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Don't know how to go about weaning from breast...

(13 Posts)
babber Fri 02-Oct-09 11:09:23

DS is 8.5 months old and has never had a bottle. I am starting to think about when i go back to work now and I feeel like i need to start weaning him off the breast during the day so that he won't go hungry when i'm not there.
How on earth do i do this!!???
Going to go straight onto cup as he happily drinks water from a cup, hopwever, I've given him formula a few times in a cup and he tastes it but then immediately wants boob. I am a bit of a wimp and give in to him straight away... i am guessing i will need to toughen up a bit. I'm interested in how others have dealt with this transition?
Another factor is that I feed him to sleep at night (which i will continue to do) but also i tend to feed himn to sleep for most of his naps... the only other way to get him to sleep is by rocking him in his pushchair whoich obviously his carers can do when i'm not around but i would like to be able to put him down in his cot for daytime naps eventually, do you think this will involve sleep trainig? definitely too much of a wimp for any kind of controlled crying. <sigh> life would be so much easier if i didn't have to go back to work....
by the way we are BLW which is going really well and DS eationg a lot but still obviously relying on milk mostly
thanks for any advice!!!

marenmj Fri 02-Oct-09 12:51:02

We are BLW and BF too. DD is 9 months and drinks from a tiny cup (actually a condiment pot grin) at meals. No CC here, no way. I was CC'd very early and think it contributed to a laundry list of attachment issues <another thread>.

We got her to take a bottle by having someone else give it to her. In the beginning she simply wouldn't take it if I was in the room or she could hear my voice so DH gave her the bottle while I went off to mn tidy the house.

It's been about a month and now she will take a bottle from me IF she is laying down in her bed. She won't have it if I'm holding her.

She will simply NOT take expressed milk from a bottle and I have noticed that she will milk-strike if all she is offered is breastmilk from a bottle.

DD used to only go to sleep if bounced in her swing which was starting to be a HUGE rod for our backs. I did some "sleep training" in the sense that I sat it out with her, shushing/patting/rubbing her chest, for a couple long sessions (~45 minutes) to get her sleeping in her bed. I did these during the day for naps and kept to our old routine for bedtime until she was happy going to sleep in the bed. Once that was done I started to use the shush/pat/rub routine at night too. Now it takes about five minutes of shushing and rubbing her chest to get her to sleep.

One tip that I didn't realize was a tip until DH saw me do it and mentioned how useful it was to know: if your DS takes a dummy, with him laying on his back and one hand on his pelvis to keep him from crawling away, just take the dummy out for a couple seconds if he gets whingy, then put it back. It redirects their attention away from how tired they are back to how happy they are to have the dummy. It's got to the point where DD will do this to herself when she is tired and trying to sleep!

Also, keep the one hand on his pelvis while you shush and pat and rub his tummy. It will keep him from rolling around and keeping himself awake.

I'm starting to switch her to bottles between 11am and 8pm because I will be going back to work in a couple months too and want her used to having them during the day.

Did I miss anything?

babber Fri 02-Oct-09 13:45:23

thanks for the reply. perhaps we'll try again this weekend when dh is around. i might have to leave the house though as i crumble to easily if i hear him getting upset (DS not DH). do you think that going 'cold turkey' might work? my mum seems to think that if he was hungry and i wasn't there he would drink formula from a cup (might just be a ruse to get me to leave him with her for a whole day!) i'm not sure as i don't know if he will realise drinking it will stop him from being hungry? part of my confusion is due to DS not really having any particular times he likes to feed, hes always been all over the place... so i'm often not sure when to offer the milk. A lot of the time when he 'asks' for boob i'm sure its because he's tired and he associates it with going to sleep, and theres no way he'll take a cup then. Do you think i should maybe try a bottle rather than a cup? maybe he'll prefer drinking from that? he never has before but i haven't tried him with one since he was about 4 months.
he doesn't use a dummy although there are times when i wish he did!
i think i'll have to try the shush pat technique... sounds promising. i think i've always taken the easy route with evrything since he was born and its all been very relaxed and easy, i'm not used to this having to get into routines and trainig!
thanks again for the help...

Eirlys Fri 02-Oct-09 14:07:15

When are you actually going back to work, and how many days will you be working?
Who will be looking after your DS?

As your mum says, he might make his own mind up what to eat while you are gone, whether he takes more solids or formua. His carers may be able to devise their own way to get him to sleep.

First time I tried leaving DS with DH on a Saturday 2 weeks before I went back to a call at 11 begging me to go back home and so I was very apprehensive. But then I did go back and then it was ok, DH learned his own techniques. DS is 18 months and I still feed 2/3 times a day while I am home, then he is fine all day on the three days I work.

Are the any breastfeeding drop-ins in your area, or any bf-suportive HVs, so you could go and talk through it all with someone? That might ease your confusion and help you decide what you want to do.

good luck smile

marenmj Fri 02-Oct-09 14:15:15

Oh, we still don't have any routines! I had DH give the bottle at bedtime because that's when he was around, during the day I just BF'd.

I didn't go cold turkey as it seemed mean.

The first couple of times he might get upset, but I would make sure your DH is giving the bottle when he is relaxed and not TOO hungry (we do BLW dinner, dunk the messy baby in a bath, then a bottle in bed, so dinner has already taken the edge off). If you've been BF'ing, your DS won't know that he can fill his tummy with a bottle or cup and if he's really hungry he will just get angry that he isn't being 'fed'. IME I don't think your mum will have any luck with the cup as he will just get angrier and angrier.

I bought little 4-oz bottles and DD seems to like that she can hold them herself. I know tesco sells a bottle-to-cup trainer that has a big rubber teat, so that might be another option. FWIW.

Another thing you might want to consider is getting your DS a lovey to sleep with. DD has a crocheted blanket from her gran. She doesn't use it as an attachment object so much as something to worry and grab at when she's trying to sleep.

I found the book "The No-Cry Sleep Solution" had a lot of good tips, but the author's primary suggestion is a bedtime routine, which we just don't do well. DD eats when she's hungry and sleeps when she's tired, end of.

Perhaps you could convince your mum to take him for one afternoon a week and give him a bottle while he is there? That would eventually get the idea in that a bottle will feed him too (and get him used to the taste of formula!) without leaving him hungry the whole day.

We did everything the very easiest way too and it was lovely. I think the semi-training we are doing now is worth the easy, lovely months grin. It's really not so horrible. It took DD about four or five days to adapt to the shush/pat and she only cried one time. The rest she only whinged a bit.

ThursdayNext Fri 02-Oct-09 14:16:26

I went back to work part time when DS was about this age. He had a morning and evening breastfeed and just drank water from a cup in the day when I was at work. And ate food, obviously. It was fine.
Both of mine have had naps in the pushchair, works fine for us. I'm too lazy to try to persuade them to nap in a cot when they seem perfectly happy in a pushchair.

babber Fri 02-Oct-09 16:06:43

thanks so much for all getting back to me. its very helpful to see how other people have managed it and i'm liking the idea of carrying on BF'ing omn the days when i have him (will be working 3 days a week from Dec) - i didn't even think that would be an option - is milk supply affected by not Bf'ing on those days i'm at work? would i need to express? (hope not as i hate expressing!) he'll be looked after by family members so i'm sure we'll be able tp work things out amongst us.
good idea about going to BF cafe, there is one nearby so i might drop in over the next few weeks but already feeleing better about the whole thing.
i think my mum will be more than happy to have him for an afternoon a week to test things out!!!

marenmj Fri 02-Oct-09 23:08:46

Let us know how you get on grin

Eirlys Sat 03-Oct-09 10:23:13

Glad the worry is easing. My maths might be wrong but by December your DS will be 1 year old? In which case if he is getting milk from you morning and/or night you won't have to give any formula at all....Cows milk could be given if he needs a milky "hit".

When I started work (DS 10 months) I expressed twice a day, dropping down to once and now I don't express at all, my milk regulates itself fine, even with DS being a little milk monster on my days off grin. You may want to learn hand expressing/have a pump handy to "relieve" yourself while at work or just after you get home.

Eirlys Sat 03-Oct-09 10:26:59

Sorry I should add that my DS barely ate solids at all until 14 mos so that is why I expressed so much...not because I had rivers of milk...

babber Sat 03-Oct-09 11:07:47

Mine is is really eating solids well (so far) so i guess if he keeps it up then milk just morning and night should be fine for him? He'll be 1 in early jan... i didn't even think about going straight to cows milk - cheaper!!! have wasted quite a bit of formula so far, trying to get him to like it but I can see now that it might not even be necessary. hate the idea of expressing whilst at work, i hate it at home but at least i'm more relaxed here... there isn't really anywhere private apart frokm the toilet cubicles at work!... ah well... the things you do for your babies eh?

ThursdayNext Sat 03-Oct-09 22:25:18

I would have thought that at 10 or 11 months a morning and evening breastfeed would be fine for a baby who is eating well, with extra breastfeeds when you're not at work if that suits you both. Unless you are still breastfeeding loads during the day (too early to tell about this now, a lot changes in 2 months with a baby) I wouldn't think you would need to express in the day, I certainly didn't.

One of the great things about taking a longish maternity leave is that you can just skip bottles and formula entirely if you want to. I didn't use formula at all for either of mine, and DS never really liked cows milk either so we just made sure he had a fair bit of cheese and yoghurt etc.

babber Sun 04-Oct-09 21:43:46

thanks thursday, thats good to hear. i feel i can probably relax about the whole thing now rather than getting hung up on it. (good name by the way... are you the real thursday next??)

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