Advice on weaning off the breast - please.(9 Posts)
I want to stop bf my dd - now 8 months - between now and Christmas.I'm not ready to go cold turkey, physically or emotionally and I don't believe dd is either. However, I don't know the best way to go about it.
She is fairly samll so calorie intake is important (and another reason for going abou tit slowly). She is beginning to use a cup - no spout as yet - to take small amounts of milk, butI wouldn't rely on this as a method of feeding at the moment. We're hoping to build it up over time.
As we see it, there are three kinds of feed and we don't know which one to try and drop first.
1) Daytime/ normal feeds including feeding to sleep for naps.
2) A big feed before bed.
3) Nightime feeds - she usually has one at 1, 4 and then is very wakeful, sucking and napping until 6ish.
We think that the daytime feed is not the one to drop first. We think probably the bedtime one as DH can take over from me so whe won't smell the milk (not really a possibility for the other two). However I'm worried that she may both sleep worse if this feed is dropped and replaced with a bottle or her calorie intake will drop too much.
She eats solids reasonably well but I don't really rely on this for her main calorie intake.
I really need to see a way forward with this and I would greatly appreciate help. It's getting to feel a bit pressured because I don't know waht's best and I don't seem to be able to find any advice about weaning off the breast, except cold turkey.
Personally, I first dropped feeds which coincided with a normal meal, replacing them with a beaker. I clung onto any which resulted in a sleep!
Cold turkey isn't recommended because you'll end up engorged and susceptible to mastitis. You're meant to drop one feed every so often.
I've only just stopped feeding DD (2.6) and was left with the bedtime feed and occasionally a naptime feed if I really really needed her to go to sleep and she wasn't cooperating. By dropping feeds slowly, you get to make a decision each time about what level of feeding you're comfortable with and you can stick at that level until you decide to drop another feed.
I am introducing a beaker during the day, but was concerned that if she had less breast milk during the day, and little formula because she's not good at drinking it, she would want to feed more at night.
susie I am planning to start weaning nathan when he is 8 months next month and I am going to start with a bedtime bottle in the hope that this will help him sleep better. Have you definitely decided not to use a bottle? Could you not get a bit more formula in that way? Having said that Nathan refused a bottle last time we tried, but now with solids is used to all sorts of things in his mouth so we live in hope.
I don't mind using a bottle at all. It's just she thinks it's a toy an duses it as a drum!
a lot of people recommend holding onto the bedtime feed till last, so you still enjoy that lovely snuggly sleepy feed, plus dropping the late afternoon feed means your milk is then bumped up for that last feed. I BF DS till he was 1, but once I'd started weaning him, i also started introducing formula, so that by the time he turned 12 months we had just about dropped all feeds. i think IIRC that once he was on 3 little meals a day, i no loger offered a BF in the daytime - he was too much of a wriggler to BF in the day anyway, so I just offered a bottle of formula before his day time naps (be prepared to throw a lot down the sink in the early days - I expressed a lot at this stage, to get him used to the bottle - and it was easier to pour EBM down the sink than formula I'd had to pay for!)
It might be worth trying a bottle for the night feeds once you can get her to take the bottle - as DH can step in then too and it might just break the habit of her waking (can't swear by this one sorry, DS still wakes for the odd feed now at 18mo!)
That's a good idea, beth. We'll hold fast on the nighttime bottle until she's got the hang of it in the day.
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