Weaning Baby off Breast-milk

Updated on April 16, 2010
M.U. asks from Tampa, FL
14 answers

I am starting to wean my 10-month old off of breast-milk. He has been drinking BM from a bottle since birth (I pump all BM).Currently, he drinks 4-5 4oz bottles per day. I am down to pumping 2x per day, producing 16-18oz. I noticed that my milk is slowly diminishing since I reduced the pumping frequency to 2x per day. I have a large supply of frozen milk that I've pumped earlier, when baby wasn't drinking as much as I was producing. My question is, if my milk continues to diminish, can I use my frozen milk as the majority of his BM intake, or should I supplement with formula until he turns 1? IN other words, is the frozen milk from 4-6 months ago ok in terms of nourishment, vitamins, etc...or would formula be better for baby? Has anyone else had experience with this situation? Thanks!

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answers from Miami on

I began weaning my daughter at 12 months and supplemented with frozen breastmilk from 4-6 months earlier until she was about 14 months. She has grown and developed just fine.

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answers from Columbus on

from what i have been told 6 months is the very longest you can freeze milk and i have noticed that when i thaw some myself, it has not seemed fresh. maybe you could use the milk that has only been frozen for 4 months. otherwise, milk changes based on the age and needs of baby. perhaps consult a doctor or lactation consultant for the nutritional questions.

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answers from Boca Raton on

Good for you breastfeeding. I strongly suggest not switching from breastmilk to artificial breast milk. I also wouldn't suggest switching from human milk the breast milk of a cow or any other animal. Your baby didn't switch and become another species did he?
Is there any reason you wouldn't consider to continue breatfeeding till he wants to stop naturally? I ask b/c in all countries other than the US extended nursing is normal, natural and very healthy.
About the milk in your freezer, it is 1 million times better than giving him milk from a cow or other animals other than human.
Does he ever get milk directly from your breast? I found pumping too difficult so it's great you've continued so long. Sticking a child directly on your breast on demand is easy and no mess, fuss or clean up. JMHO




answers from Chicago on

My baby is 11 months and am in a very similiar situation. I talked to my lactation consultant about this and she said that it is very natural for your supply to start diminishing around now. He should be getting 16-24 ounces of breastmilk a day and the rest should be solids. So I am feeding in the morning, he gets a bottle around 1-2 before naptime and then I feed him again before bed. Sometimes I feed him around 4 if he is hungry. He gets 3 meals of solids as well.

You definitely do not need to use formula. It is wonderful that you have enough frozen to last. Just use the oldest first... it is suppose to last 6 months in the freezer or longer if you used a deep freezer. You could also add an extra pump in just to play it safe. At or around 1, you can start giving adding a little bit of milk to your breastmilk until he transitions completely to milk. My ped recommends 2%, so you might want to check into that option.



answers from Topeka on

I aboslutely agree with Brianne....I would say that 3 months would be the longest that I would want to use stored breast milk mainly because of the way the babies nutritional needs change as the months go by. I would not supplement with formula, I would just keep on pumping, it is the perfect food for your baby. And who knows...you may decide to keep providing breast milk beyond his first birthday!!!


answers from Barnstable on

Frozen milk is fine, but I would start using it now, so you cycle your supply. Just remember to heat it in warm water very gently. The best bet would be to get to 1 year on BM and avoid formula all together.

Great job!


answers from Tampa on

WOW - congrats for sticking to pumping this long... nursing would have been so much easier on you LOL

Yes, your breastmilk from months ago (if frozen properly) is still good and definitely better than supplementing with formula.

Also, between 10-12 months may be a good time to introduce pureed solids. Home made is ideal, but not always realistic. Try to stay away from large brands, maybe get organic or go to a health store for baby food.



answers from Miami on

contact LaLeche League



answers from Pensacola on

Dear M.,
I am no doctor nor pro at breastfeeding, but I did breastfeed all 5 of my natural children (raising 7). My thought would be that any breastmilk is better than store-bought formula. The 4-6 month frozen milk might not taste as good as the fresher milk, and might not (not saying for sure) but might not have as much nutrition, but still better. Unless it sours, I would give it to mine.

I wasn't all that successful with pumping and my children nursed until 6 months therefore I could be wrong, but it is my understanding that frozen products are better than canned and processed.

Just my thoughts.

OH! I want you to know, just in case you don't, the first 5 years of a child's life the brain is still developing, creating its channels, etc and "fat" is very important in the development of a child's brain. Never ever limit milk to non-fat. Milk, including breastmilk, is a good source of fat. If you have more questions about fat content for children under five, ask a local dietician, nutritionist or pediatrician.



answers from Miami on

I would start using up the milk you have stored now. Using a combination of fresh and frozen milk should be ok. I just couldn't waste all my hard earned breastmilk. Maybe substitute in one bottle or two of frozen milk a day. And freeze some of what you're currently pumping to get you through the end of his first year.

Congrats on pumping for so long! I'm in awe of people who exclusively pump. =)

Here's the kellymom pumping forum if you want to ask your question to the experts:




answers from Tallahassee on

good for making to 10 months, much better than the average. frozen breast milk is still fine, but remember the one of the bazillin things great about breast milk is that it changes with your baby. so the milk you pumped when your baby was 2 months old will not only taste different but have different ingredients in it. your amazing body changes the composition of breast milk as your kid ages. that is why milk banks ask when you pumped the milk because if it was when your kid was 10 months old, that won't help a new born in need of breast milk. make sense?



answers from Miami on

I would give him the frozen milk until it's gone. Remember though, that was meant to nourish him when he was much younger so it could have a different taste and fat/protein content. I would forgo formula. At 11.5 months you can start putting him on milk but don't do cow's milk. Try organic almond or goat or something you research. Cow's milk causes WAYYY to many problems in children/adults! At 12 months the bottle should disappear anyway.



answers from Houston on

I was in that situation two months ago when my baby was 10 months and I wanted to start weaning. Now I'm trying to transition to whole milk. I would start adding a half ounce of formula to your breast milk bottles if your supply is diminishing and work your way up. Good luck!



answers from Miami on

While frozen breastmilk is supposed to last 6 months in the freezer, I would definitely check the oldest stuff first. I pumped a lot with my daughter and as I got to the end, I found that a lot of the older milk had started to get gross. I think it was because other food smells in the freezer were able to seep through the plastic milk bags. (I may try to find some glass bottles for baby #2.) Just a thought. Your son might still drink it, but if you find that he's not liking the older stuff, I'd check the milk yourself. That being said, frozen milk does taste/smell different than fresh. Make sure you don't do more than just warm it in a warm water bath, as heating the milk will definitely change the nutrient value. As someone else mentioned, you may want to use the older milk now and freeze the new stuff. Good luck and congrats on pumping so long! It's hard work!

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