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Thread: Weaning 13 month old: dropping/adding feedings

  1. #1

    Default Weaning 13 month old: dropping/adding feedings

    i am currently nursing my 13 month old about 6 times/day. i dropped one regular nursing in the middle of the day about 2 months ago. she still nursed about 3x at night, 3x during the day.
    i was planning on very gradually dropping feedings one at a time over the next 6-8 months. recently she went through a long bout of teething during which our night nursing increased to about 4x/night.
    now i am most eager to night wean. i'm so exhausted all the time and sick of feeling this way! the days are getting harder and harder, and after all i've been feeling this way for more than a year.
    trouble is, i can't continue with my gradual "dropping" schedule as she now seems to want to ADD feedings- she has recently learned to "ask" very specifically for the nursing, by lifting up my shirt or even pointing to the other breast when she's done with one. so we are now at about 7-8x/day- most significantly, at night but more during the day as well.
    the thing is that she specifically asks, and gets really upset if i don't give. emotionally, it's very upsetting for both of us. like i said, i am really determined to at least night wean (she wants it lately every 2-3 hours- i try to delay but we both end up staying up all night). i can't take her emotional distress! i have tried alot of things, distracting, playing, eating foods. (none of which really work at night of course).

    how will this ever happen?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2007

    Default Re: Weaning 13 month old: dropping/adding feedings

    It will happen. I felt the same way when my dd was around 13 months... 13 months is still pretty little to wean . It sounds like your lo still is pretty dependant on it and most toddlers get alot of teeth between 1 and 2 and still nurse to help with teething. I let my dd hold on to 1 night (well it was a 5 am feeding) until about 16-17 months and then I just couldn't do it anymore.
    It sounds like night weaning might be really helpful for you. Nursing needs to work for both of you so it sounds like you need to make a few changes to make that happen. Does your lo sleep with you? I am sure others will have some advice of weaning while co sleeping.... as we have never co slept.
    My dd sleeps in a crib in her own room so when I wanted to cut out her night feeding I sent daddy in with a sippy of water for a few days.. and then after having her throw the cup a few times he just went in and held her etc until she went back to sleep. It took less than a week for her to get the message that if she wakes up at night she gets to see daddy and not mama and definatly not the boobs!

    Married my man Michael 5/12/2006
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    Israel Benedict 10/10/09- Breastfed for 27 months ( 9 months tandem with his sister)
    Nairi Anne 4/1/2011 still nursing at 14 months
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Weaning 13 month old: dropping/adding feedings

    I think a fair number of moms on this forum have used the Dr. Jay Gordon method to night-wean their babies/toddlers. I did something similar and it worked really well!

    I can totally understand how your daughter's newfound ability to ask to nurse would set back your weaning plans! Personally, I think it's worthwhile to grin and bear it for a while. My feeling is that when a kid masters a new skill, they use it over and over and over again- for a while. And then they get bored with it and move on to something new! That's not to say that your child will stop asking to nurse- just that it will become MUCH easier to distract her as time goes on.

    How is your baby's solid food intake? A lot of young toddlers are still very much breastfed babies, and breastmilk can make up a surprisingly large part of their nutritional intake. I know my kid was pretty much living on breastmilk until she finally became interested in solids around 15 months. I know this sounds like I'm trying to divert you away from weaning, and I'm really not- I guess I'm just trying to say "Don't be afraid to go slow." Especially because you might be surprised how much renewed energy you have to continue on with daytime nursing if you can get your daughter night-weaned. I know getting a decent stretch of sleep really helped me regain my enthusiasm for continuing to nurse.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Weaning 13 month old: dropping/adding feedings

    thanks for the advice, and i did find that link very helpful. we've been trying to do a similar thing, but my alarm really is in the desire for even MORE nursings and night nursings than before. it's true that i most of all want to stop the night nursings. i'm just too tired now... and we do all sleep in the family bed, and don't plan to change that.

    2 more issues:

    1. she refuses ALL dairy though she eats decently well: carbs (grains + pastas), LOVES green veggies and chicken... but won't eat yogurt, milk, cheese, or anything containing those things.
    2. has anyone had any experience with sore nipples and/or drop in milk supply during ovulation? i'm wondering if this could be the case for the last week or so. i've had my period since month 6 and i've had very sore nipples for the week of my ovulation and i think it's getting worse... (may start a new thread about this one)...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2009

    Default Re: Weaning 13 month old: dropping/adding feedings

    I had to night-wean mine at 15 months because one of them thought it was an all-night buffet and I was going crazy from lack of sleep. It didn't fix all our sleep problems, my compulsive nurser is really just a more high needs child and she's always going to be that way, but it did help A LOT. After that I've been able to take a more gentle approach, stretching out nursings during the day until we were down to about 4-5x a day, which I could live with (walking was GREAT for that, they really wanted to be on the go!), and eventually after about 18 months they started to drop nursings on their own, and at 27 months we're down to one nursing every few days.

    Re the dairy--at that age mine didn't eat a whole lot of dairy either, they did like yogurt but it wasn't till I started letting them eat the kind with sugar in it that they really got interested. They picked up cheese much later. They've had no interest in milk from a cup till past 2 yrs, when they're almost all the way weaned. It sounds like she's eating fine, and as long as she's nursing about 3x a day you don't need to worry about dairy. Sneak it into the pasta if you like though.

    Re the ovulation thing--yes, from the time I got my cycle back I've had a huge drop in milk supply after ovulation till I get my period. And yes, this did prompt a lot more nursing. I looked it up on kellymom, which recommended taking a calcium supplement, and that work wonderfully for me. The nipple soreness can be cycle related, I get that from time to time, if it is that it will go away after you get your period. If it doesn't go away start thinking about clogged ducts or thrush etc (or take a pregnancy test!).

    Also something I found very useful with toddlers was teaching them the sign for milk. You just sign it when you say nurse and while they're nursing. Once they learned it, I refused to nurse if they hiked my shirt up, and waited for them to ask appropriately. They caught on real fast.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Weaning 13 month old: dropping/adding feedings

    thanks, i will definitely do that- teach the sign for milk. she knows several already, but it's a good idea now that she constantly tries to pull up my shirt no matter where we are...

    yeah, i find that nipple soreness usually happens the week of ovulation. i wasn't sure about whether there was a corresponding drop in supply. it "feels" that way but who knows for sure? it's a bit unfortunate that the soreness has to coincide with more frequent nursing!

    yes, the night weaning is the worst part of it. generally we try to do it for a few nights. then get so tired from the stress and fatigue of staying up that i just give in.... i know you're supposed to stick with it. it doesn't seem so bad to nurse a few times/night... but i actually find that doing so only seems to encourage more and more frequent night nursings till we're back up to every couple of hours and i find myself at the end of my rope again. SIGH! so last night i just nursed her when she wanted so we wouldn't have to go thru it all.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2009

    Default Re: Weaning 13 month old: dropping/adding feedings

    Yeah I know it's hard. I had to enlist DH's help for it, and two nights of him settling her down worked much faster than weeks of me being wish washy. I think when I first thought about night-weaning I decided to set a block of time where we were not going to nurse, like 10pm-5am, and did that first. That was a bit easier than going all night, but it took me forever to get my compulsive nurser to sleep past 5am when I did want to night wean all night! She has a very accurate internal clock. I wound up having to set an alarm for the time when we could nurse. It takes two weeks to change any habit...
    Last edited by @llli*april213; April 14th, 2009 at 12:29 PM.
    Mommy to twins born 1/25/07

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