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Thread: Mother-led weaning question

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    29

    Default Mother-led weaning question

    My daugher is almost 10 months old, and I have been thinking about when to start the weaning process. I love breastfeeding and it took a lot of effort to get over my hurdles in the beginning, but also have many reasons for wanting to wean. One year was my goal, and I'm so happy and proud that I will get there!

    I work FT, so it will be easy to start daytime weaning since it will just require dropping a pumping session during the day and on the weekends I can give her a bottle from my freezer stash. Lately there are times when I only pump 2 times rather than 3 during the work day due to meetings, etc. I used to be stressed about it, but now I realize I have some milk in my freezer and I always pump before bed to make up for it (and get ahead for my freezer stash). I'd rather wean from that pumping after my daytime pumpings since it is more inconvenient to pump at work.

    I have a business trip when she will be 13.5 months old, and would rather not take my pump along. I cannot bring her on this trip (I have brought her before) and it might be a good natural time to finish the weaning process since I won't be home.

    So I guess my questions are:
    1. How often do you cut out a pumping and/or nursing session? I know to start with the least-needed one first, so I will start with my daytime pumpings. I have read a lot so I understand how to do it (delay it later and later, cut time shorter, etc.). Then after that I will cut out the a.m. and p.m. feedings. Do I cut one a week so theoretically it should take approx. 6 weeks?

    2. How long does it take to feel comfortable? I had been thinking I want to be completely weaned by 13.5 months, but actually I would like to be comfortable by then so I don't have to worry about mastitis or plugged ducts on my trip (it will be busy and intense). Should I aim to be weaned by 12.5 months and have a month to pump for comfort, dry up, and manage the engorgement?

    Thanks for any advice. I believe in child-led weaning in general and that there are benefits to nursing after 1 year, but have decided that I will not go that route for this child.

    Cynthia

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    4,029

    Default Re: Mother-led weaning question

    Hi there!

    I started truly weaning my DS when he was about 10 months old. I didn't rush things with him and keep him on a "wean schedule" mostly because he never took to EBM or a bottle, so I wasn't too concerned if we didn't drop a feeding. That said, I would give yourself at least a week between each dropped feeding (or pump session). That gives your body and your LO time to adjust to the difference. The slower, the better. My DS was completely weaned at 13 1/2 months, so you can see it took several months to complete the process for me.

    I never got super engorged with this schedule. My last 3 feeding sessions that I dropped happened over the course of 3 weeks. Yes, I felt a little uncomfortable, but not painfully engorged. It took a little over a week before I noticed that my breasts were starting to become softer and not fuller.

    You've done great so far, giving your LO the best start in life! Weaning is best done slowly, with love!

    Lisa
    Last edited by ljgrile; November 26th, 2006 at 01:08 PM. Reason: Added content

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    2,178

    Default Re: Mother-led weaning question

    Maybe one of the LLL leaders can chime in here with the actual figures in case I'm not right here...but I don't think that babies are supposed to start weaning until after 12 mos. unless they're getting formula as a replacement for the breast milk feedings that mom is cutting out. Whole cow's milk isn't recommended until 12 mos. either, so it might be healthier for baby to wait at least until the 12 mo. mark before you start the weaning process unless you plan to add formula to the mix.

    I've never pumped and bottle fed an older baby...my oldest was only 4 or 5 mos. old when he had his last bottle, so I don't know what amount (in ounces) of breastmilk a baby needs at 10-12 months...or for that matter what amount of formula a baby still needs at 10-12 months, so maybe a LLL leader could chime in here too re: how much BM baby still needs for those 2 months.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    29

    Default Re: Mother-led weaning question

    Lisa, thanks for the advice! I was going to ask you what you gave your DS when you dropped the nursing sessions from 10-12 months, and see Mommie of 2 has the same thoughts.

    I need to take stock of my freezer stash to see how much breast milk I have, and maybe I will work backwards from there regarding the dropped sessions since it would be perfect if she can just have bottles of EBM for the weaned sessions.

    I'm not going to start cow's milk until 1 year (I talked to my pediatrician about this). I do not want to introduce formula after all I've been through to avoid it thus far, but keep thinking that at this point with all the solid foods she eats, isn't formula just another "food"/source of nutrition? I don't want to feel like i have failed her if she has a little bit to bridge the gap until she can start cow's milk at 1, it would only be for a few weeks to a month I think.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    4,029

    Default Re: Mother-led weaning question

    We didn't use very much cow's milk at all before 12 months--my DS hated it, for the most part, and would only drink maybe 2-3 ounces per day. That was OK with me, I was mainly just getting him used to the taste, more than anything. He would drink water and watered-down juice. But, our main weaning came after he turned 1, so I didn't worry about the mix too much.

    Yes, if you have a stash of EBM, and your LO will take it, go ahead and use that as one of the sessions....There is more than one way to wean, and you could easily wean from breastfeeding directly but still pump and use EBM for as long as the freezer stash is there. For us, this method wouldn't have worked, because my DS never liked EBM, so we had to just wean altogether.

    HTH!

    Lisa

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