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Thread: Not sure whether to wean or not- almost 14 mo

  1. #1

    Default Not sure whether to wean or not- almost 14 mo

    Hello,
    I just wanted to mull over my thoughts about breastfeeding my little boy. He eats 3 meals a day though can be fussy- won't eat bread at lunchtime so I give him fruit and then some yogurt. Sometimes he refuses tea too- hard to know why. If he refuses tea he will tend to wake more in the night for milk. He usually feeds a couple of times in the day- mid morning and when I put him down for his after lunch nap. Then he also feeds at bedtime, when he wakes, and in the night once, occasionally twice or more, occasionally not at all.

    He often doesn't seem particularly interested in feeding in the daytime. Or sometimes he will look pleased to have a cuddle and a "feed", but he doesn't seem to be drinking much and eventually just goes to sleep or comes off. If I didn't offer milk I'm not sure if he'd feed at all in the day!

    I was wondering- is he not drinking because there is not much there or because he isn't thirsty? On occasions he has a good feed which restores my faith in myself!

    Should I stop offering milk and only give if he asks? In this case, should I give him cows milk in a cup? Should I give him that anyway? Maybe he would rather this than breastfeeding. Having said that, he does smile and laugh when we lie down for a feed.

    If we replaced breastfeeding altogether, is he more likely to sleep through the night? My other 2 bottle fed babies did. I'm just a bit concerned that if we did this he would miss the comfort of sucking- he doesn't have a dummy. He can fall asleep without breastfeeding.

    I'm torn- part of me is thinking maybe I should give him cows milk then I won't have to worry about how much milk he's getting. The other part thinks he'll make sure he gets what he needs (maybe in the night!!) and he needs the comfort of breastfeeding.

    He is a very healthy child by the way.

    Thanks for reading x

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Not sure whether to wean or not- almost 14 mo

    i think babies, around this age, get really distracted and have a lot going on during the day. so they stop nursing as much. but nursing is so important to me that i keep offering and encourage night nursing, not just for the nutrition but primarily: nursing is hands down the best mothering tool i have. it makes MY life so. much. easier. i am not willing to give that up just because DS is busy during the day! now, i work away from home too, so it's actually made my life amazingly easier not having to pump while i'm away, but having that time to reconnect through nursing when i'm home is really important.

    cows milk is not superior nutrition to your milk; not only will you still have to think about how much he's getting, you'll have to be careful he doesn't get too much (there's an upper limit the GI tract can handle at this age).

    i also think, from reading more experienced mamas, night weaning is not related to night waking; if you wean, you just lose the easiest way to get him back down.

    my 2 cents!
    DS1 6/7/11
    DS2 10/29/13

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

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Not sure whether to wean or not- almost 14 mo

    I don't think that if you stop nursing him that he will magically sleep through the night. I am sure you have more than enough milk for him. By tea, do you mean and afternoon snack? At 14 months, neither of my two girls was eating very much in the way of solids. Beatrix is 20 months old and some days she nurses more than she eats solids.
    Tracie

    Mommy to
    Lilah 10/08 nursed 25 months
    Beatrix 01/11 nursed 30 months

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Not sure whether to wean or not- almost 14 mo

    with the PPs. The transition to solids is a gradual, erratic process. Offer to nurse as often as possible, and you can rest assured that you're filling any nutritional voids in your baby's diet. It's very normal for night-waking to be unpredictable at this point, too. Teething, new developmental milestones, a bad dream, missing mommy, hunger- those are all reasons why babies wake and want to nurse at night!

    Have you introduced cow's milk yet? You don't need to use it- there are plenty of other ways for a baby to get "dairy", like breastmilk, yogurt, cheese, calcium-rich non-dairy foods like tofu, etc.- but sometimes a bottle or sippy cup of milk can reduce a mom's anxiety about how much "dairy"her child is getting, when nursing is unpredictable. Just don't expect that your child will love it, since many kids don't enjoy cow's milk.

    Oh- and nursing just 3-5 times a day meets all your child's needs for dairy.
    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

    Default Re: Not sure whether to wean or not- almost 14 mo

    Hello,
    Thanks so much for for your replies

    This is so confusing! I also had advice from my health visitor today. She said he only needs 2 feeds a day (in 24h) and he just wakes out of habit and doesn't need milk at night. Also, he will sleep better if put to bed awake (he goes to sleep feeding) as he needs to learn how to settle himself. I do sometimes put him down awake after lunch and he can settle himself, but he doesn't settle so well by himself in the evening. She suggests leaving him to cry at night or getting husband to settle him. I know it won't work and I will feel like I am failing him if I don't give him a drink when he wants one. Afterall, I have given it to him all the rest of his life! Help, will he ever sleep through? I know lots of you embrace night waking but I'd quite like it to stop really.

    2 feeds a day doesn't sound much to me though- even my 2 bottle fed children had milk snacks in the day! I haven't given him cows milk yet because it would feel the next step to giving up on breastfeeding and I haven't made that decision yet.

    By tea I mean evening meal at about half 5pm.

    Last night Thomas woke at about half ten and had a good feed, but if I follow the hv advice I am to refuse this?

    Thanks again people x

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Not sure whether to wean or not- almost 14 mo

    where on earth do these health visitors come from? i'd tell you what to do with her advice but it wouldn't be polite
    DS1 6/7/11
    DS2 10/29/13

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

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Not sure whether to wean or not- almost 14 mo

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*auderey View Post
    where on earth do these health visitors come from? i'd tell you what to do with her advice but it wouldn't be polite
    If I had a dollar for every time a mom came here concerned over some totally whacky piece of breastfeeding advice that she got from a HV, I'd buy myself a really nice pair of shoes. REALLY nice.

    I actually think your HV gave you fairly honest advice about sleep. At this age, your LO probably doesn't NEED to nurse at night, provided that you are nursing frequently during the day and giving him plenty of solids- and you are. And if you can break the nurse to sleep association by putting baby to bed awake, he may be more willing to go back to sleep without nursing when he wakes in the night. That doesn't mean don't nurse before bed- it just means that you might want to try not nursing baby all the way to unconsciousness.
    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!"

  8. #8

    Default Re: Not sure whether to wean or not- almost 14 mo

    Hello,
    I decided I would not feed small boy in his sleeping bag so he might not go to sleep when feeding. He didn't fall asleep- actually, he didn't seem that thirsty-oh no, does that mean he'll be thirsty later on?! Anyway, I put him down awake. He looked horrified and cried to start with but not for long, and not the real screaming cry where you just have to save them. So we'll see how he goes in the night. Perhaps I should try to encourage him drink more in the day? Maybe if he doesn't wake so much through the night he will want a bit more in the day?

    Health visitor types (well actually, it was a health visitor assistant nurse type) talk the talk about breastfeeding but they just try to make you feed them like a bottle fed baby. And, having experience of both, it is not the same!

    Thanks again for your help. So kind of you.x

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Not sure whether to wean or not- almost 14 mo

    Sometimes night-waking toddlers are genuinely thirsty. You might want to keep a sippy cup or bottle of water available for the night- that way if he wakes up and needs something to drink, you can continue to hold the line about breastfeeding being something that happens during the daylight hours.
    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!"

  10. #10

    Default Re: Not sure whether to wean or not- almost 14 mo

    Thanks.
    Last night small boy woke at about half 3, wurbled for a while. Looked like he was going to settle but didn't so I fed him. He didn't immediatly settle then, I put him back in his cot and he wurbled a bit more. I shall consider water, I have tried that before and he refused. Perhaps I could have persisted? I think things would have escalated to all-out screaming if I had!

    I guess as he gets older he might stop waking at night eventually?

    We shared a nice "boob snooze" today. We would lose these times if we stopped altogether..

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