Attachment Parenting

Extended BF'ing questions

Hi all! DD is now over 12 months and so we have been informed by her pedi to stop using bottles. I'm a SAHM so she hasn't been using them that much lately anyway, only if I have to be gone for long periods of time. DH and I have a just-us date Thursday (yay!) so DD will be at my parents' for 4 hours or so. She does well with a straw cup and recently with a sippy, however we only ever put water in them. We've tried BM in the straw cup but she never liked it.

What should I recommend for my parents since she's only taken BM from a bottle? She can drink from an open cup with assistance, but only a few sips at a time. And does anyone practice with BM in other cups? It seems silly to pump and put it in a cup just for practice.

In general, I'm having a hard time balancing BF'ing with solids now that she's a year old. I would prefer her to self-wean, but I don't know if I should be avoiding BF'ing in favor of solids, or what. I have no problem BF'ing whenever she wants it, but I don't want to discourage solids since they are important. We've done BLW up to this point. Any advice?? 

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Re: Extended BF'ing questions

  • With both kids I kind of felt weird at the one year mark, when BFing starts to take a back seat to solid food.  I am not sure why I struggle with this transition so much but it always feels hard to me.  But, assuming that your DD is eating a reasonable diet, you don't need to worry about drinking milk in a cup.  If she is eating well and nursing 3-4x a day she is meeting her nutritional needs, and BFing is just part of her overall diet at this point.  For the date night, I would just let her eat solids and have water in a cup, unless you think she will need a bottle to replace nursing to sleep.  If so, I'd just give her the bottle, because I don't think it's a big deal to do that on occasion. 
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  • You definitely don't need to avoid BFing in favor of solids. It's totally ok for DD to continue nursing as much as she likes.

    The general thought is that for the first 12 months, BM is sufficient as the SOLE source of nutrition, and that solids are for play and practice. In the second year, BM on its own is not sufficient, so adding solids to the diet is important. That said, it's still totally ok for BM to be DD's MAIN source of nutrition if she wants. Just watch her weight and offer a good variety or healthy solids.

    For Thursday, you could leave DD with a sippy cup of milk and an empty bottle, and if she won't drink it from the sippy but still wants milk, her caregiver can pour it into the bottle. She doesn't have to cut out bottles that quickly, but of she's already not getting them often, the sippy may work. How long will you be away? She may not even need much milk if you nurse before you go and immediately when you get back.

    ETA: It is over the course of the second year that solids gradually become a child's main source of nutrition, and they do it at their own pace. DS still nurses a lot, but he has started eating more solids too. It has been gradual and on his terms.

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  • She doesn't need to drink milk in 4 hours. Have your parents offer water in whatever kind of cup she likes, and solids of whatever kind she likes. You don't need to pump for a date night now that she's this old - you get to just go. Breastfeeding a toddler is so easy compared to a little baby!

    For perspective, I went back to work when DS was 12 months and never offered breastmilk in a cup or bottle. He nursed when we were together and had other things (including cow milk, but not really much of it) when we were apart. He did just fine. 

    You don't really have to do anything to balance solids by BLW and breastfeeding. Breastfeed on demand. Offer a variety of foods about 5 x a day (3 meals and snacks). She'll take what she needs. My DS was really slow on the solids - he didn't really EAT until 18 months - but he made up for it with nursing when I was home. 

  • image Emerald27:
    You definitely don't need to avoid BFing in favor of solids. It's totally ok for DD to continue nursing as much as she likes. The general thought is that for the first 12 months, BM is sufficient as the SOLE source of nutrition, and that solids are for play and practice. In the second year, BM on its own is not sufficient, so adding solids to the diet is important. That said, it's still totally ok for BM to be DD's MAIN source of nutrition if she wants. Just watch her weight and offer a good variety or healthy solids. For Thursday, you could leave DD with a sippy cup of milk and an empty bottle, and if she won't drink it from the sippy but still wants milk, her caregiver can pour it into the bottle. She doesn't have to cut out bottles that quickly, but of she's already not getting them often, the sippy may work. How long will you be away? She may not even need much milk if you nurse before you go and immediately when you get back. ETA: It is over the course of the second year that solids gradually become a child's main source of nutrition, and they do it at their own pace. DS still nurses a lot, but he has started eating more solids too. It has been gradual and on his terms.

    This!

    I would nurse before I left, have them give her dinner of solids, and water in a sippy. And nurse when you return. No worries about pumping/bottles/etc.



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  • There are no magic changes at a year.  Keep nursing when she wants to and offering solids with meals/snacks.  At some point - closer to 18mo? 20mo? - I would always do solids first, so I wouldn't nurse if we were 20-30min from breakfast or lunch or dinner.  But otherwise, it's always been her lead.

    As for the 4 hours - go.  She won't need milk in that time period.  She can have water or any milk/milk substitute you might be doing and solids.  She'll be fine, and might nurse a little longer when you get home.

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  • We're only a couple months past where you are, but I kind of went with the flow on breastfeeding and solids.

    (I also was lucky enough that my guy took milk from the straw cup without issue)

    I nursed when he wanted to nurse and offered meals at meal time.  At a year I stopped nursing right before a meal (which is what I did for the 6-12 month age), but not based on a clock.  So, for instance, he still wanted to nurse after daycare, so he nursed around 5:30 and we ate at 6:30pm.  I just didn't "force" him to nurse because we'd be eating soon. (I'm not even sure if that makes sense, but I hope you understand what I mean)

    I don't think I'm the norm, but for me he started dropping feeds around 13 months.  At that time he actively chose solids over breastfeeding during the day (going to the pantry and asking for "food" instead of asking for "milk").

    Now at almost 17 months he nurses in the morning and at night, and does solids during the day.  But it's still based on his request.  For instance, this morning he nursed at 5am and then went back to sleep while I went for a run.  When he got up for the day at 6:30 he asked to nurse again.  He doesn't usually do that, but I wasn't going to turn him down or try to offer solids instead, or make him hold out till his yogurt and granola at 7:30.

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  • Thank you for the help everyone! I feel a lot more relaxed about it now after reading these responses. I'm also glad to hear I don't have to feel like I NEED to pump...it felt strange doing so when I knew she could eat other things. I'll send an empty bottle and both cups and let my mom decide :)

    I'm also glad to hear I'm not the only one having a hard time with this transition phase. It felt like she needed me and nursing 24/7 for a year, and now that it's not that way so much I don't know what to do with myself!

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  • I wouldn't bother sending her with any breastmilk if she's going to your parent's for a a few hours.

    Just follow her lead. My kids were both nursing a decent amount at 12 months, and DS2 really like solids, whereas DS1 still didn't eat very much. Babies are really good at figuring out how to switch over to big people food. 

    DS1 - Feb 2008

    DS2 - Oct 2010 (my VBAC baby!)

  • image tokenhoser:

    She doesn't need to drink milk in 4 hours. Have your parents offer water in whatever kind of cup she likes, and solids of whatever kind she likes. You don't need to pump for a date night now that she's this old - you get to just go. Breastfeeding a toddler is so easy compared to a little baby!

    For perspective, I went back to work when DS was 12 months and never offered breastmilk in a cup or bottle. He nursed when we were together and had other things (including cow milk, but not really much of it) when we were apart. He did just fine. 

    You don't really have to do anything to balance solids by BLW and breastfeeding. Breastfeed on demand. Offer a variety of foods about 5 x a day (3 meals and snacks). She'll take what she needs. My DS was really slow on the solids - he didn't really EAT until 18 months - but he made up for it with nursing when I was home. 

    This.  I just went with the flow and as I did before the one year mark, just watched my baby. As long as she was growing, meeting milestones and eliminating normally she was fine.  Unless you want to actively wean, just keep doing what you are doing, except stop pumping. I NEVER put BM in a sippy cup. It took way too long to pump for practice.

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  • I BF for over two years and ignored the one year bottle recommendation, I read the reasoning behind it link to obesity and found that since I was still breast feeding that didn't pertain to my child. But like PP said if you are off bottles your child could go 4 hours without milk. At one year we were visiting family in another country for 3 weeks and I didn't pack bottles, when I left DD with hubby for the day on occasion we just used dippy cups with water and she didn't seem to mind.
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