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Thread: Need help. I'm ready but baby isn't

  1. #1

    Default Need help. I'm ready but baby isn't

    I need any advice on weaning my 1 yr old. Have 3 other kiddos, and never had issues with weaning(#1 i was preggo when we weaned, #2 lost a lot of weight & no millk left, #3 he basically self weaned). this last one DOES not want to give it up. he's a miserable, inconsolable little boy. spent 3 hours with him this morning. he takes a bottle & a cup okay, but definite times he won't want it(he only wants me certain times). He only started taking the bottle and cup a week ago after literally 12 months of trying every cup & bottle known to man.

    we were down to once a day feedings(only on the right, the left side never produced much milk, so we've been exclusive on one side the past few months). the lactation consultant at the pediatrician's office told me friday afternoon to cut him off cold turkey. last i nursed was like 3 am saturday morning. went thru the day okay. sunday, really engorged pumped out ~2 oz. today super engorged. i've been up with him since 3 am today(now almost 2 pm) and he's only slept maybe 1 1/2 hrs. he was really cranky and i made the mistake of nursing him an hour ago(for like 1.5 minutes cuz i was super engorged & he's been clingy so I couldn't put him down to pump). well, i took him off & he's crying like he got punched in the face or something.

    We've had a very rough time nursing since he came home from the hospital after he was born, and I'm just done. I'm also having surgery in a month. Is cold turkey the way to go? Do I still stick with it? Will he stop being inconsolable? I feel like if I do this gradually, I'm going to spend several months waiting for him to be ready.
    Last edited by @llli*m.gee; July 11th, 2011 at 03:06 PM.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Need help. I'm ready but baby isn't

    I am surprised that a lactation consultant would recommend cold turkey weaning! Ouch! (Also that's a major change for a small child to take in so suddenly!) It doesn't sound like it's going so well for you two.

    Some babies are a lot more attached to the breast than others. It sounds like yours is pretty attached! Also, around a year, many babies have a lot of separation anxiety and they're getting their molars, so it can be an especially hard time to wean. I know my little boy would have been very very hard to wean at one, because he actually wanted to nurse more than ever that age. But he did slowly grow out of that, and now he is slowly self-weaning. Every child is different. If there is anything we can do to help you continue to nurse past one (what kind of surgery are you getting?), of course we'd love to help.

    If you are set on weaning, I would do so gradually, and continue with the once a day feedings, or at other times when he would be inconsolable without it (like what you are describing around sleep). You may be able to get it down to nothing by the time you have your surgery, if you only offer the breast after trying every other method of soothing first, consistently. Or unfortunately, you may be right that will take months. There's no easy way to quickly wean a baby, I'm afraid. But right now, he doesn't know why you are doing this, so if you can gently transition away from breastfeeding and to other means of soothing, that will be easiest for him. Good luck.


    You can call me JoMo!

    Mom to baby boy Joe, born 5/4/09 and breastfed for more than two and a half years, and baby girl Maggie, born 7/9/12.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Need help. I'm ready but baby isn't

    I don't think cold turkey is the way to go, but of course that's just my opinion. From my experience it's less traumatic for the child if it's done gradually. I, personally, am in the let-the-child-self-wean camp, but to each his/her own There is a lot going on around a year (developmental milestones, 12 month molars, etc) and the comfort of your breast appears to be very important for him based on what you wrote here. Sometimes it's not about the milk as much as it's about the connection with mama.

    and a part of your post that stood out to me:
    i made the mistake of nursing him an hour ago
    Nursing an upset child isn't a mistake mama it's a mothering instinct.
    ~Jenn~


    mother of 2 boys!
    08/14/98~~03/20/08

    Birth: 7lbs 12oz, 1 year: 22lbs 11oz
    until he self-weaned 4 days before his third birthday ... still on occasion ... and happily

    ************************************************** ************************************************** *****************
    People need to understand that when they're deciding between breastmilk and formula, they're not deciding between Coke and Pepsi.... They're choosing between a live, pure substance and a dead substance made with the cheapest oils available. ~Chele Marmet

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Need help. I'm ready but baby isn't

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*sch.mommy View Post
    I don't think cold turkey is the way to go, but of course that's just my opinion. From my experience it's less traumatic for the child if it's done gradually. I, personally, am in the let-the-child-self-wean camp, but to each his/her own There is a lot going on around a year (developmental milestones, 12 month molars, etc) and the comfort of your breast appears to be very important for him based on what you wrote here. Sometimes it's not about the milk as much as it's about the connection with mama.

    and a part of your post that stood out to me:

    Nursing an upset child isn't a mistake mama it's a mothering instinct.
    also if you are thinking that due to your surgery you MUST wean I can tell you that IME and for many other moms here we were able to make ith through surgeries just fine while still keeping the nursing relationship open
    Autumn
    Moma to *Silas* 10-30-07

  5. #5

    Default Re: Need help. I'm ready but baby isn't

    Sounds like my son, he's just over a year now and mostly loves to breastfeed, and teething alot lately. Everyone says to wean gradually. I was down to 2 feedings a day (morning and night) and since he started teething he wants it 5 times a day. Recently i've cut down to 3, and i've just about had it emotionally. I want to go cold turkey as well, I feel I just can't handle it anymore, I need a break desperately. He can go to sleep without me when i'm not around, and he is happy with his dad, but when he sees me he cries and wants to be held (separation anxiety)? I just think I need to go cold turkey for my own mental health.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Need help. I'm ready but baby isn't

    Going cold turkey (with anything) really hard, and babies just can't understand it. I have absolutely gotten to the point several times with my son where I knew I was going to have to resort to going cold turkey out of desperation if something didn't give. And I was able to stave off my feelings of panic at having a nursling on my body by cutting down the nursing sessions that were least necessary. Are there any boredom sessions? Or habit sessions? Those can be pretty easy to substitute with something interesting (a snack, a new activity, etc). Maybe nurse only at home, so that cuts out NIP. Maybe cut down to up and down from sleeps. There are absolutely ways to meet YOUR need to get your body back for yourself while easing the transition for your little one. And, in my opinion, easing the transition makes the transition easier for EVERYONE, not just the baby. 'Cause when baby ain't happy, ain't nobody happy, right?
    Teal

    25 May 96 and 14 January 08 and 27 February 2012

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Need help. I'm ready but baby isn't

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*duckpond View Post
    And, in my opinion, easing the transition makes the transition easier for EVERYONE, not just the baby. 'Cause when baby ain't happy, ain't nobody happy, right?
    This is it! I think we've all had that "I'm just done!" feeling (I know I have!), but quitting cold turkey is just so difficult for everyone involved. It is definitely not the "easy answer" to being fed up with nursing, that's for sure! Hang in there.


    You can call me JoMo!

    Mom to baby boy Joe, born 5/4/09 and breastfed for more than two and a half years, and baby girl Maggie, born 7/9/12.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Need help. I'm ready but baby isn't

    Yeah, cold turkey is only easy to recommend. It's not easy to actually do! It means an unhappy, confused kid, and it puts you at greater risk for engorgement/plugged ducts/mastitis. So I agree with the PPs: continue to nurse and work on slowly phasing out the nursing sessions.

    Here are some things that helped me drop feedings:
    - Get help. Often babies really want to nurse only when they see mom. But if they spend the day with grandma or daddy, they won't be triggered to nurse by your presence. Sometimes you don't need the full day- just those times when the baby's habit is to nurse (often transition times like bedtime, nap time, wake-up).
    - Offer substitutes. Snacks and sippy cups.
    - Distraction is your friend! Go outside, go to a store- just get away from your regular routine.
    - Avoid your habitual nursing places. If you always nurse in the same chair, avoid it like the plague!
    - Be flexible. Sometimes you will win the struggle and be able to avoid nursing, but sometimes your child will really need to nurse. Sometimes you'll nurse when you could have avoided it, and sometimes you won't when you probably should have. Either way, keep your eyes on the general trend. As long as you are gradually phasing out sessions, you are getting where you want to go.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

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