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Thread: Still Demand Feeding?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    212

    Default Still Demand Feeding?

    I have a question for experienced nursers of older babys: At what point do you stop nursing "on demand"? My little guy is 1yr. He is just learning the sign for milk. He's really proud of himself, and I'm proud of him too. But he does the sign every time it goes through his head. Even if he just finished eating 7 minutes ago. He's really not thrilled about other foods. He will eat them at daycare with no problems (2-3 servings during the workday, but only 1-2 days a week) With my husband he's pretty good about solids. With me...not so much. At least it's hit or miss with me. He would be perfectly content to be exclusively breast-fed still, I think.
    We definitely nursed on demand when he was little, and we still nurse a whole lot. I'm not ready to wean, but I would like him to eat more other foods than he does now. And I don't want to nurse him every time he makes the sign or grabs for them. If we did that we would never stop. How do you come to a good feeding frequency for an older baby? How do you distract when you're not ready to nurse? And how do I encourage him to eat other things?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    203

    Default Re: Still Demand Feeding?

    My LO is almost 14 months. We still feed on demand around the clock. I'm just taking her lead. She eats solids as well, but she nurses like crazy, too.

    Sorry I'm not much more help.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    32

    Default Re: Still Demand Feeding?

    Ahhh, I so hear where you are coming from. The breastfeeding adict. The idea of this continuing in the foreseable future is tough. However, it may not be like that. About the age of 1 my DS became highly interested in the world around him, and was so busy he never asked to feed, and actually would have weaned if he wasn't been fed to sleep for naps and at night. He got sick at about 15 months, and rediscovered the breast but is now at a managable say 4-6 times a day and at night at almost 2 years.
    Some people do try to limit feeding times from about this age, maybe sleep and wake times, and meal/snack times? with distraction inbetween...
    How to distract is basically to offer him something he likes more than milk, so is different for each child.

    Good luck, at least its a healthy addiction :-)

  4. #4

    Default Re: Still Demand Feeding?

    My son is almost 20 months old and still basically nurses on demand, but I started several months ago introducing the notion of waiting, at least for a few minutes, between the request and the actual nursing session. I don't insist on waiting all the time, but I also don't drop everything to accommodate his desire to nurse as I did when he was younger. As he begins to comprehend language with more and more complexity, I talk to him specifically about how long he will have to wait and what will happen in the that time. For example, if I am washing dishes, I'll tell him that I am going to wash four more dishes and then we can sit down and for milk, and then I count the dishes as I wash them to help him follow the progress of time. At first he would get pretty upset and insistent about wanting to nurse, but he seemed to quickly catch on to the fact that I wasn't saying "no," just encouraging him to wait a little bit. Now he will often repeat whatever I've said about how long it will be, or what we will be doing, over and over again until we nurse, as though reminding himself that it will eventually come his way. As a value added bonus, I've noticed since starting to do this that he is much more patient about waiting for almost everything...

    My feeling about nursing on demand is that, if it works for both of you, then there's nothing to fix. If you are starting to feel stress or anxiety around it, then it may be time to explore other approaches. Breastfeeding is too intimate a relationship to have one participant resenting it -- and it's easy to underestimate a child's ability to understand and accept your needs. I suppose it's all a part of the big balancing act called parenting....
    Mama to Lorenzo, born 4/25/2007. NICU graduate, Gastro-Esohapgeal Reflux, Obstructive Sleep Apnea, Sensory Processing Disorder...alive and thriving thanks to breastfeeding and co-sleeping.

    Those who say it can't be done should not interrupt the person doing it.
    Chinese Proverb

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    1,177

    Default Re: Still Demand Feeding?

    My son is almost 18 months and I have just been able to introduce setting limits in the past 3 months or so. 12 months is still so young.

    Can you try letting him nurse when he asks and then getting the snack? He may not be receptive to you trying to distract him w/ a snack yet. But this may be a start.

    I bet he's going through a phase b/c he learned the sign to nurse. My son did the same thing. It was funny, my mil thought he was waving at me constantly.

    Jenn
    Mom to - DD1 10/5/05, DS 6/27/07 & DD2 6/18/09

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    60

    Default Re: Still Demand Feeding?

    my son is 2 and still on demand- pretty constant. i just night weaned him about 3 mos ago- hard but it helped me not feel so burned out

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,808

    Default Re: Still Demand Feeding?

    I night-weaned my kid down to 1 feeding at 10.5 months, but I demand-fed during the day until she was around 18 months old. At 1, she was not yet interested in solids, and was eating mostly breastmilk, and therefore I didn't feel comfortable cutting back on her daytime milk intake. When she transitioned to a majority-solids diet around 14-15 months, I felt more confident about saying "Later, honey. We're not going to nurse right now," although in reality I only did this in public. It's really hard to distract a determined nurser when you are at home, especially once the baby has discovered how to ask for it! (FTR, "asking for it" is a skill that babies love, and they practice it really hard once they first learn it. But once they feel like they've mastered that skill, they do reduce their use of it, probably because it grows somewhat boring.)

    When my baby was 1 and still nursing 8 times a day, I was very frustrated. I felt like I would never escape the constant nursing! But eventually my child decreased her nursing frequency all by herself. By 18 months she was nursing 3-4 times a day, and by 2 she was down to 3 times a day.

    If I could talk to myself back in the past when I was feeling so exasperated, I would counsel myself to just be patient, because eventually babies do outgrow the constant nursing, and they do it all by themselves, without mom having to do anything. I would suggest that a babysitter is really helpful- if you can get out of the house once a day for an hour or so, without baby, you really do come back refreshed and ready to give again.
    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
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    200

    Default Re: Still Demand Feeding?

    I nursed on demand with DS1 until he was almost 2. The best way to avoid the constant demand for milk is to be passive about it- don't sit in your favorite nursing chair, hide the boppy or whatever else the child can associate with nursing, keep him busy with other things, etc.
    Mari
    Mohamed 6-9-06
    Jad 11-27-08

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    92

    Default Re: Still Demand Feeding?

    Does he eat a lot of finger foods? My husband has no problem spoon-feeding our 1-yr old, but he won't take it from me. He would rather play with his food. I tend to give him either finger foods or things mixed into mashed potatoes, squash, etc - something he can grab with his little hand and mush into his mouth. Another thing he likes is when we mix rice krispies into food. I think he likes the crunchy texture, and it also gives him something to grab. He's slowly learning to use a spoon. Even though he plays with the spoon and eats with his hands, it still keeps him in the highchair and interested/exposed to the food.

    We also give him BM in a sippy cup with meals when I am at work (daddy stays home with him) and when I give him dinner. That way he gets his milk, and I'm not nursing the second I get home.
    DS 11/16/07 :: Infant reflux and milk protein intolerance, egg and peanut allergies

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    OKC, OK
    Posts
    125

    Default Re: Still Demand Feeding?

    my son does the sign for milk too... but whenever we are out somewhere, or he is in his high chair, i just give him a sippy cup with water or water and a little bit of juice. and he takes that just fine. but if we are just around the house i will nurse him.
    I'm Jamie, and im Proud to be:
    Carter's SAHM since 11-27-07 and now to Eli too, since 7-25-11
    Cody's Wife since 8-28-08

    and and

    my healthy boys don't get vaccines



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