Does anyone have good ideas to ween my 10 month old from breast feeding?

Leanne - posted on 05/27/2011 ( 18 moms have responded )

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My baby is 10 months and I have tried to introduce milk but she still prefers breast milk. I am having surgery next month so I need to get her weened. Can anyone share some ideas on how to best accomplish this

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Pamela - posted on 05/28/2011

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If you absolutely don't have to wean, then don't. My son never drank cow milk and at almost 3 still never does. He's not a baby cow.

If you can, I'd pump a few days' worth and go back to breastfeeding when you get the all-clear.

Contact the Infant Risk Line, which uses Dr. Hale's research, to find out how your surgery will affect your baby and how long you should stop. Most doctors are not experts in breastfeeding and will either tell a woman to wean or to stop for wayyyyy longer than necessary just out of ignorance (I don't mean that in a nasty way -- just that the don't know) or extreme caution.

Terri - posted on 05/28/2011

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Babies are biologically hardwired to nurse for at least 18 months. Ten months is very young to wean. That is why you are getting such resistance from your baby.

Kristina - posted on 05/29/2011

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Do you WANT to quit nursing? I understand you need a surgery but if you could continue nursing after your surgery would you want to? I ask because if you do there are ways to continue nursing through pumping, if you're in the hospital they might offer a breast pump rental there for free, if the medications in your system make your breastmilk unsafe then you can pump and dump to keep up your supply.

You could start pumping now, you said you have a month, to provide breastmilk until you're able to nurse again.

10 months is too early to have cows milk, their little systems aren't ready to handle it, it's not the same as human milk and it's not as easy for them to digest. If you HAVE to and would prefer to quit nursing now then i'd suggest moving to formula until she's a year old then start cutting the formula with milk, and slowly do less and less formula and more cows milk until she's completely on it. Formula has vitamins, and nutrients our little babies bodies still require for growth, and health.

If you're going to do that i'd cut one feeding out at a time and exchange it with a bottle or sippy cup. Also make sure she's getting enough calories elsewhere in solid foods. Maybe for 1 week do 1 bottle, the second week do 2, the third do 3. Cut out the middle day feedings first, the morning and night time feedings are so important to our babies for comfort as well as nutrition.

Keep an eye out for extra fussiness and clinging. My daughter has a dairy sensitivity and when she has milk, cheese or yogurt she starts crying and has really bad stomach pains. So she'll be cranky, and clinging as she needs me to comfort her from pain. So she drinks almond milk during the day but I still breastfeed her (17 months old) for comfort and the good antibodies that protect her little immune system.

Good luck!!

Erin - posted on 05/28/2011

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Children should not have cows milk before they are 1 year old at the earliest. Their stomachs are not mature enough to break down the proteins in the milk before that. Is it possible for you to pump and reserve the milk by freezing it until you have your surgery? What about giving her formula for the next two months? Thos are better and safer options for her little tummy rather than cows milk... I would definitely seek out a lactation consultant though b/c they will be the ones that will be able to help you with this more than anyone.... If you don't know where to find one, you can contact the local Hospital and ask if they can give you contact info for one, or, you can contact the La Leche League. Here's a link: http://www.llli.org/ Good Luck and I hope it works out for you and your daughter!

Nicole - posted on 05/29/2011

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Most surgical procedures don't have to interfere with breastfeeding permanently and some surgical procedures can be postponed until breastfeeding has ended. If any of these things sound possible to you, I'd recommend looking into them for your and your babe's comfort and long-term health. I'd also contact Dr. Jack Newman at his clinic's website and he'd be able to give you the best advice. What is your surgery for?

18 Comments

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Lynda - posted on 06/09/2011

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I had surgery when my little one was only 4 months old I just expressed my breast milk so there was enough to last for a few days while I recovered and then he went straight back to the breast.

Sarah - posted on 05/31/2011

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She may not be ready yet. I'd suggest to start pumping NOW and freeze your breast milk. Then you both won't feel pressured and you can ween her when she's truly ready.

Ann - posted on 05/29/2011

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At 10 months breast is still the best so if you can talk to the doctors and get enough mild pumped and stored then you can pump and dump in the hospital.

Celeste - posted on 05/29/2011

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Do you want to wean or are you weaning due to surgery? If it's the latter, there is no reason to wean in MOST cases because of surgery. You can nurse when you're awake and most pain mess are safe to take while nursing.

If you're just ready, then drop a feeding a week.

Lorena - posted on 05/29/2011

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The best way to get them to switch if they do not like the taste of the formula/milk is to start by mixing just a bit with your breast milk (expressed/ pumped milk). Every few days after she easily accepts the current mixture, increase the amount of milk powder and decrease the amount of breast milk. If she starts refusing again, then go back a step for a few days.
I agree with the others over cows milk they should not have it before a year old, but there are milk powders/ formulas for different ages that you can safely use.

If your problem is accepting the bottle, try the Tommy Tippie bottle. It was made to use in combination with breast feeding. I've had several friends who's babies wouldn't accept the bottle and had tried everything. I loaned them my Tommy Tippie and sucess.

Good luck!!

Mel - posted on 05/29/2011

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For me weaning was really hard but every baby is different, I had no clue where to start so I rang ABA and my child health nurse. They told me to take out one breast feed a week if possible or if you need it done wuicker one every 2-3 days but the slower the better. I started introducing my baby to the bottle 2 months before I needed her to be weaned, but I didnt end up fully weaning, which was the plan, but Idecided to just give one bottle a day to keep her used to it, then I resuming breast feeding when I came back home after 8 days, anyway there is lots of tears my baby screamed the house down for hours. Just remember when you replace the breast feed with a bottle, DONT offer the breast again becaise she will then fight more then next time. Stay strong. My bub would cry for 3 hours before giving in and even then it was just a few mills she'd drink and she'd fall asleep after tiring herself out, she was 5 months old at the time. I gave in andbreast fed her a few times though

Tisa - posted on 05/29/2011

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Hi Leanne, I stopped breast feeding my littke one at 5 months as I went back to work. I dropped feeds every few days until I only had the night time one left and replaced them with formula (she is to young for real milk till she is 12 months). She was fine with this and it gave my suppy time to adjust to the new routine. Within 1 month we had stopped and she was purely on bottles. You may not want to give bottles due to the age of your daughter but sippy cups or sups with straws are great for that age. If you can BF after the surgery thats great and you have been given lots of supprt on this below but if you cant dont feel bad and make sure you do what is best for you after the surgery! No one can tell in 5 years which chidren were BF and which werent or for how long :) Look after yourself!

Sally - posted on 05/29/2011

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Is there any way you can still nurse with the surgery? Anesthesia is safe for nursing babies. There are baby safe painkillers and there are positioning methods to get around just about any incision site. It's a bit more work and effort, but raising children is hard work and effort. Many hospitals do not want to accomodate a nursing mom, but by law they have to. You just have to know your rights and stick to your guns.
I was still nursing my 11 month old when I had my gallbladder out. My surgeon set up a meeting with the anesthesiologist and me so we could make sure all my drugs were safe for her. Take someone you trust to watch you while you're groggy just in case. One of the nurses threatened to put an unsafe drug into my IV if I didn't swallow it, but she could have at least lost her job (if not gone to jail) had she actually done it.
If you do have to wean, keep trying until you find a botlle she likes with your pumped milk. Keep pumping as long as possible for her and as much as possible to build a surplus. Get on milkshare.org or find your local Eats on Feets so she can continue having people milk until she's big enough to digest other milks.
Good luck

Phelicia - posted on 05/28/2011

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Is there any way to undergo the surgery without weaning completely? Do you know how long you will be medicated? BM is waaaayyyy tastier than regular milk, so I don't really blame her. I would talk to a Le Leche League leader about the specifics and see what they say. There may be some questions you can ask your physician and you may be able to pump and dump for a short period and return to BF afterwards. 10 months is really pretty young to wean. She shouldn't have milk, and formula is pretty nasty tasting. You can pump extra for now so you have a nice supply and then return to BF when it is safe.

Carolyn - posted on 05/27/2011

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well you can start giving her breast milk in a sippy or cup and straw ( my monster prefers the straw) for one of her feeds. ten months is early for switching to milk milk, try some formula for a month or 2 then make the switch to make maybe. You can mix breastmilk with milk / formula gradually increasing the ratio.

but surgery doesnt have to be the end of nursing if you dont want it to be im sure. Do you have a decent pump ? pump a few days worth of milk for when you have the surgery, and talk to your doctor about which meds you will be given. From there you can look up if the meds are safe for nursing, or how long they stay in your breastmilk and just pump to maintain supply until you are clear to nurse again. YOu might be surprised at how many meds are safe for nursing. I mean if someone can have major abdominal surgery and nurse after a c-section, i would be confident in saying you should be able to keep nursing post surgery , unless of course it physically impairs your ability to nurse.

my little guy weaned quite easily and rather quickly, but we only nursed 3 times a day on average by 10 months so i just cut out a nursing and replaced it with a cup of milk, breastmilk or formula at his meals, i give him a variety lol. It took about 3 weeks to wean @ 11 months.

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I would contact a lactation consultant at the hospital to help you. Ten months old is really young to wean in a month's time, I would think you will need some help. Lactation consultants are there to help you.

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