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Thread: Can a ten-month-old show signs of self weaning?

  1. #1
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    Jul 2013
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    Default Can a ten-month-old show signs of self weaning?

    Hi everyone, I am looking for some guidance on beginning the weaning process with my 10 month old daughter. She's a breastfeeding champ. We have had absolutely zero issues with breastfeeding and we both have loved the experience.

    She hasn't quite taken to food just yet. In fact, she rarely eats any puree food from me. She throws a huge fit when I try to spoon feed her. Has anyone else had this same experience? I feel like she will not eat from me because I am the one with the boobs! She will eat from her teachers at daycare like a pro, though.

    I have her mainly eating whatever we eat. But not in significant amounts. About a month ago, she dropped her daily breastmilk intake at daycare from 21 oz to 10 oz. And this week she only took 9 oz. They feed her lunch and breakfast so she is getting some solids.

    I have noticed recently that she is only interested in nursing sometimes. Last night she stayed with my parents and didn't take a bottle before bed. She just went to sleep! Is this normal? Should I be concerned? Am I doing this right? Why don't babies come with manuals? Haha! The true question is: can she be self-weaning at 10 months or is this just a phase?

    Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. I want to make sure my sweet girl is getting all her nutrition, hydration, and vitamins that she needs during this weaning process.

    Thank you!

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Can a ten-month-old show signs of self weaning?

    Welcome to the forum!

    What are your goals, with respect to weaning? Are you looking to be done shortly after your baby turns a year old, or would you like to continue to nurse beyond that point?

    At this point, you shouldn't be doing anything to advance the weaning process other than allowing your baby to experiment with solids. Breastmilk is supposed to make up the majority of a baby's diet until she reaches her first birthday, with solids complementing but not replacing breastmilk in the baby's diet. Since your baby is decreasing her milk intake at daycare, I would actually ask the baby's caregivers to be more proactive about offering the bottle first, and solids only after baby has had a chance to drink her milk. Breastmilk is the healthiest, most balanced, most immunoprotective food your baby will ever eat, and you want her to consume as much of it as possible for as long as possible, particularly during her first year of extremely rapid mental and physical development.

    I would also encourage you to be more proactive about offering the breast when you're with baby. A lot of babies go on nursing strikes in the later stages of the first year, and those nursing strikes can turn into self-weaning. It sounds like your baby is very happy to nurse when she's with you, and that's great!

    Don't worry about your baby's dislike of the spoon. A lot of babies hate being spoon-fed, especially by mom, who has something much better to offer than puréed squash. My first kid would bat the spoon, sending purée flying, whenever I brought it near her mouth. There are probably still splatters on the wall. At 10 months, I bet your child has a well-developed pincer grasp, so you could just allow her to self-feed when she's with you. Self-feeding allows baby to control the speed and amount of her intake, and it means no struggles with pursed lips. Until a year, solids are just for fun with new tastes, textures, and motor skills, so it doesn't matter if the baby actually eats her solids or just plays with them.

    Good food for self-feeding babies:
    - O-shaped cereal pieces
    - whole peeled apples (good for babies to lick and taste)
    - steamed, mashed vegetables or mashed soft fruits
    - soft shredded meats
    - lightly mashed legumes (black beans, green peas)
    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!"

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Can a ten-month-old show signs of self weaning?

    Mama, how long is baby at daycare? 21 oz is a lot of milk for baby to have been drinking if this is a typical 9-10 hour separation. 9-12 is actually a pretty reasonable intake per day if it is a 9 hour separation. My point being, she may not be losing interest, maybe just transitioning away from being overfed?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Can a ten-month-old show signs of self weaning?

    The true question is: can she be self-weaning at 10 months
    This is in part a matter of opinion but in mine, no. It makes no sense from a biological perspective for a baby to "self wean" this young.

    If a baby is exclusively breastfed, the weaning process begins with the first bite of food. So any baby who has started solids is weaning, in that sense. But because baby needs the nutrition of a full diet of breastmilk for at least several months after the typical age of starting solids, the introduction of solid foods is best kept very slow and gradual and "baby led." So I would suggest you do not need to worry about your child's solid intake at home right now. Baby clearly can eat. A baby who would prefer to nurse from mom than eat solids when with mom is simply a smart baby who knows what is best for her.

    If a baby receives regular bottles, baby has already been in part, "weaned" -to bottles. If baby is being overfed with bottles or in some other way not encouraged to nurse a lot, regular bottle use often will lead to faster than average weaning from the breast. It is a circumstance like this that usually leads to so-called "self weaning" prior to a year or so. But of course it is not self weaning at all.

    So when a baby needs bottles due to separations, it can be important to be proactive in encouraging nursing, assuming you would like your baby to nurse for a year or longer as is currently recommended.

    Not wanting a bottle of breastmilk or drinking less at day care does not indicate baby is self-weaning from the breast. I agree with pp, your baby was getting an awful lot of milk via bottles beffore and may just be reverting to normality. Or baby is being a bit overencouraged to eat solids at day care and so does not have room for more milk.
    Last edited by @llli*lllmeg; July 14th, 2013 at 11:41 AM.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Can a ten-month-old show signs of self weaning?

    Thank you for this informative response! My goals are to continue nursing after a year but not for too much longer. I will not just stop but as she is ready (and as I am ready) decrease the amount of times we nurse.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Can a ten-month-old show signs of self weaning?

    From 6-9 months she drank 21 oz from 7:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. (10 hours) three days a week at daycare from the bottle. I breastfeed her on my days off.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Can a ten-month-old show signs of self weaning?

    It was a lot of milk for a while. From 0-4 months she had very bad acid reflux, tons of spitting up, colic. During that time, her weight gain was slow... once I went dairy-free she started eating a lot more and possibly trying to catch-up to a normal weight? I nursed her constantly and she would scream for more milk at school.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Can a ten-month-old show signs of self weaning?

    Thank you to everyone for your responses. These give me a little more insight into what may be going on with my kiddo and the timing with weaning.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Can a ten-month-old show signs of self weaning?

    Your so welcome! btw if you ever want to read more in depth about the weaning "process" I suggest one of these books: How Weaning Happens and The Nursing Mothers Guide to Weaning.

    There is an LLL saying 'Every weaning is unique" I have weaned two sons and found that was certainly true in our case. Weaning is so individual, just like all other aspects of the nursing relationship. From what I have seen/heard from mom's stories of weaning, usually weaning from the breast IS a matter of baby and mom working together, with sometimes baby leading and sometimes mom leading.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Can a ten-month-old show signs of self weaning?

    Thank you for the responses! And another general question on weaning... I have been reading that first you cut out the "least important" feeding of the day - for my daughter that would be the lunchtime feeding. I've very much been an on-demand feeder. I do not think that my daughter is hungry every time she wants to nurse, but does it for comfort. So during the day, we nurse several times in very short sessions. There is one long feeding in the afternoon that I think I could cut out - but should I focus the next few months on getting to three feedings (morning, afternoon, night) instead of these short ones she is accustomed to and seems to prefer?

    She is also cutting her two top teeth and is very fussy at night. I do not have midnight feedings, but last night she was up whimpering (even after tylenol). I usually let her cry-it-out as long as she doesn't seem too distressed but last night I felt that she needed to be comforted. So I went in to get her and did not want to nurse, but wanted to hold her - which was not what she had in mind. She threw herself all over in my arms - hollering and twisting... until I gave in and gave her my breast. Any tips for this? I tried to hold her and sing and soothe her in other ways, but she wasn't having it. She is very stubborn...

    Thank you in advance!

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