Weaning 11 Month Old - Edmonds,WA

Updated on May 27, 2010
J.P. asks from Edmonds, WA
15 answers

I am having a difficult time with this situation and can't seem to figure out why. I am exclussively breastfeeding my 11 month old. I pretty much work full time and have since she was 3.5 months old. The last couple weeks I had some things going on that made me have to be away from my baby longer or more often than usual. I do pump when I am away but my supply has diminished so I don't get that much. She is also teething big time right now. She has not been feeding as much as she was, and not nearly as long as she was. She is doing great on solids, though we have some constipation issues at times. I give her some diluted juice about once a day. Is it okay to swap a BF session for bottle of juice? Is she starting to wean herself? I wanted to make it to a year, but with her new teeth coming in, my nipples are screaming for help! I am thinking about moving to formula supplementation while I wean her down. Does she need formula? I just want to make sure she gets what we needs. Please for those of you who are die hard breastfeeders, I have never planned to go further than a year. Please don't judge. Not sure what I am looking for, just thought I would throw it out there and see what I get. Thanks in advance.

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So What Happened?

Well, we made it without formula! A couple weeks before her 1st birthday we started doing whole milk. She had no problem and is totally weened now. I guess I missed communicated my question about the juice. I never swapped a milk feeding for juice. I use juice as needed for her constipation issues, she only gets 2oz diluted. Thanks for all the advice.

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answers from Seattle on

I would recommend water or whole milk, instead of juice or formula. She should be able to get enough from solid foods by now. WA Dept. of Health recommends 4-6 servings of 4oz whole milk for 12 mo who no longer breastfeed.

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answers from Gainesville on

It can be tough going sometimes for sure. You can't replace a feeding with juice. If you feel like you can't continue to breastfeed then you need to replace the feedings with formula. She is not ready for cow's milk just yet. It has more sodium than her body is quite ready for.

She's probably not weaning herself she's just having a tough time with the teething. It's called a nursing strike which is commonly mistaken for self-weaning. You can try giving her tylenol about 1/2 hour before you know she will normally nurse and see if that helps her. When baby nurses correctly you shouldn't have teeth problems. If it hurts take her off and put her back on in a different position to see if that helps.

Also, know that what you pump and what she gets when she nurses are two very different things. But if you can't pump milk for her while you are away you will need to use formula till 12 months. My personal opinion has always been to go beyond 12 months for whatever you are doing just because they are still so little at 12 months to handle cow's milk.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Portland on

I started working at 3months after our daughter was born. My milk supply couldn't keep up with her needs at about 9 months so our dr. told us it was acceptable to use whatever breast milk I'd pumped, and add goats milk to the remainder of the bottle. This worked out great for us. I wouldn't call myself a "die hard" breastfeeder, but I was/am rather against formula unless it's absolutely necessary. I'm no dr., but I wouldn't think it'd be medically necessary to give an 11month old formula. Talk to your doc. I've never been a fan of giving an infant juice either. Our girl has pretty much just solely had milk and water in her diet thus far and she's 18months old. I figure she doesn't HAVE to have juice (our dr. agrees) and she's not getting all the sugars in her diet. She eats fruit like a champ and she's rarely had constipation, I think due to all the water she is used to consuming now. When I weaned her, it was no big deal. I weaned her at 17 months and she had no issues with it. BF sessions had just turned into something else: she was too distracted and busy to really focus on feeding, and she never really "asked" for it. So, listen to your gut and instincts, and talk to your doctor. Hopefully you have a somewhat open-minded one! Good luck!



answers from Portland on

no juice - it provides nothing useful for her. I'd use formula, or if you're close to 12 months, ask your pediatrician about switching to goat or cow's milk.



answers from Seattle on

My kids both quit "cold turkey" on me around 12 months. My supply had just dropped off after I quit pumping. (warning: I don't reccommend the "cold turkey" method- it hurt!). Definitely supplement with formula. I think breast milk or formula are the most important nutrition for your kid in the first year. After 12 months you can switch to cows milk. I would stick with only breast milk, formula or cows milk in a bottle. You will be weaning her from the bottle (another minor trauma in parenting) within the next year. Juice in the bottle is known to be bad on the teeth. Soon you will have to brush her teeth after her night time bottle. Juice or water from a sippy cup would be a great way to get her to start using the sippy cup. These little ones can also handle a regular cup or straw (although that can be tough on the parents).
You are a great mommy. Don't feel guilty about stopping breast feeding. Follow both your and your daughter cues. You are both important people to take care of in your relationship.
p.s. I totally get-it with the constipation issues. My 4 year old daughter struggles with it still. If a bit of juice works for her system then you should stick with it. We have moved on to medications and doctors. I love that the juice is working for her.


answers from Columbia on

No judgement here! Breastfeeding is hard when you are on the go, and it's not a bad time for weaning from breast if you feel she's not interested.

BUT, talk to your pediatrician about weaning completely from both formula and breast. I do beleive that you should continue to supplement with formula up to and perhaps a little over a year before introducing cow's milk. I am certain that other factors will play a role here as well, such as growth rates and allergy potential, but your pediatrician will know what's best.

Good luck!



answers from Seattle on

Hi there

I am in Switzerland and they want us to ween at 6 months. The advice is to supply food instead of 1 lot of breast feeding - introducing mashed veg, 1 type at a time so for instance for 1 week with potatoes and carrots, then the next week with potatoes and peas. After one month replace a second breastfeeding with mashed fruit. The next month add mashed meat to the veg. The next month replace another session of breastfeeding with mashed cereal.

If you want to stop breastfeeding could you pump and bottle feed for a month then pump and use a cup? Babies are expected to have moved to a cup from 12 months over here.

I am like you - I want to breast feed for as long as possible. Can you ask your doctor or a lactation specialist for weaning advice?

My breastfeeding midwife will be available to give me weaning advice when I start

Hope that helps - I know each country has different ideas and even different bits of the same country have different advice!

Good luck weaning xx



answers from Seattle on

I wouldn't give juice instead of the milk (different vitamins in the milk that she needs). I would do formula for one month and when she turns one she can start having whole milk. Way to go on breastfeeding this long!! I did with all 3 of mine until they were 8 months. I can't imagine with teeth :) lol



answers from Anchorage on

There is no reason for a baby to have juice for any reason. It is empty calories and you will pay for it later in dental trips. Skip juice for as long as you can! I would replace one feeding a day with formula, that seems to be the easiest most recommended way!



answers from Portland on

my personal choice would not be to add juice in place of breast milk. rather, i would consider milk or an organic formula and begin giving water. juice is just going to encourage the desire for sugar. plus, there is no nutritional value in the juice you give her. at least give her something that she can benefit from. i hope this helps.



answers from Seattle on

Honestly, I have not read any of your other responses, but I would supplement with formula or even cows milk before juice. Juice has little nutritional value and most kids under age 2, even if they are a good eater, are still getting a significant amount of nutrition from what they drink. My pediatrician recommended to me that I either skip juice all together until age 2 or have it be an occasional treat. He actually said the same thing about water. These little guys still need to be drinking nutrient rich beverages. One of my friends actually gives her child carnation instant breakfast shakes because he is not great about eating in the morning, but is a good eater the rest of the time. (He is 1 1/2 years).

At our house, we decided it was easier to skip juice than moderate it. My daughter is on toddler formula after making it to nine months on breastfeeding. She only gets water in grown-up cups, so she drinks very little of it and gets formula in her sippies and bottles.

Good luck!!!



answers from Spokane on

When I weaned my kids, both at around 12 months, I would give whole milk from a sippy cup. This was almost 14 years ago and that is what was recommended to me, but maybe times have changed and something else is recommended. The one thing I never did was give juice, the pediatricians really discouraged it then, its so hard on babies teeth, but again, that was many years ago.


answers from Pocatello on

11 months of BF is great. I BF my first for 12 months and my second for 13. So you are doing great. If you feel that you are ready to stop then go for it. My only advise is on a couple things. First if I were you I would try cows milk. With both my girls I just took out one feeding out at first (when thety were around 10 or 11 months) and did a sippy of cows milk. I figured if they had a hard time with it then I wouldn't keep giving it to them but they were fine. Second wean slowly. Like take one feeding out a week and so on. If she already drinks for a sippy or bottle a lot then you can probably go faster because your baby is already used to drinking from something other than your breast. Third once you start weaning just make sure she is getting three meals of table food a day with whole milk and then give her juice or water with her snacks. This way you know she is getting plenty of calories and nutrition. The only reason I say don't do formula is because she can start cows milk in a month....she is so close it's kinda point less to get her like formula only to change it on her again to cows milk in another month. That is way I always just did cows milk with my girls.



answers from Seattle on

Moving to formula suplementation is definately the way to go as opposed to cows milk or watered juice. Juice too can cause constipation issues depending on other intake. I'd move the juice to a cup and put the formula in a bottle. Then when you add milk provide that in a cup as well.

Teeth shouldn't be causing you pain when nursing though so if you want to finish out your planned year a lactation consultant should be able to help you. My oldest got his teeth really early so he had them for the last four months we nursed.



answers from Seattle on

I don't think that you need to do juice - she may just be able to drop a feeding...My son weaned himself at 11 months (and now that my daughter is still nursing at 15 months, I am so glad that he did - it was so easy!) My ped. told me to start him on regular milk at 11.5 months when he self-weaned - I pumped until he was a year, then transitioned him - he did great...

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