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Stopping breastfeeding at 12 months - how to do this without traumatising DD???

(9 Posts)
Enoon Fri 12-Aug-11 21:02:40

I've breastfed DD for 12 months and now feel like it's time to stop. I'm going back to work 2 days a week and will have to get a very very early train so it's going to be tough fitting in her feed in the morning. I don't want to go cold turkey but I'd like to start cutting down with a view to stopping. I really don't want to upset her though, because she's got a lot of upheaval with starting nursery (she won't feed during the day when she is at nursery) and we will be moving house soon as well. Normally she has a feed when she gets up from her nap, I tried just getting her dressed after this morning's nap but she got really really distressed so I gave her a feed anyway. She wants a feed before anything else when we get home on the days she is at nursery so she probably is missing it during the day but managing to cope.

Arggghhhh I don't know what to do! I would quite like to stop, but I don't want to traumatise her sad. But I also can't see myself wanting to breastfeed for much longer.

Can anyone offer any advice on how to stop in as gentle a way as possible for DD?

AmuseYourBouche Fri 12-Aug-11 21:34:51


I'm trying to cut down breastfeeding my 14mnth old. Ideally I would like her to carry on a morning and evening feed until 2ish. She is suddenly boob crazy again and wants several night feeds as well as a few during the day.

The past few days I have stopped the day feeds by MASSIVELY distracting her each time she asks. So giving her food, a drink, reading a book or taking her to stroke the cats. I've also kept our schedule full the last few days as she's less likely to want to feed when we're out.

I'm hoping this will carry on and then in a few weeks I will start night weaning. I know that will be the painful bit though!

Doing it in stages is less likely to be disruptive for them. I'm sure if you cut down day and then eventually cut out night, possibly leaving the bedtime feed until last, it shouldn't be too distressing for her.

notnowbernard Fri 12-Aug-11 21:38:56

My 12m old has suddenly gone boob-mental also

Ideally I would like to do a morning and bedtime feed (wouldn't mind 1 middle-of-the-nighter but not the 3 or 4 he seems to want atm<sigh>)

I agree with the daytime requests I distract++

Also he can have cow's milk in the day now which he seems to enjoy so I am starting to supplement the day feeds

AngelDog Fri 12-Aug-11 23:03:13

There's a common developmental spurt at 13 months (55 weeks) and some babies temporarily want millions of feeds a day when they're working on it. It often messes up sleep as well. It does improve once the developmental leap is past.

notnowbernard Sat 13-Aug-11 21:37:33

Bloody Hell, I can't keep up with all these developmental spurts...

By my reckoning then DS had his first regression spurt at 4m and hasn't stopped


AngelDog Sat 13-Aug-11 21:53:56

Oh, you only get a few weeks off - and that's only for the lucky people!

The next developmental leaps are at 65 and 76 weeks IIRC (15 and 17 months, I think). smile

I would feel nicely smug to be past all that, as my DS's sleep improved loads after 13 months (it had gone completely down the pan at 8 months) - but he's currently in the 18/19 month sleep regression and refusing to go to bed at a decent hour...

woowa Sat 13-Aug-11 22:01:12

angeldog interested to read your comment about 18 month sleep regression. Our 18mth DD has been really hard to get to sleep the past couple of weeks-is this something they all go through then? Will she get over it and start falling asleep again soon? please say yes!

AngelDog Sat 13-Aug-11 22:33:57

Yes, yes, yes (please! wink)

18-21 months is a really tough time (one developmental psychologist refers to it as 'the mother of all developmental transitions'). I think it's more common to suffer with frequent waking / long periods awake at night, but I do know of other 18 month olds where the difficulty has been going to sleep at bedtime.

Unfortunately my source for when the developmental leaps are (The Wonder Weeks) stops at 17 months so I don't know exactly when this regression is due to end, but I think there are likely 2 regressions between 18 & 21 months.

You can read more here and here and here.


Enoon Tue 16-Aug-11 09:39:25

Thanks for the comments. I normally feed DD when she gets up from her nap, I have tried not doing this but she gets completely hysterical and I can't bear to see her so upset when I could just feed her. I will maybe pick out one feed and try to phase that out. She isn't feeding at night, just morning and evening and two feeds during the day.

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