Author Topic: How to wean completely by 12 months?  (Read 1648 times)

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Offline JennVanessa1083

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How to wean completely by 12 months?
« on: January 30, 2016, 16:12:00 pm »
Hi!

I have an EBF 8 month old on two solid meals a day. I have been conservative on amounts so he eats 2-3 tablespoons at each meal. He also nurses every 4 hours and has a top up before bed. He nirses 3 more times after BT.

Maybe part of this is for the breastfeeding board, but I would like to wean completely by 1 year. However, I'm wondering how to do this? I have read so much on the subject but quite honestly, I'm confused on how this works gradually and when to start. Anyone with experience have any advice? Do I start the process now by introducing a third meal? When do I do snacks?

Do I night wean first or does that stop naturally as solids increase? I wouldn't mind decreasing the night nursing but how do I do this?

I may be way ahead of myself but I would like to make this process as smooth as possible for DS. He LOVES his milk.
Jennifer xx

Offline michaeljacknnugg

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Re: How to wean completely by 12 months?
« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2016, 18:17:11 pm »
I started to offer formula in a cup at snack time, around 8 months I think. It kinda progressed from there and one day DS just refused his bedtime feed and we replaced it with a cup of formula. We could then do a more grown up bedtime routine with stories, teeth brushing etc which he really liked.

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Re: How to wean completely by 12 months?
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2016, 19:38:13 pm »
There a few slightly different things here
1. stopping breast feeding at/by 12 months
2. solids becoming the primary source of calories at/by 12 months
3. a common route towards a more grown up eater

If you want to stop BF at/by 12 months that is of course your choice. You should keep in mind that LO will continue to need milk beyond 12 months and throughout childhood (if not milk then alternatives which provide the nutrition which milk provides).  Some people choose to continue BF well beyond 12 months and this is fine. It is also fine to stop BF when you choose and replace the milk with an alternative, from 8-12 months this would be a 'first milk formula', beyond 12 months it can be cow's milk.
I would suggest posting on the BF board for specific advice about BF, dropping feeds, BF beyond 12 months or switching to formula as there will be a lot more experience over there on these various options.

At 8 months many LOs are ready to take 3 solids meals. The meals would usually be breakfast, lunch and dinner but due to nap times you may need to be creative about meal times.  At this age your LO can begin to self feed finger foods or self feed using a pre-loaded spoon or fork, and can be offered the same meals which the family are eating (so long as salt is very low in cooking, no honey, whole nuts, sugar, the usual things to avoid).  He is likely to be able to regulate his own solids intake so you can offer as much as he wants to take (without encouraging him to eat more if he shows signs of fullness).  By 12 months the emphasis is on solids being the main source of food so starting now to let him self feed, eat more grown up foods (family meals) and guide his own intake will help a great deal in moving gradually towards this over then coming months.  As mentioned above, milk will still be needed, 2 portions, after 12 months.  As he increases his solids you may find he is able to drop a night feed or two but with 3 NFs he may not have such an interest in solids.  If it was me I'd be looking to reduce down to 1 NF now.

All LOs are different of course but a common route over the coming months would be something like:
- 8 months - 3 solids meals plus milk at WU, mid morning, mid afternoon, BT (and night feed if needed)
- around 10-11 months one of the day time milks switches to a solids snack with a cup of water, this may be the mid morning or mid afternoon milk which you replace by offering a small piece of fruit or a small piece of toast for example.  For some the switch of the other day time milk will come soon after, for others a bit later.
- by 12 months LO is taking 3 solids meals plus 2 snacks plus WU and BT milk (at this age I would not expect a LO to wake at night from hunger, BF at night might continue through habit or prop).

At 12 months I switched the BT milk to a solids supper with a cup of milk an hour before sleep instead of a full milk feed just before he went to sleep, this was because I needed to move the feed away from BT and change our routine so that I was brushing teeth after he had eaten.  Mine didn't take a lot of milk from a cup but he took a full milk feed at WU with a straw by 13 months.

Hope this helps some


Offline weaver

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Re: How to wean completely by 12 months?
« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2016, 19:49:30 pm »
This is some really good info on milks for babies and toddlers
http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/pages/drinks-and-cups-children.aspx

Do post on the BF board - from what you say LO is having 3 feeds at night (which is on the high side) and feeding regularly during the day.  LO is clearly keen on milk! As creations says you cannot swap milk directly for solids at this point, though you can up solids a bit. BM in particular is the best food for your baby, as it is perfectly tailored to their needs and is the most nutrious thing they can have.  How long you BF for is entirely up to you :) but know that right now, every drop of BM is a wonderful nutritional bonus for your LO>
*Anne*, loving mama to a honeybee (2010) and a sweetpea (2012).  BF for 4 proud years.


Offline JennVanessa1083

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Re: How to wean completely by 12 months?
« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2016, 20:44:46 pm »
Wow thank you ladies! This is incredibly helpful.

I was wondering how people do it when they still BF. I don't mind still breastfeeding at 12 months then switching to whole milk. I was just wondering how to pave the way for that. Makes sense needing to replace BM with formula. I would prefer sticking to BM until 12 months then.
Have people done just whole milk? I guess when I get closer to that I cN ask how to make that switch smoothly.

 I can definitely increase solids. Right now this is the eating schedule:

7:30- BF
8:30/9 (breakfast; 2 tablespoons usually)
Noon- BF
1/1:30 (solids 2-3 tbs)
4ish- BF
BT BF (top up)

So instead of feeding him after the pm nap would I move straight to dinner? What would a good feeding schedule look like for 3 meals a day plus milk feeds?

I wonder if the extra milk feeds at night is because maybe I should top up solids with BM or increase solids? Usually I do a bit of water and I am conservative of how much solids I give bc I'm fearful it will mess with the milk intake and I don't want more NF.  I thought 3 NF was excessive but I posted once a couple of weeks ago and someone had said that it was common. However, I would like to drop to 2 even better if I could drop it to one NF. Would it be better to switch this thread to the BF board or should I just start a new one? I would like to know a gentle way of weaning to one NF.

Thank you again ladies!

Jennifer xx

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Re: How to wean completely by 12 months?
« Reply #5 on: January 31, 2016, 10:05:58 am »
Makes sense needing to replace BM with formula.
To clarify, there is no need to use formula unless you want to switch BF to formula before 12 months. If you are happy to BF to 12 months then at 12 months you can switch to cows milk. There will be a period of adjustment of course.
At 12 months if you switch to cows milk it needs to be whole milk (or full fat as some people say) not semi-skimmed or skimmed, and this continues until LO is around 2yo (I believe from memory at 2yo they can switch to semi-skimmed or half fat if solids intake is good, I have never switched my DS he still has full fat milk daily).
Whilst some LOs might initially refuse cow's milk some will just take it.  Mine was formula fed and at 11.5 months I could not get any of his regular formula anywhere in our town, I decided to give whole cows milk at that point and he just took it, it was a little early but I was comfortable with it and he didn't bat an eye at the change.

So instead of feeding him after the pm nap would I move straight to dinner? What would a good feeding schedule look like for 3 meals a day plus milk feeds?
I find the easiest routine is to keep milks in place and put in solids an hour later:
7.30 WU BF
8.30 solids breakfast (he can guide on quantity, introduce some finger foods too)
11.30/12 BF (not now but later this becomes snack)
1.00 solids lunch (he can guide on quantity, also offer finger foods)
4.00 BF (not now but later this becomes snack)
5.00 solids dinner (he can guide on quantity, also offer finger foods)
BT BF

TBH 5pm is a little late for many LOs to have a solids dinner, it's on the edge of being ok but you might find a touch earlier is better, especially as he gets older, for now it's fine and may well turn out to be fine later on also but many like to eat their evening meal pretty early, 4pm-4.30pm ish, it's not a rule though.

I generally shy away from offering BF advice because I was unable to BF. I believe 1 NF would be usual at this age (but some choose to continue more and that is personal choice).
I would begin now to let him have his fill on solids by following his cues to fullness/interest, offer finger foods too.  This may well begin to pave the way to dropping those night feeds.  Make sure to offer some high fat and protein foods, meat, fish, cheese, as well as veggies and carbs.

I'd suggest a thread on the BF board for support in dropping the NFs and re-settling at night wakes instead. I can ask a BF mod to pop in here but you're unlikely to get the overall support available from the wider community if I do that.



Offline JennVanessa1083

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Re: How to wean completely by 12 months?
« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2016, 16:12:20 pm »
Again thank you! This definitely clarifies things for me. Research that I have done wasn't specifically telling me how to increase solids while gradually decreasing milk feeds around 12 months.

I have been trying to offer water with solids but he only takes a few small sips. Should I be pushing for more?

I can post on the breastfeeding board to inquire about reducing NFs.  :)
Jennifer xx

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Re: How to wean completely by 12 months?
« Reply #7 on: January 31, 2016, 18:34:23 pm »
I have been trying to offer water with solids but he only takes a few small sips. Should I be pushing for more?
So long as you are offering water there is no set amount he needs to take. It really depends on the LO and on what food and milk they are having. Mine didn't drink a lot but he ate lots of fruit (like grapes, melon and tomatoes) which are quite watery.  If your LO is eating puree food it may already have some water in it, you might (or might not) see an increase in water intake if you switch to finger foods.  With the number of BFs your LO is having I wouldn't have thought dehydration would be a problem so just keep offering the water along with meals (and when you introduce snacks make sure there is water available too).

Glad you found this helpful, do ask if you have further questions :)


Offline JennVanessa1083

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Re: How to wean completely by 12 months?
« Reply #8 on: February 01, 2016, 00:56:15 am »
Yea I'm not worried about dehydration since he drinks plenty of milk but he did have a small bout of constipation a few weeks back which is why I ask about the water.

I do have a question about the time of dinner. What if your schedule goes later. So for example, I'm lengthening A times to address nap resistance and longer EMW which means if I stick to a 7:39 wake up then dinner wouldn't be until around 5:30 pm. Is that ok?
Jennifer xx

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Re: How to wean completely by 12 months?
« Reply #9 on: February 01, 2016, 09:16:19 am »
If he eats at 5.30pm then it's fine :)
There's no rule on what time dinner should be, like other solids meals it is usually about an hour after the regular milk feed, it's just that if he is not interested at all (and over time as he gets older continues to be uninterested) you might find an earlier dinner is more suitable. At 8 months it doesn't matter if he doesn't take much but as he gets older he may be hungry but by 5.30 be too tired or 'over hungry' to be bothered with solids and might show little interest in eating anything other than milk which is easy to eat and gets him full faster.  It's just something I'm mentioning as many people find earlier dinner works out better for LO (probably more so during the toddler years), even if it is not so great for the grown ups to eat so early.
As example, mine had 'dinner' at 4pm for a long time, then it  moved to 4.30pm and only at about 4.5yo we've moved to 5pm dinner (sometimes it is still 4.30pm). BT is 7pm.  When he had dinner at 4pm and 4.30pm it was clear if dinner came later (say 15 mins later than usual) he ate far less, a few bites then finished, when it was earlier he had a very healthy appetite.
Your DS is still young yet and these things seem far off :)


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Re: How to wean completely by 12 months?
« Reply #10 on: February 01, 2016, 11:28:16 am »
Wow this is all very interesting to me. Looks like it's all down to a science!
Jennifer xx