to wean my first son. It took me to 15 months. He refused to give up that bed time feeding. He would have nursed until he was 2 if I had let him. <smile> I finally weaned him to a sippy cup. Now (2 years later)I'm paying for it because he still VERY attached to his cup. It is hard to tell them no, especially when it is the best way to get them to sleep. Stay strong and try to explain to him that he can't nurse any more (insert your reason)--though that's hard with a one year old.
J. answers from Minneapolis on May 03, 2006
I nursed my 1st son until 13 1/2 months. He refused Similac formula on the few occassions that I tried to give him a bottle so I found it much easier to go directly to cows milk. I didn't use the bottle since he was already accustomed to using a sippy cup (Nuby work great with softer spout). I tried to give him the milk between nursing but realized quickly he wouldn't even try it unless he was hungry enough. It is best to have other people feed him when available so he doesn't try to nurse when you hold him. I found it best not to hold him in a nursing position helps too. At that age they like looking around so sitting them up a bit more is usually okay.
I also mixed in a little chocolate syrup (okay'd with pediatrician) to get him to like the milk a little more.
I also tried different temperatures of the milk to find what he liked best.
I just weaned my 9 month old this week. I was away with my husband for 5 days while my mom and grandmother took care of the boys. I had enough pumped milk but asked my mom to add in a little formula here and there. This time I used Nestle Good Start (not as sticky or smelly in my opinion). Now that I have been home several days he doesn't even really try to nurse. I give him the bottle when he shows his hungry signs and he usually does pretty well. I still have a bit of my milk I mix in alternate feedings(don't want to waste it!).
It's not easy. But hang in there - it will happen!
I hope you I have given you a few new ideas. Good luck! J.
C.P. answers from Minneapolis on May 03, 2006
I got pregnant with my second child when my first daughter was just over 12 months old and still nursing (a lot and still at night). I ended up nursing her until she was 17 months old. The way I weaned her at night was I waited until after my first trimester when I wasn't so tired and then wore a one piece swimsuit to bed for a couple of nights. That way, it was really hard for me to nurse and my daughter couldn't sort of tug her way in (which I was too tired to fend off at night). It worked quite well. She was almost 15 months at the time. During the day, she naturally started nursing a lot less and it really wasn't hard to get her down to nursing only twice a day (before nap and bedtime) by just offering food or water when she wanted to nurse. I then did the swimsuit trick again at naptime and had a sippy with water available (she also used a nuk). It took a couple of days but soon she would go to sleep without nursing. Same thing with the night time nursing a few weeks later. I thought at the time that my daughter would never wean but after about week 14 it started getting pretty painful for me which made it a little easier for me to be strong. The swimsuit thing just really helped me because it helped give me the strength not to just cave in and nurse her so she'd go to sleep. I totally get how hard it is to not do whatever seems like it will get you back to sleep fastest in the middle of the night. My daughter did surprise me with how easily she adapted to being weaned. After a couple of days, she never "asked" to nurse again. I think I was about 20 weeks along when she was totally weaned. That being said, there are moms who quite happily have nursed throughout pregnancy and so don't feel like you have to wean if it's still working for you and your child. But if you're getting uncomfortable, then maybe this can help!