Advice on weaning a 9-month-old?

User - posted on 01/09/2009 ( 17 moms have responded )

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I have a 9-month-old who is exclusively breastfed. I want to start weaning, but she has never taken a bottle. Any advice on how to make this transition go smoothly?

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Dawna - posted on 01/10/2009

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I am actually still nursing my 16-month-old daughter, but I do have a tip for getting yours to take a bottle. We had used bottles at the hospital and home for the first few months, then I got out of that and was breast-only just out of laziness (no bottles to wash :) ) for several months. When I tried to go back to using a bottle, she hated the regular nipples and fought the bottle. I found a nipple made by Nuby that is more like breastfeeding because the baby controls the flow and has to push w/the tongue to get the milk to flow, instead of using the tongue to stop the flow like w/traditional nipples. She loves that nipple and still uses them. She also was old enough for sippy cups, and took to the Nuby brand non-drip silicon sippy at that time. Either may work for you, since your daughter is old enough for a cup now, too. Definitely start w/pumped breastmilk, though, and try having Daddy do the feedings. I'll give you a link to the nipples, too. They are fairly inexpensive, fit all bottles, and are BPA-free. And no, I don't work for Nuby, I just have had the most luck w/their products. ;)

http://nuby.com/products/nipples/0921.as...

Heidi - posted on 01/09/2009

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Hi Malinda:  My kids (3 1/2, 20 mo and 10 wks) were/are all exclusively breastfed.  I nursed the boys for a year and I will do the same with my daughter.  My oldest son started weaning himself at 10 mo and stopped the day before he first b-day, my second son also started weaning at 10 mo, but I got the ok to supplement with Whole Cows milk from his pediatrician.  I would not give a bottle although I put it in a sippy cup that had a straw.  I found it is much easier to teach them to use a straw around 6 mo because it is second nature to them already...it is harder to teach when they are a bit older.  I would nurse in the morning, then drop a feeding a day until I was no longer nursing.  That transition is better on you so you are not so uncomfortable.  I don't encounter too many mom's who exclusively breastfed with no bottle ever.  I would drop a feeding every couple of days until you build up to the point where your child is off the breast and onto somthing else:).  I do hope this helps.

User - posted on 01/09/2009

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I weaned my 2 kids around 8 months and here are the tips I can offer, but you will quickly figure out what works best for you two. One, start with breastmilk in the bottle, not formula if possible and have someone else feed her. That way, the issue you are sorting out is her getting used to the bottle...and that alone may take a few to tries. Once she is taking the bottle well, switch over to formula. gradually introducing by mixing 1/4 formula to 3/4 breastmilk...and then change the proportions every few days. You will need to pump in order to keep this up a while and also for your own personal comfort but come up with a schedule that works for the two of you and use it as a guideline. If she takes to it right away, you may be able to switch right over to bottle and straight formula but I'd have a plan to do it gradually. I did it this way with both of my kids and experienced the challenge of them refusing to take the bottle from 'me' for a while but the breatsmilk to formula transistion went very smoothly since I did it slowly. Keep in mind you will also be experiencing changes in her bathroom habits as you switch and even different burping needs with using bottles. You will also want to keep an eye out for any reactions she may have to the formula- although this is rare it happens enough to have multiple formula options out there. Good luck and keep it all in perspective- you two will do great!

Jackie - posted on 01/09/2009

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I am so glad that I am not the only one who had this problem!! I exclusively bf for the first 7 months, I tried the bottle over and over again, different kinds too, but what finally did it was i put a little bit of juice mixed with water in a bottle and she took it! Then it still took a few days for her to take the milk from the bottle. like others, I started with replacing one feeding a day with a bottle and then gradually stepped it up. She is 10 months now and I just got her transitioned to formula. I felt bad about stopping the bf, but i wasn't producing enough anymore and she was too distracted that it took forever to feed her! I hope that all the advice helps you!

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Kirsten - posted on 01/10/2009

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Good for you! I also exclusively breast-fed for about 8 months before introducing my son to solids. My advise is to start slowly and don't force the issue. Is your goal to stop all together or simply incorporate other foods? I continued to feed (and still do.although,not for sustinence anymore..he's almost3)when he really needed the comfort but tried to incorporate other foods and tastes between feedings. We also co-slept with our son,so he could nurse during the night at will. As wonderful as co-sleeping has been,I don't recommend it if you want to wean.Also, he never would take a bottle so I went straight to the sippy cup. I only put water and juice in the cup and saved the b-milk for nursing time,However if you goal is to stop nursing,pumping and trying the bottle might be your best bet.Hang in there.

Lisa - posted on 01/10/2009

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What a marvellous mum you are!!!  As a mum who breastfed even though I had had breast surgery, I was desperate to breastfeed for as long as possible.  I only managed 4 months then I had no milk (ther was very little there to start with, but breast/formula fed).  If your baby is happy still at the breast and it brings comfort as well as the best nutrition possible, why stop??  (unless of course you no longer wish to breastfeed!)  I wouldn't go onto a bottle however, try EBM (expressed breast milk) into a cup??



I think any mother that breastfeeds her children so long is just wonderful.  What better start could you give your child.  Well done!!!



I read this back and I don't think I have been very helpful!!!  I am just very passionate about breastfeeding.  I work with women who struggle to breastfeed and it is so satisfying to see a new mother who has had problems eventually settled into a routine and exclusively breatfeeding.  Great job satisfaction!  I hope you find a solution that suits you! x

Brandy - posted on 01/10/2009

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Quoting Malinda:

Advice on weaning a 9-month-old?

I have a 9-month-old who is exclusively breastfed. I want to start weaning, but she has never taken a bottle. Any advice on how to make this transition go smoothly?



Hve you tried having your husband feed her the bottle.  She knows that you have the good stuff.  Also, when your husband feeds, you will need to leave the room.  She will know you are there.  Also , maybe hold her off 15 to 30 mins so she is really hungry and then maybe she will take it.

Beth - posted on 01/10/2009

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My son will be a year old in just over a week.  I am a SAHM and hate pumping!! I am having the hardest time weaning him.  It is reassuring to see so many other mothers in my situation.  My son will drink from a sippy cup, but only as a novelty thing.  He will drink if he's in the nursery at church, etc.  He just screams if I don't nurse him though.  He is also going through the separation anxiety phase.  My husband works late most days and my family lives too far away to be any help. 



My son also stopped letting me spoon feed him.  He will only eat what solids he can feed himself.  I tried letting him spoon feed himself, but he just doesn't have the coordination or interest.

Susie - posted on 01/09/2009

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I am having the same problem. My daughter is 6 months old and I have to get her off of breast feeding because of some medical issues I am having. I have heard to try putting sugar on the nipple. I will have to try with one feeding and have my husband do it. Definitely not the night time feeding to be the first to go. She fights me on that tooth and nail. I am frustrated all around because she won't eat any solids yet either. She gags really easily. Patience, patience, patience, right?

Cheryl - posted on 01/09/2009

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GREAT ADVICE ABOVE. My son would only take one kind of nipple and to find that one type I have at least 20 more kinds to throw out! Also he liked the independance with a meal to be able to drink and do for himself, so I started with the meal times and sippy cup!

I know how you feel wow I did't know there were that many moms with the same problem! Good Luck

Sarah-Rose - posted on 01/09/2009

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I was unable to breastfeed my daughter, however for the first 8weeks I did express my milk for her, when I found that I needed to wean her off breast milk due to lack of production I was advised to use part breast and part formula milks. For the first 3-4 days I used 1/4 formula -3/4 breast after that 1/2 formula - 1/2 breast for approx 2-3 days then 3/4 formula - 1/4 breast milk for 2-3 days and then finally I used full formula and we have never had to look back.



As for the bottle I would try tommee tippee closer to nature range of bottles. I used avent but I have been told that babies who have been solely breastfed take better to these types of bottles..



hope this helps

[deleted account]

Just wondering, but why are you wanting to wean your 9 month old? Is she showing signs of being done with breastfeeding or are you done with it? Personally, I would wait 3 months before I started weaning. When I weaned my son (he was between 12-13 months old) I took one feeding out, waited up to a week, took another feeding out, etc, until the last feeding he had left was the one before bed. It didn't take long for him to be weaned completely. I think it was harder on me than it was on him. But just make sure your daughter is ready to be weaned.

[deleted account]

Try a bottle first with breastmilk in it (you'll need a pump though). Let your partner give the bottle. If that works try sneaking in some formula. Use BPA free bottles or glass bottles!

Ginger - posted on 01/09/2009

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I was never able to get my daughter to take a bottle she was BF till 11 months.. even my hubby couldnt get her to take it.. I eventualy gave her a cuppie which she accepted.. what I did was Take 1 feeding away at a time and sub it with a cuppie.. in a week I would take a second away and so on.. the last feedings were the first in the morning, and the very last was the right before bed.. Is there a reason you want to get her off? I wish I didnt wean my youngest at 11 months.. I was kinda peer pressured into doing it.. make sure it for you and not because of someone else.. good luck either way

Janna - posted on 01/09/2009

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hey there - i have 3 children now 5,4 and 2.  My last child was exclusivley fedd breastmilk too.  She had a terrible time with it - always fighting it, and screaming - I finally askied my husband to try to get her to take it.  They can smell your breastmilk, so the little farts know that it's there, and if they fight it enough, we'll give in.  It took probably 3 full days before she was feeding well enough that I could step in and feed her the bottle, but it worked.  Also, don't take all her breastfeedings away at once.  I always started with taking the afternoon one away and sub. the bottle then.  Do that for 3-7 days and then take another breastfeeding away, and sub. with the bottle.  I always make the night feeding the last to take away,. as it is the hardest and the most important one for them.  hope it helps

User - posted on 01/09/2009

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Wow no bottle ever? I don't know where to start, but I do know that my friends who've weaned have always made the before bed feeding the last to go. Try a bottle (get recommendations from friends) and put breastmilk in it at first, so the taste isn't what is new.

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