Toddlers: 12 - 24 Months

Wanting to wean, feeling lost...

I always wanted to BF for 6 months to a year. Now that my LO has celebrated his one year birthday, I'm thinking it's time to wean. Truthfully, both of us still enjoy BF'ing, and I know I'll miss it when we stop, but I'm planning to go back to work at the end of August (I'm off just for the summer now) and I can't stand the thought of having to pump at work again. Plus, DH and I are going away for four days in the middle of August, and leaving LO with our parents. I was kind of hoping he'd be weaned by then, as that would make things easier for everybody.

The problem is, we seem to be going backwards. I've never been able to get LO to take a sippy cup OR a straw cup. I've tried several kidns, offering over and over again, demonstrating myself, etc. Granted, I haven't been trying either for all that long (he never showed much interest in a cup before, so I only started really  pushing it after he turned 11 months). ALso, even though LO took two bottles a day in day care from December to June, he is now refusing the bottle altogether--he just wants to BF. I don't really want him on the bottle now that he's 12 months, but I figured if he got used to the bottle again, it might be easier to get him using a sippy cup. This morning, I tried to offer a bottle instead of his normal nursing session (I figured he'd be hungry enough to take it) but he kept pushing the bottle away with his hands and eventually started crying.

He eats fairly well at mealtimes and is eating three times a day (he still prefers purees to finger foods, but that's a problem for another post), but I find myself wanting to BF four times a day, just to make sure he's getting enough liquids. It's been really, really hot, so I've been especially concerned about him not drinking enough. 

So at this point, I don't know what to do. Should I just keep BF'ing, and hope the rest works itself out? Stop BF'ing, and assume he'll use a cup when he gets desperate enough? Forget the bottle, but keep offering the sippy cup?  Seriously, I have no idea, and all the information I find online seems so vague. Help? 

 

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Re: Wanting to wean, feeling lost...

  • You can keep nursing when you are home and switch to sippies of water or your choice of milk during the day. If you're still nursing several times a day you don't really need to worry about if he's getting enough. 

    4 times a day is plenty for a 12 month old. If you can keep nursing 3 times a day while you work you shouldn't have to worry about pumping while at work.  

    There's no reason to push a bottle on him, too. I would find a sippy he likes. Maybe a take n toss straw cup? Those have always been popular w/ my kids.  


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  • Doesn't sound like you need to completely wean... after nursing this long your body is a lot different than it was in the beginning with a brand new milk supply. Its reasonable to expect that you could cut back to 23 nursing sessions a day when youre back to work and never have a need for pumping. In my experience since my DD turned 1, unless I go MORE than 24 hours without nursing I have no need to pump. And I am still nursing 3 and occasionally 4 times a day.

    In your situation, I would start trying to cut out one session right now. Maybe the mid morning one? And in addition, keep giving him a sippy, try water bottles too, like open top ones. My daughter LOVES them and its obviously messy, but when your main concern is hydration I'd say that becomes less of an issue. The point is to get him to drink from something other than you! Good luck :
    eliza bopple
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  • Before you wean you really have to get him comfortable with a cup.  I wouldn't just quit cold turkey on him, it's not his fault.  We started a cup at 4 months(she never took a bottle) and it took a few months before she'd take enough liquid in to consider it a good drink.  Have you tried offering him drink from an open cup or an open cup with a straw? 

    You won't have to pump unless you feel uncomfortable during the day.  My DD has cows milk and water when I'm at work.

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  • You don't have to pump at work.  I would just BF whenever you both want to and drop a nursing session or 2 so you're just nursing morning and nights then slowly wean if you still want to. About the trip, I would take a pump and pump maybe once a day just to ease discomfort.  

    Good luck! 

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  • image LalaMama81:

    You can keep nursing when you are home and switch to sippies of water or your choice of milk during the day. If you're still nursing several times a day you don't really need to worry about if he's getting enough. 

    4 times a day is plenty for a 12 month old. If you can keep nursing 3 times a day while you work you shouldn't have to worry about pumping while at work.  

    There's no reason to push a bottle on him, too. I would find a sippy he likes. Maybe a take n toss straw cup? Those have always been popular w/ my kids.  

    All of this!  Also, I stopped pumping when DD turned one because I hated it so much but I continue to nurse (she's now 16 months) and it's been fine.  There's really no need to wean if you are still enjoying breastfeeding. 

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  • image mexicolombiana:

    You don't have to pump at work.  I would just BF whenever you both want to and drop a nursing session or 2 so you're just nursing morning and nights then slowly wean if you still want to. About the trip, I would take a pump and pump maybe once a day just to ease discomfort.  

    Good luck! 

    I agree with all of this!  We are down to 1-2x per day.  I just left my LO with my parents for a work trip and he was fine, as were my boobs!  He went about 2.5 days between feedings.  Also, I stopped pumping when he turned 1. 

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  • Nel11Nel11
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    I agree with the others... no need to pump at work, I would continue the summer BFing when you both want to, or pick 1 session and try to drop that one first, and go from there.

    I would definitely keep working on the sippy cup thing.  I would not go back to a bottle... definitely try a few different cups, or a water bottle.  We have a kid's Camelbak sippy that DD loves.

     As for the trip, can you leave DS with your husband/sitter/whomever for just a day in the next couple weeks and see how it goes?  Maybe leave early in the a.m. and come home after he's in bed... he might have an easier time taking a cup if your not around.  


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