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Support needed to stop BF 15 month old

(9 Posts)
mmelody Sun 12-Oct-08 19:54:25

Hi, My DS is a complete boobaholic and much as I have loved breastfeeding him, I have started to think more and more about stopping. I think about stopping every day but then think of lots of reasons to continue... mainly to do with the fact that he just LOVES it so much smile
I kind of talk myself out of stopping but then it starts again the next day and I find myself going round in circles. I know I want to stop because I would be pleased if he were to self wean right now (absolutely zilch chance of that happening) I guess that I just feel so damn guilty about it. Its such a huge part of my relationship with him.. I was determined to get to 6 months and never intended to keep it up for so long and im glad that I managed to because we have both really enjoyed it.

I started back at work part time 3 months ago and he happily goes without a BF when I am away from him during the day but as soon as I am back he is desperate to feed. I have just had a week off work and he has been boobie obsessed which I have found quite exhausting sad I night weaned him around 12 months as he was still waking to feed 2-3 times a night. His sleep is still rubbish and I wonder how I will ever get him to sleep without that last breastfeed.. AGGHHH I guess I just need to offload it all, I feel really sad about wanting to stop if that makes any sense??

Anyone else considering stopping breasfeeding a toddler? Or any stories to share about how you managed the transition would be gratefully recieved. I am so worried about him being sad and I want to make it as painless as possible for the both of us.

RuthChan Sun 12-Oct-08 20:22:26

Stopping breast feeding can be hard, but it sounds like you've ok so far, weaning him at night and not feeding him during the day while you're at work.

I weaned my DD at 13 months.
I too had already weaned her off night feeds, but she still fed on demand during the day. (I worked at home and was therefore there whenever she wanted a drink.)

I cut down her feeding gradually. I cut out feeds during the day by distracting her or offering alternatives when she wanted to feed.
When she was hungry I offered food and snacks. When she was thirsty I offered water or cow's milk. When she was sleepy or wanted to comfort feed I gave her a cuddle or took her for a walk in the pushchair to help her sleep. When she was bored I played or read books with her to distract her.

I left her early morning feed and bedtime feed until last, but it didn't take long to cut out the rest of the daytime feeds.
It then wasn't as long as I expected before she realised that she hadn't needed to BF as much as she thought she did and was ready to sleep with a cuddle and a drink of warm cow's milk rather than a BF.

I wonder if something like this would work with your DS?

mmelody Sun 12-Oct-08 20:46:12

Thanks Ruth.. yes i think that your plan sounds like it may be the way forward for us. I guess I am just going to have to make a start and stick to the plan. Can i ask why you wanted to stop? I sometimes feel that my reasons are selfish (though perfectly valid)

Neenztwinz Sun 12-Oct-08 21:01:12

Read this in the La Leche League book yesterday... don't know if your LO is too young to understand tho. It suggested only feeding in a certain room, somewhere quiet, boring, unstimulating, so maybe your LO won't want to do it so much. Also only feeding lying down.

You have fed your DS for 15 months which is amazing, don;t feel bad for wanting to stop!

mmelody Sun 12-Oct-08 21:12:51

Thanks Neenztwinz. The fist and last feeds of the day are always upstairs on my bed so maybe I will try and cut out all the daytime snacky ones first. I will just have to spend a lot of time stood up!

glitterkitty Sun 12-Oct-08 21:30:16

Hi mmelody! will be watching this thread with intrest.

I'm in the same boat- my ds is 17 months now and I feel awful wanting to stop, mainly because of (to be honest) pressure from other people- much as you read lots on mumsnet about extended bf it dosent seem to pass into rl- at least where I live! I know people are starting to think I'm a bit weird... or that classic 'your doing it for YOU' rubbish hmm

Having said that if it was up to me -and he was happy I'd wean tomorrow. But no chance!

Have pretty much got him used to going from 7am till his nap feed at 10am, then until about 4-5ish but by then he is desperate. I still feed through the night (usually 2-3 times).

When he starts grabbing at my top when we are out asking for num num blush I do feel awful saying no. He claps his hands in joy when I do let him... sad

I'd love to night wean- but cant imagine how on earth you did it! Do tell!

BabiesEverywhere Sun 12-Oct-08 21:37:56

There are some good suggestions on stopping breastfeeding within this thread, if that is what you decide to do.

You sounded very unsure if weaning was right for you and your son and thought I would post a positive post about nursing toddlers in case it helped you made a decision one way or the other.

As you have found out already, toddlers can do without nursing when you aren't around and use nursing as a way to connect when you come back home. It is a really good way to encourage your toddler to slow down and get ready to sleep before a nap or in the evening, soothes an ill or hurt toddler and is currently an important part of your relationship with your son.

Toddlers need loving limits and that can mean introducing nursing manners for the sanity of the mother !!! It is not necessarily a nothing or all situation, you could choose to limit the frequency or durations of your nursing sessions downward to a level which is acceptable to both of you.

Just to reassure you, he will wean one day. Even if you let him continue to fed on demand, he is very likely to self wean between 2 and 4 years old.

Maybe if you limit or cut down on the nursing sessions slowly, it will become apparent where you need/want breastfeeding to fit into your life. But don’t forget all the positive and cuddly bits of breastfeeding which might warrant keeping a nursing session in somewhere.

mmelody Mon 13-Oct-08 20:28:06

Thanks for the input ladies.

glitterkitty Your DS sounds very much like mine. My DS pokes my chest and says 'boo boo' and headbutts my boobs. If I say yes his eyes light up and he gets into position... its so cute. Like you I am going to try and get down to three feeds a day to start with and then go from there. I am sorry you are feeling pressure from others to wean...thats crap but like you I dont know anyone in rl that is an extended BF. I am lucky as my family/friends are supportive (and those that may not be would not dare say anything wink) Id love to be able to have a rl life conversation with ext BF mums to discuss in detail all the emotions attached to it all. Thank goodness for mumsnet eh!!
Night weaning wasn't too difficult. We co-slept for the first 12 months but nobody was getting ANY sleep due to DS frequent (sometimes hourly) wakings to feed. We put him in his own cot in his own room and he when he woke up I would cuddle and settle him back to sleep and just offered water from a beaker. He was OUTRAGED on the first couple of wakings but soon got the gist and it only took 3 nights to get him sleeping for longer periods. He still wakes regularly at 4-5am but its a massive improvement on before. It was nowhere near as difficult as I thought it would be.

BabiesEveywhere you are maybe right in that I am indeed unsure if weaning is for me.. the thing is that up until 2 months ago I LOVED BF and its only recently that I have been thinking about wanting to stop and im not sure where its come from as nothing has really changed... I still enjoy our BF relationship, I just imagine that my life would be much easier and if I wasnt BF. I know its possible to go away for an evening and even have the odd night away and you are right that it doesnt have to be an all or nothing situation. I think that maybe I need to take a little control over the feeding.. I have felt a little overwhelmed by it lately. I will aim for 3-4 feeds initially and gradually reduce ideally to morning and before bed.
I know from your other posts that you are tandem feeding atm. Hats off to you, what a woman! smile

Thanks to you all once again.

RuthChan Tue 14-Oct-08 07:49:02

Hi again

My reasons for weaning DD were quite selfish in their own way too.
I had been feeding her for more than a year and, although I enjoyed it and found it convenient and easy, I was also starting to want my body back and was getting quite tired.
However, I probably would have carried on longer except that DH and I were starting to think about conceiving DC2. (DD took 1.5 years to concieve and we didn't know how long we'd have to try the second time.)
I didn't get my periods back until I actually stopped BFing. (I stopped in December and they returned in January.)
That was big incentive to stop sooner rather than later.

With DC2, who is due next month, I am more likely to carry on BFing for longer...but who knows???

With regards to how I stopped BFing at night...
I started by judging it partly by time.
I tried to think about why she was asking for a feed. If it was only a couple of hours or so since her bedtime feed, I assumed that she was more likely to be asking for comfort than through hunger.
I therefore gave her a nappy change and a cuddle and helped her get back to sleep without feeding her.
If it was 4.00am or later, I assumed that it was long enough since her last feed to be hungry and therefore allowed her to feed back to sleep.

This worked really well for me.
For the first couple of nights she cried a lot and it took a lot of cuddling to get her back to sleep, but it really didn't take long for her to realise that she wasn't going to get fed and to stop expecting it. Then she was happy for me to cuddle her back to sleep instead.
It was the first time she had ever gone to sleep without BFing, but she soon got used to it.
I did that at 9 months.
I then weaned her off the rest of her feeds and onto cow's milk at 13 months.

The timing of weaning is a very personal thing and I hope that you can decide on when to do it through your own judgement and your relationship with your own DC rather than due to any pressure from those around you. It's nobody's business but your own.
I have plenty of friends who have fed for 2 years and beyond.

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