Author Topic: WEANING thread...Come and share your experiences and offer support.  (Read 49523 times)

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Offline Samuel's mum

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I thought it might be useful to have a place where we could focus questions about 'weaning'. People could share their experiences and offer support.
The 'weaning' experience is of course a massive spectrum. Some of us will be choosing to practise child-led weaning or 'self-weaning'. Others will be firmly taking the lead (sometimes called 'mother-led weaning') and some will be choosing an option in the middle! Of course on this site we will emphasise the need to 'listen' to your LO and respect them as individuals whatever path you are choosing.
Questions about switching to formula or introducing bottles may sometimes be best answered on the bottle-feeding forum.
The introduction of solid food at around 6 months can be discussed on the feeding solid food board.

Does anyone want to start with a description of a positive weaning experience or a question for others?
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Offline DarbysMom

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Re: WEANING thread...Come and share your experiences and offer support.
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2006, 16:05:22 pm »
I am currently working to cut out the 10:30 pm feed.  I think we might have it down tonight. If i can get enough food in her during the day.  My question is which one should go next? The next time she wakes up (about 12:30 am or so) or the 4 am?

Next a question about daytime weaning to a cup.  I'm also trying to encourage sippy cup use during the day.  Not much success.  Ususally a little sip & then a toss across the room. I have tried soy milk & now goats milk.  No great success with either.  Any suggestions?
Thanks!

Offline Samuel's mum

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Re: WEANING thread...Come and share your experiences and offer support.
« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2006, 19:37:40 pm »
Congratulations on being the first person to post on this thread.

How are you 'dropping' feeds? Have you been using other methods to get her back to sleep or has she not actually been waking at 10.30? I think it will partly depend on how she responds to a few nights of not having the 10.30. If she wakes up desperately hungry it may be hard to drop the next feed. You could try giving a shorter feed at 12.30 and seeing if that means she goes until 4am. Are these the times she is waking herself? They are very specific. Have you tried using 'wake to sleep' and resettling her without a feed before the usual time.

I found sippy cup use was a gradual thing whatever was in it. Have you tried expressed milk? I used to stick with water initially and use a cup which didn't require too hard a suck. Even a free-flowing one isn't too much of a tragedy if it's only got water in it. Some of them are extremely difficult to actually drink out of.  Maybe that's why they are called sippy cups.
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Offline VickyB20

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Re: WEANING thread...Come and share your experiences and offer support.
« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2006, 20:29:39 pm »
Ella is 7 1/2 months old now and has clearly told me when she's wanted to drop a feed.  I think being on a 4-hour EASY before introducing solids helped us both - she knew what to expect and it gave me confidence to follow her lead.  Although I worry sometimes that she's not getting enough milk (don't we all?!) most of the time I'm happy knowing that she gets what she needs and clearly communicates that to me, whether it's more or less.  I hope to continue with the 'self-weaning' for as long as it takes.

With regards sippy cups, Ella used to just bite it and throw it across the room!  (She hit the cat with it once, which was kinda funny in a slightly cruel way!)  Now she's figured it out though and happily takes an oz or so of water at each meal.

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Offline Erin (redstarfalling)

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Re: WEANING thread...Come and share your experiences and offer support.
« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2006, 19:24:16 pm »
We started to instroduce a sippy cup with water around 6 months or so - tried different kinds (and I tried them myself too!) to see which worked best for her.  Water was cheaper and less messy.  It took a number of months to get the hang of it, though.  As for milk - we tried EBM when she started daycare at almost a year old - seemed to work better there with other kids drinking, but it took a few weeks of them offering every day until she got it.  By 13 or 14 months, she started drinking cow's milk great from the sippy (we're now using Avent because it's harder for her to make a mess with it!) - although less at home.  I try not to stress about it and supplement with yogurt and cheese at least 2 or 3 times a day.

DarbysMom - how old is your lo?  I found the 4 am waking one of the hardest to break - but past a years or so, I really think it has less to do with hunger and more to do with habit and just getting into that light sleep in the wee hours.
Erin
Mother to Megan and Samantha


Offline jbepko

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Re: WEANING thread...Come and share your experiences and offer support.
« Reply #5 on: April 22, 2006, 03:13:11 am »
This is what I did with my daughter- I started around 11 months or so, I introduced regular milk for one bottle at her daycare and after a week or so moved it to two bottles substitution adn then a week later three bottle substitution. The daycare was already using sippy cups for lunch and juice, so she took the cup iwth milk without any problems. For the evening (right after work) nursing, I offered solids first adn just offered breast if she wanted and she stopped indicating a need after 2 or 3 days. For the first am nursing, I offered her solids first and she never missed the nursing! Took about 4-5 weeks, it was gradual and we both did fine. No leaking, no engorgement, no mastitis, etc. I distinctly remember about 5 days after her last nursing she had an ear infection (and she loved ot nurse for comfort). I offered her the breast adn she looked at me...what's that for? For the next year of so, she would look at my breasts and have this look in her eyes. All in all...it was traumatic for me and incredibly easy for her. In fact, it hurt my feelings that she didn't seem to miss it at all! She just told me the other day (with her 3.5 yo wisdom) that her boobies will get big when she has a baby so she can feed him (I am nursing her 8.5 mo brother)!
Jeni



Offline Ash&Jo

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Any advice for weaning an older child?
« Reply #6 on: April 24, 2006, 01:22:02 am »
I think I may have posted to the wrong thread previously and, as I am new to 'posting', will repost here now. I'm looking for some advice/support for weaning my daughter who will turn 3 in July. Mostly because she doesn't sleep through, wanting to feed constantly b/n 3am and 6am, and her dad is over the sleep deprivation (we'd also like another baby before we are too old, and can't undergo any fertility treatment until she is weaned). She's very communicative, so reasoning with her might be possible (if you ask her, she says she'll 'have mummy's milk' until her 'happy birthday' (ie, when she turns 3)). All advice appreciated, as I can already feel the rising dread of having to do this, even though I know it's a natural part of growing up (for both of us, I guess) ...

Offline Samuel's mum

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Re: WEANING thread...Come and share your experiences and offer support.
« Reply #7 on: April 24, 2006, 12:17:57 pm »
Congratulations on such a magnificent breastfeeding record! I'm sure you'll have lots to offer us on this board.

This article has some interesting suggestions about weaning a toddler. I don't agree with all its language (it concentrates a lot on 'tantrums') but it has a lot to think about. I'll paste it here in full in case the link ever disappears so it'll be on this thread for good.

Here are my suggestions for mother-led weaning and                     
 handling tantrums.                                                     

Disclaimer:  Please ignore any suggestions you don't want.           
 Breastfeeding is healthy for children;  this advice is               
 not to be taken as encouragement to decide to wean, but
 only as advice on how to wean if you have decided to.               
 Many people use "child-led" weaning, simply waiting until         
 the child stops nursing.
 The advice is based on weaning older children.  Breastmilk
 is good for the health of older children, too.  Their
 brains are still growing (their heads aren't adult size
 yet) and breastmilk contains fatty acids needed for brain
 growth.  If a child gets the flu, it's good to be able
 to give them breastmilk;  sometimes they vomit everything
 else.  Breastmilk has many beneficial properties and I'm
 sure it's good for the health of older children in many
 ways.  The World Health Organization recommends
 breastfeeding
 for at least two years.  Nothing in this article is
 intended
 to mean that people "must" or "should" do any particular
 thing.  The imperative is sometimes used to save space,
 but all of these are just suggestions.  Every family is
 unique and children may not behave as described here.
 End of disclaimer.

 Balance three principles:

 (1) Love and compassion
 (2) Consistency
 (3) Your right not to breastfeed

 You have the right not to breastfeed.  It's your body.
 You have the power, too.  You're bigger than the kid;
 you can keep your shirt buttoned.  A kid has a tantrum
 in an attempt to influence you, but you decide how
 you're influenced.  Suddenly deciding never to nurse
 again satisfies your right not to breastfeed.
 It's short on both love and consistency, though.  If
 you were willing to nurse for 18 minutes yesterday,
 being willing to nurse for 16 minutes today is reasonable
 consistency.  Suddenly stopping nursing altogether might
 leave the child wondering, "what did I do wrong?"

 You decide the balance.  If it's extremely important
 to you never to nurse again, then never nurse again.
 Remember, though, that it's likely extremely important
 to your child to continue nursing.

 Giving in and nursing after a half-hour tantrum after
 you'd said you wouldn't nurse is definitely not
 consistency, though it may be compassion.

 For tantrums, I recommend consistently (always or
 very, very close to always) refusing to change your
 mind just because of a tantrum.  Or, if you're going
 to change your mind, do it early in the tantrum or
 preferably before the tantrum.  Compassion says to change
 your mind;  consistency says to stick to your
 decision.  Giving in after a half-hour tantrum
 shows the kid that tantrums are worthwhile and
 encourages more half-hour tantrums in the future.
 "She hasn't given in yet.  Maybe I need to be louder."

 Before saying something that the kid might disagree
 with, I suggest stopping and thinking.  Ask yourself
 whether you're ready to sit through a tantrum.
 How tired and hungry is the child?  How tired and
 hungry and irritable are you?  If you're too tired
 to sit through a tantrum calmly, then consider just
 not saying the thing.  Don't do this:  say it, wait for the
 tantrum, then give in.  Just act as if that was what
 you were going to do the first time.  Example:
 rather than just saying, "let's go home from the
playground now," say "let's go and buy
 some raspberries and then go home."
 Example:  rather than saying, "no nursing now",
 say "OK, five minutes."  And then stick with it.
 But as Barbara Coloroso says, if what you said the
 first time was stupid, don't stick with it.  You're
 allowed to change your mind.  You can show compassion...
 just don't get in the habit of giving in after
 tantrums or whining.  If you feel loving, it's compassion.
 If you feel resentful, it's giving in.

 Sometimes a kid having a tantrum is best left alone
 for a while to calm down.  After a while the kid may
 accept hugs and calming words.  It's good to show
 affection like this to a kid who's experiencing
 strong emotions.  Keep clear in your mind what is
 affection and what is giving in.  Loving words, hugs
 and an offer to fetch a drink are affection.
 Changing your mind about the thing that triggered
 the tantrum is giving in;  telling the kid at this
 point that you'll buy them some candy is probably
 in the same category.

 People need exercize when angry.  It's good to
 encourage the child to run, kick, punch a pillow,
 etc. rather than just holding the child still to
 avoid having anyone get hurt, though sometimes this
 may be necessary.  If you're getting angry yourself,
 going out for a walk is good.

 Back to weaning.  I suggest gradually setting more
 and more limits on the nursing.  If you feel resentful
 about nursing, that's a sign that maybe you need to
 speed up the weaning.  If the child objects a lot,
 that's a sign that maybe you need to slow it down.

 First step:  establish a pattern of having the
 child wait calmly after asking to nurse and before
 nursing.  Do this by having gradually increasing
 lengths of time between the asking and the nursing.
 Fill this time with ritual actions like pouring
 yourself a drink, so the child knows you haven't
 forgotten and also knows you won't speed up if
 he/she cries.

 Next step:  establish that you can refuse to nurse.
 Don't do that at bedtime;  bedtime will probably be
 the last nursing to go.  When the child is not too
 tired or irritable, say something like, "not right
 now." and do something else instead like read a story.
 At first, when the child asks again half an hour later
 just nurse as usual.  Gradually you can increase the
 number of times you refuse, without the child objecting
 too strongly.  Remember to use a loving tone of voice
 when refusing, and to give the child other kinds of
 attention.

 Next step:  restrict nursing to certain times of day.
 For example, you might establish a pattern that
 naptime and bedtime are the only nursing times.
 Say, "I'll nurse you at bedtime" if the child asks
 to nurse during the day.

 Next step:  gradually decrease the length of time of
 the nursing sessions.  You might start with a limitation of
 20 minutes of nursing, warning the child when there were           
 5 minutes or 2 minutes left.  It's good to be consistent
 about the warnings.  If I forgot the 2 minute warning,
 I would pretend nothing was unusual, give a 2 minute
 warning, and nurse for an extra 2 minutes.  The child
 becomes accustomed to the 5 and 2 minute warnings and
 may accept a tacit gradual reduction in the
 length of the nursing session.  Later, you can start with
 "OK, I'll nurse for 5 minutes," giving the 2-minute
 warning, and still later just "OK, I'll nurse for 2 minutes."

 To end the nursing session, say "It's time to stop now,"
 give the child a few seconds to stop by themselves, and
 if they don't, then stick your finger in their mouth and
 make them stop.  If they stop by themselves you can smile
 and thank them for stopping.  If you make them stop you
 can still smile.  Don't punish them or require them to stop
 by themselves.  After nursing don't wait around for
 them to ask for more but immediately announce what's
 happening next, "I'm reading you a story now" or
 "I'm cooking dinner now,"  give the child a hug and get up.

 The steps can be mixed, actually.  As you shorten the
 nursing times, you can also gradually put more restrictions
 on the situations you're willing to nurse in.

 The value of consistency is this:  if you do
 different things at different times,
 the child gets the impression that their tantrums and whines
 seem to work sometimes;  you seem to be giving in
 sometimes.  But if you're consistent, then you're
 predictable, and the child can clearly see that the
 tantrums are having no effect.

 Consistency must be in ways that are meaningful to
 the child.  A child who has trouble telling the difference
 between naptime and bedtime will think it highly
 inconsistent of you to always nurse at bedtime but
 not at naptime.  It will help a bit if you explain, "I nurse
 if we're going to sleep when it's dark outside."
 Remember that the child will take this literally, if
 it's dark due to thunderstorms or light outside late
 in the summer.  Also it may seem illogical to the child,
 like if your husband were to say to you, "I only carry
 on long conversations with you on even-numbered days of
 the month".

 Consistency doesn't have to mean doing exactly the same
 thing every time.  Part of consistency is doing what you
 say;  being predictable.  Perhaps sometimes, when the
 child asks, you nurse immediately, and other times you
 say, "I'll get myself a drink and then I'll nurse."
 Consistency here means that if you say you'll get a
 drink, you always do, even if the child cries.

 One hurdle to get over is ending a bedtime nursing
 session before the child is asleep.  I suggest something
 like this:  A few days before, say "I might not always
 nurse you until you're all the way asleep."  Then start
 saying, before nursing to sleep, "I might not nurse you
 all the way asleep today.  I'll nurse for 20 minutes
 (or 'until I'm tired'), and if you're asleep then, fine,
 and if you're not, I'll ask you to stop nursing and
 please go the rest of the way to sleep yourself."
 It's important to use a loving tone of voice when saying
 this and to hug the child.  If you use a loving tone of
 voice the child is much more likely to accept it.
 Phrase it like asking the child a big favour:  "Mummy is
 tired;  I'm asking you to help me and go part of the
 way to sleep yourself.  I'll nurse you until you're
 partway to sleep, and then you go to sleep yourself."
 Then nurse for a while, and say quietly and very lovingly,
 "I need to stop nursing now," hug the child, stop nursing,
 hug the child again, and lie quietly to go to sleep.
 If this doesn't work, I'm not sure what to do.
 I suggest getting the child used to restrictions on
 nursing during the daytime before doing this.

 I think sometimes "giving in" when a child is having
 a tantrum may be the right thing to do.  But very
 rarely!  Or perhaps such situations never arise in
 some families.  When you "give in", then the child
 learns that tantrums work.  Giving in to one tantrum
 can lead to many tantrums in the future because
 the child has hope that you may give in again.

 It's good to be sensitive to your child's needs
 and wants and preferences and feelings.  It's good
 to be influenced by these things.  The child should
 have some control or influence over what happens.
 However, it's not necessary to let tantrums be the
 way these feelings are communicated.  It's better
 to listen to the child when the child gives quiet
 or subtle or assertive messages, and respond to these.
 If a child says loudly, "I don't want to go!" it's
 OK to say, "OK, we won't go then."  This is responding to an
 emphatic, assertive message from the child.
 This is not "giving in";  this is changing your mind
 based on the child's input.  It's good to do that.
 (It's your decision, though;  you know whether it's
 a situation where this decision is appropriate.)

 It's not a good idea, though, to do this:  Child says,
 "I don't want to go!"  You say, "We have to go, though."
 Child yells, breaks things, and won't let you put his/her
 coat on.  You then say "OK, I guess we won't go."
 Here, you've refused to respond to the child's assertive
 message, but you've responded to a tantrum.  This
 teaches a child that tantrums are the way to get a
 message across to you.  It's better to be more sensitive,
 to let the child get messages across more easily than that.
 Don't make the mistake of thinking that just because the
 child uses an angry tone of voice to tell you something,
 that you should refuse them.  You can say, "You feel very
 strongly about that.  OK, we won't go.  Your tone of
 voice hurt me, though.  Please talk more quietly next time."
 (But make sure you take the child's preferences into account
 when the child does talk quietly!)

 Be steadfast.  Learn to wait all the way through a tantrum,
 staying calm yourself and not yelling at the child, and
 being confident in yourself that you won't change your
 mind and give in.  Resolve to yourself, "No matter what
 he/she does, I won't get mad and I won't change my mind."
 And then offer the child love and understanding.[/font]

http://www.ncf.carleton.ca/~an588/wean.txt

I'm not sure who it's by and apologies for weird format!

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Offline DarbysMom

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Re: WEANING thread...Come and share your experiences and offer support.
« Reply #8 on: April 25, 2006, 16:16:55 pm »
Samuel's Mum,
 I'm replying to your comments from 4/20.  Sorry for the delay...a bit busy the last few days.  When we dropped the 10:30 feed DH was going in when she woke up (times are +/- 15min to 30 min).  He started with pu/pd.  We realized that since she just turned 11m., we should be careful to not just trade bad habits. So, now he is doing a little pat, pat & soothing words. Some time she is standing in the crib, some times just sitting.   When we started (2 weeks ago) it was 40 min of crying.  Second night about 20 min. then 10 min for a few nights & then last night she did not wake up until 12:30 (when she typically eats next  after going to sleep after a 10:30 wakeup).

Next step is to either cut out the 4:30 feeding (she wakes on her own) because I think it is habit OR to push her on the 12:30 feed.  Which do you think is best?

On the sippy cup, I decided to put water in it which worked well & then put about 30% pear juice from home canned pears.  Now she really like it, since pears are her favorite.  During the day I'm doing "don't offer, don't refuse" for nursing.  Typically right now it works out to be a morning feed about 8:30 (after she eats breakfast at 6:30), one before her afternoon nap & then at bedtime (7pm).  I always make sure she has high chair food first & offer the sippy cup first. 

RedStarFalling - thanks for the info.   Do you suggest pushing the 12:30 to see if she can make it until 2 or 3am & then cutting the 4am so she eats after she wakes for the day (about 6am) or keep the 12:30 & press on with the 4am?

Also,  the mother led weaning was really good. I saw it on another thread.  I let DH read it to help him see why I need his help so much & that we both needed to be doing/saying the same things.  It helped him remember it's our job to teach & guide in the right direction.  Thanks for the-repost of it here.

Offline Samuel's mum

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Re: WEANING thread...Come and share your experiences and offer support.
« Reply #9 on: April 25, 2006, 19:31:56 pm »
Darbysmom - I think go with instincts - if you feel 4.30 really is habit then start with that. See what happens. The only problem might be it could be harder to get her back to sleep because she's already had most of a night's sleep.
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Offline Beata

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Re: WEANING thread...Come and share your experiences and offer support.
« Reply #10 on: April 25, 2006, 20:46:06 pm »
Jeni - I am planning to do just that...although I sarted with the noontime feed, Cate got sick Friday, so back to square one once she is better  ;D

I did realize that she is quite fond of bf, and I always thought it would be easy to wean :-\

This is a great thread ladies, enjoying it.

I am concerned because dd does not like whole milk (or at least won't drink more than a few gulps before she realizes it's not water in that sippy!)  ::)

Should I try another way...I try to put milk into cereal, and other foods, and I give her yogurt and cheese. Should I just be sure to replace the calories, or just let her still eat however much she wants?

Thanks!

Beata



Offline milliesmaw

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Re: WEANING thread...Come and share your experiences and offer support.
« Reply #11 on: April 25, 2006, 22:12:35 pm »
Good and timely thread! Darby's mum - DS is 9 months and was waking 3 times a night. I worked on the first wake up which was about 10pm and we stopped that using pu/pd. Then for a while he just went straight through till 4am missing out a 1am feed. But now we have had illness and the wakings have come back so i have been feeding again ::) Personally I would work on dropping the 12.30pm feed. For me it is easier to do at that time of night than at 4am when I'm not at my best ;) And it might be more confusing if she stops feeding at 10pm then feeds then stops feeding if you know what I mean. However that is totally my opinion. I will be looking to wean the night feeds again after this cold has gone and my ds is well settled at nursery. Even if I can get him back down to one feed at 4am then I will be happier.
Jo

Mum to Millie
4th November 2003
and Benjamin
31 July 2005

Offline DarbysMom

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Re: WEANING thread...Come and share your experiences and offer support.
« Reply #12 on: April 26, 2006, 02:17:45 am »
Milliesmaw,
I was thinking th same thing about the 12:30 vs the 4 feeding.  I think we will try ti push the 12:30 through to the next wake up. If I'm lucky thenshe might forget about the 4am and sleep until 6 maybe.  We'll see.  Hope your lo is feeling better.  My lo has a runny nose and bit of a fever tonight too so we will see how she does.

Offline Erin (redstarfalling)

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Re: WEANING thread...Come and share your experiences and offer support.
« Reply #13 on: April 26, 2006, 15:36:59 pm »
I agree - I was also going to suggest trying to drop the 12:30 feed - it's possible that once she starts getting used to sleeping the longer stretch, she might get until morning.  Most babies by about a year are able to go the night through if they're eating well during the day.

Beata - it took quite a while for my lo to take whole milk too - just keep offering and make sure she's getting the calcium in other forms too - it's really the calcium in the milk that's more important at this stage - and the protein.  But if she gets it in other sources and is eating solids well, then the actual milk might not be a big deal.
Erin
Mother to Megan and Samantha


Offline milliesmaw

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Re: WEANING thread...Come and share your experiences and offer support.
« Reply #14 on: April 26, 2006, 21:39:08 pm »
Darbysmom - let us know how you get on! i've actually hit a bit of a snag with the 4am feeding in that ds won't go back to sleep which makes it all v frustrating ::) And me tired :(
Jo

Mum to Millie
4th November 2003
and Benjamin
31 July 2005