Cows milk switch from breastmilk at 12 months

Michele - posted on 03/28/2009 ( 8 moms have responded )




My daughter is about to turn 12 months. I still breastfeed 5 times a day (or pump at work and daycare gives her the bottle) plus 3 solid food meals and a snack. Around the 12 month mark, I would like to stop pumping at work and, therefore, will no longer be breastfeeding during the day. I understand that you can give 16 - 24 oz of cow's milk per day to supplement or replace breastmilk or formula. A couple of questions.

Will my milk supply dwindle so much that I can no longer give her morning (first thing when she wakes up) and evening (as soon as I get home) and bedtime feedings?

When my milk supply runs out or I/she weans, what do I give her when she first gets up? What do I give her before she goes to bed?

Will you please tell me what your 12 month old's typical food/drink schedule is like? I understand that not all babies are the same, but a reference point would be nice.


Tara - posted on 03/28/2009




My daughter is 13 months and I started solids at 6 months, cow's milk at 12 months.  I have not pumped for a few months.  Annika's schedule looks like this:

4:30/5:00a wakes up and nurses and goes back to sleep

6:30a leaves for sitter, arrives at 7:15.

8:30a has breakfast, solids and milk.  (My sitter offers cow's milk and momma's milk)

12:00p has lunch, solids and milk. (I have pumped milk for Annika to finish)

3:00p has snack, crackers and milk. (Annika averages 6-8oz. momma milk and 3-6oz. cow's milk a day at the sitter)

4:30p momma pick up and nurse

5:30/6:00p dinner, solids and cow's milk

8:00/8:30p bedtime and nursing

On the weekends I nurse more.  I offer her cow's milk when I normally don't nurse her, but I will nurse if she wants to.  She generally takes cow's milk except for morning feeding, evening feeding and around 4:30p.  My body adjusts.  Once my sitter runs out of momma milk, we'll see if that changes nursing for my daughter.  She has come to like cow's milk.  I don't give her a lot of water, but that is because she has milk available.  I don't think your morning supply will dwindle, mine didn't, simply because I have gone all night and I have milk to express.  I would assume that cow's milk would work for morning and evening if your milk supply dwindles or your daughter weans.  I would take Fenugreek (or some type of milk supplement), eat oatmeal and continue to drink water.  This schedule has been very successful for Annika and myself and has allowed us to continue to nurse and yet allowed me to quit pumping.  I hope this helps.



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Ally - posted on 06/28/2014




Wow thank you for posting this because this is my exact question and I can't find this same situation by googling! Thanks

Tara - posted on 03/28/2009




Oh, good book Nursing Mother, Working Mother by Gale Pryor and Kathleen Huggins

[deleted account]

I have heard that as long as they are nursing 4 times in a 24 hour period that no other milk is necessary.  Every child and nursing mother are different.  I started weaning my girls from breast to cow's milk at 13 months.  By 14 months they were only nursing once a day (bedtime) and I was able to continue that w/ no problems for a whole month before I needed to quit for other reasons.

My son just turned one yesterday.  I don't see weaning anywhere in the near (or even semi distant) future.  I have given him a bit of cow's milk in his sippy cups a couple of times and he loves it, but it's me he wants ALL the time.  He eats 3 'meals' of solids plus the occasional snack and is also still nursing 6-10 times in a 24 hour period!  My boy loves to eat.

Rebecca - posted on 03/28/2009




Jake is 10 months old now, and I have cut back to pumping only once or twice per day.  He doesn't drink cow's milk, and I don't plan to give it to him.  When I am not home, he has the one bottle that I pumped the previous day.  Other than that, he has his food and water.  I haven't noticed a decrease, he just nurses in the morning before I leave for work, and I nurse him when I get home in the evening.

Allison - posted on 03/28/2009




Honestly, I don't think you need to substitute at all. She can nurse when you're around but when you're not she can eat solids or drink water. I've only ever given my kids cow's milk at dinnertime with a meal, and not as a food supplement or replacement.

No, I don't think you will lose your milk. Your body will adjust to making milk when she needs it. I stopped pumping at work when my daughter was 8 months old, and she nursed until age 3. No issues. She just nursed when I was home.

Dr. Sears has some good information on feeding children based on age, and a really good chart that goes from 0-24 months ( I also like and they have a toddler site as well.

Good luck!

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