Re: weening my 5 month old
You may want to try weaning from the breast very gradually: offering bottles that are all breastmilk first, and then bottles that are breastmilk plus a taste of formula, and then bottles that are half and half, and so on until your baby will take a 100% formula bottle. That way you may avoid a lot of crying and upset resulting from your baby reacting negatively to the unfamiliar taste of pure formula. Also, if you find that formula does not make your baby sleep through, you can go back to nursing (if you so desire).
You also may want to read Elizabeth Pantley's book The No-Cry Sleep Solution, which is full of gentle ways to get a baby to sleep longer and more independently, techniques that work for both breast and bottle-fed babies.
It sounds like you are really determined to be done with breastfeeding, but because this is LLL I'd feel remiss if I didn't give you the hard sell for continuing to nurse. I know the sleepless nights are driving you nuts, and it must be incredibly frustrating and exhausting trying to mother a demanding nursling and active preschooler twins. But while continuing to nurse may make your life more challenging today, in the long run I am convinced that it can make a mom's life easier. Here's why:
- No bottles to wash.
- It's free. (It costs around $1500-$2000 for a year's worth of formula. If you continue to nurse, you could justifiably claim a portion of that money for yourself and buy some very nice diamond earrings. )
- Lower incidence of ear infections and diarrhea. I know being up at night with a nursing baby is tough, but it beats being up at night with a sick baby.
- Breastmilk is always clean and at the right temperature- you can't run out, and you never have to listen to your baby scream while you warm up a bottle.
- Breastfeeding doesn't have to be all or nothing: many moms combine formula-feeding and breastfeeding to fit their schedules.
- Breastfeeding becomes much faster and easier as time goes on, especially after you introduce solid foods.
- Breastfeeding isn't just food: it's comfort, too. It can soothe your baby through vaccinations and bumps on the head when he's learning to walk. It can turn a temper tantrum into a sweet mood in a heartbeat.
- Need I mention that breastfeeding isn't just good for your baby's health, but for yours, as well? (Breastfeeding moms have less breast cancer, osteoporosis, diabetes, obesity, and heart disease, and the benefits accrue proportionate to the amount of time you nurse.)
Okay, that concludes the hard sell!
Whatever you choose, congratulations on 5 months of nursing! That's a terrific accomplishment!
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!"