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 Post subject: Weaning a toddler (breastfeeding)
PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2010 11:46 am 
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So I think I might be ready. Silas is not. By any means. I'm pretty convinced he never will be. Someone tell me this is possible?

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 Post subject: Re: Weaning a toddler (breastfeeding)
PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2010 12:02 pm 
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How old is Silas? How often does he nurse?


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 Post subject: Re: Weaning a toddler (breastfeeding)
PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2010 12:08 pm 
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I have few ideas, but a lot of empathy.

I am okay with our current nursing schedule (at night for bedtime and occasionally first thing--while still in bed) but my husband is not. And my daughter would happily nurse more often if it were up to her.

::sigh:: I don't like the idea of force-weaning, but I don't know what to do. "Mama's milk" is a high-demand thing, it seems.

(Who are those kids who wean themselves at a year old? I would have been kind of sad, but it would have made it easier. I can't even imagine my daughter volunteering!)


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 Post subject: Re: Weaning a toddler (breastfeeding)
PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2010 12:27 pm 
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Totally possible.

I was in the same boat almost exactly a year ago. I slowly went from a "don't offer, don't refuse" nursing policy to "don't offer" - which meant I started refusing to nurse Westley in the mornings. There were tears involved, but after a few mornings of no nursing, he stopped asking for "molk" when he first woke up. It really helped that he was good with a sippy cup, and we still spent a lot of time cuddling together.

The whole weaning process - from me deciding, "OK, time to wean" to no more nursing at all - took about 6 months.

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 Post subject: Re: Weaning a toddler (breastfeeding)
PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2010 12:39 pm 
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Kelly - You know I just weaned Lily since I was done even though she could have gone on for much longer. I didn't let her see my naked breasts to get the idea "hey nay nay time!". If she asked for it, I'd say "not right now, let's read a book." Distract her, offer up something else that I know she'd enjoy (painting, doing bubbles outside, etc). Lots of talking that she was a big kid, my body knew she was eating more food and less "nay nay milk" so there was less in my body, that cuddles were always available, etc. I didn't knock out all nursings at once. That was too drastic. I slowly knocked them off one by one. Let her pick out new sippy cups for the rice milk she'd be offered instead of breastmilk. Also, I would tell her that my breasts were sleeping, so she couldn't wake them up for breastmilk at that time. But she could cuddle up to me and rest her head on my breasts.

When I officially stopped all nursings, Lily was sad. Had trouble going to bed and cried a few nights. But now she doesn't ask, but she still likes to cuddle up to my breasts and likes to smell them (she says she can smell the nay nay milk). All of this seems to be acceptable with her and we've gotten over the hump.

Good luck!

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 Post subject: Re: Weaning a toddler (breastfeeding)
PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2010 2:09 pm 
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Ah, thanks guys! Knew I could count on you guys for support <3

Silas would seriously prefer to nurse most of the time and just forgo food if we let him. To get him to eat better, I stopped letting him nurse whenever he asked. We cut down to at naptime, at bedtime, and night nursing. This was a few months ago, he just turned 2 on the 10th. Still a lot of nursing really. He still tries to trick me into extra feedings, but I do the distractions and sippy cups and that usually works. He will NOT go to sleep without nursing unless we're in the car for a long time. He cosleeps with us, which I figure will have to end to get him to stop night nursing. This is kind of overwhelming.

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 Post subject: Re: Weaning a toddler (breastfeeding)
PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2010 2:21 pm 
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I coslept with both my kids while weaning them and they both went to sleep nursing. With Henry I had to wear a sports bra at night
and a shirt that was tight so he couldn't pull it up. With Lily I just wore a really tight shirt. They did fine with that.

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 Post subject: Re: Weaning a toddler (breastfeeding)
PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2010 2:49 pm 
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Erin- that's what I've been trying, the sports bra and super tight shirt high-necked shirt to bed. Silas is so incredibly stubborn, just screams and claws at me until I give in. I know, I know. I have to stop giving in. I'm sure you're right. A few nights of torture and maybe he'll give up?

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 Post subject: Re: Weaning a toddler (breastfeeding)
PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2010 3:38 pm 
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For night weaning, I've heard good things about this approach:
http://drjaygordon.com/attachment/sleeppattern.html
For total weaning, I've got nothing. Well, except for getting pregnant and hoping your milk dries up. Probably not what you were looking for, though.

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 Post subject: Re: Weaning a toddler (breastfeeding)
PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2010 8:31 pm 
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We did something similar to the Jay Gordon approach that keenie posted and night weaned at about 13 months. It was hard, but not as terrible as I was imagining. We finally weaned completely at 17 months in pretty much the same way as everyone else - cut down on nursing until it was just the one at naptime. I told him for a week or so that my body wasn't making as much milk and pretty soon it would be all gone. One day I was just DONE and at naptime I told him the milk was all gone but we could snuggle and lie down together. He was really okay. He still LOVES my breasts, loves to fall asleep holding one. He likes to talk about mommymilk every now and then but I get the feeling it's a pleasant memory, not something he's sad about. Wishing you guys all the best!


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 Post subject: Re: Weaning a toddler (breastfeeding)
PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2010 9:55 pm 
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thanks for asking- we are thinking about beginning with some night weaning for our little man, and you guys help me think we can do this!


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 Post subject: Re: Weaning a toddler (breastfeeding)
PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2010 10:48 pm 
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keen_on_quinoa wrote:
For night weaning, I've heard good things about this approach:
http://drjaygordon.com/attachment/sleeppattern.html
For total weaning, I've got nothing. Well, except for getting pregnant and hoping your milk dries up. Probably not what you were looking for, though.


That's what we did for night weaning, and it worked. And then a month or two later, a bunch of things happened... molars started to come in, Grey learned to walk, family came to visit, just lots and lots of excitement... and now we're back to nursing every hour or so all night long. Oy.

Anyway, it's worth trying! I expect that since Silas is older, if you can get this to work at all, it'll probably be a lasting success and not just a works for four weeks kinda thing.

The Emperor will be 13 months old tomorrow and he is showing NO signs of slowing on the boob juice. I really don't understand how people do the whole "hey, happy birthday, say goodbye to these" thing. Maybe some babies just don't like boobs that much.

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 Post subject: Re: Weaning a toddler (breastfeeding)
PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2010 11:18 pm 
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coldandsleepy wrote:
I really don't understand how people do the whole "hey, happy birthday, say goodbye to these" thing. Maybe some babies just don't like boobs that much.


Some babies really don't! By the time he was a year old, my son wasn't that into BFing outside of it putting him to sleep (he had words and signs for it, but he NEVER asked for it). I was completely willing to keep up with those feedings, but by 14 months it got so infrequent my boobs regained sensitivity (I didn't even know they'd lost it until it came back) and I wasn't making much milk. Feedings became pretty uncomfortable for me. He had a bad night or two when we first stopped, but it was really the feeding before his nap that was hard to recover from. It took us at least a month to get into a really good, BF-free nap time routine.

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 Post subject: Re: Weaning a toddler (breastfeeding)
PostPosted: Thu Oct 28, 2010 10:26 am 
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I should have mentioned: Westley and I were down to three, maybe four nursings a day when I decided to wean completely. Morning, before nap (sometimes), after nap, and before bed. We stayed in that pattern for a long time before I started cutting out the nursing even further.

Unfortunately, I have no advice for nighttime. Westley was in his own bed from the beginning.

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 Post subject: Re: Weaning a toddler (breastfeeding)
PostPosted: Thu Oct 28, 2010 12:04 pm 
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You must not give in! That's the only way to have it stick. When I would give in with Luna, the crying got worse from day to day. But, when I stood my ground, it lessened quickly and disappeared. And, then we all got a good night's sleep. I weaned her about 5 months before we stopped co-sleeping.


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 Post subject: Re: Weaning a toddler (breastfeeding)
PostPosted: Thu Oct 28, 2010 1:29 pm 
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As hard as it is, I agree with Phoenix Cindy. You can't give in. You don't have to be mean, just gently remind the child that it isn't time for breastfeeding and cuddle up. I would tell Henry, they are asleep now but you can wake them when the sun comes up. That was to wean the night feedings. When I wanted to start getting rid of the morning feeding, I'd jump out of bed before he did. Have breakfast ready to go and he would forget about nursing. It was hard for me to wake up before him at first, but it weaned him of that feeding really fast.

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 Post subject: Re: Weaning a toddler (breastfeeding)
PostPosted: Thu Oct 28, 2010 6:06 pm 
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I definitely recommend the Jay Gordon method for nightweaning. We did that about a month ago because my 15 month old daughter was waking up every 1-2 hours to nurse (we cosleep too) from the day she was born. I was going insane! The first 2 nights were rough but then she seemed to understand. Now she wakes up usually 2 times a night and sometimes just whimpers and goes back to sleep and sometimes she asks for "neh". When she does that I just say that neh is sleeping and she goes right back to sleep. I wish she would sleep through the night but I am just glad that there has been such a huge improvement and she is still in our bed. I do still nurse outside of the 7 hour window we picked, which I worried might be confusing for her, but she seems to be doing fine. One thing I will say though is that she definitely makes up for the missed night nursing during the day.

Good luck!


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 Post subject: Re: Weaning a toddler (breastfeeding)
PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2011 12:23 pm 
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so we've been night weaning for well over a month basically by my husband taking over night waking, and offering a sippy of water and cuddles. After the first 5 days my son came down with RSV and an ear infection, and last week he had a fever and was throwing up so i have nursed him through the night a few times.

Here's the thing, he used to sleep from 630 to 7, with anywhere from 3 to 5 wakings, and now he is going from 8 to 600, with a planned midnight feed. I am making my husband tell him that nursies are still night night til 630, but he is still waiting- sitting in his crib or waiting with Daddy, asking until its time. I feel like he should be sleeping more, and my husband seems to think i should just start getting up and feeding him when he wakes (when i do nurse him at 630, he is awake for the day). Am i asking for too much? If not, what would you suggest that worked for you? Right now, he is still in his crib attached to our bed, but i had hoped to start moving the crib away from our bed in April and slowly move him into the nursery which is ab 6 feet from our bed at night,but i'd like him to be consistently sleeping longer before i do that.


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 Post subject: Re: Weaning a toddler (breastfeeding)
PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2011 12:50 pm 
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Kelly wrote:
Ah, thanks guys! Knew I could count on you guys for support <3

Silas would seriously prefer to nurse most of the time and just forgo food if we let him.


The Emperor's like this too. He's only a year and a half old (actually not quite even) but I'm starting to feel like it's just too much. He would ALWAYS prefer boob milk over food. Even his favorite foods. I would say that on a LOW nursing day, he nurses six or seven times a day. And on a more normal day? I don't even know.

I've started saying no to him in certain situations. He does not like this, but something's got to give. He can't nurse while I'm eating or drinking my daily cup of coffee. He can't nurse again if we just got done nursing and he told me he was really all done and then changed his mind. ... I think maybe that's it. Sometimes I just tell him no because I'm not feeling it.

I try to offer him an alternative when I say no-- do you want a hug? do you want to read a book with me? do you want some food? etc-- but mostly that doesn't work. He is very persistent.

He was nightweaned for about a month with absolutely no drama around 11 months old. Then a bunch of excitement happened-- we had visitors, more visitors, traveled, visitors, travel, with illness in there somewhere-- and he got totally out of whack again from that. I want to go back to nightweaning but just haven't had the energy and the motivation lately.

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 Post subject: Re: Weaning a toddler (breastfeeding)
PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2011 1:26 pm 
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coldandsleepy wrote:
He can't nurse again if we just got done nursing and he told me he was really all done and then changed his mind.



Ezra does this A LOT. He'll finish up a big long session, be all content, pop off, and then realize it's still staring him in the face.
He'll be a year next week and is showing no signs of slowing down. He definitely prefers me over regular food. He won't ask to nurse when we're out in public very often though, but once we get home, watch out! Night is a bit waring too - he'd like to sleep all night with it in his mouth. I love breastfeeding and want to go for at least two years - the constant night feeding is the only thing that bothers me.


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 Post subject: Re: Weaning a toddler (breastfeeding)
PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2011 1:37 pm 
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See, the Emperor does not care at ALL where we are. I thought that when he got to the age where he wanted to be running around on his own a lot, he'd slow down... but no. Instead what he really wants to do is to stop playing every ten minutes, jump up and nurse for a minute, then jump down and play more.

I love nursing him but it's just... too much. I want to keep nursing him _some_ until at least 2 years provided that he doesn't lose interest, but I don't want to keep nursing him every hour during the day til then. Pew pews need some rest!

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 Post subject: Re: Weaning a toddler (breastfeeding)
PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2011 2:49 pm 
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coldandsleepy wrote:
See, the Emperor does not care at ALL where we are. I thought that when he got to the age where he wanted to be running around on his own a lot, he'd slow down... but no. Instead what he really wants to do is to stop playing every ten minutes, jump up and nurse for a minute, then jump down and play more.

I love nursing him but it's just... too much. I want to keep nursing him _some_ until at least 2 years provided that he doesn't lose interest, but I don't want to keep nursing him every hour during the day til then. Pew pews need some rest!



Oh man, that was Silas exactly for the longest time. So exhausting! Well, he's still nursing (nearly 2 1/2 years old) but finally not tryiing to nurse constantly anymore! He still hates food. Basically all food. It's really taxing on you to nurse THAT often for so long. He's still nursing at night and down to his nap, but that is all. We're starting to realize that it's more of an oral sensory issue for him so we're taking a much slower approach to weaning him so it's more at his comfort level. Right now, when he nurses to sleep, he stops when he's full, releases and then cuddles to sleep. That alone is monumental progress for him. We're working on offering him any and all foods to him and it's a real uphill battle. He knows by scent whether he'll even allow that food anywhere near his mouth.

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 Post subject: Re: Weaning a toddler (breastfeeding)
PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2011 2:56 pm 
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How do you work on slowing down the supply? I know that it'll happen gradually, but I still need to pump at work to stay comfortable. When I'm not around, he'll eat regular food, so stocking up isn't really necessary for us.


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 Post subject: Re: Weaning a toddler (breastfeeding)
PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2011 3:08 pm 
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tzippy is 13 months old and i am starting to think a little bit about cutting back some. not a whole lot, and thank the heavens i don't have to nightwean as she rarely wakes to nurse more than once, early in the morning, but i am planning to go to work when she is 18 months and so she'll have to get used to not having milk during working hours. she nurses a LOT too, even though she's a pretty decent eater. i've recently gone from feeling that solid food is way to much work and i'd rather just nurse all the time to having moments when i really don't want to nurse and would rather she'd eat. it's a weird transition! so far, we have pretty good luck with jumping right out of bed in the morning and making breakfast right away, offering food before nursing, and having really busy days. today was great, as we were out of the house from 9:30 to 3:30 and she only nursed twice that whole time.

i don't know whether i should just let it happen naturally at daycare though, rather than trying to have a couple weeks before daycare starts of no nursing at all during the day. it seems like that might be a little confusing for her, to be home with mommy but not getting milk, rather than just associating daycare with no milk.


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 Post subject: Re: Weaning a toddler (breastfeeding)
PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2011 4:39 pm 
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flavabean wrote:
How do you work on slowing down the supply? I know that it'll happen gradually, but I still need to pump at work to stay comfortable. When I'm not around, he'll eat regular food, so stocking up isn't really necessary for us.


Pump less, so you're not totally empty, and try stretching out the length of time between pumping? Think of it as your baby needing less milk less often.

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