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I don't know how to stop breastfeeding

(26 Posts)
thedangermoose Sat 30-Sep-17 10:25:12

I know that sounds ridiculous but please bear with me!

I keep trying but the problem is that he won't take the bottle properly. He's nearly 9 months and I've been trying for at least a month but he will just have sips of formula throughout the day as if it's water - never a proper feed. If I'm very lucky he'll drink about 120ml in a day which I know is not enough. I've tried different bottles, I've tried letting him get really hungry, I've tried not feeding him overnight (just once - this ruined all of us sleep-wise so probably won't be repeated for a while! --If at all.--)

I've done all the 'wrong' things - always breastfed to sleep, breastfed on demand through the night (I am happy with these decisions but yes, I do believe they might be contributing to the current situation).

Does anyone have any advice?

Thank you in advance.

Blueberrysandgrapes76 Sat 30-Sep-17 10:31:06

They aren't the 'wrong' things my god how brain washed has society become - you just mothered naturally as your baby wanted.
It's hard to give up now because your baby still wants to breastfeed! It's what's natural to him - he'll always prefer it. The only way to stop is to upset him and refuse the boob - when he's thirsty he'll take more formula. 9 months is too old to introduce a bottle - you should go straight to sippy cups - try the sucking type ones

thedangermoose Sat 30-Sep-17 10:37:17

Blueberries you're right I did just do what he wanted** which I was and am happy to do. I always feel like I have to explain myself because it somehow doesn't seem like the done thing at the moment! Maybe that's just my perception.

That's a good tip about the bottle - he loves to drink water from the sippy cup but isn't taking to the bottle with the teat. Perhaps I'll persevere with milk in the sippy cup. Thank you

Goldmandra Sat 30-Sep-17 10:40:08

You didn't do the wrong things at all. You did what nature intended you to do and what your baby needed.

Is there a deadline by which you need/want to have stopped or could you just keep refusing to BF at a certain time of the day, offering milk in sippy cup instead and, once that is established, just extend it?

thedangermoose Sat 30-Sep-17 10:45:13

Well we'd like to start trying for another, and my periods haven't returned yet. If it weren't for that I'd keep breastfeeding for many more months to be honest. Even if I could just cut down a couple of feeds that might help. I just get so worried that he's not getting enough milk that I give up. Plus he seems to compensate over night which is really hard.

couchparsnip Sat 30-Sep-17 10:45:24

I had the same problem. I had breastfed on demand, not used bottles at all up to about the age of 9 months. DD would not take a bottle. I spent too much money on different bottles, teats etc and eventually gave up and tried sippy cups.

After about 3 or 4 false starts she eventually worked out how to use a sippy cup. She would only use the bog standard Tommee Tippee ones to start with too.

Good luck!

thedangermoose Sat 30-Sep-17 10:46:22

Oh couch good to hear a success story.

When you say 3 or 4 attempts - was that 3 or 4 days of trying?

thedangermoose Sat 30-Sep-17 10:47:21

And did she take a good amount of formula when you fed her? Or did it take a while to build up to proper feeds with the cup so to speak?

SleepFreeZone Sat 30-Sep-17 10:48:47

Agreed. Those things were the right things not the wrong things. I'm still breast feeding at 19 months and I have no idea how to give up either. I'm down to morning and night and sometines just night but it's so handy to have boob as an option when he occasionally wakes at 2am.

thedangermoose Sat 30-Sep-17 11:12:03

Sleep yes the boob is so convenient and effective!

Blueberrysandgrapes76 Sat 30-Sep-17 12:06:00

It's feeding at night that affects your hormones so weirdly you might be better off breastfeeding a bit more in day so he doesn't need as much at night... maybe drop to morning and evening then push milk in sippy cup during day? Then drop those other feeds when you can?
You are v lucky you haven't had your period for 9 months! I think mine came back after about 9 weeks despite exclusively breastfeeding. I did get pregnant whilst breastfeeding therefore but had a couple of early losses so my hormones hadn't got back to normal properly I think so would def say make sure your body recovered enough before ttc again but everyone different.

thedangermoose Sat 30-Sep-17 12:38:49

So sorry for your losses blueberries.

It's been very interesting to not have a period for all this time yes!

Interesting what you said about the night feeding - I have heard that sometimes if you stop during the night then your fertility comes back. But that also night weaning is the hardest and best left till last. Thinking about it all makes me feel really tired and incapable! I will try and fill him up in the day and see how that goes.

SleepFreeZone Sat 30-Sep-17 16:05:20

My periods came back after 6 months with both children and regulated around the one year mark. I think you'll find you will start to get your fertility back soon even if you continue to breast feed. If you're happy I wouldn't give up prematurely because of TTC. Unless of course your age is against you and time isn't on your side.

yikesanotherbooboo Sat 30-Sep-17 16:25:27

Agree with above; no need for bottles at 9 months.
I would drop one feed at a time. Is he having ' normal' i.e. Roughly three meals a day with snacks yet? If so I wouldn't worry too much about milk intake in the short term as he is getting lots of nutrients and calories and you could offer milk in the beaker which he could take or leave as he wishes. Then aim to get it down to morning and nighttime feeding.
If he is still messing around with food it will be a bit harder but if let's say you are feeding him first thing bed time and once in night he is getting a fair bit of milk... most babies are quite good with breakfast , milk or water after then keep very busy in the day and give him lots of yoghourt and other calcium rich food to counterbalance less milk and fill his tummy .!
I well remember days of being out of the house 'entertaining' and spoon feeding a baby like a mad thing for hours so that none of their usual cues for breast feeding occurred.
So far it sounds as if you have done everything properly for your baby it will all sort itself very quickly, try not to worry.

Starface Sat 30-Sep-17 17:54:33

So wrt fertility, it's quite individual. I bf my first for almost two years. Periods didn't reappear at all till 18months, and then they were very light. That was when I largely night weaned. But I didn't conceive until 4 months after I stopped, when periods had returned properly. Also, I had a massive hormone surge about 2-3 weeks after completely stopping, although I was only on 2 feeds a day at that point.

Wrt to stopping, I found night times hardest. We just had to go through a few nights of refusals and lots of crying, but me comforting and offering an alternative drink. But I did it at 18 months so there was less nutritional impact than at 9 months so there was less to worry about. If you can even wait until 1 the nutrition is much less of an issue and you won't need a bottle replacement at all.

Rainycity Thu 19-Oct-17 09:03:46

Just wondered how you were getting on OP, as I’m in a similar predicament? My LO will take a sippy cup but only drinks small amounts. Wondered if you’d made any progress yourself?

thedangermoose Thu 19-Oct-17 09:48:31

Hi Rainy! I have been meaning to put an update on here actually and thank everyone for their advice.

So what we actually did was start sleep training. We have been doing the no cry method for about 2 weeks now (we are doing it very gradually and not very strictly) so his has involved the following:

I breastfeed DS at his bedtime and he goes into his cot
We then go to bed, with the agreement that DH deals with the first half of the night (10-2 approx) and I deal with the second half (2-6).
I breastfeed DS at about 2am when he wakes and I take over, and then ideally again in the morning when he's waking up (but sometimes is earlier in the morning but I'm trying to stick to just 3 breastfeeds)

Almost immediately after we started this he started eating a lot more and drinking a LOT more formula. So it seems he was simply getting all his milk needs over night and so didn't want it during the day.

I have to say it's made the most enormous difference to my life, i didn't think I'd been doing that badly but after I started to get some solid blocks of sleep the next day I'd wake up as if I've been in a grey fog for the last 9+ months, something almost akin to depression. I wish we'd done it at 6 months. If I can think of anything else we've done I'll let you know but I think it's literally just the sleep training that has made a huge difference all round. I am aiming to start dropping the night feeds when we get into more of a routine but he is still absolutely desperate to breastfeed most of the time so I think it might be too soon.

thedangermoose Thu 19-Oct-17 09:49:31

I should have added that when we split the night I mean we each go to DS when he cries and he stays in his cot - he is not sleeping with us at all now

Rainycity Fri 20-Oct-17 08:18:28

Wow, that’s great dangermoose! Sounds like things are definitely moving in the right direction! That’s very encouraging to hear. I’ve not tried sleep training so maybe that’s a way forward for us - instead of training I tried bedsharing this week but that’s only made my DS feed more! I know what you mean about that foggy feeling. Is it the No Cry Sleep Solution that you’re following?

thedangermoose Fri 20-Oct-17 19:33:44

Yes bedsharing wasn't helping us at all to be honest, though I loved it and part of me misses waking up and having the little snuggly thing next to me! But a bigger part of me is so happy that I'm finally getting some sleep so that helps.
I think we are doing the no cry sleep solution in a half-hearted way (not positive though as I've not read the book). We are simply putting him down not completely asleep (possibly more asleep than we should but we've decided to save our sanity and do it as gradually as we want). And then we sing to him and pat his belly to soothe him and he eventually sleeps, and then we go to him every time he wakes up and comfort him and soothe him without putting him down completely asleep. I spent weeks dreading starting it and putting it off because I was worried it was going to be a nightmare but it's not been too hard (though saying that I must admit it's been my husband who's done a lot of the hard work). Last night we had the best night ever, DS woke at 1:30, DH put him back to sleep, he then didn't wake till 4 and I breastfed him then, and he then slept till 7am. This might not sound like much but for us this was epic. I have been in such a good mood all day!

Rainycity Sat 21-Oct-17 08:24:37

Thanks for updating us dangermoose, your post inspired me to try a new ‘system’ last night - like you I’ve been a bit scared of introducing sleep training...DS is a wilful little boy and we’re all so tired I’ve felt it quicker and easier all round for me to feed him at night. Last night I held out from feeding after he’d gone down and instead of the usual 3-5 night needs we just had two so I’m really happy with that. DH did more at night and that was key. Hope this was not just a fluke one off!

Hope you had another good night?

thedangermoose Sun 22-Oct-17 19:38:40

Rainy it really does sound like you're in the same boat as us. DS is also very strong willed and not at all placid.

Thursday night for some reason was fantastic, Friday night not so great and last night also not amazing but even these bad nights are so much better for me than before. DH helping out, like you said, has been crucial.

How old is your DS? How was last night?

Rainycity Sun 22-Oct-17 23:11:30

Hi dangermoose, yes it does sound like we’re in the same boat! DS is coming up to 9 months so similar to yours I think. Difficult time for them in terms of developmental changes, teething etc isn’t it.

We didn’t have as great a night last night either, but not awful - feeds at 11pm, 2am, 4am, 6am and up for the day at 7.45 (that’s a late wake up for him!) The latter half was bedsharing though. DH couldn’t settle as easily this time, but if it had been a couple of hours I caved and offered to feed. I know I should have waited longer but I find it hard to hear them both struggling! Also DS is cutting his top two teeth atm so I worry he’s in pain. I need to toughen up! I started expressing to get a frozen supply of BM built up in anticipation of returning to work in the new year. Need to get my head used to the idea that I have to reduce feeds. Fingers crossed we’ll both have a settled night!

Rainycity Sun 22-Oct-17 23:16:19

Sorry just reread my message and realise it’s a bit garbled but think you’ll catch my drift! Sleep deprivation eh! I’ve asked DH as my next bday present to be a night in a hotel on my own so I can enjoy a full night’s sleep - just the Premier Inn up the road! He laughed and said we could do better than that since it’s a treat, but I said that’s all I need! grin

thedangermoose Wed 25-Oct-17 15:34:28

Sorry for the delayed reply rainy! We've had an up and down few days, the usual night is that DH is up several times between 10 and 2 trying to settle DS, and then I come along and breast feed at around 2 and then he sleeps soundly for 3 or 4 hours! Makes me feel quite guilty about the pain they're both going through in the first few hours. We've now got it down to 2 feeds a night because instead of me giving him the bedtime feed, DH puts him to sleep, then I don't feed till the 2am one and the 6am getting up feed. His naps are all over the place though which I really want to sort out. I really think it's true that the better the daytime napping the better he sleeps at night, but today he just had a nap from 10 to 11 and now my DM is trying to put him to sleep but he's taking ages! (Funnily enough she's just sent me a text saying he's finally asleep so that's good.)

How have the last few nights been for you guys? How are the day time naps?

Oh just remembered something else - I gave him a high calorie snack before bedtime the other night and he slept really well - not sure if that was a coincidence but possibly? I keep trying to do it but sometimes he doesn't want it.

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