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Breastfeeding at 12mo +, how many feeds? - quick survey!

(42 Posts)
Sl1nkyMalinki Mon 22-Aug-11 23:31:41


My 13mo DS is an absolute boob monster. He LOVES it. Currently he demands:
1. Pre breakfast around 7am
2. Pre nap (likes to feed to sleep - but who wouldn't?!) around 11am
<<forced him to drop mid afternoon feed and replaced with beaker of cows milk>>
3. Very short (5 mins on one side) pre bath feed around 6pm (probably to make up for missed afternoon feed).
4. Feed to sleep at bedtime 7pm
5. A night feed anytime between 2 and 5am.

He has also been known to demand bm between 11-12pm when teething/ill.

At this age my dd had been encouraged to drop the first thing in the morning feed, afternoon and pre bath feeds. We night weaned her at 14 mo and she self weaned at 18 months. We had absolutely no resistance to any of these dropped feeds but I'm struggling to convince DS that "mummy milk is for later" etc. I just don't think his understanding is at the same level as DD's was. Even my mum who is normally my greatest supporter is making noises about how much he feeds, feeding to sleep etc sad

Am I doing this all wrong? How much do your babies feed?

SpeedyGonzalez Mon 22-Aug-11 23:37:36

DD feeds once (in theory! grin). Only ever at night - when she asks for it during the day I say it's only for sleeptime (with baby signing) - she then gives me a cheeky grin and stops asking, which I still find miraculous.

So I give her one night feed. Sort of. One night feed to help her settle to sleep (I take her off the breast when sleepy and let her settle in the cot). When she wakes in the wee small hours, I plug her in and we go back to sleep together. She then feeds more or less until daybreak hmm.

Am most intrigued to see that your DD self-weaned at 18 months; IMO this is because she was already night-weaned. DS self-weaned a few months after night weaning, so I'll have to try this with DD once she's finished teething and see if it works.

Hope you sort out your feeding concerns!

TheMitfordsMaid Mon 22-Aug-11 23:40:54

DS 2 is 2 years and 4 months and frequency of feeds vary according to his mood, health and availability of my breasts. He was out for the day with his grandparents so only had a morning and evening feed, but tomorrow I except it will be morning then little snacks as and when.

When he is ill or upset he'll feed more frequently. His brother stopped breastfeeding at 2 years 9 months and he went from all to nothing in the space of a week, so each feed feels quite special at the moment as I know he could stop at any time soon.

Sl1nkyMalinki Mon 22-Aug-11 23:42:16

Hi Speedy

Love the "one night feed" - who cares that it lasts all night!

My DS just doesn't understand that the milk isn't available. As far as he knows it's always ready and isn't distractable from it. I just take it as meaning he isn't ready to give up any feeds but I'm wavering. Dh says he needs to "man up". Not helpful.

Yes to the night weaning/self weaning! Hoping it works a second time - eventually!

Parsnippercy Mon 22-Aug-11 23:42:47

my DS is 11 months, just do pre-breakfast and bedtime now, having just replaced pre-afternoon nap one with a beaker. Dropped the others to suit me in advance of return to work. IMO you should in the first place ensure that they get enough (which he obviously is!) and then do what suits you and him - what your mum or anyone else thinks about what that should be is not really relevant, although appreciate can be difficult to handle at times. My understanding is that what works for one DC won't necessarily work for another, so just because it went one way with your DD, doesn't mean it should go the same way for your DS. Not sure that's particularly helpful in terms of giving you an answer - in short, have the confidence to do what he and you are happy with. Good luck!

TheMitfordsMaid Mon 22-Aug-11 23:44:52

Of course, you could be over-thinking this. Just go with the flow, so to speak. Trust your intuition.

SpeedyGonzalez Mon 22-Aug-11 23:45:16

"Man up"!! Snort! How very helpful of your DH!

PogoBaby Mon 22-Aug-11 23:46:14

Left totally to her own devices DD has:

Breakfast before I go to work at 7:15
DH (SAHD) meets me for lunch most days (his decision) so again at 12:30
As soon as I get back from work around 4:30pm
After tea at 6pm
Before bed at 8pm (the bed time routine has gone belly up recently so can be on and off feeding until 11pm)
She'll then wake at somewhere around 1:30am and between 4am and 6am for quick feeds.

She never used to be that much of a milk monster but I swear she feeds more now than as a newborn!! Am planning on addressing it once I've figured out how!

SpeedyGonzalez Mon 22-Aug-11 23:47:10

Oh, one tip for daytime sleeps - I get DD (15 mos, if that's useful) to sleep either in the buggy or sling and then transfer her to the bed. She stirs during transfer, cries for about 2 seconds, then falls fast asleep. So she no longer relies on the breast! Yay!

FannyFifer Mon 22-Aug-11 23:48:46

At 12 months DD was 2x per day, once in morning, once @ bedtime.
She is 18 months now and only gets the boob in the morning.

DS fed prob 10x per day at they age.

Sl1nkyMalinki Mon 22-Aug-11 23:56:33

Thank you so much! I feel loads better about this.

Mitfordsmaid yeah, you're probably right grin It just takes that one slightly negative comment and my poor little sleep deprived brain is whirring!

speedy that's a great tip. I know he can fall asleep in the day without being fed (mum and dh can get him to sleep without me and he will sleep in the buggy for me) so if I do that every day for a week or so hopefully we can break it. That alone would be a breakthrough.

pogobaby you and me both! Please pm me if you come up with a magic solution?!

fanny thank you. Maybe girls want to be more independent?

SecondRow Tue 23-Aug-11 00:02:11

Oh, I have been meaning to get around to asking this very question! DD is just gone 12 months. She still gets it when she wants it, really. It's very variable though, some days she'll go for hours seemingly without giving it a thought, happy with water or milk from the sippy cup, other days it can be before/after every nap, meal, trip out etc. I've put it down to teething when she's particularly clingy so haven't tried to enforce any more of a routine. She's starting childcare in mid-September though, building up to 5 hours a day away from me after a few weeks, so we're coming to crunch time soon.

As for night weaning - please tell me about this! I've had one night away from her about a month ago and DP managed to settle her with unconventional methods (a bath in the middle of the night when usually she would have got a feed - confusing but seemed to work!) but obviously I won't be doing this on a regular basis. Sometimes when she wakes in the evening before I've gone to bed I can settle her back without a feed, but when it's the middle of the night I take the path of least resistance. But I have had enough of interrupted sleep now after one year. Will a few nights of some sleep training/night weaning type programme wave a magic wand I wonder? <lazy sleep-deprived naive optimism>

Actually my question had you not got in before me, OP, was going to be AIBU to want to extend bf after 12 months but on my terms, not DDs?

Sl1nkyMalinki Tue 23-Aug-11 00:09:03

SecondRow, DS goes 4 hours between feeds and he is clockwork! So on the plus side at least I know where I am.

We night weaned DD by the simple method of DH going in to her when she woke and offering her a beaker with water in it, then giving her a cuddle and her dummy. It took 3 nights of her waking for a drink then she slept through. We tried this about 6 weeks ago with DS but after 20 minutes of hysterical crying I went and fed him. Like you said, path of least resistance! Sadly DS refuses a dummy so if it IS comfort he's waking for then I have no alternative!

When I'm not around DS is fine and doesn't bother about milk (so I'm told) so I think your DD will be fine when she goes into childcare but may well make up for it when she does see you!

Haggisfish Tue 23-Aug-11 00:11:49

Ah, such a relief to find others! If left to her own devices, 13 month old will have big feed at 7am, small one at 11am and 2pm, sometimes at 5pm, big one at 8pm and then one or two between 11pm and 7am. We went through a magical week of sleeping through after me getting strict about night weaning (want my periods back and to start TTC again), but then she had a teething bout and it's all gone tits up (as it were). Am hoping my going back to school will resolve it slightly - I'll only be able to do am and pm feeds.

There's no distracting her either if she wants it!

Cosmosis Tue 23-Aug-11 10:18:39

DS is 11.5m, so not quite in your catchment yet wink but he has approx 4 feeds in 24hrs. I work ft so during the week he’ll have morning feed – approx 6.30/7ish, when we get home at 6, bedtime at 7 and then mostly once in the night. Sometimes it’s twice in the night, sometimes none. On a weekend he’ll also have about 10.30am and about 4pm ish as well.

I too am pondering night weaning once he turns 1. I can’t work out if I want to or not, but he wakes generally 3 times an night (sometimes once, sometimes twice occasionally the blissfull no time!). What I’m not sure about though is if night weaning will stop the wakings as he doesn’t always want feeding sometimes he just wants cuddles. He can (mostly) self settle at bedtime now so I don’t want to do sleep training I just want him to sleep through if he can!

RitaMorgan Tue 23-Aug-11 10:18:50

My 12 month old always breastfeeds first thing and bedtime. He has feeds mid-morning and mid-afternoon, but sometimes these are cups of cow's milk - sometimes he feeds to sleep for naps and sometimes not. No night feeds though.

AngelDog Tue 23-Aug-11 13:03:57

DS is nearly 20 m.o. He bfs:

- before breakfast
- usually a bit after breakfast
- roughly 0-5 times on request in the morning
- feed to sleep for nap
- immediately after nap
- roughly 0-5 times on request in the afternoon
- usually before bath (on request)
- feeds to sleep
- 0-6 times at night: he usually feeds just once, but he sleeps through about once a week. If he's unsettled (like now - he's teething) I feed every time he wakes which might be a lot!

The number of feeds on request are highly dependent on DS's mood, tiredness, illness/wellness, whether I'm sitting down and whether there's anything more exciting going on.

Intentional distraction doesn't work with him though and if he really wants a feed, everyone will be fraught until he gets it. I do delay a requested feed if it's not convenient, eg when out walking with the pushchair, but I have to fend off requests for milk every few minutes until I can find somewhere to stop & feed.

I think children are really different in when they're ready to cut down / give up.

KD0706 Tue 23-Aug-11 13:05:56

At 12mo DD was feeding four times in the day (first thing in morning, mid morning, mid afternoon, bedtime) and one or two times in the night

She's 16mo now and has three feeds, first thing, mid afternoon and bedtime.

She miraculously night weaned herself at about 13 mo, going from feeding at least once in the night but often twice, to sleeping through consistently very suddenly over the course of about a week. No idea why.

She dropped her mid morning feed soon after.

But she's been on the three feedsa day for about two months and although she occasionally drops her mid afternoon feed I think she's fairly stuck on having all three.

BaronessBomburst Tue 23-Aug-11 13:19:45

My DS has just turned 18 months and feeds like AngelDog's DS! I have no idea how many times I feed him per day. I think he's had about 8 already and it's only just gone lunchtime. He also feeds 2 or 3 times a night. It is very dependent on what we're doing though. If we're out and about he may only feed once in the afternoon, or even take a beaker of water. If we're just at home he'll ask every hour.

Woodlands Tue 23-Aug-11 13:19:56

DS (13 months) has feeds three times a day - when he wakes up, lunchtime and bed time. Occasionally he has extra feeds if ill/teething etc. We night weaned him at about 9 months on the second attempt - the first time he just wasn't ready so we waited a few weeks.

Debs75 Tue 23-Aug-11 13:26:11

DD 12 months
wakes 6-7 20 min feed back to sleep
wakes 9.30 has breakfast then another 20 min feed
naps 11-12.30 has dinner and water
2pm feeds
3-4pm feeds and naps
5.30pm has tea and another feed
7pm 30 min feed
8.30pm feeds and naps for about an hour
10pm tiny feed in bed if woken up, if still asleep from last feed put in cot asleep.
during the night may wake 2 times and has a feed back to sleep

Zimm Tue 23-Aug-11 19:44:16

Wow I thought my DD had many more feed than average but I see this is not teh case:

12 months old - on a day I work it will be 6am, 5pm and 6.30pm. Sometimes a night feed, usually not.

Non work day - 6am, 9.30am, 2pm, 4.30pm and 6.30pm (ish). If teething/miserable then many, many ,more!

debka Tue 23-Aug-11 20:10:40

When DD1 was 12mo she had one in the morning and one at bedtime. She night weaned at 6mo. At 12.5mo she dropped the morning feed (I didn't offer and she didn't notice). At 13mo she dropped the bedtime feed (replaced with a book). At 14mo I fell pg with DD2 grin

DD2 is only 6mo but she's already dropped down to only 4 a day, and has dropped the bedtime feed already hmm

cairnterrier Tue 23-Aug-11 21:00:33

At 12 months DS was feeding the same as the OP. The middle of the night feed only stopped at 19 months when DH went in at night instead of me. Took 3 nights and that was it.

At 20 months he now has a feed first thing in the morning and sometimes an afternoon feed as well but only if we're at home and he's woken up in a state from his nap.

Whyriskit Tue 23-Aug-11 21:18:13

I like this thread, it's very reassuring!
DS2 has just been night weaned at 12 months - achieved this by DH going in to settle him rather than me automatically giving boob and it seems to have worked. I work two days a week and on those days he has:
6:30am, 6:00pm when I get back from work, and then another at 7pm when he goes to bed.
Otherwise, 6:30am, 11am, 3pm and 7pm, but really as and when he demands it!

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