Transitioning away from the bottle and breastmik — The Bump
June 2015 Moms

Transitioning away from the bottle and breastmik

DD is ten months, and we are ready to start thinking about transitioning away from breast milk. I've been building a stash of milk since day one and probably have a solid two months of milk if she were to continue 24 oz a day. I already see her naturally drinking less and eating for solids, so that number is only going to get smaller. I also exclusively pump and down to three pump sessions (soon to be two). At this point, I am sometime short and have to pull from my freezer stash, but that's what it's for.

What are your plans with the coming months and approaching one year mark? Will you be supplementing with formula? Will you make it to one year and go to cow's milk? 
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Re: Transitioning away from the bottle and breastmik

  • Great topic.  I have been struggling to decide what I feel is best for LO.  LO gets pumped milk during the day while he is with my sister and then nurses at home or when he's with me on the weekends.  I wanted to start supplementing with formula but LO gags and spits it out whenever I try to give it to him.  So now I am thinking I want to try to start LO on cows milk, thinking just an ounce or so here and there while eating solids to get him used to the taste now before we fully transition at a year.  I won't pull back on the amount of breast milk he is receiving until he is 1 year, but really I think introducing cows milk now to try to get him used to the taste is going to save me from beating my head against a wall in a few months.  Once he hits a year, I want to be done pumping at work as soon as possible.  I know it won't be a process that happens immediately once he hits that age, but I want us both to be as prepared as we can be. 
  • That's probably a great plan. I've had such a hard time feeling ok about it and then I remind myself that I have the stash and that it's perfectly find to supplement with formula (I haven't tried that yet... Hopefully it goes smoother then what you've experienced).

    Maybe I'll try a little bit of whole milk here and there in the next few weeks. I've read you're not suppose to give it until a year of age but our pediatrician ok'd it from the stand point that it isn't replacing breastmilk until one year.
  • edited April 2016
    Nice job, OP mama! You are stocked!

    Breastfeeding is still working for us, so we will stick with it until it doesn't. He's going increasingly longer during the day between nursing - up to 6 hours, 7 sometimes (obviously eating plenty of solids during that period). But he still nurses once or twice at night and cluster feeds in the mornings.

    My pediatrician said he can have up to 16 ounces of cow's milk/day once he's 1. I'm not sure we will do that, but it will be a nice option to have for babysitters or whatever. 

    I am sure you've talked to your own pediatricians about it, but ours is pretty firm that LO shouldn't get any cow's milk before age 1 (that and honey were her only two restrictions - she said his stomach isn't ready to digest the milk). If you know that and have done your own research and think it's fine for your baby, then cool. No judgment, just sharing what I was told.

    Hard to believe these babies are almost toddlers. It's so exciting and heartbreaking!
    jessieR358alcrimminsmindaalauraf314
  • Personally I think we will continue to nurse a bit past a year. With my first I made it to 16 months and ideally I'd like to make it that far. 
    I will probably drop down a few pumping sessions at a year but still nurse whenever he wants and pump during the day so he has milk the next day. Right now I donate 100 or so ounces a week to another mama so I may just cut that down so Lukey can still get my milk. 

    I guess mostly just play it by ear and see what happens :) 

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    bwow615
  • Great topic! I'm nervous, because our doc is saying LO should switch to milk at 1 - but that means I need LO to be eating more solids than we currently are. I have six weeks to figure out what meals to make regularly.
    KaLikeAWindalcrimmins
  • Do we have to give cows milk? I mean if I'm still nursing what is the point of cows milk too? I guess I need to talk to my pediatrician bc I'm confused on that. 
  • Do we have to give cows milk? I mean if I'm still nursing what is the point of cows milk too? I guess I need to talk to my pediatrician bc I'm confused on that. 
    You never HAVE to give cow's milk, and definitely not if you want to continue breastfeeding.  Many people are vegan and never give their kids cow's milk.  The nutrients in cow's milk can be found in other foods, but you'd be wise to ask your doctor about that.

    If you're still just doing breastmilk make sure you continue vitamin D drops, since LO won't be getting that from cow's milk.
    Me: 36 DH: 36
    Married 5-31-14
    DD1 born 6-21-15
    DD2 born 6-11-17
    DS born 9-5-18

    jessieR358
  • delujm0 said:
    Do we have to give cows milk? I mean if I'm still nursing what is the point of cows milk too? I guess I need to talk to my pediatrician bc I'm confused on that. 
    You never HAVE to give cow's milk, and definitely not if you want to continue breastfeeding.  Many people are vegan and never give their kids cow's milk.  The nutrients in cow's milk can be found in other foods, but you'd be wise to ask your doctor about that.

    If you're still just doing breastmilk make sure you continue vitamin D drops, since LO won't be getting that from cow's milk.
    Exactly. Only cows need cow's milk. Not a necessity for humans.
    Coffee Bean Born 6/13/15.
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    Emilywooddesign
  • ^ ditto. Actually calcium from plants is better absorbed by the body. Doctors don't know a lot about nutrition typically. Also if your LO is getting 20 min a day at least of sunshine that is the best source of Vit D
    virginiaunicorn11
  • janat1717 said:
    ^ ditto. Actually calcium from plants is better absorbed by the body. Doctors don't know a lot about nutrition typically. Also if your LO is getting 20 min a day at least of sunshine that is the best source of Vit D
    This is good to hear. My LO has never received vitamin D drops bc the ped never recommended it.

    For anyone that's been through this before and allowed baby to wean themselves anything I need to know or should be doing? I'm trying to do three meals a day plus snacks. I definitely need to figure out how to feed this kid and learn how to cook! I'm also not sure about introducing cows milk but ped seems to think she needs it after a year. She might not realize we are still nursing as much as we are. 
    virginiaunicorn11HoosOnFirst
  • Thanks y'all! Yeah I never continued vitamin d drops because they caused horrible reflux. He's been fine and gets sunshine! I guess I'll see what my ped recommends at 12 months 
  • I've always been weary of cows milk, humans drink it because cows are such large animals and produce so much milk so there is lots of money to be made ( but I won't get started on that).

      it's not easily digested and actually isn't that good for humans anyway.  I asked my ped about an alternative to homo milk because I don't want to give it to my kids. They  will be 1 on Friday and I've started giving them homo goats milk, which you can get at pretty much all grocery stores. The proteins in goats milk is much easier to digest and much better for you in my opinion. My doctor said the reason for giving babies homo milk is not for the calcium but for the fat content because fat is essential for brain development and they only need about 1 cup per day. Im slowly starting to wean them off the formula but they love to suck on their bottles so I might just wait a little bit before I really try to wean them.
  • Is homo homogenized?
  • Yea homo is homogenized 
  • @Emilywooddesign I'm weird about cows milk too. I don't drink it but I'm not really sure what else to do. I am fast running out of breastmilk. I'm still trying to pump but not getting too much most times. LO will be 1 on the 25th.
  • @Emilywooddesign I'd try to find non homogenized milk. It would be better for baby and you. You can get it that way and still be pasturized if that's important to you. Breaking down the fats leads to them going straight to bloodstream and not through normal digestive process which can cause issues. If you get it non, you shake it and mix the fat into the milk naturally. Homoginization is for big business.. Makes it easier to make 2% and skim milk and also extends shelf life. 
  • @janat1717 that's interesting, I don't drink milk myself so it would just be for babies, what percentage would I buy? 2% goats milk? 
    mjschenk
  • @Emilywooddesign I'd go for full fat whole milk. I think it's also called D. If we get milk we try to get raw from a farmer but after that we get organic non homogenized whole. Sometimes we use heavy cream for homemade ice cream. The closer to it's natural state the more benefits vs cons.

    Again I don't think anyone needs milk so if I had to get regular old milk I'd pass, too many hormones and what not. Just sharing since you seem interested in the sourcing and value to it. DH and I have had a long food journey ;)
    Emilywooddesign
  • jessieR358jessieR358
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    edited May 2016
    You can get a rare form of TB from drinking raw milk, among other diseases. Just throwing that out there. I saw it in a patient once. I wouldn't give that to a child. 
    they need full fat for brain development. 
    I bought non homogenized yogurt the other day on accident and it was so good! 
    mjschenkareseealcrimmins
  • From my understanding bovine TB is mostly transmitted to farmers through droplets from coughing, etc. Very rare through milk if it happens. That being said things can happen just like with other foods we eat. One must weigh risks vs. rewards and make a choice. I grew up on raw goats milk and am comfortable with it as long as I talk to the farmer personally onsite and see copies of their herd and milk testing. LO is still happy on his BM though.
    alcrimmins
  • Definitely agree there are risks of eating anything! chipotle, jennies ice cream :( all sad. this wasn't a farmer that I saw. But that is really neat you are able to get your food so fresh! 
  • jesscmvjesscmv
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    My girls love their bottles! Any tricks to transition that have worked for you guys? My pediatrician just told me to take them away......ugh
    alcrimmins
  • My girls literally weaned themselves. They hardcore refuse daytime bottles but love their nighttime before bed bottle. So we're down to one a day and quite honestly (maybe I'm selfish) but we may keep the bedtime bottle for a while. It completely calms them and they're instantly ready for bed afterwards. It's never a fight to get them to sleep. 

    We turned 1 on the 16th and also completed the transition to whole milk with zero issues. I'm just excited I don't have to buy and mix formula bottles anymore!
    mjschenkEmilywooddesignalcrimmins
  • @beckyk9109 may I ask how you made the transition to whole milk for them? 
  • beckyk9109beckyk9109
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    edited May 2016
    @aluicious it was so easy! This past Saturday and Sunday we started milk in their sippy cups with snacktime and kept formula in their bedtime bottle. On Monday, we put straight milk in the bedtime bottle and warmed it up. There were zero belly issues involved.

    So really, we completed transition in like 3 days, but I feel we probably could've in one day since it went so well.
  • @beckyk9109 good to know! Thanks! Hope our transition will go just as smoothly!! 
  • Is anyone doing almond milk or soy milk? Lo is allergic to milk so I'll be trying one of those. 
  • klkonwiklkonwi
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    @caitlincunn  W has had eczema and we finally got rid of it....... And have tried recently doing some whole milk in with formula ... Eczema and rash issues are back. All over his back. We haven't done any new foods so I'm pretty sure it's dairy related. 
    We will do almond milk for now but need to talk to his doctor because babies need the fat content of the whole milk. I want to ask his doc what to replace or how to be sure he's getting those calories he needs. 
  • Thanks @klkonwi ;
    I've been meaning to put the almond milk in something and see if she reacts fine before giving her any substantial amount. She just turned 11 months so I've got a few weeks to figure it out. Maybe I'll do some googling and see what I can find. 
  • @caitlincunn we are drinking some soy.She likes the vanilla flavor. We started this week because she turns 1 soon and she won't take water. 
    klkonwi
  • Thanks @rklinge0 ;
    i guess it's just preference since there are many different milk choices. 
  • mindaamindaa
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    @caitlincunn - DH and I haven't fully figured it out yet, but I think we're also leaning towards almond milk for bottles. There are so many choices, but figuring out which one is best has been impossible - lots of contradicting information.
    @klkonwi - let us know what your doc says! I'm sure we'll be talking to ours also.
    Me-37, DH-38
    Married in 2006, TTC #1 since Jan 2012

    Baby Boy born June 1, 2015

    He settles her in her home as a happy mother of children, praise the Lord! (Psalms 113:9)
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    alcrimmins
  • Yeah I don't know if I should make an appointment to talk to the doctor about it before I do anything or just kinda do it myself. 
  • klkonwiklkonwi
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    You can experiment yourself or just call your doc office. You shouldn't necessarily have to make an appt. the nurse here takes calls like this and is usually very helpful ! 
    alcrimmins
  • Thanks @klkonwi ;
    i don't remember what we did with Taylor because that was so long ago.. She was allergic to milk too at this age. 
  • I'm weaning from my daytime pumping now that LO is one and nursing less. I'm definitely making less milk during the day and even though I know this is part of the process it makes me nervous. My supply came back up enough to get LO to one year on breast milk but now that it's going down again I'm back to being afraid I'll run out of breastmilk when she needs/wants it. She hasn't taken too well to cow's milk yet. Daycare started mixing a little in with breastmilk this week. I just don't want to waste that breastmilk in case she outright refuses the cow's milk. I'm still nursing mornings and night and whatever she wants on the weekend. I'm sure it'll all work out. Anyone struggling with anxiety or depression issues as they wean? I had to increase my antidepressant as my hormones are all a mess. It's helping a lot. Last week I was so tearful and anxious for no reason. Hormone changes really do a number on me.
    mjschenk
  • ciennah99 said:
    I'm weaning from my daytime pumping now that LO is one and nursing less. I'm definitely making less milk during the day and even though I know this is part of the process it makes me nervous. My supply came back up enough to get LO to one year on breast milk but now that it's going down again I'm back to being afraid I'll run out of breastmilk when she needs/wants it. She hasn't taken too well to cow's milk yet. Daycare started mixing a little in with breastmilk this week. I just don't want to waste that breastmilk in case she outright refuses the cow's milk. I'm still nursing mornings and night and whatever she wants on the weekend. I'm sure it'll all work out. Anyone struggling with anxiety or depression issues as they wean? I had to increase my antidepressant as my hormones are all a mess. It's helping a lot. Last week I was so tearful and anxious for no reason. Hormone changes really do a number on me.
    I'm about to wean from pumping too (for now I'll still breast feed her when we're together).  I'm also worried of how well she'll take to whole milk because so far, she'll drink it, but just not very much at a time (same with water).  She takes a few sips from her straw cup then starts swinging the cup around to play with it.  I'm also nervous about having breast milk wasted if she rejects it with whole milk mixed in.  So I'm not sure if I should just have daycare give her the whole milk straight and just see what happens (since I know she can drink from a straw cup and drinks whole milk, granted though, in small amounts), or also give them breast milk bottle (but then I'm worried she'll just knowingly hold out for that), or what.

    I don't have any worry about my supply at the moment, but I often have trouble getting enough pumped for her (sometimes there's no let down even when engorged a bit).  So I do feel relieved that I was able to reach this one year mark with pumping/breastfeeding.  Now the next worry is getting her to take to whole milk better without having to think she's going through the day (at daycare) hungry (she's also not the biggest or most consistent solid food eater yet).
  • I don't know what to do. My lo has been wanting bottle at least 3x a night for a few weeks now. He eats very little solids during the day. I'll be bringing this up to the pediatrician for his 1st year appointment. I feel like I'm doing something wrong. Seems like most of the mommies LO's are eating way more than mine. 
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  • beemaya83 said:
    I don't know what to do. My lo has been wanting bottle at least 3x a night for a few weeks now. He eats very little solids during the day. I'll be bringing this up to the pediatrician for his 1st year appointment. I feel like I'm doing something wrong. Seems like most of the mommies LO's are eating way more than mine. 
    My son nurses 2-3 times a night, still. His pediatrician says he isn't hungry and should be sleeping, but that's just not true. He is hungry. I am not one to question medical professionals, but I'm not going to make my kid go hungry just because the average kid can sleep at this point.

    I doubt you're doing anything at all wrong!! All babies are different, and if they're hungry, they're hungry. 

    Do do talk to your doc, but don't let your instincts be pushed aside. You know your baby best.
    jessieR358alcrimminsjanat1717beemaya83
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