When to stop breastfeeding(13 Posts)
My son is 16 months old now and we're still breastfeeding. I've been completely led by him regarding the drop off of feeds and when I returned to work 4months ago he dropped to 2 feeds a day from me. Since Christmas this has dropped to one- first thing in the morning. As I'm back at work this means sometimes he can stay latched on for quite a while (up to 20mins per boob now it's only 1 feed a day) when I really should be getting him out the door to nursery! So two days ago I tried to just give him a cup of whole milk instead (which he drinks normally through the rest of the day). Went fine, he didn't have much. But he also didn't freak out. Soni guess technically ive stopped him from feeding now.
So I feel guilty that he has led the decline and now I've forced the end.
And now I'm continplating offering th boob tomorrow morning (I have stopped for a couple of days once before and gone back to it fine), and seeing what he wants to do.
And I can't seem to find anything to suggest how long you should feed for if you can...?
Any views? ....
It's totally up to you (and him of course). If he's not bothered, and you're happy to stop, then stop. Many more adventures in parenthood await you!
WHO guidelines are until 2
But it's fine to stop whenever you want to! I carried on doing morning feed until dd was 2, but it wasn't necessarily every morning towards the end (eg if I had to leave for work before she woke up) and the morning routine definitely sped up once we stopped it altogether.
I stopped with DS at about the same age, it was very similar to what you're describing. I had wanted to go to 2 years because of the WHO recommendation so I was a little disappointed. But, it was a mutual process between DS and me, he was less bothered and I found it ok to offer less often. It really isn't anything to feel guilty about!
I stopped BF my DD at 16 months. By then she was only having one feed before bed. If I was out she was happy to have a cup or beaker of cow's milk. I felt it was the right time to stop for.
There isn't a definite age to stop. If you want to continue do; if you want to stop then do.
My DP did the putting to bed for a week after stopping so I could let my milk dry up and it all seemed so much easier than I expected. I was just upset she didn't seem too bothered and felt she wasn't as dependent on me anymore!
Ds1 stopped at 15m, he was down to just the bedtime one - so no time limit - and one night just decided he'd snuggle up in bed instead. Unless he's particularly fussy about his solids I don't think he'll miss any vital nutrients?
My son is 2.8 and we are still going. Because he insists. Every morning I wake up to "I want my milky! Where is my mummy?" If it takes more than 1.2 seconds to get to his room he shouts "Mummy! Milky! Mummy! Milky!"
He then goes to "My mummy is lost! My milky is gone!" in a very sad voice if I dare to take more than 10 seconds to get up.
That is a child who does not want to give up breastfeeding.
I don't think you have anything to feel bad about.
I stopped at 13 months, in similar circumstances to you - we'd dropped to one feed in the morning, and circumstances dictated that we didn't do it for a couple of days, and we didn't go back. I felt quite sad that was over, without any ceremony (particularly after we'd a huge battle to establish BFing in the first place).
I had a wobble about whether I try to go back to it, but in the end it was a painless way to end the breastfeeding journey.
If you do stop now, you've carried on much longer than the vast majority in this country manage. It's a great achievement.
I did feel a bit bereft for the first few days (more so than DS who didn't seem to miss it at all!) but after I got over that it was quite nice to have true autonomy over my body again for the first time in two years.
My DD is 21months and absolutely does not want to give up breastfeeding. I envisage weaning will be a nightmare- if your son isn't ready I'm sure he will let you know
Hi all, thanks for your comments that really helped me. Turns out he was fine about it, it was just my sadness that was clinging me on. It's a weird feeling that we're all describing, it is like grieving that they no longer rely on you isn't it? So I'm a little upset but he's fine and that's the main thing.
About the comment in his food- my boy is an eater but I do give him viramins too- we started that at about 1yo as I stopped the formula bottle the HV said if I was concerned it wouldn't hurt to give him a supplement, now it's part of his routine to take it so I'm not worried about nutrients anymore.
Thanks again all- and hears to all you amazing BF ladies! I think we're giving our kids a great start in life by doing this and we've been some of the lucky ones to be able to! X
(Just realised I never mentioned formula in my original post- since about 4 mo my hubby has given our son a single formula bottle at bedtime. We felt it was best to allow then some time together when he gets home from work.)
As others have said WHO recommend 2 years, and more importantly for me as a Muslim the Islamic position is 2 full years so that's what I aimed for. Bit at 16 months he's had loads of benefit, and if he's actually stopped without much fuss it might make be easier. In my experience as they get a bit older the awareness increases and it can be more difficult to distract them from it.
As I understand it there isn't much concrete evidence of the health benefits of extended breastfeeding - not to say there are no benefits, just that it's hard to evidence.
Logically, by 16 months when most nutrition is coming from other parts of their diet, the difference that one BF a day makes must be relatively small.
It's worth making sure there is a decent amount of dairy in his diet, especially if he is not that enthusiastic about having a cup/bottle of milk in the morning.
I was sad we'd stopped earlier than I would have ideally liked to, but I was really pleased with hindsight that it happened gently, without DS having any upset.
I spoke to a BF support worker about it and she eas talking about the difference between 'offering' and responding to demand - I never refused DS a feed he 'asked' for, I just stopped offering, which makes me feel better that it was natural time for us to stop.
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