My DS is over 8 months old and currently combines breastfeeding (4 x per day, plus 1-2 feeds overnight) with 3 x solid meals per day. He is a good eater and has large quantities of solids (usually 2 x courses), meat, fish, dairy, veges, pasta etc.
I am beginning to think about weaning him, or at least partially weaning him ie giving him ABM during day (2 x feeds) but keep b-feeding morning and evening. Overnight I would like him to stop feeding ideally but that is another issue entirely.
He is not a fussy eater/drinker and will take a bottle of ABM so I'm not concerned that he would be hard to switch.
Just wondering about other's experiences weaning or partially weaning around this age. My goal was to get to 6 months breastfeeding and I have gone well past this - I have been thinking 12 months now but am struggling to express enough as have gone back to work a few days a week and all the expressing (with little result) is getting me down and stressed.
My main concerns are that formula is expensive (and if I can get to 12 months without it my MCHN says I can just use cows milk, much cheaper and more convenient!). I am also worried that if I try partially weaning, my supply may drop more than intended making it impossible for me to b-feed morning and evening. Also we are travelling overseas in 2 months and I would much rather be able to b-feed than worry about bottles etc.
My other worry is b-feeding is the ONLY thing that calms my DS when he is a horror, blood-curdling screaming mess at 2.30 in the morning. Not that this is a regular occurance, but he will NOT be rocked, patted, sung to sleep, he is a self settler (I do not and can not feed-to-sleep), its more about calming him quickly when he works himself up into a frenzy. B-feeding him almost always gets him calm and therefore able to get back to sleep. He will not take a bottle when he is very worked up (although if I wean maybe he would?).
Sorry this is long I guess I am still in 2 minds about it. I am extremely tired and crave the flexibility bottle-feeding would provide and I'm really over expressing all the time, its getting harder and harder to get enough. I think if I could maybe mix-feed it would be ideal but as mentioned worried about how successful this may be.
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26-03-2012 08:17 #1
To wean or not to wean 8 month old breastfed?
30-03-2012 14:55 #2
Subscribing! Same here my DS is only 6 mths though!
30-03-2012 15:13 #3
If you could remove the supply issue what would be your choice?
30-03-2012 15:21 #4
After trying everything for a good amount of time to encourage and continue breastfeeding, I personally feel, that it is time to wean once the stress, sleep deprivation and anxiety on bub, mum and rest of the family becomes more than the guilt would be if you stopped and started mix/formula feeding.
Last edited by babylove81; 30-03-2012 at 15:26.
30-03-2012 15:31 #5
If you could overcome your issues around bf wouldu you still want to wean? The reason I ask is that in the last 2 months or so my DD (15 months) has endured some sickness and teething and I know she has been really comforted as well as nourished by bf'ing. She is currently recovering from food poisoning and the only food she tolerated yesterday was bm.
30-03-2012 15:43 #6-
- Join Date
- Sep 2009
I wouldn't worry about your supply as your body adjusts accordingly. Unless you suddenly for some reason want to increase the amount of feeds.
You can also keep expressing between feeds to keep a big supply.
Formula isn't all that expensive anymore. Plus at 8 months they would only need 3 bottles of formula or EBM to keep them going.
So you can BF twice a day and then give him maybe 1 or 2 bottles of formula and that should be enough.
Have you spoken to your CHN about this?
30-03-2012 19:51 #7Senior Member
- Join Date
- Mar 2010
Secondly I'll say I've not personally weaned, as I'm still feeding our youngest, although my wife weaned our eldest so I guess I picked up a few tips there.
A couple of things I thought when I read your post: You MIGHT find bub wants more bm at night if he doesn't get it during the day, so maybe consider stopping the night feeds first before the day breastfeeds?
You can still offer the occasional Breastfeed for those 2.30am screaming fits once you are combine feeding. Obviously if you fully wean you'll lose your supply eventually so won't have milk for those emergencies.
I hated expressing. I still have my pump in case of emergency, but quit pumping a few months ago. I can totally understand why you'd want to quit pumping. One hint for successful pumping that I discovered was looking at photos or videos on my phone of bub made the milk come so much faster! As others have suggested there are things you can do/take to increase your supply, which might make pumping more productive and less stressful?
Another thing you may not have considered is can you Breastfeed during work hours? For example, can whoever has your baby bring bub to you at the office once a day? Or can you go to where bub is? Depending on who you work for, you might be eligible for lactation breaks. I work in health and get one hour per day to feed bub.
If you decide to combine feed there's probably not much you can do about the cost of formula other than shopping around. As you said you could push on to 12 months then switch to cow, but it sounds like you are keen to switch sooner?
With regard to your supply, if you continue to feed morning and evening, your body will continue to make enough milk for those feeds. One tip would be get bubs carer to avoid giving formula bottles just before you get home. Some carers will do this thinking you want to come home to a happy just-fed baby, but in reality it's better if bub gets just enough formula during the day so they are getting hungry again around the time you are due home. When I went back to work my son would greet me at the gate squealing and pointing at my breasts. A quick feed was a nice way to reconnect with bub after the work day, and helped to maintain my supply once I quit pumping.
I'd be tempted to delay weaning until after the overseas trip. Depending on where you are going and what facilities you will have, it might certainly be easier not to have to deal with bottles. The other benefit of delaying weaning until 10 months would be you'd only have to pay for formula for two months.
Hope that has helped. Good luck with whatever you decide to do. And don't let anyone make you feel bad for wanting to wean.
30-03-2012 21:53 #8
I could never express either and my DS didn't know what to do with a bottle so at about the same age when I started working a few days a week I just replaced the feeds with formula from a sippy cup but breastfed on the days I was home. It worked well. I bf until 14 months when I was down to only one morning feed. DS refused two mornings in a row so that was it. I miss it now as he is sick at the moment and as you say it's a handy tool to settle them. Anyway Managed comb feeding no problem and it took some of the pressure off me which was great and allowed me to keep feeding a bit longer.
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