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from breastfeeding to cow's milk - please advise!

(7 Posts)
ExistentialistCat Wed 21-Sep-11 13:00:28

DD2 has just turned 1. I'm bfing her once at bedtime and one first thing in the morning and I'm ready to wind down now. I think she is, too, as she has started to refuse the night feed.

Any tips on how to do this?

I'm particularly concerned about whether to give her a beaker or a bottle. She tends to take just a sip or two from a beaker and lets milk dribble out of her mouth, so I'm worried she won't be getting enough milk unless I give her a bottle. But I'm unclear as to whether she actually needs to drink lots of milk still (her older sister, aged 2, still drinks about a pint of milk a day, but she was FF and I don't know whether that makes a difference).

Thanks for reading.

joruth Wed 21-Sep-11 13:32:17

If she is eating a good diet with dairy products etc. she won't actually "need" cows milk at all, of course it's great if she takes it.

My own feeling is that bottles are best left behind once solids are the main source of nourishment...otherwise you have to make an artificial break at some other time ( just look at the threads on child won't give up the bottle....). But really it's up to you, whatever you feel best with.

All 4 of my children were BF and 3 of them refused cows milk completely. I just made sure that their meals were balanced and healthy.

organiccarrotcake Wed 21-Sep-11 13:40:06

Reasons to be very proud of what you've done

Congrats on the year of BFing smile

I agree with Joruth. Children can manage perfectly well without any dairy products at all, but they're a really easy way to get calories and calcium, as well as other vits and minerals into them. If she won't drink milk, yoghurts/cheese etc are perfectly good enough. Certainly introducing a bottle now just to get cow's milk into her would be not necessary, and may lead you to have to go through the traumatic removing of it later.

While you continue with the morning BF she'll be getting lots of perfectly balanced nutrients then anyway, but as and when you chose to stop that you don't need to replace it with cow's milk provided she's got a good, balanced diet.

You can always speak to your GP surgery - they may have a dietician you can speak to for more advice, or your HV may be able to help.

ExistentialistCat Wed 21-Sep-11 13:55:51

Thank you, joruth and organic (and thanks for the congratulations - I tend to forget that it's quite an achievement to have come this far and focus instead on the next hurdle!).

What you say about not introducing a bottle does make sense - DD1 sobs "no no want BABY milk" whenever we try to persuade her to give up her bedtime bottle in favour of a beaker. I'd certainly rather avoid that battle a second time.

DD2 eats really well and is a bit of a cheese and yogurt monster, so I won't worry about milk if she decides she doesn't want it.

Hm, now I'm concerned that DD1 is drinking too much milk. Oh this never ends, does it!!

Debs75 Wed 21-Sep-11 14:00:00

I don't think they can be having too much milk, unless they drink a 4 pint jug a day.
DD1, bf till 8 months loves milk and regularly downs a pint a day
DD2, bf till 18m then just once a day till whenever she decides to stop doesn't like cows milk and only really has it in cereal.
I would personally give her it in a beaker and offer her water. If she has a good diet then as long as she is hydrated that is all you need to worry about

ExistentialistCat Wed 21-Sep-11 14:38:51

Thanks, Debs, I appreciate the reassurance. I'm going to go shopping for special bedtime beakers and see if I can't solve both DD1's insistence on her bedtime bottle and dropping DD2's nightfeed in one go. I'm hoping they'll set each other a good example, although I'm prepared for all hell breaking loose!

peanutdream Wed 21-Sep-11 17:58:52

my ds (bf till 15mo) didn't replace the bedtime bf with anything. at first i offered cold milk with his tea in a cup and he always gets yoghurt/greek yoghurt (mmmm) with dinner, and plenty of cheese etc and he had hot milk in the morning in a beaker with a cuddle for a bit but went off it around 18mo i think...

anyway, so i figured if he was refusing his bedtime bf, he probably wasn't actually hungry. he is a chunky monkey who never used to go more than four hours without a bf (even through the night - snore) until he was ten/eleven months or so, so i was concerned that tea time all the way to breakfast was a long time but he sleeps like a trooper now (thank god!) and eats a good breakfast. (he is 22mo)

the 5am feed was the last to go at around 15mo and that was hard - i employed dh to help as i wasn't very well so dh had to do the morning shift for a week or so. after that ds still wanted lots of cuddles but i just told him the milk was gone (he knew the word 'gone' so understood, and was satisfied with a nice long cuddle instead plus the hot milk.) gradually he needed the long cuddle less and less as he has got older... getting more independent i guess...

hth (and makes sense - its amazing how quick you forget!) and well done smile

(its interesting what other things have calcium in if you look it up - they don't actually NEED lots of milk, although it is obviously a good 'vehicle' for various vitamins etc)

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