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Has my 8.5 mnth Ds self-weaned, do I need to offer an alternative?

(18 Posts)
gillyweed Fri 31-Jul-15 09:40:08

My ds has refused milk for days and I'm after a bit of advice of where to go from here please! sorry if it's long, don't want to drip feed!

Ds was born 75th percentile, took to breastfeeding like a champion, ebf on demand (although was never that interested/boob monster). We started blw just after 5.5 months, much to my reluctance but he showed ALL the signs, and he took to solids with a gusto. He's now on 3 meals a day plus snacks (sometimes eats more than his 3 yr old sister!!!). We naturally reduced breastfeeds in this time and was only feeding before bed and on wake up last month or so, sleeps through most of the time. He has been crawling for months and started furniture surfing around 7 months. He has 6 teeth, 2 of which cut this week. (this sounds like a stealth boast, it's not, my daughter was a nightmare with everything!)

Last Friday he refused to feed in the morning, since then I think he's had 1 very quick feed and given me a few significant nips. I've kept offering at his usual time/place. plenty of wet and dirty nappies.

I know this is not 'self weaning' in thr truest sense of the term, but, Is it a strike or is he done with me? Do I need to offer formula or cows milk (dd suffered from cmpi when a baby) or is a balanced nutritious diet enough? Help pls, I'm a little bit sad, rejected and unsure!

cdwales Fri 31-Jul-15 15:37:04

Hi something similar happened to me when my DD was 7 months! We were leaving for a 200 mile car journey to spend Christmas with my parents when I sat down to give her a feed - she took one suck and pulled away with a definite air of finality... alas I did not take my breast-pump, which I used to express at work for her bottle at nursery the next day, so when it became clear that she had no intention of feeding from me I promptly got mastitis over Christmas and NY!
DS had been a really coochie baby and fed from me until 11 months but DD - having had my milk via a bottle at day nursery - I think could not be bothered to do the hard work of nursing. the two big differences between real and artificial milk are 1. Real milk is incredibly sweet and artificial is tasteless and 2. It is hard work suckling but bottles pretty much let the milk fall into the mouth in comparison.
DS had the sweet tooth but DD was not bothered. So much for possible explanations for what is clearly his decision. The received wisdom it to feed a follow-on artificial milk and this could be done from a bottle or a tippee mug. But milk is not actually normal human food post babyhood...
I know one does feel rejected but really we shouldn't - it is though another step in growing up. Perhaps check with the HV re the latest advice on nutrition - or online? Your son sounds quite a character with a mind of his own and will probably keep you on your toes... All the best

gillyweed Fri 31-Jul-15 18:55:39

Thank you so much for replying! what did you end up feeding your dd in the end?

He's never had a bottle so I'm not sure it's that, although he drinks water from a Tippee - he really enjoys that actually!

Hmmmm follow on milk, I always thought it was a bit of a con, perhaps I need to research it a little more!

I'm going to try feeding him again tonight, but I don't hold out much hope and I'm a little scared!

cantmakecarrotcake Fri 31-Jul-15 20:48:38

If he's not bothering to do the work to get a let down can you hand express until the milk comes - so it's as instant as the bottle?

My dd2 (7mo) is getting cross at having to stimulate my milk, so I've ended up expressing until I let down. She settles quicker and it saves me from the biting!

gillyweed Sat 01-Aug-15 07:43:47

I've never really felt a particularly strong let down with either of my kids, I kind of thought it was just there when he started sucking!

never been very successful with expressing - hardly get anything even when I'm clearly engorged.

He refused to feed last night and this morning, I think he must be done sad . I need to look into what to give him instead now.

Tanito279 Sat 01-Aug-15 08:28:28

My dd stopped feeding a week after I went back to work. She was having formula at nursery and much preferred it. She's 20m now and still on follow on formula because she likes it and I think it's got all the nutrients she needs.
I'd say, just make sure that your baby is still getting lots of calcium and consider baby vitamins if ur not already. smile

lanbro Sat 01-Aug-15 08:37:53

Kelly mom reckons that it's really rare for babies to self wean so early. I know this as I googled it when dd2 went off the boob at about the same age. She barely fed for a couple of weeks but wouldn't take formula either. Offered water and lots of yoghurt then she went back to it until I decided to stop at 12 months.

mrsplum2015 Sat 01-Aug-15 09:01:18

Hi, it is recommended that babies drink formula or breast milk up until one year old. I think they are supposed to have 500ml per day.
Cows milk is fine bur shouldn't be given as a Main drink until age one, only for use in food.
Can have from a cup or bottle, you could express and give him breast milk if you don't want to give formula.

gillyweed Sun 02-Aug-15 13:22:56

Can't express - don't ever seem to get anything out, I was the same with my daughter who I fed till 1yr.

I know formula or breast milk is recommended for the first year but I'm struggling to find why, particularly if they are getting all nutrition from food. surely there are higher levels of calcium in green veg than milk, but D in sunshine etc.?

He defo has no intrest in breastfeeding. I don't particularly want to feed him formula or cows milk, I'm just wondering if he will be missing out on any vitamins etc.

mrsplum2015 Mon 03-Aug-15 00:19:02

I'm not sure why you don't want to give formula but it does provide fuller nutrition which is said to be needed by babies up to the age of one, I assume it's the balance of nutrients needed by babies growing quickly that can't be gained from food.

But I don't investigate the recommended health advice I'm afraid, I don't have time. I generally just follow it unless it seems particularly ridiculous. You'll have to ask a dietician or paed I would say if you can't find the answer yourself. I don't know why you would just choose to ignore the advice if you don't understand why it's recommended, it's been fairly standard for years so not a random new idea.

Scotinoz Mon 03-Aug-15 04:42:33

My eldest self weaned around that age. I read about babies not self weaning at 8mths but after persevering with breast feeding for a couple of weeks I decided she really had. I just her formula instead. The stage 1 stuff because everything suggested stage 2 and follow on was a gimmick. I didn't bother with bottles either,she learned to drink from a straw cup and that worked a treat

purplemurple1 Mon 03-Aug-15 05:32:47

I was told the milk was needed as they just cant eat enough food to get enough of all the nutrients they need. Mine ate very well and was a good weight to length ratio but they are growing fast including their brains and bones so need the additional milk nutrients as well.

Hellion7433 Mon 03-Aug-15 05:46:33

Are you feeding before he eats his meals? Or after?

thinkfast Mon 03-Aug-15 05:47:02

I was told breast milk/formula is needed until 12m as the likelihood is baby's digestive system won't be mature enough to extract all the nutrition he needs from solids - you may well notice a lot of food he eats looks undigested properly in his nappies

whatusername Mon 03-Aug-15 05:59:17

Could teething pain be putting him off breast feeding? My son would go off the boob during teething sometimes, I think because it was uncomfortable for him. The other thing that occurred to me is how did you react when he nipped you? I yelped (loudly!) after being bitten a few times - it was so painful! And I noticed after that he seemed wary of latching on again just in case I screamed.

gillyweed Mon 03-Aug-15 08:50:13

Thanks for all the replies!

He hasn't fed before or after food in months (it was before when we initially started weaning).

I did yelp when he nipped me, and he looked pretty shocked sad . but he hadn't had a feed for a while before that. His teething pain seems to have passed and he still doesn't want to feed, I genuinely think he's weaned, he had been getting super quick at feeding, I wonder if he had been lowering my supply for months!?

I'm just a bit dubious about formula; why is an artificial substance needed (cows milk included in that) when hes eating and drinking lots? and whilst I appreciate that it is the current advice, weaning advive changes all the time and I just like to investigate all options and understand the research behind, particularly to do with my kids health. But im really struggling to find anything saying why its needed, just that it is. Although good point above about food not being fully digested in his nappy, that is true, perhaps he can't access the nutrients just yet.

I'm hopefully going to ask a health visitor today.

dementedpixie Mon 03-Aug-15 08:54:40

cows milk is lower in iron and higher in sodium. It also doesnt have the full range of vitamins required. It is just not as nutritionally complete so shouldn't be used as the main drink before 1 year. Just think of it as another food you are introducing during weaning.

mrsplum2015 Tue 04-Aug-15 06:56:55

But that's why formula exists in the first place. We are so lucky to live in a world where research has provided a safe alternative to breast milk for those that can't breastfeed for whatever reason. Your DS has chosen to self-wean from the breast early but you are lucky that you can now offer him an alternative to breastmilk to ensure that he receives all the nutrients he needs and give him the most optimum condition to grow and develop healthily. Saying why would he need an artificial substance is like saying why would you give medicine when they are ill.....

And yes a lot of weaning advice changes but this is something that has been standard for over 10 years, since I started weaning my first, so it's obviously not a fad. The health service do not recommend use of follow-on formula milk post one year old so they are clearly not adversely affected by the formula manufacturers otherwise surely they would do - and those milks have also been around for more than 10 years.

The digestion theory given above sounds correct and sensible but tbh if you ask a run of the mill health visitor they may well not know, I really think if you're that bothered about giving formula or cows milk you need to seek advice from an expert, i.e. a dietician.

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