My ds is 9 months and I want to have him weaned by his 1st birthday. We are starting tonight (dh is upstairs now putting ds to sleep), and we are going to move slowly with this over the next 3 months. However I do have some questions and am in need of some advice.
1. ds doesn't sleep through the night, usually wakes up 2 times to nurse. I am concerned about giving ebm in a bottle at night (because of the sleeping and bottle issue). These nursing sessions will be the last to go for us.. Any thoughts on helping him sleep through the night? or weaning him from these nursing sessions?
2. I have read many articles about weaning and going straight to the cup instead of a bottle. I have tried to give ds ebm in the cup and he hits it to the floor.. (he really doesn't even take a bottle.. at daycare he will only take about 4oz of ebm in the bottle). Any thoughts, suggestions??
3. Am I starting soon enough on the weaning process? I am giving it 3 months slowing taking away nursing periods. How long has it taken others??
4. What has helped with the emotional toll of the mother during the weaning process?? (as I sit downstairs asking all these questions and crying because I am so use to the bond and putting my son to sleep, this is very hard for me..)
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Re: weaning questions
Hello :) This is just my two cents. It doesn't sound to me like you are ready for this, and you shouldn't push yourself into doing something that you don't have to do. Contrary to what you may have been told, breastfeeding beyond a year is very beneficial and fosters a powerful and necessary bond between mother and child. I don't know why you are so set on having baby weaned by 12 months, but I would sure reconsider it. I am a firm believer in child-led weaning and believe that such an approach is much easier on both parties involved. But the choice is ultimately yours to make. :)
Re: weaning questions
I agree that it doesn't sound like you are ready to wean. What's the rush? The World Health Organization recomends all babies be nursed for at least 2 years. The AAP puts no limit on how long breastfeeding should continue after 12 mo, but says it should continue as long as it is mutually desired. I am currently nursing my 13.5 mo and have NO plans of weaning any time in the near future. I hope you find a solution that works for you and your baby.
Re: weaning questions
For what it's worth, I echo what the PPs have said....you really don't sound ready to wean. It's a tough and emotional decision to make and if your heart isn't in it - unless you have a pressing physical/medical/other need to do so - it will be all the more difficult. Your baby will also feel your tension and reluctance and could become clingier about it all as a result. Are there reasons that you feel you MUST get this process started sooner rather than later?
If you do want to try to start decreasing your baby's dependence upon weaning, I would consider trying to remove one 'usual' nursing session of the day and get you and baby used to that first before trying to cut down further. But!! And this is an important one -- probably best NOT to start with a nursing session that is so important to both of you! The one right before bed is a very precious session and - from my understanding talking with lots of other moms - is often the very last one to go when weaning. It's a to reconnect and peacdfully comfort both you and child at the end of the day...a time to ease into the night, etc., etc. It's a beautiful bonding time as you know and were already sounding heartbroken to miss! Just a thought, but that session might be one to hang on to longest?
I do empathize with you. DS is 14 months old and I have started thinking about when he will wean. We have gradually - essentially all at his leading - cut our nursing back to only before bedtime, during the night (2x on a good night!) and, if I'm home during the day (so always on weekends) before naps. Other than that, pretty much not any more! Since it hasn't been introduced forcefully but has come at his lead, this part has gone OK...
Also, there are some books out there that might help you deal with some of the process. Be advised that many - while well-written and containing good info - really DO have a "why you shouldn't wean" as opposed to a "here's help with weaning" slant. One that is a little less like that (but, IMHO still somewhat so :rolleyes: ) is "The Nursing Mother's Guide to Weaning". I've just about finished reading that...
Good luck.......come back and let us know how it's going...