View Full Version : BFing a 1yr old and when/how to wean...
05-23-2003, 05:44 PM
DS just turned 1 (my, how time flies!) I am still BFing but he had many small meals/snacks all day long. For those BFing moms out there, how often did you nurse your baby at 1 yr? How and when do you wean a baby? I am reluctant to give him a bottle of whole milk but have been giving him milk in a sippy or regular cup from time to time.
Any advice/thoughts would be appreciated!
05-23-2003, 06:45 PM
There is no need to wean unless you want to. Many studies show that breastfeeding past one year has lots of benefits for both mom and baby.
If I were you, I wouldn't start giving whole milk in a bottle. Just use a sippy or regular cup with milk at meals and don't use a bottle at other times. You will just have to wean away from the bottle eventually and it is much easier not to start a bottle than to wean from it.
05-23-2003, 07:06 PM
Ainsleigh suddenly weaned herself at 10.5 months. Otherwise, I would have continued to bf past the 1 year mark. Like Beth said, don't wean unless you really want to. When Ainsleigh did wean, she went straight to a sippy cup with milk since she never took to the bottle. I'd say continue with the sippy or regular cup. One less thing to worry about later on!
05-23-2003, 09:23 PM
I'm nursing at one year with no end in sight! We nurse before and after naps, bedtime, morning, etc. She also still does a fair amount of comfort nursing following falls.
Mom to Abigail Rose
05-23-2003, 10:58 PM
Weaning is really a personal choice for you, but you definitely don't have to do it.
My DS is almost 14 mo now (time does fly doesn't it?) and he nurses all the time still. There was a drop between 10-12 months but he picked up again recently with full force! I think it's teething though. He eats about 5 "meals" a day and nurses about 6-8 times normally, but will nurse 12-14 times if really fussy. Of course each nursing session is like 2 minutes at the longest. He also still night-nurses (that number is included).
If you choose to do child-led weaning you would just nurse until he no longer asks to. If you do mother-led (for toddlers only) you could try the ask but don't refuse tactic. For that you wouldn't encourage/ask for your child to nurse but if he asked to you wouldn't say no. For example, if your DS was a bit fussy and you tried to distract him with a book or snack but clearly only wanted to nurse you would nurse him. But a lot of times that book or snack might fill whatever need he had. With weaning at any age, you should go very slowly to avoid stressing out your child and any physical discomfort for you. Try not to drop more than 2 nursings/week for a child his age. You could just think up a schedule of the times you know hw needs to nurse (like naptime or bedtime) and then pick one of those that you think he would be able to drop easiest. And go from there. Usually bedtime is the last to go. And if at any point he seems overly stressed by the dropped nursings (tantrums, clinginess) you can go back and try again when he's more ready.
But if you're trying to decide whether you want to nurse longer or not, I would highly encourage you to keep on nursing. As Beth pointed out, extended nursing still provides many health benefits for your DS and any breastfeeding mother of a toddler can probably attest to the fact that nursing makes life easier. Falls, scrapes, emotional overload, all those things are very easily overcome with comfort at the breast. It's hard to rationalize with a non-verbal (or even verbal probably) toddler but it seems like nursing kind of recharges them and sets everything right.
05-24-2003, 06:22 AM
My dd just turned one too, and she's still nursing 3X a day--morning, after her afternoon nap and before bed. I weaned her of the post morning nap by simply changing her routine for three days.
Normally she would nurse after her morning nap. So when I weaned her of that feeding, when she'd get up, I'd do something besides go to the couch to sit and feed her. :) Namely, I put her straight in the highchair fo lunch. It was easy and painless and she didn't complain. :)
05-24-2003, 06:55 AM
And to add to that, you're medically well-supported for continuing to nurse. The World Health Organization recommends nursing for at least two years.
Mom to Abigail Rose
05-24-2003, 12:39 PM
Thanks ladies for your suggestions and encouragement. I am going to continue nursing but offer alternatives to see if I can meet DS's needs in ways other than automatically offering the breast.
It's not that I want to wean DS, but that I get a lot of comments from others (mom, MIL, etc.) about how long I plan to continue nursing baby! It seems like they're all telling me that I should stop! How would you guys handle the comments?
Thanks again for the encouragement.
05-24-2003, 12:50 PM
My DD is only 6 months and I'm already thinking about how to respond to comments from family members about us bfing at 1 year+. I plan to matter of factly state that we are still bfing (if it comes up) and if someone questions it I am going to tell them that my dr.,ped., and the American Academy of Pediatrics fully support our family decision. If they try to argue that then I will just tell them that my decision is not up for an argument-end of discussion (hopefully they won't be that rude to let it get this far).
Don't let others sway you in your decision. I have found that older people are not educated about the benefits of bfing for longer than a year since the information was not out there when they had babies.
05-24-2003, 01:51 PM
I hear you about comments. But anybody who thinks you SHOULD wean a one year old (note: not anyone who thinks it's okay to, but anyone who thinks it's NECESSARY to) just isn't educated about it. So depending on my audience, sometimes I smile and nod, sometimes I offer the W.H.O. and A.A.P. and LLL recommendations, sometimes I remind people that the average age of weaning worldwide is 4.2, sometimes I say, "Oh, this is working pretty well for us." Ultimately, I'm going to do what is working for us and what is good for Abigail. I don't need people to approve. But I know what you mean. It's easier when they do.
Mom to Abigail Rose
05-24-2003, 04:11 PM
I can't remember who said it a while ago (and I think it was in response to some other rude question), but if a stranger or someone you don't know as well asks, just respond, "Why would you think that is something you should know?" Other responses could include, "Until he stops," "When he goes to kindergarten?" "Until he gets another set to comfort him" (haha, that one really only works for boys). Anyway, the point is, the decision is yours, not theirs. Don't let anyone pressure you into weaning, just as you didn't let anyone pressure you against bfing.
On the other hand, if you are ready to wean (and kudos to you for bfing this long - that's fantastic and don't forget it. Nor should you minimize what you HAVE done already!), a gradual weaning will make him feel like it's his decision. A friend of mine started offering an alternative, and over the course of a month, her DS weaned. So it was a joint effot.
No matter what, it is your immediate family's decision (not your mom's, MIL's, aunt's, etc). Do whatever is comfortable for YOU!
05-24-2003, 08:05 PM
"Why would you think that is something you should know?"
I LOVE this response!! :) Thanks!
05-27-2003, 09:53 AM
I'm still nursing my now 22mo. I work full time and pumped from 3mo to 12mo and switched her to whole milk during the day at 1yr. When we made the switch to whole milk we dropped the bottles all together and went to sippy cups...I don't think dd even noticed! :-)
Over the last year we went from nursing a few times during the day on weekends...and IMMEDIATE nursing during the week once we walked in the door...to JUST nursing in my bed before sleeping...only at night during the work week and naptime as well on the weekends....IF I am home.
I used the don't ask - don't refuse method to reduce her nursings, then opted to change ALL nursing sessions to my bed. This made dd think twice if she was involved in something OR once the "bed" rule was established...to defer her if we were out and about.
We still nurse to sleep. I know that it's almost strictly for comfort now but if this is the comfort she wants..so be it. It is working for us. Dd nurses to sleep in our bed and we transfer her to her bed (is in a low twin bed in her room since 18mo) once she is "out." She generally wakes 1x per night at about 3 or 4am and comes to bed with us, nursing back to sleep almost immediately. There are MANY more nursing sessions per night when she is teething. We went through 1yr molars in October/November and are just finishing the eye teeth!...just the two yr molars left...WOO HOO!
In reality I have seen VERY little commentary from our friends/family. It may help that our immediate friends are childless as of yet and our family is spread out all over the country. So we don't see them all that often for me to be questioned over our parenting choices. I know my stepMIL (yes I have TWO MILs!) is not thrilled with dd sleeping in our bed or extended nursing, but she's too polite to more than inquire once in a while. I just tell her that it's working for us and we'll decide "later" when we will stop.
I do not envision myself nursing dd when she's going off to kindergarten...other than that...who knows? Kudos to you for all you have acheived so far. Many times I hear the theory that other parents/family members critisized the things we do since it makes their choices look "wrong." It has helped me deal with the few comments that dh and I have received so far.
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