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Weaning!

I know this probably could have gone under breastfeeding, but since it's the opposite of breast feeding, I thought it deserved its own thread.  :P

Lyle is just now 2 and I don't see an end in sight, although I'd like to get there soon. He seems to be becoming MORE interested in nursing at times  now, and I sort of feel like I should have done it a few months back. He wants to nurse a lot, and often won't give up asking until I give in (he does this with a lot of things).  ::)

He sometimes talks about it all day.....the first words out of his mouth are sometimes, "have some mommy milk later before bed"....because this is what I tell him when he asks!
we are down to about 2 feedings a day, definitely before bedtime, and sometimes in the morning or afternoon. He is always saying "I want some mommy milk". He is pretty tiny, (20 lbs) and a HORRIBLE eater, so I feel good giving it to him and love the closeness, but I also feel if I don't do it this summer (when dad is home from work) it might be impossible later!

He does like non-dairy milks, but he likes the mommy milk better... and sometimes asks for chocolate mommy milk . ;D When I tell him it's chocolate, he is satisfied and believes it! lol!

any tips or advice on getting the babes to give up the boob? I just don't see how we are going to do it!

No advice, just sympathy.

Mine is just 14 months, so I don't want to wean her yet. BUT she still asks to nurse every 2-3 hours around the clock, sometimes even more frequently! To my dismay, I think she is going to be a picky eater. She sticks out her tongue to taste all kinds of things and then is tight-lipped and shakes her head vigorously "no!" to almost everything. Even the things she does seem to like she eats in minute quantities only (as a side note, we went to a party Saturday night, and I couldn't keep her away from the potato chips ::sigh:: That was the first time she's ever had them - we don't have that kind of thing at home). If I were to cut back on the nursing at all, she wouldn't be getting enough to eat! She is 19 pounds.

I've always expected by the time she was 1.5 years or so she'd only be nursing 3 or 4 times a day - but I just don't see that happening. How old was Lyle when he started nursing less frequently? I also always wanted to take a child-led approach to weaning, but I fear with this kid doing that would mean I'll be nursing an 8 year old (I know some people do, but it's not for me)!

My battle plan (when I get the courage) is to cut out an afternoon feeding by telling her no and offering her something she will eat a little of (unsweetened soy yogurt, sweet potatoes, blueberries) instead. Then doing some super fun activity to keep her mind off nursing. If she keeps asking, I'll keep offering her the solid foods. Maybe a little hunger will be ok for her at this point to get the message across that foods other than breastmilk can satiate you! One feeding a day, that's all I ask!

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lol hopfrog!
sounds like lyle and your little one went to the same school of eating. lyle would be thrilled to eat potato chips all day long.  :-[

I do notice that when he asks to nurse, he is usually hungry, so I offer him a snack, but sometimes even after the snack, he still asks, like he wants to top it off!

hmmmmm. I think he started nursing less at about a year. it seems like we were at 3 times a day, (morning, noonish and night) for a long time. I've cut one of those out (sort of). I will tell him "later" or "tonight' and its so funny because now sometimes instead of asking, he just starts out the conversation with, "probably some mommy milk a little later" because he knows that is what i am going to say! but the poor guy-its still on his mind.

It's much easier with dh around because he doesn't seem to think of it if I am not there. That's why I am trying to do it this summer while he is not teaching. When I am home alone I am much more likely to give in !

I did want to nurse him until he was 2 (the WHO recommends this and I think it's healthy) but now 2 is here, and just can't see cutting him off from something he enjoys so much!

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Well, I felt a bit inspired after posting this morning. I know some (most) kids just naturally and slowly cut down on their breastmilk intake while increasing solid foods. That is what I had always anticipated happening. But now I think there are a few kids who just need a nudge. So anyway, I decided no breastmilk between 1pm and 5pm from now on.

It went well! I nursed her at 1 pm exactly. She asked to nurse at 2:30 and 3:30, and I just basically ignored her and did some really fun things with her (tearing paper, scribbling, playing with paint in the bathtub, turning on the hose in the backyard). There was no crying or anything. Then at 4:30 she was pretty insistent, so I said "oh, you are hungry? Let's eat some food!" I sat her in her high chair and mixed one of my "green cubes" (greens purred with a bit of water in the Vitamix and then frozen in an ice cube tray) into her unsweetened soy yogurt (this is about the only thing she eats more than a few bites of) and put about 1/4 c of wild blueberries on her tray. She actually ate most of the blueberries and a good amount of the yogurt/kale mixture.

5:00pm passed and she didn't ask to nurse. But I nursed her at 5:20pm because I had to go pick up my husband from work and there wouldn't be a good opportunity to feed her again until around 6:30. I didn't want a screaming toddler on my hands during that time.

Anyway, I'm encouraged. We'll see how tomorrow goes!

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SO this is weird. Sometimes I just need to put it out there to the universe, or to vegweb, as the case may be ::), and things happen. For the last 3 days, Lyle has not nursed ONCE during the day! He has only asked maybe 2 times to do so. We are down to just nursing before bed, which is the hardest to give up, but hey, it's progress! I don't think it will be long. He is not even nursing that long and just stops and says he's ready for me to put him in bed. And he stays in bed (big boy bed now!) until morning! woot!!!

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Kea used to be OBSESSED with nursing, ever since she was little. Probably because I was paranoid about feeding on demand, and my milk supply decreasing since she had so many allergies.  If I was home, or we were out and about she would ask to nurse all the time.  She would also have her little suffed animals "nurse" from each other during pretend play.  Oh and all the dinos and trains.....I was getting worried she had a complex....(j/k)...anyways I started only nursing at home, then only nursing in a certain spot on the couch and scheduling it a little further and further apart while distracting her when she would start to ask.  She fussed a little about it, but I woudl always offer her a sippy cup with ice water or rice milk while she waited to got nurse on the couch.  Then the last few months, (she weaned around 27? months or so,) i would only nurse her 1 time during the day and once before bed.  The last few weeks she would go a day or so without asking, (and when she did nurse I highly doubt she was getting much,) until she kinda forgot about it.  It was much less of a big deal than when i weaned her from night nursing...OMG that was a nightmare! After I did wean her she would occasionally ask sometimes, (she still does every so often,) but I would just try to redirect her and give her lots of snuggles.  She really likes being chased while I crawl and pretend to be a dino, so I would usually do that.

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SO this is weird. Sometimes I just need to put it out there to the universe, or to vegweb, as the case may be ::), and things happen. For the last 3 days, Lyle has not nursed ONCE during the day! He has only asked maybe 2 times to do so. We are down to just nursing before bed, which is the hardest to give up, but hey, it's progress! I don't think it will be long. He is not even nursing that long and just stops and says he's ready for me to put him in bed. And he stays in bed (big boy bed now!) until morning! woot!!!

oh and yay for the big boy in his bed all night!

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we are on night 3 of no mommy milk. he is crying right now!

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My little one just turned 2 - and we have been weaning fairly successfully, so I'll post what seems to be working for us (in no particular order).

1. Lots of snuggles & Mommy time.
2. Pep talks about the big girls we know and admire who no longer nurse. Something like: "Susie is a big girl, she doesn't nurse any more. Nursing is for little babies, not for big girls like Susie. You'll be a big girl very soon, and then you won't nurse either." She loves to talk about all sorts of friends who don't nurse any more. Even grown ups!  ;D
3. Alternating  between eliminating feedings and shortening feeding times. She would be satisfied to nurse even a couple of minutes (since that reduces milk production, it becomes less and less rewarding/attractive). So, we cut out one feeding at a time, and then shorten the duration of the remaining feedings, then cut out the next feeding.
4. Trying to postpone bedtime until she's very tired. Since she has always nursed to sleep, and it is difficult for her to learn to sleep without it, I try to make the going to sleep process as easy as possible.
5. Since we are religious, we include it as a topic at prayer time sometimes, and ask for God's help.
6. Brag on her progress to Daddy, Grandma, etc in front of her, so she gets encouragement & social approval.

Right now, she hasn't nursed at all in almost 72 hours, and we've had remarkably little fussing or complaining about the absence : )

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wow! my little lyle is finally weaned! I was gone 2 nights in a row and then on the third night, I talked to him about the mommy milk being gone (his reply was "oh man!"). Then he went down without it (first time EVER when I was home!) and he's been telling people that he is "going to sleep without mommy milk"! He really hasn't even asked for it since. I thought it would be a lot harder, but I think he was finally ready (28 months). It has now been 11 days. I am sad in a sense, because the last time we nursed, I didn't know it would be the last time, but I feel a new sense of freedom too....so it's mixed emotions.
I really can't believe how easy this was, because not too long ago, I thought it would be impossible to wean him!

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My son kind of weaned himself at 13 months old, more then a year ago.  When he started daycare full time, that was when he started formula, two bottles a day.  At that point he was only nursing twice a day, and he just started to loose interest.  So two months after I started working full time he stopped weaning.  I regret it and really wish I had kept it going longer, put more effort into it.  I tried to pump at work, but I bought a lousy pump that din't work well, BIG mistake.  Now today, he is a good eater and I barely remember the last time I nursed him.  I think it was in the middle of the night, he woke up crying so I nursed him to comfort him.  I remember trying to get him to nurse after that, but he always turned his head away and refused.  I was so sad.  Now I am all dried up and miss those days.  I know I will never have another child, and so will never again nurse.  Good luck to all you who weaned, you will miss it later. 

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My son kind of weaned himself at 13 months old, more then a year ago.  When he started daycare full time, that was when he started formula, two bottles a day.  At that point he was only nursing twice a day, and he just started to loose interest.  So two months after I started working full time he stopped weaning.  I regret it and really wish I had kept it going longer, put more effort into it.  I tried to pump at work, but I bought a lousy pump that din't work well, BIG mistake.  Now today, he is a good eater and I barely remember the last time I nursed him.  I think it was in the middle of the night, he woke up crying so I nursed him to comfort him.  I remember trying to get him to nurse after that, but he always turned his head away and refused.  I was so sad.  Now I am all dried up and miss those days.  I know I will never have another child, and so will never again nurse.  Good luck to all you who weaned, you will miss it later. 

well, it has to be done sometime. I very well can't be nursing an 8 year old. I know it happens, but I didn't want that. lol
I think 28 months is a great time.....past the  2 year mark, and before age 3. Since he hasn't asked at all, I think it means he was ready.
Of course it is sort of a sad milestone, but a happy one too.....he is growing up, and I get a little more freedom!

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and obviously, it should be a situation where both mom and baby are ready for it, which we both were. my point was, that i thought it would be such a hard habit to break for both of us, but that it wasn't after all. I think if I can do it, anyone can!

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I thought I'd pop in here.... I guess maybe looking for some support.  Gavin is almost 7 months now and we made it all the way to 6 months with him being exclusively breast fed. :)

I've got several week and a half long trips starting in January and I just cannot stomach the thought of pumping for the long while underway on a boat.  Gavin seems to prefer the bottle (with breast milk) anyway since he's such a busy-body and can look around.  I've gradually been cutting down on nursing sessions.  So, the 2 times a day (wake up & bedtime) that I've been nursing him, he isn't all that into it.  I was planning on weaning him off the boob by the end of December, but that plan has been cut short because I had to go back on a medication that isn't safe while breast feeding.  Overall, I am having very mixed emotions about it.  I feel bad for stopping.  I feel good for making it to 7 months.  And at least there is enough breast milk in my freezer to do half that and half formula until he's a year old..... *sigh*

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You should feel proud that you managed to overcome the problems you've had and breastfeed him for that long!  Not everyone is able (or willing) to breastfeed for 2 years...or one year...or even 6 months.  You have perfectly valid reasons for weaning now.  And he's likely to get even less interested in milk/formula as he gets more interested in actual food.  Just make sure he's getting plenty of cuddles to make up for the lack of boob time. :)

Has he tried formula yet?  Are you planning on mixing the formula and breastmilk together or alternating bottles of formula and breastmilk?

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He's had formula for the first time a couple of days ago.  And he had no problems with it whatsoever.  Which is great considering the weaning.  But I also feel kind of insulted.  He gets 4 bottles a day; 2 breast milk and 2 formula.  Right at 6 months he got super interested in food. :) Now, we're just trying to get him interested in the sippy cup.  And I reinventoried.... We should be able to make it to month 10 with half breast milk.

Thanks for your really kind words.  It makes me feel better.  Damn that Mom guilt.

::EDIT:: I've worked it to where I can still feed him once a day from the boob. :)

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Congratulations on making it 7 months, LLG!  That is truly spectacular.  I can't believe that you have that much milk saved, too.  AWESOME JOB! 

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Thanks mdv!  It was difficult and an extreme amount of commitment.... Or me just being stubborn.
I was pretty much paranoid about pumping and freezing milk.  I was so worried about not having enough for him while I was underway for days at a time that I pumped constantly.  I'd pump every 4 hours.  It was pretty ridiculous.  If I was stationed on land I'm pretty sure I would have gone all the way to 1 year.
He's a happy healthy baby and that's all anyone can really ask for. :)

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He's a happy healthy baby and that's all anyone can really ask for. :)

Exactly. ;)b

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