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Thread: help with weaning 16 month old

  1. #1

    Default help with weaning 16 month old

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    i have been thinking about weaning for a while now, and i think it's time.

    only problem is, i don't know where to start. i go on a weekend trip (away from my son) in 3 weeks. it will be the first time i'll be away from him for more than 8 hours. PapaT will be at home with him, but i know it will be difficult b/c he nurses at night.

    so that is another reason i would like to wean before the trip, to make their lives easier.

    right now he nurses about twice a day and then night nurses. my supply has also gotten significantly lower in the past couple of weeks.

    any suggestions on what i can do? should i wean before the trip or use that time to wean? i just don't want it to be so difficult on them when i'm away.

    thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    1,197

    Default Re: help with weaning 16 month old

    I don't know if it is possible to wean in 3 weeks, I don't have any experience on the subject but I would think the most important thing is for your child to feel comfortable with the process and I am sure your mommy instincts will tell you how that is going to happen. Good luck!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    1,081

    Default Re: help with weaning 16 month old

    Hi there,

    I just recently night-weaned my 18 1/2 month old who was nursing quite frequently at night. It has gone surprisingly well - I felt that she was ready because she was only nursing for a minute or two when she would latch on at night and then would pop off and go to sleep, and her teeth are in (for now). She understands postponing to nurse doesn't mean she'll never nurse as I've been working on asking her to wait to nurse during the daytime when I'm busy or something. I just felt that I saw signs that she could handle this. So that night, she went to bed fairly late because my parents were here and we were out, and I told her that she wouldn't get to nurse in mommy and daddy's bed that night - that I would hold her, rock her, rub her back, etc but there wouldn't be any nursing until the sun came up. I decided I wouldn't nurse her from 12am to 6am. I went in her room and nursed her off both sides at 11:45pm and then when she woke up and my husband brought her in our bed, as usual, at 12:30am, I offered her some water, and told her she had to wait until the sun came up to have milk. She cried for 15 minutes while I tried everything else to comfort her, and finally, I got up to put on a higher-necked shirt as she was clawing at my chest, and when I got back in bed with her, she laid down and went to sleep. She woke up again at 4:30am and cried for 7 minutes while I comforted her other ways, and then went back to sleep. That was 13 nights ago, and since then she has only cried for maybe 1 minute and not even every night. She does still wake up about 2 times a night, but goes back to sleep after a drink of water, being given her little soft babies she sleeps with and her pacifier. So it's gone really well for us, but I think it's because she was ready for that step. She still nurses frequently throughout the daytime most days, but other days she nurses only 3 times.

    My situation is different than yours since I only nightweaned and still nurse during the daytime, but if you're most worried about how he'll do without nursing at night, you could try night-weaning and see how it goes to start off. I think it's going to be hard to completely wean him in 3 weeks though. Good luck. Hope this helps a little.
    Mommy to:

    Emmalynn Marie
    Born at 37 weeks on 12/22/06
    5lbs 1oz 19 1/2in

    Owen Charles
    Born at 29 wks 6 days on 01/17/09
    2lbs 14oz 15in
    In NICU for 2 months


  4. #4

    Default Re: help with weaning 16 month old

    thanks for sharing! that is very helpful.

    i may try this method (i.e. night wean but not completely wean him). i think that will help with the situation when i am gone.

    however, if he is not completely weaned by the time i leave, do i need to leave any milk for the daytime? i haven't pumped in a long while, and my supply is a lot lower than in my pumping days. also, he never liked the bottle much anyway. i am thinking i don't need to leave milk, but i don't know.

    also, i guess i should bring my pump while i'm away?

    thanks!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    COUGARTOWN Baby! From here on in!
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    Default Re: help with weaning 16 month old

    You don't have to worry about it all. I mean wean at the pace you normally would, but children behave very differently when away from their mothers in the way of sleep.They will work it out. He will understand that you aren't there and his father can't nurse him and probably sleep very differently than when you are there. And after the year point you can go away for a night or two or 3 and come back and pick up right where you left off. You don't have to worry about your supply at this point and may not even have to pump.

    Way too lazy for formula

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    miles from nowhere
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    Default Re: help with weaning 16 month old

    I would definitely recommend you bring your pump for your own comfort, not necessarily to keep your supply up. I went away for 2 days, 1 night and didn't bring my pump, thinking it would be no big deal (my lo was 18 mos). By the next morning I was uncomfortably full and by the time I got home that evening I was in serious pain!

    My daughter did fine with her daddy (who was dreading my trip because she's a big night nurser). Like Shelly said, she understood that I wasn't there so she didn't cry for milk becuase she knew it wasn't available. She actually slept better than she usually does.

    Good luck to you!
    “We are not put on earth for ourselves, but are placed here for each other. If you are there always for others, then in time of need, someone will be there for you.”
    --Anonymous

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    36

    Default Re: help with weaning 16 month old

    I would have to agree with the last post. Your lo won't need you to leave a bottle, just to eat as usual (with an added snack at your normal nursing times). But take your pump or be prepared to hand express. You will feel it!

    I have heard the famous story of when I was 2 and my mom left me for a week while she went with my dad to a wedding halfway across the country. The goal was to wean me. She could not believe how uncomfortable she became when we had just been nursing once a day. Anyway, the moment she picked me up, I asked to nurse, she happily obliged my request and we continued nursing for another year!

    Being gone for a few days doesn't have to mean a complete weaning. Your lo won't forget how. You never know, a few days away may make you cherish that time with your lo and you may be so happy to return home to nursing!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    43

    Default Re: help with weaning 16 month old

    My 14 month old nurses to go to sleep and during the night if he wakes up, and sometimes for a quick snack when he gets home after daycare. I spent my first night away from him a few weeks ago (new job) and was not sure how it would go. DH had trouble getting him to sleep. He offered some cow's milk, rubbed his back, etc. It took a long time and some crying but DS eventually went to sleep. DH said DS had a restless night because he woke up a few times looking for my milk, but that rubbing his back eventually got him back to sleep.

    We have had to spend 2 more nights apart over the past few weeks, and it seems to getting a little easier to get DS to sleep without my milk, but not so easy as when I'm home. DS still wakes up looking for BM and is more restless than usual, but I think it is getting a little better for DH.

    Also, I need to bring my pump when we are apart for more than 10-12 hours. I don't get too uncomfortably full, but if I don't pump before bed after a whole day of no feeding, then I leak during the night. So I would definitely bring the pump just in case you end up wanting it.

    Hope that helps!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    8,591

    Default Re: help with weaning 16 month old

    I came her to encourage you to consider night weaning and not a full-on weaning, at this stage, but I see everyone is doing the same. I think it will be difficult to fully wean in that short of time without it being really hard on both you and your ds.

    Erin
    Wife to a grizzly
    Mama to my little deer (12/05) my loving bear cub (9/07--), and our little tiger (3/22/10)
    Born by one c-section and 2 amazing VBACs


    Miles in 2012: 350.5/900 (Actual Miles Ran: 189)
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    January Miles: 37.5/75
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