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Tips to wean 14 mo off the boob?

(21 Posts)
Rindercella Wed 08-Jun-11 18:50:04

I am sure there are 100s of threads about this. But I am now desperate to stop feeding my beautiful 14 month old DD2. I b/f DD1 until she was 2 years old, so I will have plenty of guilt of not doing the same for DD2. But I really need to reclaim my body back for me very, very soon or I shall go slightly mad.

DD2 doesn't seem particularly inclined to self-wean, so does anyone have any tips? She will readily take a bottle (cows' or formula), in fact, she will eat/drink anything going particularly if it's chocolate cake, but if she sees me, she wants my milk. I am largely by myself with the girls and I just need some tips on how to nicely persuade her that no more boob is a viable option. I am guessing avoidance, distraction, etc., but she can be very, very vocal!

ReadyToDrink Wed 08-Jun-11 23:12:45

I'm not really sure, Rinders, but bumping for you. I can understand that you need the freedom now in a way that you didn't with DD1. Please don't feel guilty - 14 months is amazing.

Rindercella Thu 09-Jun-11 08:09:22

Thanks for the bump & kind words ReadytoDrink!

Bumping again, in case anyone has any magic solution to this please.

KD0706 Thu 09-Jun-11 09:03:46

I don't have any magic tips I'm afraid but just wanted to say you shouldn't feel guilty. Feeding to 14 months is fab and so few people manage that.

I know a little of your story from previous lurking and honestly you shouldn't beat yourself up. Of course you are going to bs struggling more now than you were when Dc1 was the same age

Rindercella Thu 09-Jun-11 12:50:32

A gentle bump....any help anyone, please??

And thank you KD0706 x

CalmInsomniac Thu 09-Jun-11 13:53:26

Hi there! I weaned my daughter from demand feeding at 12 months to finishing completely at 16 months. She was on 4 feeds a day at 12 months, and they had a regular pattern. Have you got a regular feeding pattern for dd2? If not I think the first step is to start one. We had 4am, then 10.30 before morning nap, mid afternoon and bedtime (plus obviously 3 meals a day).
Once you've got a regular pattern you can set about dropping feeds. The first ones to drop are those not associated with sleeping OR ones you miss out anyway when you're at work. As I work three days a week it was easiest for me to drop the pre-morning nap feed, by giving her a snack and a drink before the nap, taking up a beaker of milk with us to her room, and offering that before putting her in her cot. Of course, the "breastfeed to sleep" cycle has to have been tackled before this - where are you on that particular issue?
Then I dropped the mid afternoon feed. Anticipating that she would be hungry, I would give her a drink and a snack at that time, and gently turn down any request for a breastfeed.
So after that we were down to 2 feeds a day. Morning and night. She had dropped the 4am feed at some point in favour of a 7am morning feed (bliss). And around 15 months she sometimes wasn't bothered by the morning feed. I decided to drop that one and it involved taking her straight down for breakfast instead of bringing her into bed for a cuddle. Once she was happy with that I could start bringing her in for a cuddle again without the demands for feeding.
That left the bedtime feed which I continued with until she stopped of her own accord - refused it - just before 16 months.
A few weeks later I got my boob out to show her (to see what she would do) and she laughed and poked it and thought it was very funny. So she doesn't remember feeding from it at all (17.5 months).
So I guess the answer is to work out the pattern of feeds, and distract with food/drink at that time, alongside gentle refusing/other distraction until she gets used to it. I found the "no you can't have a breastfeed now, darling, but would you like a banana/biscuit?" worked quite well. But also, my DD was just ready. I was leading the way but she also came along willingly.
Hope that helps.

mousymouse Thu 09-Jun-11 13:59:31

not really advice, but I am planning to wean my dd (18m) tomorrow.
she is fully weaned during the day but I still feed her evenings and mornings and all through the night.
the plan is to just go cold turkey because she is not showing any signs to self wean.
since last week she had a bottle of milk in the evenings but then boobs after that as well hmm
I am up for some handholding wink

Rindercella Thu 09-Jun-11 14:33:00

Calm, that's brilliant....thank you so much. Yes, routine is something lacking for the most part here. I guess there is a routine, but I am sometimes very happy to go along with DD2 and give her a feed if it means 10 minutes of avoiding doing other stuff. So I need to get myself more disciplined I think.

Generally, at the moment, DD2 has a feed before breakfast, late morning, late afternoon and then before bed. She rarely wakes during the night now, but if she does and continues to cry, then I will feed her then too.

I think the easiest feed for me to drop with be the pre-breakfast one, as much as I love that cuddle time with her in the morning. It's reassuring to hear from you that once that is cracked, you can go back to a cuddle in bed (particularly if they wake at 5.45am). She goes to a childminder's a couple of times a week, so I can't see the day time feeds being too much of a problem. Offering other food/distraction should work. But if she wants something, she will yell until she gets it!

Mousy, good luck with it! We can hold hands together...

CalmInsomniac Thu 09-Jun-11 16:41:12

Hi again. I offer DD water in the night from a bottle now if she wakes. She glugs it down and goes straight back off. Sometimes if she won't settle I go down and put cow's milk in the bottle instead (I mean, I've done this about 2 or 3 times and only if she hasn't eaten well or has been disturbed e.g. us taking her on a car journey 7pm to 10pm). She never used to take a bottle but will do so now at night.

Now my DD is quite clear about when she's hungry in the morning. When she comes in bed she will at first lie down and pretend to sleep and say "do-do" (french for sleep/nap, my DH speaks french to her). Then when she's ready she'll say "Up! Ma!" (Ma meaning "manger" - "Eat!"). So we duly get up and take her downstairs.

I think what worked for me is that I kept it quite predictable for her, and did the same things each day, so she wasn't made anxious by the transition.
Let us know how you get on.

mousymouse Fri 10-Jun-11 21:13:55

dd just fell asleep in dh's arms. took nearly one hour, though, screaming the first 10 mins.
ds is sleeping next to me on the sofa (they share the room), will carry him to his bed soon.
I will need something really strong my heart is bleeding sad

Rindercella Fri 10-Jun-11 22:09:26

Oh mousy, be strong. I am guessing the first few days amy be tough, but hopefully it will get easier with time.

I was a cow this morning, didn't give DD2 her morning feed - went straight for breakfast instead. She then went to the childminder's and barely took any of the bottle offered there. But she did eat and drink loads of other stuff, so not too concerned. I gave her a mid-afternoon feed and then she had about 10 minutes on the boob before bed this evening. So....actually not that bad for the first day of consciously trying to persuade her off the boob.

Now, I just need to sacrifice my Saturday morning lounge in bed and get up and out of bed when DD2 wakes's hoping that's at 8am rather than 6am!!

naturalbaby Fri 10-Jun-11 22:20:30

i was pregnant when i weaned my 13month old so i think that affected things but i went cold turkey and i don't think he complained at all! he wasn't very demanding though and seemed to be only feeding for comfort once or twice a day. he was easy to distract and got very excited by differnt cups, training bottles and beakers so that was enough of a distraction - when he needed a drink he got a fancy beaker to drink out of and if he needed comfort he got his comforter (muslin).

Good luck. Early night as compensation for sacrificing your lie in tomorrow? I'm really looking forward to getting my body back but have a long way to go yet!

kalo12 Fri 10-Jun-11 22:21:42

chocolate buttons held close to the nipple

mousymouse Sat 11-Jun-11 10:32:18

the first nigh wasn't too bad. she woke up once and dh gave her some milk from her beaker.
my boobs are feeling very full. hope that goes away soon, quite uncomfortable.

loo Sat 11-Jun-11 10:39:46

My own personal experience was that at 12 months was only having breastmilk first thing in morning and last thing at night the odd times when fraught in the day for a very short time. In the end just at night on the bed before settling down for the night at about 16 months and then one night we just realised that it was a bedtime routine and no longer wanted. Think that at night I was so looking forward to having time to myself that it hadn't dawned on me that maybe my dd was just going through the bedtime routine as I was. So it all stopped gradually and nicely.

Wish you the best op, possibly no help at all but just wanted to share in case it helps knowing you are not the only one out there feeding still.

Rindercella Sat 11-Jun-11 19:01:44

Thanks everyone. Well, so far Day 2 has gone well. As yesterday, she had no feed before breakfast, then I managed to distract her until after lunch. Fed her (5 mins max). She will have another feed before bed tonight. Down from when she sees me, to 2 feeds a day in 2 days. She seems happy enough. Hopefully I can crack the final daytime one soon and then eventually the final feed. I am going away at the end of July and really hope she's fully weaned off me by then.

Mousy, sounds like you're doing well too! Oh, and loo, I remember exactly that with DD1 - it was routine, so we both stuck to it rigidly, probably both scared to give it up! It was dead easy when DD1 made the decision to stop though. Think she asked perhaps twice over 3 days and then nothing.

TheOldestCat Sat 11-Jun-11 19:07:08

I'm in the same boat re:weaning DS. He's 16 months and we're now down to two a day - first thing and at bedtime. He is also a strong character and rather fond of BF, so I'm with you on this, Rindercella.

We're going to drop the breakfast one first, then the evening one. I also feel guilty as got to 18 months with DD. But I would like a bit more freedom. Might keep the bedtime one going for a while. We'll see.

Hope it goes well for all.

Rindercella Wed 15-Jun-11 14:35:31

Just a quick update from me. DD2 is such a super star. I started this on Friday. Stuck with it - out of bed as soon as she wakes (especially hard at 6.45am on Sunday) and although she had a couple of grouchy mornings, she has coped remarkably well. Now - day 5 - and she doesn't ask for milk in the daytime at all. I give her a beaker or bottle with milk, so she can have that when she wants. And I have even been able to cut out the afternoon feed too. So now she just has 5-10 mins in the evening and goes to bed sleepy and happy. I will be strong and not veer from this from now on. I actually think she's not a million miles away from giving it up totally yippee

Cat and Mousy (arf), I hope you're both getting on ok?

Thank you for your help smile

mousymouse Sat 18-Jun-11 21:09:39

that sounds brilliant!
sorry for the late reply, thread fell off my actives.

dd has started to really sleep through the night now, after the first interrupted nights.
but unfortunately wakes much earlier and also her afternoon nap is much shorter now. but it is good all in all and my boobs are not as uncomfortable as for the first few days.

EasyFriedRice Mon 20-Jun-11 20:29:53

That's great rindercella, I'm so pleased it's working out for you grin

TheOldestCat Wed 22-Jun-11 23:47:06

VERY late to this (real life gets in the way of MNing!). Great news, Rindercella - hope DD is still doing well.

We are also down to a quick feed before bed.

Hope you're doing well, Mousy!

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