16 months old, not sure whether to wean, how did you wean your baby?

Hannah - posted on 10/29/2010 ( 3 moms have responded )

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Hi everyone,
My baby still feeds 3 times a day, when she wakes up, before her nap, and before bed (and if she wakes up in the night I will usually feed her then too).

In my heart I know it is too soon for both of us to wean completely, but I do feel the pressure from work and relatives to at least make some kind of move to show I am beginning the process. Although they don't say anything, I can still tell they are wondering why I am still doing it - my mum was round the other day babysitting because I was sick and was going to put her down for a nap.... she didn't realise I am still feeding her!

I was thinking, do I start by cutting out one of the feeds, like when she wakes up? Then if that works out ok in a couple of months maybe cut out the feed before her nap? I have heard that the bedtime feed is usually the last to go, but that is the one that is the most demanding as I am away working one night a week, and it still means we can't leave her with a babysitter (she never ever took a bottle, and needs bf to settle down to sleep - she doesn't always nurse to sleep but still needs it at bedtime to feel happy).

She won't really drink any other kind of milk, and so if I cut back on bf and she isn't replacing it with other milk at this age, how bad would it be for her?? She eats lots of soya (has a dairy allergy) I have been told that she should get 1 pint a day but it can be yoghurt cheese etc doesn't have to be milk itself.

Any thoughts or advice would be great, and I am interested to hear how and when you weaned your babies, I haven't bf before and don't know how to stop. I wouldn't mind self weaning but being realistic I feel I am ready to hurry things along if I can.

Thanks!

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Celeste - posted on 10/29/2010

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Please don't let others pressure you into something you and your child aren't ready to do! Trust me, I know how hard it is. My family wasn't very supportive at all and would actually tell me snarky and snide comments about it. One of my favorite ones was that my boys were going to have a boob fetish if I didn't stop LOL

What I ended up doing one time when it got really bad was I sent them an email telling them the benefits and why I chose to continue and that it isn't up for discussion.

Melissa - posted on 10/29/2010

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Don't wean because of others- only wean because of you and your child! You're already weaning! I highly doubt you started out at 3x/day right? So you're already weaning (or your child is..) So do little soul searching and think of how much of this is social/familial pressure, and how much of it is you truly being ready to let go of this relationship. If you're truly ready please try to work with your child. Reduce the duration of one feed, and then eliminate it (or your lo might do it herself), and yes, you need to replace it with something- and make sure your lo is still getting plenty of fluids, naturally. I can tell you as someone who let her child self wean (yes, I used limits as she got older, but she was the one to say "no more mom!") it was SO freaking easy! LOL She dropped feedings on her own, and there were no tears (at least on her part! ;-) when she was done. If you can I'd try to keep a feeding or two until she's 2, which will help reduce the risk of illnesses.

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Merry - posted on 10/29/2010

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Not really weaning advise but since obviously you and baby aren't ready to wean, simply tell anyone who asks that weaning before the age of two puts her at increased risk of illness as stated by the American academy of familyphysicians. Plain and simple, why would anyone pressure you to do something that could harm her?

If they care for her health that should be simple enough to get them on board.

Or you can just tell them that the average weaning age world wide is 4 years old so you don't want her to be too much under average right?

Really surprising to me how these two facts change peoples minds if they truly are good people.

Best of luck! And don't wen before absolutely necessary, shorter is never better. (my goal is the 4 year average :) )

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