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I'm in a right pickle. Advice on stopping breastfeeding, please!

(18 Posts)
Psammead Thu 25-Nov-10 10:49:44

Hello,

For various reasons I want to stop breastfeeding my 10 and a half month old DD.

I have absolutley no idea how to go about it. Do I give her fresh cows milk? Or powdered milk? How much should she have? Are there special bottles I should use?

Her schedule is:

5am breastmilk
8:30 breakfast
11:30 breastmilk and nap
14:00 lunch
17:30 breastmilk and nap
19:30 supper
20:00 breastmilk and bed

She feeds for about 10-15 mins at a time. I would still breastfeed at the 5am feed. Expressing really doesn't seem to work for me.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I have been in tears over this decision

SirBoobAlot Thu 25-Nov-10 11:11:56

Cows milk is not suitable for under a year old.

Because of her age, you would be best skipping a bottle and going straight onto a cup.

Do you want to talk about your reasons for wanting to stop at all? Sounds like this hasn't been an easy decision for you.

Psammead Thu 25-Nov-10 11:27:51

Thanks. Do you mean a sippy cup type thing?

Reasons include her biting. I have tried following all the advice to get her to stop but she just finds everything hilarious. It's been about two weeks now since she started and it's only getting worse. I totally broke down about it yesterday and decided that I just had to stop. The thought of feeding her brings me out in a cold sweat, tbh.

Another reason is that I have been feeling quite down generally of late. Breastfeeding is slowly turning into a constraint rather than a pleasure and I feel a bit trapped (ha! Literally, when she clamps down!). Since she was born I haven't ever been more than a couple of hours away from her as expressing took hours for just a couple of ounces to come out. It would be so nice to have my DH be able to put her to bed at night once in a blue moon.

But then I feel so guilty because I wanted to BF for a year and I feel like I have let us both down.

babyrose Thu 25-Nov-10 11:38:56

its a hard decision, dont feel guilty about it, u done ure best for 10 mnths i want to stop aswell. how many days did u express for? i found that it took me a good few days to get up to 9 oz.

bunkers Thu 25-Nov-10 11:45:09

Psammead - totally sympathise with the biting. DD2 is a biter. Twice she has bitten me hard enough to break the skin. Absolute agony!

You probably don't want to hear this but I've been trying to stop breastfeeding since she was 6 months old - she is now 13mo. However we've had success with nuk sippy cups and she's gradually accepting more formula.

Pick one of the breastfeeds, eg. 11.30am, and offer formula instead of breast. It can help if someone else gives her the cup. DD2 used to get very upset and frustrated at first so I didn't push it too much and after encouraging the formula as much as possible would then give her breast.

Once you've got one feed sorted, you can then move onto the next. I'm probably a bit of a woose but didn't want to make the change over too stressful for her which is why it's taken such a long time.

BTW she has stopped biting so much now, so it may be a phase that your LO will outgrow as well. Maybe try not to react at all so that it is not fun for her.

Good luck!

SirBoobAlot Thu 25-Nov-10 11:45:47

Ah yes... The biting. Is she teething? I have always found DS to be an utter nightmare when teething. Have you tried putting her in her cot / on the floor, and just not making eye contact with her? Its a horrible stage, I do feel for you. But it does pass.

I can express, but DS will not take a bottle. But I managed to get a full day out when he was about 10 months, I think. I fed him in the morning, and came back just after six. Made sure he had plenty of fruit / yoghurt / other fluid containing things, and he was absolutely fine.

I'm not saying don't stop - just sharing this so you have some experience.

You have done a hell of a lot Ten and a half months is a great amount of time, and she will benefit from it, as will you.

Cups wise - you may have to try a few until she finds one she likes. I have found the soft teat ones / ones with straws to be best, as DS never got on with the solid plastic teats. But I know other parents have had the opposite. Maybe be worth asking if you have friends with little ones if you can try out the cup they are using.

coldcomfortHeart Thu 25-Nov-10 11:52:33

Oh, biting is so, so horrible. Very hard not to take it personally, I found. sad

Like SirBoobAlot says, she can't yet have cow's milk, so it'd have to be formula. It doesn't have to be follow-on milk, or hungry baby or anything, just stage 1 (usually cheaper anyway I think) I also think you should try a cup (open or sippy) instead of a bottle, and then you can just switch to cow's milk at 12m without faffing around trying to give up a bottle.

Also you should think about giving up gradually, say over two weeks- try distraction, the milk in cup and change of scene for the day time feeds first (they'll probably be easier to give up than the bedtime and morning one, IME.) Just to save your breasts from engorgement and the risk of mastitis.

I remember that trapped feeling- it is very strong and overwhelming at times. If it's any help it did pass, and I kept bf DS and he became a lot more flexible as he got older. But I understand if you feel you just can't hack that any more! You look back on times that seemed never ending (hellish newborn phase, for me) and think, wow, that was actually such a short time... but when you're there it doesn't feel that way.

Please don't feel down about stopping if you decide to do so. You've given your all, and your DD is lucky to have a mummy like you. smile

coldcomfortHeart Thu 25-Nov-10 11:54:33

Oh, meant to add, is there a LLL group or similar near you? It can be really helpful to talk these things through with a breastfeeding counsellor, who may have some 'stop biting' tricks up her sleeve, or be able to help suggest ways to stop if you feel that's what you want to do.

Psammead Thu 25-Nov-10 12:19:51

Thanks. Am in tears again reading all this. Honestly, I think I cry more than DD!! Great big wuss.

I will try out some of your advice. Have been searching more sites too and there are a couple more things to try. I have a sippy cup, a tommy tipee one which she has water from in the day. I do find she just plays with bottles whenever I give her them, but the sippy cup usually works. Will try replacing one feed for now. The biting is more common in the evening feed, so will try then.

Re: teething - good question! She only got her first tooth a month ago but since then has three more. She doesn't teeth badly - first I knew about her first tooth was when I felt it with my finger whilst fishing a cat biscuit out of her mouth blush. Maybe more are coming through already.

OK. Made up my mind. Wont go cold turkey, will try out some more tricks, will replace the evening feed anyway to help with trappedness and will see how we go.

I know it doesn't sound like it, but I have sooooo enjoyed BF until now (well, apart from the first two weeks, but hey) and I can't bear the thought that it's the end of an era when I feel like I am not mentally prepared for that at all!

It's just a phase. This too shall pass! Thanks for setting me right.

CamperFan Thu 25-Nov-10 12:43:07

you have done so well! we are at 4.5 weeks and right now i can not imagine getting to 10 months!

Psammead Thu 25-Nov-10 12:55:31

Thanks Camper! It's best not to try to think too far ahead, I found.

The first few weeks were hell for us and the only reason we succeeded was by setting little goals, like just keep going until the weekend etc. We turned the corner eventually and had over 9 months without a single problem.

I think that's what I need to do again. Small steps.

Good luck! I hope you keep it up for as long as is possible for you. Only you can know how long that is! I remember very well how bad I felt right at the start. Don't feel bad for feeling bad, if that makes sense. If BF was the walk in the park that some make it out to be, formula would never have been invented.

And congratulations on your baby!

Psammead Fri 26-Nov-10 12:00:22

Pffft, yesterday was a nightmare again - but today we seem to have turned a corner! Yay! I think I can keep this up.

coldcomfortHeart Fri 26-Nov-10 14:11:25

smile

'this too shall pass' ad nauseum

think I may get this tattooed!

MissRedIndie Sat 27-Nov-10 12:34:04

Hi there, I read somewhere recently that a way to discourage biting is to push the baby's head deeper onto you breast when they bite so that their nose gets blocked and they cant breathe easily - this then forces them to open their mouth and release the bite, and doesn't need to involve you shouting/exclaiming in pain which might scare them. If they learn to associate biting with being unable to breathe easily then you might be able to cut down the biting!! Good luck!

ninani Sat 27-Nov-10 13:20:12

If she us 10.5 months old in my opinion you can give her cows milk. If she feeds solids she will get her iron from them. She is almost 1 year old.

I also found it easier to introduce cows milk to my son by using some funcy beaker.
This one looks like a cow's skin and is sold at asda, among others. I am not saying it's perfect but it has hadles which babies like to hold. However, it is not trasparent, so you can't tell whether it has gone down by an ounce or not! So in that respect it is not very useful.

My son was going to sleep only by being breastfed. I know that this is not a good example! When I had to stop him (he was over a year old) the first time that he went to sleep without any milk he was crying and was trying to find the milk source by pulling my clothes up I felt completely useless, like a cruel mother who didn't care about her son anymore Since I made the decision I never let him slip to breatmilk again (I had to). It took 2-3 days for him to be alright but then I didn't know how else to put him to sleep! But this is another story

ninani Sat 27-Nov-10 13:32:54

Of course I don't want to discourage you and tell you go ahead and stop breastfeeding!! Only if you are absolutely sure you want to stop breastfeeding!

I also want to tell you that at 1 year we introduced cows milk to my son without cutting back on breastmilk. I would freastfeed as normal and once a day I would give him initially 100ml and soon afterwards 200ml. At that age they sometimes refuse to eat and they have to be forced somehow. The outcome is visible. But they also like to sit on the breat even if they don't drink anything. So how did I know that like he stopped liking eating he also stopped liking drinking milk? I couldn't prove it. So when I cut the breast milk he had no probelm with cow's milk, but he didhave problem with sleeping.

BertieBotts Sat 27-Nov-10 13:37:49

Have you tried nipple shields in case the biting is a phase? Sounds like you've had lots of great advice already (and don't feel pressured to carry on if you really have had enough) - but just wanted to throw it out there as a possible suggestion.

StealthPolarBear Sun 28-Nov-10 16:10:07

How's it going?

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