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Can any SAHMS who have done extended EBF and BLW come and talk to me?

(20 Posts)
MeeWhoo Thu 02-May-13 10:40:50

The reason I am asking is because I am a SAHM myself with a 19 mo who still BFs.

We started BLW at 6 months and I am at this point getting a bit fed up about how little solid food he eats. He only goes to a playgroup type thing on his own for 3 hours a day Mo-Fri, and the rest of the time I am more or less always with him, so breast milk is "there" almost all the time.

He is quite attached to breastfeeding and he is also quite active, so it is not easy to get him to sit down and have a meal as he sees this as an interruption/delay to what he is doing and he is not very patient either...

We do have periods where he seems to improve a lot, eat quite nice amounts three times a day, and he can go around 7 hours without breastfeeding -daytime only- and then something happens and he goes back to looooots of milk and not that much food.

The something is usually bloody teething, he only has his 4 upper teeth (just!) , 2 lower ones and 3 molars. To be fair a think that his slow teething is also partly responsible for the situation as he still finds it difficult to bit into things, although chewing is not a problem IYSWIM.

Although I am not worried about his food intake from a nutritional point of view as he is growing and gaining weight and seems very healthy and active, I am getting a bit fed up with it for my own sake. Also, I have started TTC but my periods are a lot more spaced out than before so a reduction in bfing would be a good thing.

So, basically, what I am asking is. Has anyone else "been there", and, if so, when would you say that your dc started eating a good amount of solid food?

P.S.: sorry for the essay and thanks if you have managed to get to the end!

badchat Thu 02-May-13 12:33:26

well not quite in same position but I can relate - I have a 13mo DS who is still bf, and although he was eating absolutely LOADS has started just flinging his food around and feeding up to 4 times a night, and once in the day (I also suspect teething - we only have 6 teeth so far).

My DD was really easy to wean at 13mo - she suddenly cut down to 1 feed a day, was sleeping through fine, and didn't protest when I just didn't offer milk one night (I was pg at the time which possibly affected my supply/milk taste?)

Anyway, so sorry I don't have much good advice, but I think perhaps like me you need to work on the cutting down on the feeding if it is a pain for you and trust that he'll work out to eat more if he needs to. I think they slow down their growth rate around 18mo-2y so possibly need less food anyway??? (someone else will know!)

For me it is easier to refuse milk in the day than the night so I think I will start there, and offer cows milk, yoghurts etc. if he is hassling for a bit of boob - this does often work if I can be bothered (the problem is sometimes I am just being lazy and feed so I can watch 5mins tv if DD is asleep!).

I will then have to think about night-weaning, which I am not looking forward to as am too much of a zombie to do much other than stick him in bed and feed when he wakes...

Anyway - good luck to you!

MeeWhoo Thu 02-May-13 12:44:54

Thanks Badchat, it is great to hear of somebody else's experience. I think you are right and I should try and cut the daytime breastfeeding first, it's just a bit more difficult when he is constantly teething and uncomfortable.

I'll have to get more organised and have more of a routine in general I think, although I am not very good at it, especially when sleep deprived! I am also hoping the weather will start to improve soon (very rainy side of Spain) as it is a loooot easier to substitute breastmilk with food when out and about rather than when pottering about the house...

Thanks again for your help!

SofaKing Thu 02-May-13 12:49:23

I found providing carrots and hard things to bite when teething would cut down on the amount of milk my DC wanted for comfort - DS2 was weaned at 8 months because he wouldn't stop biting me when he was teething!

I found also offering warm milk, or very weak milky tea in a sippy cup with a cuddle helped if they were only after milk because they were tired, they got cuddles and a warm drink so it helped!

Good luck with ttc, I fell pg with DD when DS1 was 9 months, after he self-weaned at 8 months, it was quite a shock after spending 3 and a half years ttc DS1!

StitchAteMySleep Thu 02-May-13 13:01:59

I have a 15 month old extended breast feeding and BLW and my older dd breastfed until she was two.

Dd1 was a boob monster and fed a lot at night, coinciding with episodes of teething.

Dd2 follows a similar pattern when teething, but is less dependent on boob during the day.

Things that help are knowing the times when they might be hungry/spotting the signs and offering a snack containing cheese, yogurt or milky drink before they demand boob.

Wearing a top they can't get into easily and making a rule about boob only at certain times eg. Bedtime, nap time, at home.

Getting out of the house around snack times, picnics for lunch time when weather is good.

Leaving food/snacks where they can get to them so they can graze rather than sit down to a meal during the day.

Also if teething is making them wake a lot at night for comfort then giving them a herbal teething powder before bed or around midnight if breast feeding then can help. Paracetamol or Ibuprofen if really bad, the teeth always push more at night.

Jakeyblueblue Thu 02-May-13 13:14:11

Hi, I'm still feeding ds 22 months and he's much the same with the intensity of feeding, although he does eat reasonable amounts too. Having said this though, he doesn't seem as ravernous as some of his little friends and I suspect this is due to milk intake partly. I didnt do blw and have fed him and think this has helped partly with actualky getting food in him! He eats very little for breakfast, usually just a yog and a bit of fruit, and I'm pretty sure this is due to us co sleeping and him having milk first thing and often during the night too. He then eats a reasonable lunch and a very good tea. Hes 98th centile so dont worry as hes obviuoslt gettinf what he needs. all this said though, I do work three days per week so he goes all day without bf and actually still eat the same amount on those days so not sure to be honest!!!
I'm also ttc and am having issues. Been trying for months and cycle all over the place as a result. Feel free to join us on the ttc whilst bf thread in conception. Quite a number of Us with similar issues.
As for weaning, I kind of think I've missed the boat. When ds was about 12 months he was only feeding at night and I could have easily dropped this feed. As he's got older though, the attachment to it has grown and molars came and now it would be very difficult to just stop. His understanding is just getting there now that I can ask him to wait until later or reason with him about when he feeds. This has only just started to happen the last one or two weeks and now his language is really coming on. If I'd of refused a month or two ago he would have not understood and just thought I was being horrible!!
What I'm saying is maybe hang in there. In a few months you will be able to hopefully say to him he has to wait til bedtime etc without too much upset. Ds is def slowing down a little with the feeding and its much easier to reason with him if its not convienient. I'm hoping this helps my cycle too!
Good luck!

looseleaf Thu 02-May-13 13:14:34

I love being reminded I'm not alone as am very quiet about how much I still Bfd DS (22months) - isn't that a shame.
I feel like you and in my case DS eats most solids when there are more people at the table so when it more of an interesting occasion rather than him and I with a boiled egg each! Also keeping v busy eg getting out and with a good supply of healthy snacks helps us (eg blueberries)
I try to only feed DS in bed so it feels less accessible out and about - though he asked to go to bed when busy in the park this morning!
Not much help but you're not alone
. Dd was the same and didnt want solids much for ages but now eats plenty and a nutritionist said it was rare to see a child the perfect weight as she is. And I do think extended bfding good for them. I ramble!

MeeWhoo Thu 02-May-13 14:03:43

Oh, I am really glad I started this thread now! It's good to see that there are more people in this position - at least 3 or 4!- and with good advice as well smile

I am trying to introduce cow's milk now and he doesn't hate it, but doesn't seem to "get" what it is for, he will drink a bit and doesn't dislike the taste but he then ask for water instead. I normally give him mik from the fridge, which I am guessing now it's not the best way to go really... (May have to invest in a microwave...)

As for it being easier when there are more people around, I think this is definitely the case. He also likes to eat from someone else's plate, even if it is exactly the same food, but the problem is that due to this playgroup thing he doesn't eat at the same time as DH and me anymore as he goes straight for a nap when he comes back and doesn't have lunch until around 4 pm. I will think about having a snack for lunch and then a more proper lunch with him at this time...

He does love dairy, but I was trying to restrict it a little bit as he has a tendency to get constipated. I'll have to monitor that and allow for a bit more dairy if that is going to help him eat, as sometimes if he eats something, he seems to get into the frame of mind of "eating time" and then continue eating something he wouldn't have otherwise.

StitchAteMySleep, you are spot on about looking out for signs of hunger as a mere 10 minute difference may determine whether or not he eats solids. The problem is he sometimes gets too distracted playing or something and he doesn't want to eat even though it is obvious he is hungry. I will try the leaving a couple of things in an accessible place to see whether he goes for them.

Jakeyblueblue your hanging on in there and waiting for it to click is the way I am naturally inclined, but all the written info seems to say they will be eating a lot of solids by 12 months, 14 months, 18 months, so I was starting to get a bit despondent with his eating and sleeping habits. Knowing it's not that unusual for our particular set-up may make it easier for me anyway, as the last thing I want is to make an issue about food and start having to battle with him about it...

Thanks again to everyone for sharing your tips and experiences, we'll see how it goes.

Pending Fri 03-May-13 00:18:36

Hello OP. Just wanted to offer support and say that, as the mother of a bouncing great 3.5 year old who was BF until he was 2, I'm proof that you will come out the other end of this stage! Hang on in there. Your DS's enthusiasm for your milk will probably wane suddenly - then you'll be left feeling a little bit nostalgic! smile

DeWe Fri 03-May-13 09:30:23

At that age they are still getting most of their nutrition from milk.

Dd2 steadfastly refused solids until she was 8/9 months when dd1 put a chocolate button in her mouth and she then though solids might (sometimes) be worth eating. She wasn't a big solid eater, even after giving up bfing when she was about 2.6yo. The only thing she would consistantly eat was sweetcorn. She hated certain textures, would either eat complete slop, or solids, nothing in the middle.
She's 9yo and a very good eater, eats everything in quantity.

Ds weaned on a piece of toast at about 7.5months. He's always eaten fine, but I bf him until he was about 3.6yo as he had a lot of ear infections, and when he had one he often didn;t want anything other than bm.

Dd1 weaned at 5 months (recommendation at that point was 4 month-HV nearly had a fit when she found she wasn't weaned at 4.5monthshmm) Ate everything in quantity from the first day of weaning-whole banana within a week of being weaned type of level. I bf her until she was 3.1yo. At 8yo she had pneumonia and has grown fussier steadily from there. She hardly eats anything now.

MeeWhoo Fri 03-May-13 11:14:27

Thanks Pending and Dewe!
I don't know anyone who in RL who is or has been in this position, so when I look around I start to wonder whether he should be eating a lot more or if he will ever stop asking for breastmilk so it's good to have some reassurance.
As Pending says, I will probably be back in a few months saying "DS has weaned himself, snif, snif..." smile

FredFredGeorge Mon 06-May-13 08:22:39

DD is 23mo, still BF, but rarely asks for it in the day unless unhappy, just in the night and first thing in the morning. And has eaten a lot of solid food for a long time in the day.

In fact she recently had her first night with her mum not there and other than being a bit sad because she wasn't, there's been no distress on her part.

How much time do you spend away from DS where BF is off the table? If he's with DP for 8 hours or so in a block what does he do then(assuming you have one as you're TTC, but others if not...).

TheSecondComing Mon 06-May-13 08:27:43

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MeeWhoo Mon 06-May-13 13:56:30

Hello FredFredGeorge, thanks for your reply. DS has never been away from me for more than around 4 hours at a time shock, shock!! If I left him with DH, I know it wouldn't me a major trauma or anything but I don't want to have to do that for the sake of it, IYKWIM as the only time DH could have him for 8 hours without me there would be on a weekend and that is our family time. He has already gone around 7 hours without feeding in the daytime of his own accord, although that just meant he was too busy with cousins, new things, etc. to stop and eat so it didn't make him eat a lot more solids either, just the odd bit of something he could carry in his hand...

TSC, that is what I was afraid to hear, as I have been waiting and waiting for breastfeeding to decrease naturally and, as I said, although I do see some progress and there are weeks where he does eat a lot more, then bloody teething gets in the way and we are back to where we started. I might give it a couple of months and then decide whether I have to go hardcore or not <starts sweating already>

TerrariaMum Mon 06-May-13 14:14:35

I am currently still BFing DD1 2.5 yo and managing to BF DD2 3 weeks.

DD1 was beginning to tail off and then she began getting her second molars which are the most painful of all as they have five cusps and have to grind up through the gums and she was right back on again. This is because, if I recall correctly, breastmilk actually contains a natural painkiller though sometimes one needs to use Calpol to calm them down enough to feed. I wonder if this is what is happening with your son.

Also, you don't have to wean completely if you don't want to. You can set limits. With DD1, I bf her for a bit and then say 'OK, that's enough for now' and she usually accepts that.

I hope that helps a bit.

HerrenaHarridan Mon 06-May-13 14:31:26

Firstly breast feeding is a consensual relationship! It's ok for you to decide (at this age) when it is in offer.

Next, don't buy a microwave purely so you can heat yo a glass of milk. Put milk In Sippy cup in bowl of hot water.

You say dc is constipated, I used to have similar problem with dd so now she gets diluted fruit juice with meals. If she misses that she gets constipated very quickly.

Can you make the place he is eating meals less stimulating?

Don't stress about how much he's eating, he will eat what he needs and you won't do him any favours by trying to force him to eat more smile

MeeWhoo Mon 06-May-13 14:39:16

Thank you all so much for your replies!
TerrariaMum, that is one of the reasons why I feel bad refusing him breastmilk, because I know that if he asks for it "all the time" it means he is uncomfortable in some way so for me it would be like withdrawing it when he most needs it...
HerrenaHarridan, thanks also for your suggestions, I may try diluted fruit juice, but it is quite difficult for him to drink anything other then water. Just as with cow's milk, he takes 2 or 3 sips and then asks for water. As for making the place he eats at less stimulating, I think I have probably done the completely wrong thing, as I have to be with him drawing, reading or let him watch the ipad (I know!!!) or he will just take 2 bites and then leave... I have a brother who has always said that eating is a pain because it means you have to stop whatever you are doing and he would be happy to eat astronaut food, so I guess it could be in the genes...

HerrenaHarridan Mon 06-May-13 14:54:30

Some eat to live, some live to eat smile

Like i said he won't starve himself, maybe relax away from 3 meals a day and let him graze if it works for him. Personally I don't let dd roam with food but she asks to go into high chair and then I produce snacks she sometimes goes in highchair ten times a day.

It's ok to bf him if your happy to but don't feel like you have to every time he asks. If you think he's actually hungry offer yoghurt or whatever.

It's worth starting to explore what else can give comfort.

HorryIsUpduffed Mon 06-May-13 18:49:09

I can relate!

DS1 was ebf then blw, but dropped daytime feeds when I went back to work (from 11mo).

DS2 on the other hand still has 4-8 bf a day hmm but mostly if he is tired, bored or sad. Keeping him busy gives me more of a break.

My periods didn't come back at all until 16mo and hadn't settled by the time I conceived (at 20m, mc, then again at 22m). But my fertility was obviously back grin

Hope things work out for you, OP.

MeeWhoo Tue 07-May-13 18:18:15

Thanks you all again for your posts, today DS has actually eaten quite a lot more than usual, so maybe there is still hope...
I will give him a couple of weeks and then decide on the course of action.

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