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Thread: Nursing too much?

  1. #1
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    Nov 2011
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    Default Nursing too much?

    So DD is 11 months old and still nurses about 7 times a day (including 2 at night). Her solids intake is not very much (probably because she's full from nursing!), only about 6 oz total in a day (including purees and table. Ideally, I would like to get down to 5-6 nursings by her 12 months check up with a lot more table foods. Any suggestions on this, without weaning? Currently, I nurse her twice at night, 1st thing in the morning, before morning nap, after morning nap or after lunch, before afternoon nap, after the afternoon nap, and before bed. Thanks in advance ladies!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Nursing too much?

    Is there some reason why you want to force a rapid change in food sources in just one month? Transition to solids is a pretty slow process for some babies. My son was nursing 8-12x a day at that age, and not eating much in the way of solids. He did pick up on solids and was eating them reliably on his own terms by 15 months, but it was a very gradual transition. I think you risk a lot of issues and can potentially create a lot of mealtime tension by trying to force a baby to eat. You could try dropping one nursing session and seeing if your baby chooses to eat a little more in terms of solids, but weaning generally isn't recommended until after 12 months.
    K. Sophia - Mama to my little lactivore, the amazing Mr. X (11/10).

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Nursing too much?



    also, you already ARE weaning ... as soon as your baby started solids, that was the beginning of weaning. 6 oz is more solids than my 12 month old eats, but he's starting to very clearly demand more and nurse less, just in the last week or two, without me doing anything.
    DS1 6/7/11
    DS2 10/29/13

    Nursing, pumping, cloth-diapering, babywearing, working professor mama with the awesomest SAHD ever.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Nursing too much?

    Good advice from the PPs. I am also wondering why you're worried about this now. If you're comfortable nursing past a year, the likelihood is extremely strong that within just a few months your baby will start eating more solids and dropping nursing sessions without you having to do anything.

    If you're concerned that breastmilk "isn't enough" for your baby, and that she needs to be eating a mostly solid food diet by age one, you can stop worrying. Breastmilk alone meets all a baby's needs until somewhere around the first birthday, with many babies consuming a diet which is mostly breastmilk until well into the second year.

    If you're looking to drop feedings because you are eager to wean, then our advice is going to be somewhat different. So let us know what your goal is, and hopefully we can help you meet it.
    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!"

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Nursing too much?

    If you want to get down to fewer nursing sessions, it sounds like eliminating one session would get you to your goal. So you could pick a session that you would most like to eliminate (or you think your baby could "do without" the most easily,) and go ahead and eliminate it, and see what happens. This-reducing nursing sessions one at a time and very gradually-is a weaning technique that will possibly lead to earlier rather than later weaning. If you find that eliminating the session causes distress in your baby, you can add it back in. Weaning need not be an entirely linear process.

    But I do agree with the previous posters that your baby’s current nursing pattern is entirely healthy and normal. Even at 11 months, a baby "should" be getting the majority of their nutrition from breastmilk. (Or formula if not breastfed.) In fact, the nutritional density of breastmilk is so far beyond that of "solid" foods that many babies continue to thrive and grow well past a year on mostly breastmilk. At what age, exactly, a baby or child tips over from a mostly breastmilk diet to mostly "grown up" food varies tremendously among healthy children, just as all developmental milestones do.

    So I would say, if you are wanting to encourage weaning for yourself, that is one thing. If you are being pressured by others to make a switch from mostly breastmilk to mostly solids by a year, that is different.

    I know that some people think a baby will not take solids well if they are still getting "too much" breastmilk. I had a pediatrician tell me that once. But I am not sure if that is always the case. When they are ready for them, eating solids is fun for kids, often interesting, and they typically enjoy trying new things. But "readiness" will vary so much! My two sons were introduced to solids at exactly the same age (around 6 months) and both continued to breastfeed voraciously, but my oldest was eating solids three times a day by 8 months or so, while my youngest only started eating solids with any regularity-about once a day-at about 14 months. Years later, both are healthy boys and good eaters.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Nursing too much?

    Thanks for the advice ladies, I knew I could find good support here! And meg, you guessed it, I feel pressured to not entirely wean, but at least reduce nursing sessions. The pedi recommends 3 meals and 1-2 snacks and 3-4 nursing sessions at 12 months, so that's why that was my goal. However, I also want her to start sleeping mostly through the night (I would be okay with 1 waking a night), and it seems that if she has a really big solids dinner that she does sleep better at night, but I don't know. But I also found out today that she has a minor cow's milk allergy, so now I'm not sure what I'm going to do when I go back to school in the fall. I take night courses, so I won't be home 3 nights a week for her to nurse before bed, but that's an entirely seperate issue (Our freezer went bad and I lost all my milk and now I have 'just enough' for LO). The other thing is DH and I were hoping to go on a couple's retreat in August or September to try to reconnect, which can't happen if she's not eating enough solids. And yes, I know that BM should be her primary food source for at least a year, but I hear about all these other mother's that are only nursing 5 times or less a day and I get a little...not jealous, but frustrated because even though DD nurses so often she is still underweight (the 9th %) and even more so since she got sick and lost about 6 oz (which put her back under 17 lbs).

    phi--there already is a lot of mealtime tension...It's getting better (most days), but I still get frustrated when I get food out and she won't even try it, or all she wants is water and cheerios! She's constantly standing in the highchair (the strap only goes around the wait and legs, but doesn't tie LO down enough because the back part of the strap is too long and not adjustable), and if I tried to feed her in my lap, she still stands, but then is also looking around at everything (though there is nothing new to see) except for her food. I've tried table foods, purees, feed her when I eat, when I'm not eating, everything. Seems like the only time she eats well (and really only pureed food) is in public (at the park, a restaurant, etc), but I think that's because she's hungry, but SHE doesn't like to NIP (she is way too easily distracted).

    Thanks again ladies, I hope to check back soon!

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Nursing too much?

    Ped could be wrong What is so magical about that number? Sme toddler that age need to nurse MORE because of teething. Just to warn you
    Susan
    Mama to my all-natural boys: Ian, 9-4-04, 11.5 lbs; Colton, 11-7-06, 9 lbs, in the water; Logan, 12-8-08, 9 lbs; Gavin, 1-18-11, 9 lbs; and an angel 1-15-06
    18+ months and for Gavin, born with an incomplete cleft lip and incomplete posterior cleft palate
    Sealed for time and eternity, 7-7-93
    Always babywearing, cosleeping and cloth diapering. Living with oppositional defiant disorder and ADHD. Ask me about cloth diapering and sewing your own diapers!

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Nursing too much?

    My son nursed like a newborn during those rotton molars!

    I remember seeing similar posts about 10 month olds nursing 4-5x a day and thinking how is that possible? Chalk it up to individuality, I suppose.

    I really think pushing solids too hard is just going to create more tension at mealtimes. My son was similar, and I eventually had to let go of the idea that he might eat his food and embrace the fact that he would in all likelihood throw all his food on the floor without even taking a bite. As frustrating as it is, it is easier if you just expect that food is not going to be eaten.

    Putting my plate on his high hair tray and eating off the same plate together sometimes helped him want to try foods sometimes. Less food gets thrown out that way too. More than anything, though, I just had to wait it out. He eventually decided that solid food is yummy, and he eats pretty well now.

    It's very possible that she will be eating more by the fall. I woudn't worry too much about that just yet.
    K. Sophia - Mama to my little lactivore, the amazing Mr. X (11/10).

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Nursing too much?

    The advice that pediatricians give about solids varies SO MUCH. There are pediatricians like mine who say "just offer the solids, she'll eventually get interested in them" even when baby is over a year old, and then there are pediatricians who start pushing for more meals and less nursing based on some artificial date. I am with Phi that pushing solids is not what you want to do here, because it's going to create tension and may make you so desperate that you fall into the trap of only offering baby's favorite foods just so that she'll eat something. Keep putting a variety of healthy solids in front of her and relax, is what I say. Eventually baby is going to decide that she likes "real" food.

    Finally, do not worry about your baby being "underweight". Being in the 9 %ile is not underweight- underweight is when a baby is off the bottom of the chart. You have a smaller baby, but believe me, it's not a bad thing in today's world to be a smaller, slenderer person.
    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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