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to want to stop breastfeeding at 6 months?

(108 Posts)
youaremychocolatecake Sat 01-Mar-14 10:52:44

My baby is 17wo and EBF, I love breastfeeding, I am very pro breastfeeding, we have an easy feeding relationship, he is a quick efficient feeder, good sleeper, no issues at all.

But I want to stop when he is 6 months. Don't judge me but I've never really fancied feeding an older baby for some reason and the thought of BF into toddlerhood just weirds me out. I don't have a problem with anyone else doing it but it's not for me.

However, as the 6 month mark rapidly approaches I'm feeling really guilty because he loves breastfeeding. My first baby was mix fed but he wasn't in love with the booby like this one is. It was a means to and end for him and he self weaned at around 6 months. This boob monster however loves laying with it in his mouth, stroking it, pinching it (ouch) it's his comfort so I feel really bad about taking it away. Also he really hates a bottle (of EBM) so I don't even know how to go about weaning him!

I'm a member of all these pro breastfeeding groups on Facebook and they're all there feeding babies until they self wean and I just feel really guilty wanting to stop? But after 40 weeks of pregnancy, 6 months BF feels enough for me. I want to wear a normal bra or be able to go out for an evening. Am I being really really mean?

Objection Sat 01-Mar-14 10:55:38

I think there is a lot of research that supports the theory that breastfeeding for the first 6 months is the most beneficial and it becomes less so after that.
You should do whatever you are comfortable with and BF until 6 months will be beneficial to your baby.
BF is quite controversial, particularly on MN, but don't let anyone influence you to do something that your uncomfortable with and isn't the right choice for you and your baby.

Crowler Sat 01-Mar-14 10:57:05

Six months is nothing to beat yourself up over. Your baby will forget about it very quickly.

Note: I BFd my youngest for 13 months. He refused a bottle throughout. Once I weaned him, we were up at 5am every single morning making eggs/toast whatever solid because a bottle was no longer an option. That was not fun. It would be good for you to get him to take a bottle sooner rather than later.

youaremychocolatecake Sat 01-Mar-14 11:01:11

He was happily taking bottles of EBM until 8 weeks and then he just stops. Now he won't even 'latch on' to one. Have tried all different ones. Had a fleeting success with a latex teat but he's refusing that now too hmm

KatAndKit Sat 01-Mar-14 11:03:11

Your boobs, your choice. Not unreasonable in the slightest and you do not need the approval or permission of anyone else.

However you may find after six months that bf becomes less intense and demanding as your baby makes the move onto solids. Certainly not too long after that stage I was able to go out for dinner wearing a proper bra. My DS would take a bottle from a babysitter at bedtime so that helped. In the end I carried on till 14 months, after 11 months it was mostly just first and last thing so I could wear real bras full time. But if you don't want to carry on, don't feel guilty, you have done amazingly to get this far already.

KatAndKit Sat 01-Mar-14 11:04:36

Your boobs, your choice. Not unreasonable in the slightest and you do not need the approval or permission of anyone else.

However you may find after six months that bf becomes less intense and demanding as your baby makes the move onto solids. Certainly not too long after that stage I was able to go out for dinner wearing a proper bra. My DS would take a bottle from a babysitter at bedtime so that helped. In the end I carried on till 14 months, after 11 months it was mostly just first and last thing so I could wear real bras full time. But if you don't want to carry on, don't feel guilty, you have done amazingly to get this far already.

KatAndKit Sat 01-Mar-14 11:04:46

Your boobs, your choice. Not unreasonable in the slightest and you do not need the approval or permission of anyone else.

However you may find after six months that bf becomes less intense and demanding as your baby makes the move onto solids. Certainly not too long after that stage I was able to go out for dinner wearing a proper bra. My DS would take a bottle from a babysitter at bedtime so that helped. In the end I carried on till 14 months, after 11 months it was mostly just first and last thing so I could wear real bras full time. But if you don't want to carry on, don't feel guilty, you have done amazingly to get this far already.

Patilla Sat 01-Mar-14 11:05:33

I would agree that it's your child and your choice.

I'm bf a ten month old and DS fed until 13 months when he chose to stop. DD is much more like your DC2 so I suspect I will have to make a decision but not yet.

I have to say that when six months came around they seemed to me still more of a baby than they probably were. I also have seen sleep regressions (both generally and when ill) and know that bf at night is, from my perspective a lot easier than battling a bottle refuser. And they haven't fed in an evening so that isn't an issue for me going out.

If you wanted to go out more would an evening bottle help you?

Speaking from experience DS struggled to take to a tippee cup with milk so I'd start working on getting your DC used to fluids from something else ASAP.

DD loves her tippee cups but still doesn't take anywhere near enough to replace all her breast feeds.

Your DC may manage it but a bit of early practice won't harm.

Additionally, I've read reports that suggest bf alongside early weaning can help to reduce allergies in children. Are allergies an issue in your family?

Ultimately it's completely your decision and you've done brilliantly to persever so far.

NigellasDealer Sat 01-Mar-14 11:07:16

they're all there feeding babies until they self wean
tbh if i had done that my son would not have left me alone until he went to junior school!
just do what is right for you and your family.

youaremychocolatecake Sat 01-Mar-14 11:10:39

IF I could get him to take a bottle and we could mix things up a bit I don't think I'd have an issue continuing for a bit longer but at the moment it seems quite overwhelming that I can never leave him because he won't accept milk from another vessel. Ha. Maybe that's what I should be working on and I would feel a bit more relaxed about it. Thanks everyone so far smile

youaremychocolatecake Sat 01-Mar-14 11:11:30

I have visions of him demanding a breastfeed in the school playground before he goes in each morning confused

HadABadDay2014 Sat 01-Mar-14 11:12:03

Your body your choice.

If you want to stop then do so.

bodybooboo Sat 01-Mar-14 11:14:03

I bf mine for 3 months/ 2months/1 year and 21months.

my body my choice. do you really care what anyone else thinks?

Nocomet Sat 01-Mar-14 11:15:55

You can wear a normal bra, you can go out for the evening and you can have the odd drink.

BFing a 7-24 month old is nothing like BFing a baby.

It's as tying as you care to make it, older babies and toddlers are very adaptable and so is your body.

Honestly you have done the hard work, what comes next is just lovely cuddles and the ultimate in convenient distractions when the child is restless or ill. Big sisters swimming lessons were infinitely improved because DD2 would feed. (Not a safe place for a toddler to race about)

sweepdoesntlikecrowds Sat 01-Mar-14 11:17:04

Agree with everyone else, do whatever feels right for you.

I bf DS1 for 6 weeks, and although we spent hours bfing, he also had formula, it just didn't seem to work properly, after 6 weeks he lost interest.

DS2 I bf until 14 months, he loved it, couldn't get enough, worked great. I planned to stop at 6 months too but carried on as it was working well for us.

Just do what feels right for you.

Starballbunny Sat 01-Mar-14 11:18:41

Having fed a school age DD I can assure you they pick up the vibe you don't do it in public very easily.

DD2 would never have asked in front of anyone she didn't know had BF their own older DCs

Brittabot Sat 01-Mar-14 11:27:51

Your body your choice.

Here's my experience. I EBF both my children for six months and then introduced formula. Neither was particularly keen on the bottle so I ended up breast feeding (at night, it's easier!) for another two months or so. I also made sure I introduced formula a week or so before food, to try and ease the transition.

CoffeeTea103 Sat 01-Mar-14 11:33:11

Your body, your life, your choice. Why on earth do you need approval from strangers?

waterrat Sat 01-Mar-14 11:40:16

I found bottle refuser ds suddenly took a bottle at 7 months so I mix fed - he then refused the breast at 10 months which I was happy with although would have carried on a little while longer

If your ideal would be to phase bf out I would just keep going with the bottle let him play with it without pressure I'm sure one day he will drink from it - u could try a doidy cup also

There is a huge leap between feeding a 7 month old and a 3 year old!

youaremychocolatecake Sat 01-Mar-14 11:56:26

I don't need approval from strangers and I also don't care what anyone else thinks. I care about my baby and was looking for some friendly opinions from others mummies. So thank you to those of you who have given helpful comments smile seems like maybe I haven't quite grasped that once he has food, he won't be wanting as much breastmilk so things may not be as I imagine (like they are now) thanks again for all your helpful suggestions. Think I need to persevere with trying a bottle so we at least have another option x

youaremychocolatecake Sat 01-Mar-14 11:57:41

Waterrat if I had a similar scenario to you that would be ideal. I don't think I have the heart to just stop bluntly but I also don't want to carry on for yonks

susiegrapevine Sat 01-Mar-14 12:03:00

if you want to give up its your body just like everyone has said and well done for doing it for this long with both children. I bf both or mine for just over a year and I do not agree that its easier after 6 months necessarily. My first baby yes fine but the 2nd no way he was a boob monster and didn't sleep in a way I found bf easier as he would wake 1 to 2 hourly! we had to co sleep it was so bad! I honestly don't know how I got through it the best thing I did was introduc cows milk in a bottle at a year which he took no problems. I would say the best way to do it would be phase out one feed at a time and make sure its formula and that dh/dp does it and you are not in the room when this happens as they can smell your milk! stopping suddenly is a road to mastitis anyway so don't do that. hope this helps and good luck op don't let anyone tell you whats right or wrong do what is right for you and your family and sanity I wish I had introduced a bottke sooner with my youngest! but wanted to be fair to my boys so didn't that in hindsight was stupid!

CrohnicallyFarting Sat 01-Mar-14 12:05:31

If he won't take a bottle you could move straight to a cup at 6 months. DD is breastfed and would take a bottle until she was around 6 months, then she refused. However, now she's 1 she will take cows' milk in a sippy cup. She won't touch breastmilk at all except for from me- have you been trying breastmilk or formula in the bottles, he might take formula better as it tastes different. Also have you tried leaving him with someone to try the bottle- there was no way DD would ever take a bottle from me, but she would take a bottle (and now cup) if I was out the house.

youaremychocolatecake Sat 01-Mar-14 12:14:29

I have only tried EBM in a bottle so far so maybe once I try with some formula he will take it? I have tried being both in and out of the house but he just refuses it. He doesn't scream or anything. He just goes to sleep instead. He's a good little boy bless him smile

JackShit Sat 01-Mar-14 12:16:01

I bf DD until she was 3.5. I was not 'weirded out' by it hmm

It's perfectly natural to bf a toddler.

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