May 19, 2009,
C.A. asks from Sun Valley, ID on May 14, 2009
Weaning My 18 Month Old
Here is the dilemma... I am still Breastfeeding my 18 month old. He breastfeeds 5 to 8 times a day, he takes the cup when he is thirsty for a few ounces of water.
I am going to Hawaii with my husband in 3 weeks for 8 days W I T H O U T BABY!!!!
I know is time to wean him, but at the same time I know he is still so attached and it will be hard on both of us. He loves his grandma and he is staying with her, but I am still not sure about leaving him.
Should I postpone my trip?? should I try to wean him now before I go away?? should I bring him with me?? Should I enjoy my last few weeks of breastfeeding and then leave?
NEVER THOUGHT IT WAS GOING TO BE THIS HARD. PLS HELP!!
A.S. answers from Salt Lake City on May 15, 2009
this is completely my personal opinion, but I think 8 days is too long for an 18mo old to be away from his mother and father. Take him with you.
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H.W. answers from Denver on May 15, 2009
A La Leche League leader can help you sort out the pros and cons and how tos if you decide to wean or pump or take baby with you. You can call any of the leaders near you or their 1-800 number. Find a leader or the # at www.llli.org - look under resources - find a local group/leader.
You say you could take baby. A compromise that *could* work for all is to take Grandma with you? Just a thought. I know many moms who have done this - some it's the only way they take vacations now, even with their 5+ in age kids. They like the family vacation aspect, but they love the freedom to leave kids with the designated babysitter for a while each day.
Good luck in your decision!
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S.P. answers from Provo on May 15, 2009
I took my nursing 16 month old on a cruise with us last year and I am SO glad I did not leave her. With as much as she did still nurse, it would have been more miserable for me to not have her and she would have been very upset not to mention hungry. Yes it was different having her there but weaning was not an option. Weaning took place last summer and was very gradual and therefore easier on us both. She was eventually weaned by October when she was 25 months old. Best advice I can give because only you know how you or your son would react is to go with your gut.
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R.S. answers from Washington DC on May 15, 2009
Weaning isn't easy, but will be worth a much needed relationship enhancer such as a 2nd honeymoon with your husband. I went through something similar. Eliminate one feeding at a time, the morning feeding worked best for me as a starter, but remove the 1st feeding at his best time of day. If you necessary wean him to barely sweetened milk and then slowly desweeten it once he is taking it well.
Three weeks is not a lot of time, but you can do it. 18 months of breast feeding is awesome! Ask yourself this, in five years will it matter if you weaned you son at 18 months, or if you waited till he weaned himself in the next few months.
M.R. answers from Boise on May 15, 2009
I would say he is plenty old enough to be gone from you for 8 days. The delimma I see is that if you give up cold turkey and stop when you leave you will be miserable on your trip. Your body can't just stop making milk so you will have to pump when you would normally feed him. Or, just eliminate one feeding every few days until he is done now. If you choose to pump on your trip you will probably start to make less milk because a pump is less efficiant than you baby and then when you get back he might be done or you can enjoy your nursing relationship a bit longer which would make the whole process so much easier. Go and have fun.
K.D. answers from Denver on May 15, 2009
Go without baby. I have a friend who had good success going cold turkey while she was on a trip. If you want, you can try before hand, but it's probably easier to do it when it's not available. He will drink for Grandma. For you, cabbage leaves ease the pain very nicely. Sounds weird, I know, but I'm doing it right now with baby number two who decided to go cold turkey once we started. GL! Enjoy your trip!
J.C. answers from Pocatello on May 15, 2009
After 18 months of breastfeeding, you deserve that trip! Go and have fun - without your little one! I would start weening now, 3 weeks should be plenty of time - and by the time your trip rolls around, he will be fine.
B.J. answers from Provo on May 15, 2009
Having just done a 12-day trip to Hawaii with my 10-month old, I think it was absolutely the right decision to take him...this time. BUT if we have the chance to go again for 8 days (which, btw, seems like a much better length for a trip, with or without baby) when he is 18 months old, I will absolutely leave him. It is important to take family vacations, and fun to play on the beach with kids, but it is also ESSENTIAL for husband and wife to have time like that alone, without the kids.
You could try pumping enough milk for him to have a bottle or two a day while you are gone, and continuing to pump twice a day on the trip, if you aren't quite ready to wean him completely.