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Why is it "dont offer, dont refuse" and not "dont offer, try to distract"? (Trying to stop bf)

(19 Posts)
Kelvinator Mon 26-Nov-12 10:24:00

Just that really, am trying to stop bf my son 17 months, am trying a more gentle approach at the moment as I am so over bf, but am not ready to deal with the upset that I know will come if I go cold turkey.

So I am sort of doing the 'dont offer, dont refuse' but instead of the 'dont refuse' I am distracting him with food, water, toys, books, cuddles etc etc etc.

This is working fairly well so I was curious as to why it is is suggested we do 'dont offer dont refuse' instead of 'dont offer, distract!'

If I were to follow the 'dont offer dont refuse' suggestion I would be feeding every couple of hours, round the clock, and he would be eating less solids.

Does anyone know the reason behind this?

unexpectediteminbaggingarea Mon 26-Nov-12 10:37:30

I think it's more suited to children that have a set feeding routine. So if they are always offered a morning feed then it stops being offered in the hope that they might forget about it. Does that make sense?

This would have been totally crap for me. Mine were demand fed and nuts for the breast so when I'd had enough with DD I day weaned her first because the distraction was so easy, and I was less tired so my willpower was a bit stronger. I stopped the night feeds last of all. Distraction worked there too but it did mean some 2am story times. It was all pretty painless.

Kelvinator Mon 26-Nov-12 10:53:14

Ah ok that makes sense, yes we never had a feeding routine. Have only had one since he started eating solids with some seriousness from about 11 months.

What age did your DD stop day feeds and then night feeds Unexpected?

Day feeds are going ok. I am working part time at the moment, thank goodness!!! so on my working days I often am able to distract enough so I dont do a morning feed, so the only time I feed is after work and a bedtime feed. SO 2 in total!

When Im not working I usually do about 2-3 during the day and then 1 at bedtime. 3-4 in total which is not too bad considering. I am also working on shortening the feeds as well which is working too. I am also managing to shorten the night feeds to which is some progress.

ZuleikaD Mon 26-Nov-12 13:39:18

I did 'don't offer don't refuse' when I was stopping bf-ing both DCs at about 10 months. Worked really well and they barely noticed.

IAmSoFuckingRock Mon 26-Nov-12 13:45:12

i did dont offer dont refuse at about 20 months and ds2 didn't notice at all. he usually came into my bed in the morning for a feed and then would feed at random points during the day. then the first day of 'dont offer/dont refuse' i didn't bring him into the bed. i just got him up and took him downstairs for cereal (he always had that anyway after a feed) and he never took another BF ever again and never asked/whinged/anything. it was great tbh as like you i was just ready to be done with it and needed it to stop. i was worried about him having a meltdown but it just didn't happen.

unexpectediteminbaggingarea Mon 26-Nov-12 13:48:14

Hi kelvin my DD was a bit older than yours, about 2y3mo I think. It all happened quite quickly. The day feeds I cut down to just breakfast and bedtime for a couple of days, then stopped completely, then about 3 days after that the night feeds were stopped dead. The whole process took less than a week.

Having breastfed for 4.6 years nonstop I still sometimes smile when I realise I never have to do it again! Is that bad?

CanIHaveAPetGiraffePlease Mon 26-Nov-12 13:55:10

We're 11 months and stopped offering as such. She still wants to feed often.

First time around I did stop offering after a year and did distract. But didn't refuse if she really really wanted it if that makes sense. So didn't refuse if she kept at me put did try distracting with toys looking. At. Things etc and it did did down (slowly though as we were on demand so no fixed times.)

I stopped feeding to sleep recently as did refuse at night but not in the day!

HoratiaWinwood Mon 26-Nov-12 13:57:54

If I refuse, he gets upset. I distract as well as letting him feed. Feeds get shorter.

If you refuse, they notice. The theory is that they ask more, to check where the boundaries are.

CanIHaveAPetGiraffePlease Mon 26-Nov-12 14:03:25

Sorry phone typing not great!

The other thing I found worked with dd when older was saying , 'yes after x' or 'yes when we get home'. So not saying no but delaying it,and then see if they remember(and obviously give it if they do!). Just helped to space it out a bit. I remember repeating over and over though but it reassured her it wasn't gone just later. .

I actually can't remember our last feed or even exactly how old she was :-(

cornflakegirl Mon 26-Nov-12 14:14:07

I did don't offer don't refuse with DS1 - he was about 3.6 when he stopped, had been cutting down gradually (mornings and bedtimes only, but didn't always ask), and stopped completely when I was pregnant with DS2.

DS2 is 3.3 and has only had milk in the mornings for months, but asks all the time. Like OP, don't refuse would lead to frequent feeding. He uses convoluted reasoning to attempt to argue that, whatever the current time, it is in fact morning and that means that he can have milk. Fortunately he doesn't usually get upset by the inevitable refusal!

DizzyPurple Mon 26-Nov-12 18:42:38

These tips are really helpful to me thanks. My dd was 3 at the weekend. I have told her for the last few weeks when she is 3 the milk goes away as i feel it is time to stop. She usually has milk on waking and at bedtime. Not really sure how to stop it now the time has come! Not brave enough for cold turkey but not sure which feed best to drop first. Morning i think. I await further comments on this thread!

AngelDog Mon 26-Nov-12 20:46:12

Don't offer, don't refuse is just a really slow weaning method.

CanIHaveAPetGiraffePlease Mon 26-Nov-12 20:52:38

Which is what the op wants and is the one recommended by lll iirc.

AngelDog Mon 26-Nov-12 22:37:41

Ah, but there's slow (takes a few months) and sloooooow - takes plenty of months or even years. wink

I'm not knocking it - I've been mostly doing it for the last year with my nearly 3 y.o. (I always offer at bedtime) and he's a very long way off weaning yet, despite incentive from a nearly-nil milk supply while I was pg with DS2.

SamSmalaidh Tue 27-Nov-12 10:32:21

Agree with AngelDog, it's just two slightly different approaches depending on how quickly you want to stop, how attached your child is to bfing, what your routine is etc. I had a pretty set end date (eg. I want to be done within a month) so did "don't offer boob, offer something else" basically grin

CanIHaveAPetGiraffePlease Tue 27-Nov-12 11:40:48

Ah sorry AD misinterpreted sorry!

Love it, Sam!

mawbroon Tue 27-Nov-12 19:48:29

I think the "never offer, never refuse" method is an attempt to fathom out when they really need to feed (and remember it's not really about the milk at this stage).

If you were to follow never offer never refuse and it leads to feeding every couple of hours then he is probably not completely ready to stop.

AngelDog Tue 27-Nov-12 20:58:53

That's okay, Giraffe. smile

I've tried asking DS, "Are you tummy hungry [in which case offer a snack] or heart hungry?" [in which case offer cuddles, attention etc]. DS invariably replied, "I'm hungry for milk!" hmm

CanIHaveAPetGiraffePlease Tue 27-Nov-12 21:45:35

:D looks like it might be a while longer then ;)

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