Weaning – tips for other mums
The following entries are some comments, support, and feedback from the fabulous group of mothers on my facebook page. If you do have any specific questions, feel free to email me and I’ll either help you or refer you to someone that can help.
Basically I introduce another bottle after a different feed every 3days to allow my breast to adjust & not get mastitis etc.
Only 7wks…… I know there are way to increase supply, but after discussions with my health nurse, we have made the decision that this is what is best for all of us (myself, my 3yr old & the baby)…. I had supply issues with my first also & totally gave up breastfeeding at 9wks old.
I’m missing something here, what’s a Dream feed bottle?
I got advice from Fran to change 1 feed per week, which I found excellent. I think it gave my son and I both time to get used to the transition, and I didn’t have much breast tenderness… I also decided to stop weaning mid way, so now we are doing 2 breastfeeds a day and its working really well for us. Forgot to mention my son is 6 1/2 months and also having 3 bottles a day
A dreamfeed is when you get bubs up out of bed and give them milk to help full up their tummy so they sleep longer. Usually keeping bub asleep the whole time – though some people say to wake them. Heidi – good on you for making a decision that is right for your family!! It can’t be easy to have feeding issues with a toddler in the house as well, I had major issues, but only had one baby to contend with. 🙂
My daughter is 17 months old, I’m 17 weeks pregnant, and weaning is just not happening. My son self-weaned at 22 months and I imagine my daughter will do the same when she is ready. I have just decided not to fight her. She wants it, and despite having many health issues myself (I’ve had a transplant amongst other things) so far I’m managing ok. I don’t want to tandem feed so maybe when it gets a bit cooler I will be harder on her. My son was a 26 weeker (I went in to labour and they couldn’t stop it) and I was induced at 36 weeks with my daughter, so I’m hoping I still have a couple of months left to get my wee one weaned.
took me about 4 months to wean when my son was 14 months, gradually (every 2-3 weeks) dropping one feed at a time, it was so hard I was on the verge of blocked ducts each time. My daughter was easier as she was older 20 months.
Thanks for your thoughts Heidi and Kelly – being able to keep the morning and evening feeds as breast feeds would be ideal, so hopefully if I wean my boy onto bottle feeds during the day it will give me a chance to get my nipples back and I’ll be able to keep those two feeds going! Question though … in order to avoid mastitis when dropping the day feeds; did you take any milk reducing teas or anything?
Sally- I’ll be watching your posts carefully. DD is 20 months and is very reluctant to wean. I work FT and just too lazy (or tired) to be consistent enough to say no to her night time and morning feed. I thought she’d just stop herself. She’s a bub who reversed all if her feeds to night time when I went back to work when she was 6 months old so she didn’t have to take a bottle, so perhaps I’m kidding myself and need to start the process myself. DS weaned himself at 9 months due to me returning to work when he was 3 months old and I just couldn’t jeep up my supply (although I was able to do 6 months more after I went back to work).
No teas have been suggested to me… The nurse just said it takes about 3days for you breasts to adjust to dropping a feed & not making milk at that time of day, hence introducing a bottle at a different time every 3days.
LOL I just re-read my first post & I meant to write introduce the 3am bottle 6days after the *first* bottle, so 3days after the 2nd one has been introduced.
I got mastitis about a week after I stopped feeding my son (at 10 months), but I didn’t get it at all when I weaned my daughter – but I don’t think I had as much milk with her.
I realize this isn’t the only step in weaning (and I didn’t have to use it with my first…) although I was told when weaning, if you’re DONE feeding them, have a LOT of peppermint (tea, candy, etc.) all at once, and apparently it dries up your supply!
Old wives tale: Liver will dry up your milk.
Caffeine will dry up your milk best!! Yet for Coffee!
Knock it off at one feed a week or so, the supply will reduce slowly, so you shouldn’t get engorged.
When I weaned DD at 13 months I didn’t have all that much milk left but a week later I was very engorged and sore. Cabbage leaves stuffed in my bra all night and at home during the day worked wonders for the pain and for reducing supply fast.
I dropped a feed every week and a half and still got mastitis! The blocked ducts didn’t appear until about a week after I dropped the last feed and I wasn’t engorged at all. It made me wonder whether some people are just more prone to getting it.
I am surprised no one has mentioned baby-led solids.
I have an 18mth old which I started to introduce bottles at 5mths due to returning to work at 6 months! I tried to feed when at home and express when at work (I also suffered from fast flow and massive oversupply. I could express 60-80ml in probably one to three minutes with the let down) but this didn’t work! I work in a job that just really didn’t allow this! So at home I pretty much did morning and bedtime feed (which required a top up of formula)! I sometimes expressed when I could! Than around 10mths I went away for the weekend! (Fell pregnant with my second at this time (hehe)) but when I got home (didn’t know I was pregnant obviously) my boobs felt ok (I hadn’t expressed all weekend) so I just stopped altogether with no problems! I didn’t have a routine or rules just did what felt right or could be done (sometimes I didn’t have a choice) and it worked fine! No mastitis no problems!
While advice is a good way to start off I think you just develop a way that works for you! You know your body! I started with robin barkers baby love weaning plan but as I have said eventually I just did what worked for me and what worked with my lifestyle
I only really ever expressed at the point they were really sore and only ever as much thy made the pain go away! I was often expressing in difficult situations such as while driving down the freeway so it only meant I could express off small amounts!
Cold Turkey – went away for work, didn’t take the breast pump – was painful but did the job.
Weaned slowly over three weeks just started with dropping one feed at a time so the breast milk would slow down gradually and not be too painful.
I was down to 3 feeds by the time my daughter was about 10-11 months, just from her own preference. Then just before she turned 1 she stopped having a midday feed. About 2-3 weeks later we just put her to bed without her feed one night, and then gave her breakfast straight away the next morning. Fed her the next night to settle her into her porta-cot (had just gone on holiday) And that was it… about a week later realized I was engorged, so expressed about 80mls, but 2 months later am still struggling with a little lumpiness where I once had an abscess… but I haven’t had mastitis, so that’s a plus!
If you do get mastitis/engorgement and don’t have any cabbage leaves, grated raw potato works just as well! 🙂 Also lecithin capsules are reputed to help keep the milk from becoming sticky.
To help with engorgement a firm wrap helps too. Use a towel or a t-shirt or something similar and get someone to help you tape it on tight (not so tight you can’t breathe, but tight enough that you can feel it). I have done this many times to help with engorgement (I’m a good cow, in the first few months after both my kiddies were born I could express off a litre at a time, 3 hours apart, even with my 26 weeker son, and wrapping was the thing that worked best for me).
My friend also used wrapping when she was weaning, she said it helped in two ways, one it slows down your milk production, and secondly even the most determined kid can’t get to your boobs if you are well wrapped. They will try and try and try again but eventually give up, so if you have a grabber (like I do) wrapping may help with that too. I quickly put on a belly band over my boobs if my daughter wakes in the night, just over what ever I’m wearing. She still tries to get in but so far hasn’t worked it out and generally gives up and is happy enough to go back to sleep. Luckily her sleeping has improved and we don’t have to deal with that too often now!