Weaning my almost 14 month old?

Cheryl - posted on 09/28/2011 ( 3 moms have responded )

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My daughter is almost 14 months old. She was exclusively breastfed until 9 months. 9 months is when food was introduced. She has never had a bottle or pacifier. I have really tried to cut back feeding her but she doesn't like it. I have tried introducing milk and she doesn't want that. I have tried flavoring it with chocolate, & strawberry syrup. I have also tried Silk. She doesn't want anything. She won't drink breast milk out of a cup. She wants it out of the real thing. She will, however, take a sippy cup of water or juice.

Recently she has started to leave teeth marks around my nipple. She isn't biting but it seems like she is holding on with her teeth. That is one of the reasons for weaning but the other is I think I breastfeed too often for her being this age. She wakes to nurse at night anywhere from 2 times to 4 times still. And she nurses about 6-8 times during the day still. She nurses to sleep for both naps and bed. On top of all this nursing, she eats regular food like crazy. She weighs 22lbs 14oz currently, which is a good weight, but I would love to at least cut back breastfeeding.

Right now, when she wants to eat, she will smack at my breasts, pull at my shirt, fling herself into a laying position, or cry until she gets what she wants. When we try to distract her, it works for a minute but then she will do it again. If I try to walk away she will chase behind me. I'm not sure what I can do to cut back or wean all together.....

What can I do to cut back or tricks to help me wean my baby girl?
Thanks for any advice in advance.

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Everything you described is very very NORMAL! YOur baby is still a baby and needs you. THere is a great quote out of the newest edition of the Womanly ARt of Breastfeeding (get a copy if you don't already have one) but it goes something like, "Weaning a baby doesn't make them need you less, it just give you one less tool to meet their needs." Finding a local group for breastfeeding support may really help you find that you are doing a great job meeting your babies needs right where you are now. It can be hard to keep following what feels right when there is so little support for nursing older babies. check out www.llli.org to find a local group to get questions answered.

Carol - posted on 10/04/2011

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Hi there Cheryl
I know how you feel.... I weaned my little one just after 13 months. I dreaded it sooooo.... much. But you know what it was actually o.k. My son was drinking out of comfort, like i was his personal pacifier. I got very little sleep....... Shame he just to say "ne ne" for the boobie and mommy had to wean him. My GP recommended a "old wives" remedy - Aloe Bitter Crystals. I wet it and rubbed it over my nipples and he came in for a taste and yucky..... He cried his heart out the first night, screams but then the second night it was like he just knew, everytime he said "ne ne" i'd show him the boobies and he would smell the bitter crystals and turn his head. I kept doing that for about a month.... Kindly note that the bitter crystals does stain clothes so wear breast pads. It's been nearly 2 months now he sleeps through the night. Sometimes he will still ask but i just say "ne ne yucky". I don't show him my naked boobies just in case though. Good luck!!!

Ania - posted on 09/29/2011

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i would say she acts completely normal by eating so much. and it will not be easy to wean her if she doesn't want it. My experience, the more I try to stop my son and he is 19 months the more he wants it. So I give in and it gets better. I don't know what your reasons are for weaning, but if you can stick to BF a little longer it should get easier. She probably is just going through the phase. and teeth marks are normal too. They don't suck all the time, sometimes they rest and that's why teeth marks. Sometimes I have to readjust latch so my son doesn't sunk his teeth into me :) I would wean her at night. That is easier if you can survive few nights without sleep. Usually takes 3. When I tried to do that I would just eliminate one feeding. My son would cry and cry and I would be there with him but I didn't give him boo boo. He would finally fall asleep. Then he would wake up again and i I saw it was too traumatic for him I would offer him breast but I would lean over the crib and he would be standing, so it is not comfortable for him and this worked. It took a while and there were setbacks, but it worked for me. I don't know if that helps if you want more specific info let me know

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