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Thread: Transitioning to cows milk

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
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    Default Transitioning to cows milk

    My DS is about to turn 1 in a few weeks, and we are still going strong with breastfeeding! We both love it, and I plan to let him self wean whenever he's ready. I work full time and pump twice a day. I have a very busy job, so this is a hassle but I'm happy to do it. I'm planning to transition him to cows milk after he turns 1. Does anyone have tips for doing this? My plan was to slowly increase the ratio of cows milk to breast milk, but I'd love to hear what the best way to do this is or what ratios to use.

    My real question is, once he does transition to cows milk at daycare, do I need to continue to pump at work to keep up my supply if I plan to nurse him on weekends? Can I start only pumping once a day? When can I stop pumping all together? Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Oct 2009
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    Default Re: Transitioning to cows milk

    I only work away one day/week but at 12 mos I just pumped over lunch then at 15 stopped altogether. As long as you aren't engorged or uncomfortable...she nursed 39 mos.

    Edit to add: you would nurse on weekends but also in the evenings, mornings, night?
    Just whenever you're not at work, right?
    Nursed my sweet daughter 3 years, 3 mos.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Transitioning to cows milk

    Thanks so much! That definitely helps to know.

    Yes- I nurse all the time (evenings, morning, night) just not when I'm working (Monday-Friday, 8-4).

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Transitioning to cows milk

    Then you should be good to back off pumping!
    Nursed my sweet daughter 3 years, 3 mos.

  5. #5
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    May 2013
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    Default Re: Transitioning to cows milk

    I was just going to throw in my two cents: since you work full time and the PP only works 1x per week, you might want to take it slow since your experience will be different. I hear of other moms whose supply dips dramatically when they stop pumping altogether at 1. My DS is 14.5 months and I still pump twice, but we are apart for 9 or 10 hours at a time 5 days per week. And he still loves his "milkies" in the cup so I haven't really pursued cow's milk too much ( a little goats milk here and there). Also we bed share, so I think that helps keep up my supply.
    We , , , and with my little monkey, born 9/30/2012.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Transitioning to cows milk

    Thanks, I will definitely take that into account. My son loves nursing, so I definitely don't want my supply to drop. I can keep pumping twice a day as much as I can, then slowly back down to once a day. I could definitely pump once a day at lunch and that wouldn't be too difficult.

    I'm not too worried about switching to cows milk, but I don't pump enough for him as it is now (I pump about 10 oz and he needs about 13 oz). Thankfully I have a big freezer stash to supplement with. But I guess I could just do a mixture of pumped milk and cows milk for as long as I pump.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    20,841

    Default Re: Transitioning to cows milk

    Before you start mixing breastmilk and cow's milk, see if your baby will take plain cow's milk. If he will, awesome- keeping the bottles separate means that you never risk having breastmilk go down the sink when baby doesn't finish a bottle of mixed milk.
    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
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    Jan 2013
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    Default Re: Transitioning to cows milk

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*garsmum View Post
    I was just going to throw in my two cents: since you work full time and the PP only works 1x per week, you might want to take it slow since your experience will be different. I hear of other moms whose supply dips dramatically when they stop pumping altogether at 1.
    Count me in as one of those moms! My supply is quite sensitive--decreasing pumping really does lead to a rapid drop off in my supply. My daughter is 13 months old, and I've only dropped 1 of my 4 sessions. I'm going to experiment with dropping to 2 sessions after my Christmas mini-vacation, but I am not honestly sure we'll be able to manage that just yet. So, yes, definitely know your body, and know your nursling, and go from there!
    Apologies for the short responses! I'm usually responding one-handed on my smartphone!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
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    291

    Default Re: Transitioning to cows milk

    My daughter is 18 mos old and I was pumping 3x per day until she was about 11 mos old. We introduced cow's milk at 12 mos and I started dropping pumping sessions at around 11 mos because I had a large freezer stash. I also recommend avoiding mixing cow's milk and breastmilk. What we did was ask her daycare teachers to start offering cow's milk in a sippy cup in place of one bottle of breastmilk per day. It was her morning bottle that we dropped first because it was the one she seemed most indifferent about. After a few weeks of that, they dropped another bottle. They would give the bottles if she was really asking for them, but they basically stopped offering them automatically and she did well with cows milk in a cup instead. The one bottle she was really attached to was the one after she woke up from her afternoon nap, so they kept giving that one until my freezer stash ran out. At that point, she still wanted a bottle in the afternoon, so they offered her warmed cows milk in a bottle and she liked that. I was a little reluctant to offer cow's milk in a bottle, but she only took it that way for a couple of weeks and then was happy when they offered a cup of cold cow's milk with the after-nap snack. Now she gets cow's milk during the day at daycare and nurses at home, and I will give her cows milk with meals if she asks (she can ask for cows milk verbally and she can sign for water so I ask her what she wants usually). She didn't love cow's milk at first, but I kept in mind that she doesn't need cows milk at daycare if she's still nursing 3-4 times/day so I didn't stress that she didn't drink a ton of it at first. She still doesn't drink as much cows milk at daycare as she was drinking breast milk from bottles, but that's OK because she nurses at home in the morning and evening and once overnight.

    As for pump weaning, I basically increased the time between pumping sessions and slowly dropped them one at a time. So I was pumping lets say at 9:30, 12:30, and 3:30, then I moved to 10, 1, and 3:30, then 10:30, 1:30, and 3:30, then 11, 2, and 4, then just 11 and 3. Something like that. I kind of played it by ear and just pumped when I got uncomfortable. I did notice what seemed to be a drop in my milk supply around the time that I pump weaned--my breasts seemed to have less milk in them and would get full less often. That made me panic a few times. But in the end, it was just my body adjusting to the lower demand I think. My daughter still got enough milk in the evenings and on weekends. I agree with the PP, definitely listen to your body and your baby and take it slowly but also make sure to trust the supply and demand equation and know that some perceived supply drop-off after pump weaning is normal and while disconcerting, it doesn't always mean that your baby isn't getting enough. I must say I LOVE breastfeeding without pumping. I think of it kind of as the reward for all that pumping. GL!

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