M.P. asks from Chicago, IL on January 01, 2009
Weaning - San Francisco,CA
My son is turning 1 in a couple of weeks. My plan has always been to breastfeed for a year. Of course now that a year is approaching, I am finding it harder to stop as it is a huge comfort to him. Currently I am nursing him in the morning and before bedtime with solid food in between. And he takes a bottle just fine when given.
My husband and I are going on vacation next week for a week. This seems like a good time to stop but I am nervous that it will be hard for my baby to see me when I return and not have the comfort of the breast.
Does anyone have tips on weaning and how best to go about this? Also, should I switch over to bottles of formula twice a day to replace my nursing or should he be getting milk? And is twice a day enough with solid foods?
Thanks and Happy New Year!
C.W. answers from San Francisco on January 02, 2009
I stopped nursing my daughter at 1 years old. I did this because she seemed ready but I was working and she was drinking from sippy cups during the day and during meals so we just gave her a sippy cup instead of the breast and she was fine. I would start alternating with the cup. At one years old babies can have whole milk and we feed our daughter who is about 20 months now milk generally at every meal, but you can ask your doctor.
I probably would wait to completely wean until back from vacation.
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R.F. answers from San Francisco on January 02, 2009
Babies don't have a sense of time yet. If you leave your child for a week at this age it is not good for his attachment. To stop nursing him also, seems a bit cruel. Sorry, you might not like to hear this, but meeting the child's needs should be primary at this age. He is too young to verbalize this to you, but psychological research on this age group shows that they primarily need a consistent caregiver at this age. If you leave them for brief periods they have to get used to you coming back- stranger and separation anxiety are in high gear. You don't want to mess with these- giving him a sense of abandonment. R. F. MSW, LCSW
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A.U. answers from San Francisco on January 03, 2009
I just want to second those who have asked why stop nursing? The recommendation is to breastfeed for AT LEAST one year and there is really no reason you have to stop. The vacation does not have to be an issue, either. When my son was 16 months old I contracted viral spinal meningitis and had to take medications for two weeks which didn't allow me to breasfeed him. I pumped a little over those two weeks, mostly just to alleviate my discomfort, and threw out the milk. I wasn't set on stopping nursing or continuing it either at that point (of course my husband was rooting for stopping). But the bottom line was that even after 2 weeks of saying no, the milk isn't good, he was still wanting to nurse, so when I was finally done with those darn meds we just went back to our routine. Milk supply was low at first but... demand begets supply so a week or two later we were back to normal.
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J.S. answers from Sacramento on January 02, 2009
I was also planning to nurse for a year, but found it difficult to stop! Because my son had some dairy issues, the advice nurse suggested introducing milk very slowly (1/2 oz milk mixed with formula or breastmilk at a time). I know a lot of people do 1/4 milk rest BM or formula to start and increase from there.
I figured it was time to wean when I really wasn't producing much milk. I dropped the morning feeding first, and then the night feeding a few weeks later. I was definitely sad after our last feeding, but I know he wasn't getting much and he was starting to get fussy at the breast. I also wasn't sure how he would handle the end of breastfeeding, but it hasn't fazed him at all.
At 12 months, my son was eating 3 solid meals a day. He also gets 3 cups of milk from a sippy cup and a small cup of milk at bedtime.
C.D. answers from Sacramento on January 02, 2009
It sounds like your not ready to wean and baby is not ready yet. Weaning is something that should not be put on a calendar. If your a breast feeding mother going away from baby for a week, I would say pump daily and freeze the milk, or take baby with, but there is no reason to stop bringing your child that comfort and mommy time just because the year is up or you want a vacation.
best of luck
T.L. answers from San Francisco on January 03, 2009
Weaning is always a sad time for me. I love nursing my babes. My middle child was 11 months when she stopped nursing. I left for a weekend with my husband for a company thing. When I got back she was over nursing. She wasn't traumatized by it at all that I could tell but I wish I hadn't done it and nursed longer. She is the only one that I had a problem with using the pacifier. I think it is an important time in thier lives to know that you will always be there for them, it gives them complete security. She is the least secure of all my kids, the least attatched to me. It could just be personality differences but if I could go back and change leaving her, I would in a heartbeat. Good luck and God Bless!
K.J. answers from Sacramento on January 02, 2009
The baby will go through the withdrawals when you leave for a week so he'll get used to not breastfeeding, so when you return he'll be weaned, the best thing to do is wean him before you leave so he isn't uncomfortable when your gone.
D.T. answers from San Francisco on January 02, 2009
greta book called "Nursing Mother's Guide to Weaning" by Kathleen Huggins. She has some good answers for you.