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Signs of self-weaning off breast

(7 Posts)
Karen99 Sun 15-Feb-04 09:31:59

DS (almost 8 months) over the last week has become less and less interested in the breast.

He had three large-ish solid meals a day and three breast feeds. He hasn't had what I'd call a 'full' feed for a week now. Ds does have a blocked nose, but he just doesn't seem that interested in feeding (looking around, pausing lots, not really suckling, just holding me in his mouth) for more than a couple of minutes (he used to do 8-10mins for a full feed). But then when I take him off he makes signs he wants back on again, but is back to his tricks. I'm also concerned that because of this my milk supply is slowly adjusting to his new, low requirements.

-Is this the first sign of self-weaning?
-How much milk should he have in a day (besides my milk he gets 100ml of formula with his weetabix and some cheese/ffrais *almost* every day)?
-When should I start giving him a cup of formula, ie. should I drop my 3pm bf and try him on 200ml? (not even sure of the amounts since excl bf!!) formula in a cup?
-Or do I keep all my bf's and give additional formula as a drink?

I just want to make sure he's getting enough milk..

Many thanks

prettycandles Sun 15-Feb-04 15:29:33

I thought my ds (now 13m) was self-weaning, for almost exactly the same reasons, and at about the same age. I was still dithering about what to do when she came down with gastroenteritis, and I was so glad that I hadn't weaned her, as bm is probably the best thing for that. I'm still bfing her! It may well be that he's not so much losing interest in bfing, as gaining interest in the world around. He knows you're not going to go away if he takes a break, so feels safe to do so. If he's eating a good range of food, and getting some extra dairy, then (unless you're keen to wean him) personally I wouldn't replace any bfeeds with formula. Maybe he needs some of his feeds to be quiet pseudo-nightfeeds so that he's not so distracted? Or just go with the flow and wait for this phase to pass. That's what I did by my dithering. I suspect that my milk supply goes up and down because there may be phases when for a few weeks dd doesn't suckle much at one particular feed (ususally the bedtime feed - weird), and she doesn't seem to lack it, then suddenly she's really interested again. You could try reducing sltightly the amount of solids he eats, or feeding at a different time (eg before a solids feed). My personal feeling really is just to go with the flow - don't supplement unless you're keen for him to self-wean right now.

Epigirl Sun 15-Feb-04 16:07:46

I don't have any scientific advice about this but I would agree with prettycandles. My dd showed signs of self weaning for ages, cut down to just evening and early morning feeds by about 9 months, then dropped the evening feed by about 10 1/2 months, I think and the morning one at 12 months. I never gave her any bottles of formula, just took it as a sign that she wasn't up for so much milk. She had plenty of cheese, yogurt, milk on cereal so I didn't worry about her. She has never had a drink of milk since (she's 26 months now) as she has always refused it and she is fine. In a way, I was pleased that she weaned herself rather than me having to wean her at some stage. HTH

Karen99 Sun 15-Feb-04 16:32:58

Thanks prettycandles and epigirl - it makes sense. As he takes *some* milk then I'm hoping it's just a phase. You may be right that he's too full for the feed, especially the night one. Or it might be his cold is putting him off. I really don't want to give up bf and would rather not move onto formula if I can help it.

Epigirl - how did you know your dd wanted to drop the day feeds? Did she just refuse the breast or did you drop it one day and she didn't really notice?

Thanks!

bobthebaby Sun 15-Feb-04 20:11:21

You don't need to introduce formula as a drink at all. You could also put normal milk on his breakfast cereal and save yourself a bit of money.

Even if your milk supply has got low, it will soon pick up when his nose clears and he is interested again.

When my ds started doing this (1 yo now) I had a 3 strikes and you are out rule for bfeeds. He soon got the idea that if he mucked around too much the boob went away.

Epigirl Sun 15-Feb-04 21:15:53

Karen99, bit of both really, she started to mess around and not feed and I think I forgot to feed her once when we were really busy and I realised she hadn't 'asked' in any way so I decided to drop the feed.

I agree with bobthebaby, there's no need for formula at all if you don't want to use it.

Karen99 Mon 16-Feb-04 10:51:56

Thanks again. Yeh, would not have opened the tin (which had been sitting in the cupboard unused since ds was born) except I thought it would be better for him than cows milk due to the larger quantity with his cereal (as apposed to what I'd been using in cooking). Quickly realised this wasn't worth it after a previous post on MN last week. So now I'm just using it up......

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