How can I wean my almost 1 year old daughter from the boobie to whole milk from her cup?
Amber - posted on 03/16/2009
She nurses pretty much on demand. No set schedule except during the night. She does still wake up about 2 to 3 times during the night to nurse and before bed. During the day I can pretty much distract her most of the times because she does eat very well and she drinks juice and water whenever I do. She does nurse maybe 3 times during the day. We nurse either sitting on the couch or in the bed.
Allison - posted on 03/13/2009
Congrats on the pregnancy! I know how uncomfortable it is to nurse while pregnant - I'm 31 weeks (well, almost 32 weeks) along and still nursing my 2 year old. I decided to do this and am completely committed to tandem nursing as well. But I know that decision isn't right for everyone.
I'd caution you on trying to just pump with the next one - there are many good reasons for baby to nurse directly from mom plus pumping isnt' as efficient as nursing, so you could end up reducing and losing your supply. Try to think of other ways dad can bond with baby - diaper changes (though not loved by most dads) are a great way to bond! Plus, dads tend to be more active players while moms tend to be more the comforting ones--this plays a vital role in child development. I'd guess as your husband sees your daughter becoming more independent, he won't be as upset with the next one being so close to you (if that one is...each child is different). Have you checked out the Kellymom website? http://www.kellymom.com/ It's very informative and they also have a great forum you can join.
I second the book I recommended above (Mothering Your Nursing Toddler), too.
You may find that as you progress through your pregnancy, your daughter will naturally nurse and and wean in any case. You can help this along a bit by offering things instead of nursing, like snacks or cuddles or a cup of something. Sometimes it's easy to distract them and sometimes not. Trust her and follow her lead. If she needs to nurse, try to make the sessions shorter, possibly by counting to ten after allowing her to nurse a bit first or singing a song or two that you reserve just for nursing. Try to do it gradually.
How often is she nursing right now? Is she on a set schedule or does she nurse on demand during the day? What about naptimes and bedtimes? During the night? Do you have a specific place you typically nurse (like a rocking chair) or does she nurse where ever she is?
Amber - posted on 03/13/2009
Thanks Allison. I want to wean her because I'm beginning to become very uncomfortable nursing and also I just found out that I'm expecting again so I will be going through this all over again. I'm really leaning toward just pumping with the next one and bottlefeeding. This way the baby can bond with her daddy rather than just me. My husband was kind of frustrated because my daughter would only be happiest with me which of course she is growning out of now.
Allison - posted on 03/13/2009
Why do you want to wean?
You can start giving her whole milk in a cup if you'd like now that she's a year old. She doesn't *need* it as long as she is still nursing, but at my house we've always started milk at a year with dinner, either in a small open cup or a sippy cup. It's never replaced a nursing, though, just something in addition to it, and my kids didn't get milk in a cup to carry around the house.
The World Health Organization recommends nursing for at least 2 years, since the immunities are very beneficial for toddlers and there's a close bond with nursing. Rest assured that nursing is a lot different in the second year than in the first - not as long or as frequent :-) I really like the book Mothering Your Nursing Toddler by Norma Jane Bumgarner as it's very helpful in understanding toddler nursing, and it also covers weaning and how to go about it.
If you're set on weaning, definitely look at the book I mentioned above. It needs to be done gradually over several months, and sometimes kids are very resistent to it - make sure you follow her cues. Start by dropping a feeding (if you're normally on a set schedule) and know that her most favorite ones often will be the last to go. My son nightweaned on his own at 20 months (one the 2 year molars were in) and that's when he started sleeping well. I've set limits on nursing, like how long we nurse (sometimes I tell him when I get to 10 he'll need to be done for now), or how many times he can switch sides (he can nurse on one side, switch, then that's no - no switching back!). My son just turned 2, so he understands this better than your daughter would, but by 18 months or so she could understand some basic limits. Once she's moving around a lot more and very interested in playing independently you may find that she doesn't think to nurse as much, either.
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