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When is best to stop bf?

(24 Posts)
littlemisssplendid Wed 30-Jul-08 15:12:20

Sooooooo, I'm thinking ahead here.
Have been bf for over 3 months now and hope to carry on a bit longer as I'm enjoying it. Dd will take a bottle of ebm (and on a few occasions formula)so that's not a problem.

However, thinking ahead I realise that I will have to transfer her onto formula at some point as I cannot bf for a full year (work etc). So when is best to do it? At weaning time? A bit later? I'm not looking forward to the faff of bottles and sterilising etc so is there a point when they need fewer bottles throughout the day?

Lots of questions, I know, but hopefully someone will be able to answer.

cornflakegirl Wed 30-Jul-08 15:20:23

You don't have to move to formula just because you go back to work (although obv it's your choice). I went back to work fulltime when DS was 7 months, and I think he was on about 5 feeds a day by then. I fed him first thing and and bedtime, and I think when I got in from work. Expressed a couple of times during the day, and sometimes fed him at lunch time (DH would bring him in).

When he was around 10/11 months, and I think down to 3 feeds a day, his lunchtime feed became formula as I couldn't express enough. But I still feed him morning and night now (he's 3.2).

Anyway, I think my point is - there are lots of ways to do it - see what works for you at the time!

TinkerBellesMum Wed 30-Jul-08 15:21:38

A lot of women do manage to continue to breastfeed when they return to work. Baby adapts to the new cycle and feeds more when Mum is home, especially once they have started on solids.

At 10 months Tink dropped down to one feed a day.

bythepowerofgreyskul Wed 30-Jul-08 15:22:09

depending on when you have to go back to work you may find you don't need to transfer to formula at all, as she gets older she will feed less and if you are going back when she is 9 months (guess) you could get away with a morning and night feed and her having water during the day.

amner Wed 30-Jul-08 16:16:52

I made the 'mistake' of assuming that my DD needed to be off the breast when I returned to work after 12m. It was stressful as I thought I had a deadline to meet in terms of finishing, compounded with my worries about returning to workbut we managed it.

Looking back... if I'd have known I could feed morning and night I would have done it that way instead.

I guess if this is the way you want to do it, then replace the day time feeds first.

Sorry, no idea about number of bottles etc.

littlemisssplendid Thu 31-Jul-08 19:50:54

Thanks for the advice, reackon I'll keep going to at least 6 months.

I suppose what I really wanted to know is when is it easiest to stop?

Now I've written that I've realise that it sounds a bit selfish!!

ElenorRigby Thu 31-Jul-08 20:03:34

12 months beyond that it not nutritionally needed for baby but some mums like to carry on for other reasons

StellaWasADiver Thu 31-Jul-08 20:06:00

??? Elenor???

pinkspottywellies Thu 31-Jul-08 20:10:48

Elenor that's bollox.

Littlemisssplendid. I think every mum and baby are different so no-one can really tell you when or how it will be easiest to stop. Good advice about carrying on when you do go back to work but I think that you'll just have to take it as it comes and decide a lot nearer the time.

I know that's hard if you're the type who likes to plan (I am!) but just take it a day at a time for now! Great that you're enjoying it though and dd's doing so well.

pinkspottywellies Thu 31-Jul-08 20:17:14


World Health Organisation

Just to back up my assertion that you're talking bollox Elenor smile

ElenorRigby Thu 31-Jul-08 20:17:25

Wellies thats bollox beyond 12 months most nutrition is from solids.

StellaWasADiver Thu 31-Jul-08 20:22:30

Does breastmilk suddenly have no calories when the baby is 12 months then?

Elenor I don't understand what you're saying.

pinkspottywellies Thu 31-Jul-08 20:32:28

Elenor, did you just say the World Health Organisation talk bollox about infant nutrition? Where are your sources?

onwardandupward Thu 31-Jul-08 20:38:54

And, Elenor, why are you saying that it's the mums who want to carry on? Are the babies preferences completely irrelevant? Many children prefer to carry on beyond a year, however willing or unwilling their parents are. Do you have isshoos about breastfeeding?

littlemisssplendid, honestly truly the easiest time to stop is when your child has had enough. That might be sometime around a year, it might be nearer 2 (quite a lot stop at 2). If you're going back to work, then you might well find that your baby wants a morning feed and an evening feed and maybe a reassuring one in the night, but is completely ok with not being breastfed during the day or out and about or anything.

And if you're breastfeeding on those terms then, as I say, the lazy-mummy solution is just to drift on happily until the baby is content to have a drink of water at those times instead.

pinkspottywellies Thu 31-Jul-08 20:42:43

Agree about lazy solution OnandUp!! I carried on because it was the do nothing way!!

Bumperlicious Thu 31-Jul-08 20:52:57

You are right Eleanor, some mums do like to carry on for other reasons, comfort, bonding, antibodies, placating, hormones released in both mum and baby to calm them down etc. All very very good reasons to continue. Oh, and the nutritional value too grin

Littlemisssplendid, I would just take it a day at a time. I went back to work went DD was 9.5 months and expressed. About a month later I stopped being able to expressed and she just had cow's milk while I was at work.

If you do want to stop I think the advice is to drop (replace) on feed a week to avoid discomfort.

Flightputsonahat Thu 31-Jul-08 20:55:16

I haven't much advice to offer but with mine it has been when it felt appropriate for me - ie when I'd had enough. That was because I've ended up with recurrent mastitis both times around a year, so I stopped at 16mo last time and this time it might be a bit earlier sad
Just hoping I can continue morning or night or something, I've just made ds2 a bottle and seeing if he'll take it.
I've been feeding probably at least 8 times a day till now. I don't know how usual that is.

TinkerBellesMum Thu 31-Jul-08 20:58:36

BM is perfectly balanced for any human, if you could get enough there is no reason why an adult couldn't survive on it so to say that there is no value to it after a particular age is complete rubbish. And not all babies do eat more solids than take BM, some don't start solids till after they're one.

Nellmum Thu 31-Jul-08 20:59:28

it can feel a bit daunting the idea of carrying on till one or two years even if you are enjoying it. i was loving it but ds started getting distracted and not really into it by six months then he got two teeth and began chewing! so i have stopped now. bottles and sterilising are no where near as annoying as i thought they would be and i know breast is best and all that but i wanted to keep my nipples thank you very much!

LittleMissBliss Thu 31-Jul-08 21:12:31

D.S is nearly 9 months and i'm thinking of going back to work part time.

I think i will express a little. But ds will only take between 2 and 3 oz per feed from a bottle and would rather wait for me and have a propper feed.

I think i'm going to bf until 12 months (ish) and ease off slowly. I would like 3 months off before we want to try for dc2. I would like to have a little time not being pregnant or bf.

I may bf for longer or tadem feed but i think i'll just see how things go. I think it's nice to have goal but nice to let your dc self wean if possible.

LittleMissBliss Thu 31-Jul-08 21:13:40

nice*r to let your dc self wean.

I wish i could write a post without having to correct myselfblush

love2sleep Thu 31-Jul-08 22:16:45

hi lms
For me with both my boys it was about getting a balance between giving them as much bf as possible while not putting too much pressure on myself when I went back to work at 6 months.

For both my boys they were down to 3 milk feeds a day so what I did was to always bf for their early morning and late night feeds. Then for the third daytime feed I was really flexible. I bf when I was at home, I expressed as much as possible on workday evenings and then shock I topped up with formula as necessary. Actually I ended up using very little formula but I think the fact that I was laid back about being prepared to do this made the whole things much less stressful. In my case I was really lucky in that I never had any supply problems. We kept going like this until about 12 months and then dropped the daytime and then the morning feed. I'm still feeding ds2 at night (15 months).

What makes all this difficult is that so much changes when you go back to work and it is hard to know in advance what will work. Everybody's experience is different and we all come up with our own solutions. I'd say just make sure you know what all the options are, try and make a "plan A" but accept that you may need to be flexible.

Sorry if that was rambling. I remember getting in quite a state over just this issue with both the boys and it all worked out just great smile

Notanexcitingname Thu 31-Jul-08 22:49:56

To add my voice:
Elenor is talking bollox wink. If milk is nutritionally unnecssary, why does evryone go on any children "having at least a pint a day". Why should that milk be cow's milk?

And, as Bumperlicious pointed out, the pluses are more than nutritional.

mybabywakesupsinging Fri 01-Aug-08 01:19:42

I guess all babies are different, but both of mine dropped themselves to 3 feeds a day once thy'd been on solids for about 2 months - so easier then? ds1 then self-weaned at about 11 months (grabbed cups and downed the contents), ds2 still feeds am and night at 15 months. He's very flexible, though - I can get home from work at 1 and he'l wake and feed then, and his am feed is anything from 5 am to 9ish at the weekend. I was very worried about going back to work without getting ds2 onto a bottle/cup (refusenik baby) because of the irregular hours but actually it was fine (and just now he is discovering cups have nice things in...)

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