Weaning Ds off the boob(16 Posts)
I'm looking for a bit of advice about getting my bottle refusing/ boob loving Ds weaned off daytime boob.
He's almost 6 months and I will be back at work mid May. I'm happy to keep bf'ing at night and in the morning, but I don't want to be expressing or feeding during work time. I work in the community in loads of different settings, so although I know I could ask for time and space to express, I really don't think it would work for me.
So, I think I need to start getting Ds and my boobs used to less daytime feeds. He is already having solids (purées) and is loving them, having 3 meals a day. (Please no judgements about early weaning, I'm happy with my informed decision and am not looking to discuss it)
He has so far refused everything offered in a bottle, formula, ebm and defrosted ebm, apart from the odd ounce.
i'm quite happy being baby led / feeding on demand, but he has fallen into a pattern a bit like this:
6:30 wake - boob
7:30 -9 nap (usually feeds a bit before sleep)
9 - breakfast
11-12 - nap (usually feeds a bit before sleep)
12- 12:30 - lunch
2-3 - nap (hasn't asked for boob over lunch time for about 2 weeks now)
3 - wake - boob
5-6 - nap (usually feeds a bit before sleep)
6 - dinner
7:30 - bedtime - big boob feed to sleep
I'm thinking of starting to offer a bottle if formula instead of boob for the 3pmish wake every day from next week. This seems like an obvious place to start. I've also started making his morning porridge with formula to get him used to the taste.
If anyone has any suggestions about how / where I can try to reduce the boob, I would really appreciate them. I have a variety of bottles / teats / beakers and cups to try (all failed so far).
Can I ask what you are concerned about? Are you worried about getting nutrients down him when you go back to work? Or are you worried that BF means your body will need you to express in the daytime at work and that's a pain. Either way, I think it's less of a problem than you think.
You have 3 months and that 3 months is a huge stretch in BF terms: if weaning is going well (and it sounds like it is) he will naturally reduce the BF in that time anyway. It's perfectly conceivable he'll have dropped the daytime BF of his own accord by the time you go back to work. At 9 months, if he takes a decent amount of solids and water (taking water from a sippy cup is a useful skill!), he doesn't really need (in nutritional terms) daytime BF or FF: he'll be fine with morning and evening feeds.
Even if he keeps up that level of daytime BF for the next 3 months, you probably won't need to express in the day for your own comfort. A 9 months BF is very well established and you adapt. I went back 4 days a week at 9 months and never expressed at work: boobs were fine. Bottle refusing DS was fine having food/water when I wasn't there and continued with the odd daytime BF when I was with no supply issues. We fed to 19 months when he lost interest.
What I'm saying is: if it's important for you that he take formula now-ish (ie you need to leave him for a decent stretch for whatever reason), then obviously keep persisting, but if you're purely thinking ahead to work and childcare, then don't spend the next three months stressing about it (especially if worrying about it is to the detriment of enjoying time with your baby!)
Really try not to worry or make life difficult for yourself. I went back to work when my bottle refuser was 8.5 months, she was happy to drink water and the odd bit of formula in a cup (only Hipp organic, she didn't like any other one ) until I got home for her to breastfeed. I stressed so much about trying to get her to take a bottle and in hindsight it was a waste of time.
Thank you both for your quick answers.
furry, I think I'm worried about 3 things . Number one being the nutritional thing. I know he will still need milk and don't want to be feeding all night to make up for what he doesn't get in the day when I'm at work. We had a bit of reverse cycling over Christmas when there was lots going on and Ds was too nosy to feed well during the day. It was a killer.
Number 2 is my boobs! I've been lucky that bf'ing has been a doddle so far and I don't want to be getting engorged / uncomfortable at work or risk mastitis. It's reassuring to know your experience. My supply seems quite settled now, so maybe that won't be a problem.
Number 3 isn't s big deal now, but Dh and I have a night away booked in June, and I would feel happier knowing that he's used to a bottle by then. I may even fancy a night out before then and, again, I'd feel happier leaving him if he took a bottle.
needs, it's really reassuring to know your Dd was OK in the same situation. I'm trying hard not to get stressed and caught up in worrying about it. I am a bit of a control freak though and I need to feel like I'm 'preparing' us IYKWIM.
Maybe I'll keep going with the formula with breakfast for now and offer the odd bottle to see how it goes.
Thank you again for sharing your experiences, it's reassuring to know that others have been in the same boat.
I know every baby is different, but for what it's worth, we had no reverse cycling: DS slept through very reliably from 9 - 18 months
when he suddenly decided it was for wimps. It's not inevitable. Presumably your DS wasn't taking solids at Christmas, so he really needed to make up for the day time distraction by feeding all night. At 9 months he'll probably be taking plenty of solids so won't need to compensate in nearly the same way.
Remember that things really do change very quickly: 3 months is half his current lifetime! Really don't worry about June yet- it's ages away and if push comes to shove, if he takes solids and water then he'll be fine for a single night even if he won't take formula in a bottle/cup (especially if he will have it in porridge).
Way too early to worry in my experience. DC2 (nearly 10 months) is not eating very much, BF about 10 times a day and I'm due back at work at the beginning of April. So much can change so quickly, that I've decided not to worry about it until the beginning of March, but as Furry Giraffe says, they'll survive on other stuff at that age even if they stubbornly refuse bottles etc.
I thought that preparing us both was the best thing to do, but I didn't think about how much things might change in the meantime. He really likes food, so that will be a big help I'm sure.
I'll keep offering the formula but your replies will definitely stop me stressing if
when he keeps refusing.
Your boobs will adjust, mine would fill up and then settle relatively quickly, Particularly if you are only dropping one feed at a time. It took me over a month to get my DD to take a bottle, I offered a small bottle of formula on every feed, there was a lot of wastage, but she suddenly started taking it. I tried various bottles and also tried using a doidy cup, in the end a MAM bottle worked for me.
She is eight months now and doesn't have much milk in the day, they have less and less once on solids. When she is at nursery she doesn't have milk at all in the day aa she refuses the bottle there. She just has a couple of bigger evening feeds, it doesn't mean she feeds more in the night. Hope that helps.
Just going through something similar as starting work now and DS is 8 months-ish. I secon hipp organic - mine and a few babies I know seem to like it better. You could try giving via cup of your little one doesn't like bottle.
I'm not so sure that you're unreasonable to be worried about engorgement. I've had a couple of mornings away at meetings and have gone through breast pads and been extremely uncomfortable by the time I got home st lunchtime. I've just bought a manual breast pump to relieve the pressure during my lunch break - just pumping for a bout 5 min - to prevent mastitis rather than to get milk to store as like your job in mine this just isn't feasible. I'll let you know how it goes.
I would add mine doesn't feed when anything fun is going on so tends to wake up 1.5 - 2 hourly at night anyway and thus far has not taken more than 90ml formula per feed during the day. No I have no idea how I will cope with the sleep deprivation once back at work.
Thank you. I've just read another thread where everyone was saying 'food is for fun until they're one' and that makes me worry all over again
I'd definitely be interested to hear how you get on pregnant. I had been wandering about getting a little hand pump.
I will look out for hipp organic as well - any ideas which supermarket sells it?
That is going to be brutal pregnant. Ds slept like a dream for the first 3 months, then it all went to shit. He has just stopped waking every 2 hours and we are now up to 4-6 hour stretches. I really don't want to go back. He is also a nosey bugger and has never been any good at bf'ing out and about. He will happily have some purée shoved in wherever we are so far.
Boots, Sainsburys and Waitrose sell Hipp organic. I get the ready made hipp organic follow on milk at the moment, which the shops don't always have annoyingly. So I usually have to buy online, they normally always have the powder one, it's popular as is meant to be gentler on their tummies. That's what I was told anyway.
Yup sainsburys for hipp organic. It doesn't taste bad unlike others which will remain nameless
may have had some in tea when ran out of milk.
I think the food is for fun until you're one thing is if you're doing BLW not purées. This is probably related to the fact that if you do strict BLW or babe eats what you do they probably aren't skilled enough to ingest much for ages.
My little cherub's appetite for milk is definitely influenced by the meal before. We are doing a weird compromise where some of his food is puréed but he holds preloaded spoons and feeds himself.
Don't take the 'food is for fun' thing too seriously - it's just that milk is perfectly fine to make up the bulk of their intake for a long while, but equally as long as they're having some milk then that's fine if they're eating loads of solids.
By 10 months my DS1 was only having 3 feeds a day and the rest loads of solids, my DS2 is having 10 breastfeeds a day and is just about up to eating a few things at each meal (I have BLWed but not through choice - he's a puree and spoon refuser). Both of them are completely healthy and great.
Thank you! We live in the back of beyond and don't have a sainsbo's or waitrose for about 69 miles! But we have a reasonably close boots and I can order online, so will give it a go.
I'm going to do a day's training on March the 7th. I think I'll see how dh gets on with him and a bottle then before trying anything else.
Now, what else can I worry about ...... ? 😉
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