bottle weaning a breastfed baby
Well, we are right at the year mark. :cheer And now I have a ton more questions! I'm hoping you ladies can help. I work FT, and my mother bottle feeds DS EBM while I am at work, he nurses when I have him.
DS turns a year old on Sunday. So.. my questions:
1. when do we bottle wean? I am leaving some of it up to my mom, as she knows his comfort levels during the day. DS LOVES water..will drink from a sippy, and a cup. Hasn't gotten the hang of a straw just yet, but getting there. He eats solids, she gives him breakfast, snacks and lunch, he also eats dinner with me. My concerns are the days he doesn't eat solids well, I have always felt that BM was always right there to give him what he needs.
2. I want to pump wean... just so tired of pumping. I was thinking starting next week I could begin this, but along the lines of question 1 - should I, or should I wait a little longer...
3. Cow's milk... is it safe to start giving him some now? Seems 4 days isnt going to be a deal breaker. But then, will he be ready in 4 days?? How do you know?
ok, sorry that is a lot all in one post, but I want to be sure we are on the right track! Thanks!
Re: bottle weaning a breastfed baby
Congratulations on getting this far!
At the year mark you can begin to pump wean. Your body can be trusted to make the right amount at this point. I would pump wean gradually over the course of a couple of weeks so that you don't get to uncomfortable from engorgement. Like begin by dropping one session a day until they are gone.
Are you planning on continuing to nurse while you are together? Because if you do that, you don't really have an urgent need to MAKE him like cows milk. I know my son wasn't really interested in it until around his 2nd birthday. And I didn't push it. I didn't need to. He nursed when together and drank water out of a sippy all day with his solids while away from me. As long as you are still nursing your child 3-5 times in a 24hour period you don't need to replace breastmilk. That is still enough.
The recommendation of "At least a year" is a MINIMUM recommendation. It's when you should BEGIN to wean. And pump weaning and replacing bottle feedings with water during the day is a great place to start!. But I agree with your thoughts in terms of solids. I felt the same way and I was actually very diligent with solid food. My son was eating 3 meals a day plus 2 snacks by his first B-day. But the idea that now THAT FOOD would be responsible soley for his nutrition made me very nervous. And that is why it's where you begin. I totally felt like breastmilk filled the gaps. It was gap food the 2nd year.
Also the milk composition really changes after the first year. The level of antibody concentration goes way up. Because it's when kids get moving, are around other kids more and the natural progression is that they will be drinking less of it. So everything they need gets more concentrated.
So YES! Pump wean. But the rest of it, as long as you are feeding 3-5 x in a 24hour period, no pressure on the cow's milk. You have time. Congratulations again.
Re: bottle weaning a breastfed baby
Thanks so much for that response!! :) My plan is to space out my pump sessions until I don't need them anymore. I have not had supply issues and I think my body has adapted very well to all of this, so shouldnt be too hard. And to answer your question,yes!!! He nurses quite a bit at night still, we co-sleep. I am not really wanting to push cows milk unless its hormone free, although I LOVE cows milk.
My mom can go ahead and start bottle weaning him then.... no more pumping and yet he is still going to be able to get important stuff from me!!