time to stop feeding

(15 Posts)
FindingNormal Mon 13-Jun-16 16:08:53

My lg is 1. Having refused a bottle she has been breastfed exclusively til we introduced solids at 6 months and she's had some cows milk from her 1st birthday - she doesn't go mad for it though. I feed her to sleep still and think it's time to stop. My husband is VERY keen on me stopping feeding her but at present its all that gets her to sleep (although apparently at nursery she'll go in her cot and be patted to sleep.) I'm feeling so sad about taking breastfeeding away from her- she loves it so much but I never wanted to be feeding a toddler who could ask for my milk. I don't think she'll self wean for a good while yet so how do I stop feeding in the kindest possible way? Feeling pretty rubbish so please be kind.

shiveringhiccup Mon 13-Jun-16 16:23:46

Why are you stopping if you love it and she still wants it?

Recommendations from World Health Organisation are that babies need to be bf until at least 2 years. What you're doing is normal smile

I know that wasn't your question, but you just seem so reluctant I wondered why you're doing it.

AliceInHinterland Mon 13-Jun-16 16:36:59

I felt so guilty giving up when I was pregnant again (15m), It might be that you'll feel guilty whenever you give up. What are your husband's reasons for wanting you to stop?
My DP had to take over bed times and give DS a beaker of warm milk, but it sounds like your daughter will put up a bit more resistance. Can you gradually reduce how asleep she is when you stop feeding and help her get the rest of the way with patting? In our house there has always been a bit of crying/protesting at changes in routine - we always stick around to comfort but it's hard so I had to gear myself for it!

FindingNormal Mon 13-Jun-16 16:37:09

A number of reasons really. I feel uncomfortable with her pawing at me for it and I just don't want to feed a child whereas I was more than happy to feed a baby. I know others' opinions will differ on that but that's where I am. My reluctance is to take something away from her which gives comfort, but in honesty as I don't think she'll self wean I do believe it's kinder to do it now when hopefully she'll forget than waiting say another 6 months and it be even harder. I do feel that we need to do bedtime differently too and I can't stop feeding her to sleep without stopping feeding her completely in my view (again I appreciate there may be different opinions on this).

FindingNormal Mon 13-Jun-16 16:44:21

I think my husband sees that I'm really ready to stop and it's guilt that's keeping me going so partly it's for my sake he wants me to stop. Truthfully I also think he's a bit jealous (possible subconsciously- he's not an arse) of the bond that breastfeeding has given us.

AliceInHinterland Mon 13-Jun-16 16:49:55

I felt that as I no longer enjoyed it, it was better to stop because it was no longer the bonding experience it once was. It's such a personal decision and I'm sure you've thought about it loads! Though I agree with shivering that we can sometimes feel a bit pressured to give up after 1 - I didn't tell people at work, for example, that I was still feeding unless they asked. I gave up the morning feed last though because it gave me an extra hour in bed!!

Bananalanacake Mon 13-Jun-16 16:51:41

I also want to stop BF my 20mo DD, I overcame lots of problems to feed her (had to top up with FF as she lost too much weight then that affected my supply) but it's the only way I know to get her to sleep. She asks for a 'feed' and pulls up my clothes, will be watching this with interest to see other advice.

DontBuyANewMumCashmere Mon 13-Jun-16 17:15:18

Just typed all this out then realised it wasn't really what you asked, but my story might kind of help you.

I fed DD until she was 17mo. I kind of wanted to stop but wasn't in a rush, iykwim. She was BF to sleep at night since birth. I was getting annoyed at always having to do bedtime! But we'd never pumped or done bottles so DH wasn't in a position to help out.
One night at around 15/16 mo she didn't ask for milk so I didn't offer it, then the following month we had some nights where she really wanted it (repeatedly asking for it) and some nights where she didn't (either asked for it once then not again, or didn't ask for it at all), then she still wanted it every morning for nearly a month after that.
She stopped having any milk by 17mo.
Tbh I am very happy the way we stopped, it was led by her and encouraged by me and very gentle.

However she is still taking ages to go to sleep at night, until 18mo we were still cuddling her to sleep at night, she has never self soothed. Then one night about 2 weeks ago I just thought we've got to try it sometime, so now she goes into the cot and we sit next to her while she goes to sleep. I'm gradually trying to move away but she's still getting used to it and it's taking a while, good nights are 30 mins. Worst was 1hr15mins sad

Perhaps change it so you have milk before bedtime, then when she's used to going to bed a different way you can then stop the milk, that might make it less of a big change, all at once? I don't know, really.
Or give her a cup of milk at bedtime and make DH do bedtimes for a week so you're not even there when she wants your milk?

Good luck. It really doesn't last forever. Good job for getting to 1 yr star

FindingNormal Mon 13-Jun-16 19:33:44

Thankyou for your thoughts. She'll drink milk in sips from a cup but won't down it so not sure she'd get much out of that. When I'm not there apparently my husband can rock her to sleep but When she knows I'm in the house she'll cry and cry and cry and I just can't handle hearing it.

kitchenunit Mon 13-Jun-16 19:38:59

Just stop offering and see if she asks.

I just didn't offer one night and DS never asked again. Easy as.

AliceInHinterland Mon 13-Jun-16 19:55:07

Would you be able to go for a walk or drive for a few nights? Imagine how lovely it will be to have your evenings back!

FindingNormal Mon 13-Jun-16 20:24:07

Will she stop loving me? I did an experiment today and didn't feed her all day until 3:30 when I was trying to nap her. She got upset at being rocked but didn't ask for boob as such (as in she didn't paw at me) just wouldn't sleep without it and was upset at the notion she might take a nap without boob. I don't think nutritionally she needs t (although am aware of WHO guidelines) she eats like a horse. Fed her to sleep tonight though.

Orangedaisy Mon 13-Jun-16 20:34:17

She definitely won't stop loving you!

I decided at 22 months to stop feeding DD -she had been fed or cuddled to sleep since birth (also ebf to 6 months) and no pumping or bottles. We decided to stop (as baby 2 isn't happening for us yet and wanted to eliminate that factor!) so we told her that she would have less every night-we were on 15 mins per boob each night so over the course of about a fortnight I dropped a minute or 2 each night per side (just gently nudged her off) and then cuddled to sleep instead. On the last night she had a couple of sucks each side and then I told her it was all gone and cuddled to sleep. DP then cuddled to sleep for 3 nights, then we shared the cuddling for a bit until we started to put in cot awake and hold her hand until she slept - and now we hold hand for a minute or two before kissing her and then she goes off on her own. That took about 6 months but we were all happy with it, it wasn't tricky for anyone and my boobs weren't sore at all.

The guilt was there but for us the greater good (I.e. She gets a sibling -albeit still not pregnant!) it was worth it and definitely way easier than I thought it would be. And she still asks for mummy cuddles more than daddy cuddles grin

AliceInHinterland Mon 13-Jun-16 21:15:25

I found it hard to come to terms with, I felt so guilty, it was like the end of an era and I liked the feeling of being needed (plus your hormones change again). Of course he adapted really quickly, but still needs me (and loves me!)

sixinabed Mon 13-Jun-16 22:36:11

This is advice about gentle weaning
http://drjaygordon.com/attachment/sleeppattern.html
It's about night weaning when you co-sleep - but it may be helpful for your situation.

Good luck

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