Self Weening at 14 months?

Kirsten - posted on 09/04/2011 ( 12 moms have responded )

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I have a daughter, who will be 14 months on the 8th of September. We've done very very well with breastfeeding. She exclusively breastfed until her doctor told us to start her on babyfood, then it was 4-6 times a day, gradually lessening the more she ate. Now shes on 3 full meals aday and 3 snacks aday as her doctor recommended, with breastfeeding in the morning and at night. However, lately its been a battle with her. At first I dismissed it as she was eating snacks too late, so I gave her snacks earlier, leaving a good 2 hours before bedtime where I would sit her down in our favorite position and try. I soon realized that she was only doing 3-5 minutes at a time, and breaking the connection several times in the process. I have to burp her, rub her back, then put her back on, and its just a battle. I am beginning to think shes self weening. I wanted to breastfeed her up until between 1 1/2 years to 2 years but I dont think thats going to happen at this rate. Any advice?? The morning breastfeedings dont even happen anymore because my Husband hears her first and by the time I get out of bed he's already fed her something, and she wont breastfeed if she has even a somewhat filled tummy. I need help!!

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Wendi - posted on 09/14/2011

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wow! it certainly sound like she is self weaning.id give her smaller snacks and id nurse her in the morning.

April - posted on 09/05/2011

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It sounds like breastfeeding is being replaced with solid food. Others might have a different opinion, but I personally feel like maybe she is eating too much solids. The way you described her schedule, it sounds like she is eating food all day long. I would nurse her first before giving her any food and I would cut out at least one of the snacks. How big are her meals? Could you try making the portions smaller so that she is not so full at the next nursing session? In addition to reducing food intake, start offering the breast a little more often (not offering also known as "don't offer, don't refuse" is a weaning technique) . True self weaning usually doesn't occur until around 2 1/2. Most examples of weaning before that age has to do with interferences (feeding too much solids, not offering, feeding on a schedule instead of on demand, feeding solids before the breast).

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Jessica - posted on 09/12/2011

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Great job so far! I nursed my daughter until 18 mos when she weaned due to me being pregnant. When we started solids, I listened to other bfing moms not my doc. Nurse first then offer solids. Bfing is always first. Just started my son on solids this month, just a few spoonfuls each day. He nurses about 7 times a day and sleeps through the night, mostly. So adjust the solids and bf more during day and she'll come around. Most bf problems take a couple of weeks to be resolved.

Tania - posted on 09/11/2011

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It does sound like you are replacing milk with foods. At 14 months, does she really need "snacks" of solid foods? During the second year of life, I give foods to complement breastfeeding. Offer the breast first, then foods. I would remove any snacks and give her the breast and then foods.

LaLasha - posted on 09/10/2011

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You can't force a baby to nurse nor should you. introducing solids tends to have this affect. This might be the end of the road for you if you have a pump keep pumping she might just be on a strike and that way you will have milk stored and your supply still available and if not you will still be giving her breastmilk just not direct from the tap and that is ok too.

Cynthia - posted on 09/10/2011

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CONGRATULATIONS! you and your husband have successfully met the needs of the the stages of the first year of life in your child! now its time to let go and continue to meet the needs of your childs second year of life! My eldest weaned herself at thirteen months I was about three months pregnant when she did so and I wish she had nursed longer since we were emigrating into Canada at the time and I wanted her to have the immono protectivity nursing would have given her during the first three to six months of our move. however she chose differently, the new experiences for her fed and satisfied her ever expanding curiosity. She did however develop gasto enteritis, but because she was fulfilling her need for extra fluids due to diarehha she never became ill enough to be hospitalised, and onces she was on antbiotics she quickly returned to full health.

My recommendation is to drop all the feedings where she is not settled you may want to have your husband hold off on giving her other food until she has nursed FIRST and then feed her while you are gradually reducing your milk supply, for your own breast health to avoid abcesses or caked breasts which are very painful and can lead to breast infections. then just keep the nursing she still clings to, yes its sad to lose that nursing experience but its a sign she is maturing and you are meeting her emotional, physical and intellectual needs. be sad grieve the passing of a stage but move on to the next one! There are lots of challenges ahead! I also agree with the other too posters suggestion you may be pregnant or regularising your homone cycle. which can change the flavour of the milk making it less sweet or even bitter. Remember too that nursing is a give and take relationship adapting to each others needs, physically mentally and emotionaly.

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If you want to continue breastfeeding, I would cut down on the snacks and offer the breast more. Obviously I wouldn't force her, but you may find that cutting down on the snacks increases her desire for the breast.

Hard for me to know for sure. I had 2 schedule fed nursers (twins) and we were only nursing at bedtime at that age and weaned at 15 months. Then I had my son who was hardly ever OFF the breast at that age. ;)

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Why can't her snacks be at the breast instead of solid food? I would cut the solid food at snack time and breastfeed instead.

Nora - posted on 09/07/2011

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I have the same thought as REbecca. My daughter self weaned at 14 months old, and 2 weeks later I found out I was pregnant again. She didn't like the way my milk changed.

Rebecca - posted on 09/06/2011

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My friends bub self weened about the same age. She discovered the reason was she was pregnant and that changed the milk and made her daughter not like it any more.
Just a thought.

Cara - posted on 09/06/2011

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If you want to keep up your nursing relationship for a while longer, and I think it's great that you do, I'd also suggest offering to nurse more frequently throughout the day. Just go with whatever seems the most natural to you and your daughter and don't worry so much about what the dr. says. My son is 17 months old and probably still gets about 75% of his daily intake from breastmilk. He nurses at least 6x a day and a few times through the night - he sets the pace.

It's totally normal for your daughter to be easily distracted and even normal for her to just want to nurse for a minute or two. It just comes with toddler territory =). Sometimes my son just needs a little drink and other times he will nurse for 20 minutes or more. I go with the flow and it's working fine for us.

Good job for keeping it up! Look for those opportunities throughout the day when you and your little one can have quiet cuddle times and offer to nurse her then. Don't feel discouraged. She may think other things are more interesting now but soon enough something will change (new teeth, bumps and bruises, cold, new people or activities) and she'll look forward to those times with you again.

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