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Thread: Weaning from breast to bottle

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    15

    Default Weaning from breast to bottle

    Hi!

    My lo is 6 months old. In about 5 months, my family is going to move overseas and I will be going back to work full-time. At that time, my baby girl will also get her own room (right now her crib is in our room). These are going to be a lot of changes, the major one being that dad will be the primary care giver while mom is at work (right now it's the opposite). I wanted to start weaning her so she is not attached to the breast anymore by the time we move so she does not have to deal with too much at once. We have started to introduce solids which is kind of slow going. She was really happy about sweet patato for the first 3 days but we tried regular potato mixed with breast milk which she hated (I tasted it and I don't blame her lol!). Now it's butternut squash and she seems to like the taste but she is not really eating much like she was with the sweet potato... long story longer ;-) I try to give her solids first and then breastfeed her but she gets upset and when I breastfeed her, she is not interested in the solids anymore except to put her hands in the bowl of food :-)... I was hoping that the introduction of solids would simplify the weaning because it's new and exciting but I really don't know how to go about it at all I guess. We tried re-introducing the bottle which she does not like too much at all.... Any suggestions?

    Thank you so much!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,355

    Default Re: Weaning from breast to bottle

    When you say wean, do you mean that you want to work on ending the nursing relationship, or just cutting it back to a level that fits better with your work schedule?

    With some babies, the introduction of solids immediately decreases the baby's interest in breastfeeding. But for many (maybe most) babies, solids are one of those "two steps forward, one step back" situations, where some days the baby will be interested in eating solids, and others will want nothing to do with them. Eventually, however, solids will come to make up the majority of your baby's diet- the question is, when? For many babies, the transition isn't going to happen until they are well over a year old. And it's not one that you need to force, since breastmilk or formula should be the baby's primary food source until the first birthday, and after the first birthday, breastmilk or whole cow's milk can continue to make up a very large proportion of the baby's diet.

    If your baby doesn't like the bottle, you can skip it and go directly to sippy cups or even open cups. Many moms start offering those at around 6 months.
    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!"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: Weaning from breast to bottle

    Thank you so much for your advice. By weaning, I mean cutting down so that she won't nurse throughout the day. I would love to keep breastfeeding her in the evening because it is a beautiful bond. If we were not moving, I would probably not wean her. However, I don't want to traumatise her if we get overseas and I start working and she needs to go cold turkey. I'd much rather wean her gradually so that this is normal to her before we leave. I will start looking for a sippy cup and see if she will drink out of it. With the solids, she definitely took 2 steps back this week. But that's fine with me. Food should not be an issue. I LOVE to eat and I want her to learn that eating is fun, too! Thanks again!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    MI
    Posts
    311

    Default Re: Weaning from breast to bottle

    DD was 8 months when I went back to work and will only take like 4 oz of breast milk while I'm gone (she prefers an open cup, but will work with a Nuby straw cup if needed). And it was HARD to get her to drink any breast milk during the day up until the last month.

    I nursed her the same all the way up until I went back to work and we were fine. By that I mean I didn't get engorged (a little leaky the first few days and once when I didn't have time to pump during the day) and DD didn't starve bc she eats finger foods and drinks water/juice.

    I pump once a day for about 10-15 minutes to get those 4 oz and that's it. I missed a day last week and didn't have any problems on either end.

    On weekends we nurse as often as we want.

    I think with an established supply and a baby that eats solids you don't need to work on a transition. You LO will be 11 months old? Right? I think you could nurse as usual up until you go. My DD prefers bm from the tap and doesn't miss not having any when I'm not around.
    I'm Melissa, DD (01/12/2009) weaned at a little over 2 1/2 years

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    1,363

    Default Re: Weaning from breast to bottle

    Here's my two cents - and my experience - and it's just that!

    Having put two bf babies into daycare at 8 weeks, I always found it more traumatic to take away the regular bf times before the transition. I found that when I tried to take away daytime nursing while I was still around - both babies were quite upset and I was even more sad (not to mention my hormones - ugh). I did only what was necessary to make sure that I wasn't engorged if away from my baby for a longer period of time - and to make sure that they could drink something while away from me (whether it was a little form a bottle or a sippy). They transitioned just fine without me. In fact, my little girl had to transition to daycare twice, as I'm a teacher and was home with her two summers in a row. Both times she went almost cold turkey. She just drank out of something else while away from me and made up for it in the evenings and at night. Again, that's just my two cents - and my opinion.

    Also, I think you said that your move is 5 months away. That's a VERY long time for a baby - a lot will and can happen in 5 months. I would continue nursing as you normally are, introduce solids and sippy cups at a rate that your lo can handle (slowly) and deal with the transition when it comes.

    If you choose to keep nursing through your move, I think that you will be glad for the comfort it will bring you and your lo.

    I'm Erica

    Mommy to "C" - currently 3 and half years old
    - nursed for one year

    and mommy to "M" - currently 2 years old
    - nursed for 23 months

    Wife to my handsome DH for 5 and a half years!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: Weaning from breast to bottle

    Thank your for sharing your experiences with me. That was very helpful! I will try and introduce a sippy cup and more solids as time goes by. I would prefer to continue bf-ing her anyways but am only concerned about her going balistic once I'm away from her. But it is true that 5 months is a long time and babies change so quickly!!! If I know she will accept other sources of food while I'm gone, we'll be fine. ;-)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    1,363

    Default Re: Weaning from breast to bottle

    I was worried about the same thing - but honestly, when it was all said and done, I felt like the bond that I had built with my baby was what helped her to transition both times. She was always so excited to see me and I think more excited to nurse because I had kept it up. If I had cut back with nursing, I think she would have weaned. Hope you will find what works for you! I am sure that your baby will adjust quite well.

    I'm Erica

    Mommy to "C" - currently 3 and half years old
    - nursed for one year

    and mommy to "M" - currently 2 years old
    - nursed for 23 months

    Wife to my handsome DH for 5 and a half years!

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