Please tell me your best tips for carrying on breast feeding beyond 1year

(16 Posts)
DougalTheCheshireCat Sun 11-May-14 10:37:53

DD is 11 months and still BF. In general we are loving it and v happy so would like to carry on.

However of course pressure from family (my mum, sometimes DH, poss in laws when we go to stay when she is 13 months) to stop.

Here are the things I find hard, I'm looking for alternative suggestions to stopping to manage / improve things:

1. Night feeding / weaning / co sleeping.

If we are lucky dd only feeds once in the night. When she was little we totally co slept, now she's older she starts off in her cot and one of us joins her when she needs it in te night (our spare bed is in her room). However sometimes, like last night, she feeds lots more (11pm, 12.30am, 2am, 4am, 6.30am get up 7.30). Phew! How and when did you night wean / encourage night weaning? I'm starting to feel like I need this for me..,

Daytime feeding, I work part time and express milk at lunchtime for her those days. I'm keen to phase this out thought the nanny would rather not.

Getting to morning and evening feeding only. How and when did you manage this.

Did you ever do the mix with formula or normal milk after 1yr?

chocolatemartini Sun 11-May-14 10:49:01

This may not be very helpful but what you are doing sounds completely normal for 11 months + and if it works for you, then please don't feel you should change things. I expressed at work and just gradually did it less and less, but DS wasn't that keen on expressed milk so it was more for my own comfort that I did it. As for night weaning I'm no expert. When I finally did that it was awful, we had non stop screaming for up to 4 hours a night for 2 weeks sad. I wouldn't have done it had I not been 6 months pregnant with extreme feeding aversion.

Nocomet Sun 11-May-14 11:28:53

I'm afraid I think you just go with the flow, being a bit stricter about returning DD to bed after feeds at night and a bit lazier at picking her up in the night.

No one would dare say anything to me about how long I BF for. I've smiled nodded and done it my way since I was a child.

Quiet stubborness is a very useful skill to cultivate.

DougalTheCheshireCat Sun 11-May-14 14:41:56

Thanks for the replies. I feel like things are pretty normal. I could do with phasing out the expressing at work, it's extra time in te work day and in the evening (washing and prepping bottles for the next day) I could do without. Some days she doesn't have te milk I leave for her so she's starting to phase it out, which is good, I'm just wondering how to judge when she's ready to drop it all together.

Also, in general, how to handle it when it's tough and I'm tired. If I express this, the answer comes back: well maybe it's time to stop? Though I'm not sure stopping would make night wakings etc magically better...

Any experience of doing mix feeding successfully after 1? So introducing follow on or cows milk if she needs it in the day?

stopeatingbiscuits Sun 11-May-14 14:57:21

I went back to work FT when #1 was 13 months and was down to two feeds a day by then. In prep for my return I started to drop the post lunchtime nap feed for cows milk from 12 months. I was lucky that he had been sleeping through 7-7ish from 6 months ish so didn't have the night feeds - that must be very tough. I could not have done your wake-ups with a FT job! I fed him until 16months when he sort of lost interest. Also I had then just got pregnant with #2 so wonder f he could somehow sense it...

I am hoping to feed #2 for similar time. He is nearly 8 months though and is still having dream feed of expressed milk at 10:30ish. He took a bit longer to wean on to solids.

I think the advice above about being lazier getting up to her in the night is good... Re cows milk, I never gave formula with this, just cow's milk from a cup / free flow beaker. I started with a doidy cup to get them used to it when giving water with solids.

It is funny isn't it - when you are EBF and tired and the baby is tiny people say 'give her a bottle' as if that would be the cure all. I didn't have any comments about it but maybe people didn't say anythingm to my face!

At 11 months with those wake ups I doubt she is hungry every time she wakes - how well does she eat solids in the day? You might have to do a bit of gentle sleep training / stop going into bed with her if you want her to drop those feeds.

JonathanGirl Sun 11-May-14 15:12:38

I fed until 2 years.

I think I pretty much went with the flow when I was there, until about 15 months. I never expressed at work, it was cows milk when I wasn't there

Then I just started redirecting, distracting, offering a cup of cow's milk or water, saying she had to wait until we got home, or until bedtime etc. I had phased to just a bedtime feed (and any night wakings - I tried to phase those out too by redirecting with a cuddle, but if I recollect correctly it took a while, though it got less and less) by 18 months. I carried that on for 6 more months.

Then I wanted to stop completely, so dh took over the bedtime routine at 2. I don't recall any problems. We didn't replace the bedtime feed with other milk, just stopped it.

Just go at your own pace, and do whatever you feel is right for you. Nobody knew I fed past 15 months (except dh, obviously) unless I told them, don't worry what other people think.

ilovetosleep Sun 11-May-14 16:12:23

I fed Ds until 22 months. Around 1 yr I introduced the idea of cows milk in a cup by DH or granny occasionally doing bedtime. They managed to get him to sleep someway or another without me feeding to sleep! Also around this time I made a decision to not feed to sleep at bedtime so we did a sort of gradual retreat. The first night he went to sleep without my nipple in his mouth, he slept through. He has done ever since! ( bar illness etc) Until then he was feeding 2-3 times a night!

Then when he went to one nap aday (around 15 months) I swapped the post nap feed for a sippy cup of warm cows milk in front of the tv. He just accepted it, and soon after we were just on a morning and night feed. Until he was on 1 nap I used to feed him back to sleep after 1sleep cycle.

I can't remember why or when but at some point we stopped the bedtime feed for cows milk too. I guess he must have been around 18 months. Having a consistent bedtime with me and a cup made it easier for other people to put him to bed more frequently as it was the same system whoever did it. We clung onto the lovely snuggly morning feed til 22 months. It meant an extra 30 mins in bed for me and I would have carried on like that forever

ilovetosleep Sun 11-May-14 16:15:24

Whoops!
.... But he woke up one morning and decided it was boring, and that was that. Instead he came into our bed in the morning and jumped up and down until breakfast smile

So basically it was a very slow transition and different in that I was sahm, but in your situation I wouldn't bother expressing, presumably cutting out ebm during weekdays while youre not there would help you get down to your morning and night feeds only?

DougalTheCheshireCat Sun 11-May-14 21:38:18

Thanks for all the replies, it's helpful to hear how others did it.

If she only feeds once in the night it's ok, I actually like the chance to snuggle and reconnect, of course I miss her when I'm at work.

Night like last night are tough and I could do with them stoping. Though, when she is ill / teething / growth spurting its nice to be able to do this for her.

She's adjusted very well to me working and us a sunny outgoing baby. I feel breast feeding is a big part if this.

She eats well, though how much can vary a lot day to day. We've got a new nanny who has underestimated both how much she eats and the importance of getting back home for lunch (rather than eating on the go) most days. I've talked her through prioritising this and it's helped. The nanny is resistant to dropping daytime milk but I need to push on with this now.

If we could drop middle if the day and night feeds id be happy to go as long as she wants. Really

She has at times slept 11-8 without feeding, I think DH and I need to get stronger on pushing back on night feeds. Though her cousin, who wS on formula by now, still had a bottle in the night until over a year (they are v similar in lots of ways)

One question, how much milk do they need? Should I substitute another milk (though I don't think cows milk suits her that well) I reckon she has 300-500ml a day or had a pint or more.

Nocomet Mon 12-May-14 01:41:29

I never learnt to express and DD2 would never take a bottle or drink milk (cows or follow on). Yoghurt and squash out of a cup was her supper if I went out in an evening.

She's 13, she'll drink hot chocolate and milkshake, but still won't touch plain milk.

Superworm Mon 12-May-14 09:36:40

I'm still feeding DS at two years. Never dreamt I would feed this long but we love it.

I night weaned at 9 months as everyone said it would improve his sleep. It didn't so I started doing the occasion feed here and there from 13-18 months, which was nice as I was back at work then.

I did expressed at work for a while but he dropped those day feeds pretty quickly. It's morning and evening feeds now and it's such nice snuggle time smile

ilovetosleep Mon 12-May-14 14:37:57

I should have said, despite DS learning to sleep through at 1 yr, if he ever woke in the night between then and weaning at 22 mo, I always fed him if dh couldnt settle him first. it wasnt often thoigh, nust teething/illness etc. In fact, only a few nights before he had his last ever feed, I was up all night feeding him as he was so distressed at having moved house!

DougalTheCheshireCat Mon 12-May-14 15:01:51

Interesting I love to sleep. Did you decide when to wean, or did he?

If we're going to night wean on our decision I'll have to strengthen DH's resolve dd is strong willed and can fight hard, at the mo he'll give it 1ins or so then bring her to me.

Although, I feel, as sometimes she does only feed once a night and other things (swaddling, feeding to sleep) shes dropped on her own or with a gentle no cry sleep solutions approach, my instinct says she'll stop night feeding when she's ready and it's maybe not worth the battle to try and bring it forward.

adagio Mon 12-May-14 15:13:01

We dropped night feed at about 9 months, I just went in to her room with my pjs firmly done up, cuddle and put down, leave ten minutes and repeat. We had a coupe, of crap nights but only 2 or 3 then she was fine. She still got boob in bed with me in the morning which I decreed to be anything after 6am.

At 14 months I day weaned ie distracted her with groups, swimming, and fed lots of snacks/pink wafers/leisurely meals, and did some epic walks with the pram (she sleeps on the move, or at least doesn't look for boob). This took a few days and now we have boob in the morning and after bath/before bed only and she doesn't appear to look for it or miss it in between.

She is 16months. I have no idea how to stop the morning and evening feeds!

DougalTheCheshireCat Mon 12-May-14 17:06:01

Thanks adagio that's helpful. I think I'm going to go the other way around so day wean first, we're nearly there, some days she barely touches he milk I leave for her. Whereas the night feed is a big one, sometimes the biggest of the day (I do offer her water first).

This might be circular, so she'd eat / feed more at other times if we dropped night feeding, but is also a good 'safety valve' if she's hungry se can make it up at night.

I'm ok with that if it's mostly once a night. I push back when she's not interested in the morning feed, it's telling me she's shifting her milk needs to the nigh rather than really needing extra.

Also, I find, for her when she's ready it's fairly easy to get her to drop something, whereas pushing her before she's ready is tough on all of us.

Dropping morning and evening feeds: if you want to, could you substitute for cows milk? Most Smalls have milk as a significant part on their diet util they are 3+ don't they?

Although I have a friend with an 18 month old who doesn't like cows milk and didn't like the bottle. She dropped mornin and evenin feeds like the others and he gets his milk from yoghurt etc rather than milk as a drink.

CityDweller Mon 12-May-14 19:56:10

I stopped expressing at work when DD was about 11.5 months. Up until then I'd been expressing twice a day for her 2 daytime milk feeds with the childminder. I just stopped, basically. My plan was to carry on with daytime bf on days we were together, but for to have snacks/ water instead when at the childminder. What actually happened is that the daytime feeds stopped altogether as I forgot to offer and she didn't ask. We carried on feeding first thing in morning and at bedtime (and I plan to continue to do so until she decides she's ready to stop).

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