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how do you know when your baby wants to stop bf?

(11 Posts)
HormonesAGogo Wed 03-Sep-08 11:26:28


just that question really, everything I hear about bf says "you can continue for as long as you and your baby want to", sometimes my dd (7 1/2 months) seems quite keen and sometimes she sucks a bit then when the milk comes in gets quite angry and pushes boob away in favour of playing with my bra straps/hair/anything she can see grin! she is also getting very good at drinking ebm out of a cup and I'm wondering if she might want to stop bf?
So how do you know when your baby wants to stop?

ta in advance smile

domesticslattern Wed 03-Sep-08 11:53:24

Have just been talking with my HV about this this morning. DD is the same age and acting in the same way. HV told me not to worry about dd going off the boob, so long as she is taking in lots of fluid and is not constipated. My DD has a morning bf from me, a little EBM in her breakfast (we're talking 2 or 3 ounces) and that's it- usually refuses the boob for the rest of the day. Sometimes wants some in the night, and has a (small) bottle of formula before bed. She is a very good eater and water drinker, and I make sure she has plenty of yoghurt, cheese etc. and also have been advised to give her vitamin drops.

Our babies are growing up! I'll keep on with the morning feeds as long as she wants it.

Notanexcitingname Wed 03-Sep-08 12:19:09

Can't answer at length right now, but have a look at kellymom.

Selfweaning (child stopping breatfeeding) very rarely happens before age 2, 18months-7 years is considered the normal range.

Before a year, milk should be main nutrition; your (very) young babies are just showing normal signs of distractability. Wean if you want to, but it's not selfweaning.

domesticslattern Wed 03-Sep-08 12:31:12

I agree it's good to keep offering in case our LO's are just distracted. However, my DD becomes increasingly enraged, and we went through a few weeks of me offering several times a day, and her just getting more and more angry, pushing it away, schreeching, shouting etc. So I really do believe that she is growing up and self-weaning. I should add that maybe she is a little older- 9 months.

I am not sure meself that up to 7 years is the "normal range" round these parts. hmm but each to their own.

CantSleepWontSleep Wed 03-Sep-08 13:02:53

ds - 7 may not be the norm round your parts, but that simply means that the norm there isn't to wait until the child chooses to self-wean.

The vast majority will self-wean between the ages of 2 and 4, so to answer the thread title, they will tell you.

HormonesAGogo Wed 03-Sep-08 15:32:01

just to be clear before anyone starts getting snippy with me, I am not weaning dd off the boob yet, I have no choice but to work and she drinks ebm from a cup when I am at work, I was just asking what signs she might show when she wants to stop bf, like I said she already often drinks ebm from a cup better than she bfs, even when I am around - for example the other day I ended up giving her ebm in a cup then I sat there expressing in front of her as she had refused my boob! I was really looking for advice on what sort of behaviour they show when they want to wean.....

Notanexcitingname Wed 03-Sep-08 16:55:15

HormonesaGOG, I was addressing your question, in a roundabout way. If you look at teh ages of self-weaning, you'll see that you don't really need to watch for behaviour

"I'm a big girl, I don't need mummy milk today" would be a pretty good sign

"no mummy, no time for milky, I have *things to do*, trains sets to play with"

But once you have to do things like leave them, offer EBM etc (no snippyness from me, I worked from when ds was 6 months), you are inadvertantly encouraging weaning; this is not the same as them ebign ready to wean or wanting ti stop bf'ing.

I strongly believe it cannot be natural behaviour for a baby to want to give up it's main source of nutrition (which milk should be, at less than a year). We'd have died out long ago, if so.

PortAndLemon Wed 03-Sep-08 17:01:06

CSWS -- don't you contradict yourself there? You say "7 may not be the norm round your parts, but that simply means that the norm there isn't to wait until the child chooses to self-wean" but then agree that the vast majority will self-wean between the ages of 2 and 4, which meansthat 7 would be highly unusual.

OP -- around 7 months is when they go through a highly distractible stage. It's not that they want to stop bf but that they want to look at everything going on around them. At that age I used to feed DS in a quiet darkened room for a couple of months until he'd settled down, and it saw an end to our nursing in public (the outside world was just faaaaar too interesting!).

IME when they want to stop bf they just stop. It's hard to explain how that's different from getting distracted from feeding until you've experienced it, though (although I appreciate that's not a lot of help to you).

CantSleepWontSleep Wed 03-Sep-08 18:09:17

Picky picky PAL wink, but I don't believe that I did contradict myself, no.

NAEN says that the normal range is 18 months - 7 years, which I'd agree with. But the most common time (so arguably the median range), is ages 2-4.

HAG (what an unfortunate abbr of your name!) - I'm not sure who you thought was being snippy, but I hope it wasn't me. DD hasn't yet weaned (she's 2.7), so I can't tell you from experience about signs you might see at your dd's age (outside the normal range), but my expectation at dd's age (within the normal range), would be for her to tell me, hence my earlier response.

TinkerBellesMum Wed 03-Sep-08 18:27:48

Around that age it's often better to go into another room, keeping things quiet and dark as they're starting to realise there is a world around them that they're missing out on. It will pass when they start to learn object permanence and realise it will all be there when they've finished. You may also find feeds only last a few minutes at a time.

Caz10 Wed 03-Sep-08 20:34:42

my dd is 9mths now and has been like this from about 6mths onwards - i now only feed her at home too as it was too much of a struggle out and about, and even at home it pretty much just has to be in the same place (sitting on the bed). If she gets hungry when we're out and about I can normally "fob her off" for a brief spell with a snack, or sometimes a 2 second quick feed then she's off again. We recently went away for the day, and I thought she would have to take a bf at some point, but no, too nosey, just had a mammoth feed when we got home about 6hrs later! I was so worried about it though!

I'm going to buy the book "How weaning happens" i think, have heard it recommended on here quite often.

when i feed her at home and when i am with her all day (ie not at work)she still takes 3hrly feeds more or less, plus night feeds

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