Weaning a 21 month old. Any advice? Should I start expressing in order to stop?(21 Posts)
I have a gorgeous 21 month old DS who is addicted to my boobies!! I have been keen to wean him from the breast for a year, but haven't managed as he has a cows milk allergy and wouldn't touch his prescription formula with a barge pole. He will drink oat milk happily at bedtime, alternating between the breast and bottle, but weirdly he won't really touch the oat milk in the morning (nor is he that keen on eating a solid breakfast). The nutritionist suggested I express for a while and use that in the mornings to get him used to the idea of taking a bottle then, gradually adding in the oat milk.
I only used a hand expresser in the early days and hated it, but I'm so keen to move on from BF now I have been contemplating buying a double electric pump. I'm not really sure where to start if I did that though. Where can I read up on it and find out the best times of day to pump etc?
The whole "buying a new pump and getting into an expressing routine just so that you can gradually get them to drink a bottle of oat milk in the morning" seems a bit of an excessive/expensive process to go through with an older baby, no? Obviously there are the special nutritional needs for a baby with CMPI, but does oat milk fulfil any that he wouldn't get from drinking water and eating other foods? I speak as someone whose DS1 just didn't drink any milk of any kind whatsoever after he weaned from the breast at 2.5, he just got the relevant nutrition elsewhere and is now an enormous healthy 4 year old. Could you not just do the "distract from boob, look, we are going down for exciting breakfast, here are your toys, etc." in the morning instead? I do see you mentioned him not being keen on solid breakfast but the whole expressing thing sounds like a lot of palaver.
Sorry, didn't mean to sound so negative! If you do want to express, first thing in the morning is usually the best time, especially if you do it instead of a morning breastfeed - otherwise you'll get less until your body gets used to the extra "feed" (though then you'll need to be careful weaning off it yourself in case you end up with blocked ducts from simultaneously dropping both the breastfeed and the pumped feed). A double electric is almost certainly total overkill, though, especially if you're only planning on using it for one feed a day short term: I use a decent single electric every day in work and can pump 4oz or so in 15 minutes.
I appreciate the apology Leedy as your first reply was more than negative in tone. That asides, thanks for the info which pretty much confirms what I had been thinking.
I had hoped La Leche league would be able to help, but spoke to a surprisingly judgy counsellor who was more interested in why I wanted to wean and said I ought to consider DS's needs over my own. As for the NCT, I've never been able get hold of anyone on the phone. I haven't explained why I want him fully weaned, but I am pretty desperate to do it, which is why I am willing to consider increasing my supply temporarily before stopping completely. There seems to be plenty of info out there on starting BF but less so on ending it.
I might be using expressed milk twice a day - morning and night. I'd prefer it if he was only taking the bottle in the evening now too, and if adding BM to the oat milk for a short period of time helps it seems worthwhile.
If anyone else has any useful info/books/website recommendations I would be grateful!!
Had forgotten that pumps can be hired... But £100 for a pump seems like a bargain right now if it helps speed up weaning.
Also, any top tips on getting a toddler to eat breakfast.... sometimes he loves Weetabix, sometimes egg bread, sometimes bacon, sometimes shreddies....often he just purses his lips and won't touch much until mid-morning, and it's definitely part of the weaning issue as he when he does have breakfast he can forget to ask for a BF. Am wondering if he'd be better off with pasta as he doesn't seem to be able to get enough of that!!
Can he have soy or goat's yoghurt? Both of mine would eat yoghurt in the morning til it came out their ears. It does sound like if he had something to eat in the morning/was interested in brekky it would be easier to just drop that feed - my DS1 kind of dropped feeds by himself (and then dropped the last one because I was pregnant) but the morning one went largely because he wanted to get up! and! do! stuff! and breakfast was part of that.
He can't have soy either, but I hadn't considered goat's yog. Will give that a go. Thanks for the idea. He loves Petit Filou (though can't have as intolerant to those). I tried Readdy Brek this morning and he just spat it out, whether with honey, white sugar or brown.... He managed a few rice cakes though and half an ounce of oat milk. I do find as soon as I get out and about he starts demanding food and isn't asking for boobs. Maybe if I set aside a few weeks where I just get out of the house and do stuff that will also work. I 'spose now the weather's improving it's not quite so much of a chore!!
And I have no idea why he's so reluctant to eat brekkie either as he is pretty good at stuffing his face normally!
I'm afraid I can't really help with the bf/expressing problem but I also have a cows milk intolerant baby & we have found that for breakfast she really loves oatibix done with a little boiled water & fruit purée. I find the pouches of mixed fruit purée really handy for this.
I'm not surprised la leche couldn't help you. They exist to promote breastfeeding not to support weaning.
Have you tried putting Ribena in his formula? We got our son to take neutramigen like that.
He shouldn't be having bottles at nearly 2, why are you so keen to get him to take another one?
He doesn't need milk at all so long as he is getting enough calcium, which can be got from other sources (I don't know how much calcium is in oat milk, but they don't actually need that much calcium overall).
Noble, milk and other substitutes are a good way to get calcium into kids and adults. It is just an easy way to consume a good amount. I wouldn't fancy trying to construct a diet to ensure I got enough calcium without a milk substitute drink.
As I said above, my DS1 (and his father) don't drink any milk of any type at all and are absolutely fine - though DS1 can/does eat other dairy. It's a good source of calcium for toddlers and older kids, but it's far from the only one. What do you think people from parts of the world where most people are lactose intolerant after babyhood do?
I am actually surprised about La Leche, I assumed their remit was to help breastfeeding mothers, including how to wean comfortably/gently - they have info on it on their website: www.lalecheleague.org/faq/weanhowto.html
OP, it sounds like you've done a great job feeding your LO so far, and for way longer than most people, I hope the weaning goes well.
Leedy one of the most sane vegan books I read looked at research into dairy free diets. It cited research into the bone health of older chinese women and stated that the findings were not encouraging as their bone density was not good. The author suggested that the situation may be better for western vegans due to the availability of calcium enriched products such as fortified milk substitutes.
op - you seem to be getting a bit of a hard time here as well, I don't see why. it is perfectly legitimate to wean at any age if it suits one of the bf couple, although obviously better if they are not a tiny.
dd1 is 2 now and continuing to wean - she has dropped about half her afternoon feeds per week now (ie she has one pm feed a day but is dropping it). if I don't want her to have it I don't sit on the sofa. she doesn't have a morning feed the one morning I
try to lie in either.
I suggest that pumping will be more hassle than it is worth too. would go for getting out or at least downstairs? where do you normally feed him? it sounds like after breakfast from your posts?
have you got a dh who can do get ups - maybe over the weekend and then the habit will be a bit broken after that?
also I never worried about replacing feeds with .. actually anything. dd1 does like cows milk so I give her a cup or two at bfast some days but I never think about how much cheese or yoghurt etc just try to give a mix of food groups over meals. I appreciate you are in a different position - but in a no allergies situation that is our normal, although I know others are more stringent.
a few more thoughts then I'll bore off. if he doesn't eat much til mid morning then go with that - he will let you know if he is hungry sooner, which will likely pick up once you wean.
dd2 who is 7 mo often goes up to 6 hours in the morning ie from 6am til noon without a bf. I'd be shoving it down her throat but she'd just politely have some to appease me . before weaning that is.
also re expressing remember it can take a bit of work to get a good amount coming out via pump so it might quite a commitment to do that. and its dreadfully tedious!
This is all a bit of an aside, but I find it hard to believe that the majority of the world is clinically calcium deficient because they don't drink milk or fake milk. There are plenty of non-cow-dairy sources of calcium (baked beans, for instance, or tinned fish, or goat and sheep cheese and yoghurt), and plenty of calcium-fortified foods in the West that aren't milk drinks. I don't think anyone is suggesting that the OP's child doesn't need calcium, just that they don't necessarily have to get all of it from something that is a white milk-like drink.
Seconding poocatcher's (heh) suggestion of getting someone else (if available) to do getting up if that's a key distraction-from-boob time, btw, that's a very good idea.
Just wanted to say thanks for the helpful and thoughtful replies, and whatevs about the rest!
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