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I think the general consensus is to EBF until 4 to 6 months before introducing solids, then to keep BFing along with giving solids until 12 months, then you can introduce whole cow's milk. That doesn't mean you HAVE to wean at 12 months, but I think that's when a lot of moms start the weaning process. The WHO recommends to keep BFing up until 2 years, but I don't know many people who actually have done it.
Now, that's what the books say, but please don't put too much pressure on yourself. the important thing is that your baby is fed and that both you and baby are happy :)
Personally, I BFed DD1 until 15-16 months. DD2 abruptly self-weaned 2 weeks after her first birthday.
I think it's totally what works for you, your baby and what you're comfortable with. If you plan to go back to work, it can certainly be a hassle, but is definitely doable if you have a good support (hubby, boss) and a system (for cleaning bottles, parts, refrigeration, etc.). I am completely pro-breast feeding, but I'm also pro-do whatever works best for you and no one should judge you for it (nor should you feel guilty).
Back to your actual question, I'm not sure what the average is. I think 6 months. I BF'ed until my son was just about 18 months, but not exclusively. He had cow's milk starting at around 12 months and then he nursed about 2-3 times a day from 12 months until 18 months. GL!
I'm still BF'ing DD and she's almost 18 months.
The AAP recommends BF'ing for at least a year. The WHO recommends two years.
It's completely up to you what you decide to do. My first goal was a year, then 18 months. Now that we're here I haven't quite decided what's next. I'd like to let DD self-wean, but quite honestly the thought of nursing a toddler and a newborn at the same time scares the heck out of me. DD will be just under 2 when this one arrives. I'll probably wait and see how the next few months go before I make any decisions.
I BF'd for almost 16months. I might go to 2y this time, but DH wouldn't be happy with me...
The average you get on the bump won't be the average for the nation. IIRC, a majority of moms quit BF by 6 weeks.
I BFed until 18 months. Which is when she was done. I skipped the bedtime once and she never fussed or asked again.
I pumped weaned at 15ish months when it appeared she would tolerate goat's milk. She was MSPI, so I was intending to go until she couldn't tolerate an alternative. I was lucky enough to have a large freezer stash. So we mixed that in with her goat's milk until she was 21 months.
I wanted to still be BF at this point but we had so many latch issues that he would only hook on in the middle of the night at 5 and 6 months. I gave up the rental pump at 7 months after blowing 2 up. I am the odd one out because all my friends nursed until the kids weaned.
With #2 I am hoping to go as long as possible.
Layne-May 6, 2013
Callie-February 14, 2011
I BF DS for 22 months. I had to go on domperidone at 11 months (long story) and by 18 months I had weaned off the dom and had lost most of my supply. I weaned using "don't offer don't refuse" and a little coaxing and DS self weaned around 22 months. I was home with him for 14 months and when I went back to work we were down to just his bedtime feeding, so it was a slow process and we were both ready.
I did for 3 months. I wanted to for at least 6, but by month 2, she wasn't gaining enough weight as she almost always immediately fell asleep on the boob so my supply tanked. It was a terrible time for me, I was constantly stressed out about feeding her, pumping, or trying to feed myself. Plus she had reflux, so my dr said I would have to cut out pretty much every vegetable & dairy from my diet to help her...and considering we are (mostly) grain-free in our house, that didn't leave a whole lot to eat, and I lost a lot of weight which didn't help with supply. After lots of guilt, stress and research, I supplemented with formula and EP so I could measure my production. By 3 months, I was barely able to pump 2oz total, and she was doing great with formula. I was going back to work then too and I couldn't justify the hassle of pumping at work for such a tiny amount, so I stopped completely at 12 weeks. DD has thrived ever since, and been a happy, healthy baby.
This time around, I am planning to meet with a LC early on if there are any latch or fall-asleep problems, and MH to make extras at dinner so I have food already made for lunch the next day. Also, to find peace with whatever feeding decision works best for ME, whenever needed.
Seriously, happy mom=happy baby.
I made it until about 9 months. My goal was a year, but I couldn't keep up my milk. It was really hard to keep pumping at work. It just took so long and I didn't have a great place to do it every day so I spent half of my break walking around trying to find a vacant room to use which got super frustrating after a while. This time my goal is to get a good freezer stash going while I'm at home and I'm in a different work environment which should be much more condusive to pumping privacy. I'm really going to do whatever it takes to keep up my milk until 12 months when we can transition to milk.
I don't feel like I failed or that my daughter was any less nourished by formula, but I'd like the cut the expense with #2 and the cost of formula vs. free mommy milk really adds up!
I nursed James for a year, and right around when he turned 1 he weaned himself.
I was very fortunate that we had a smooth breastfeeding journey. The only major issues I ran into (besides the usual roadblocks in the very beginning) was pumping, so I stopped after a couple of months and just nursed him. Which was hard sometimes since I was the only one that could feed him, but it worked out well for us.
I nursed DS for 14 months. He literally woke up one morning and refused to nurse. I tried for the next couple of days but he refused.
I am still pumping for DD at 14 months. Around 9 months she started biting and I could not get her to stop ( a problem I never had with DS) My supply is dropping so I am combining breast milk and cow's milk...it was a tough adjustment at first.
My goal has always been to nurse/pump for 12 months (assuming no obstacles) and after that I leave it to my LOs.