Stopping BF At 12 Months

20 Replies
grendelcat - February 5

I posted this on the B--tfeeding forum also, but thought I would repeat it here. My DD is almost one and I am planning to stop BF (gradually). Any advice on stopping? I feel like I may be tempted to continue in the AM and PM solely to calm her and to have quality time with her -- did anyone else have mixed feelings? Being ready to stop, but having a hard time giving up that special bond and the ability to soothe? I really do want to stop -- I am ready to have my br___ts back and to be able to take contraindicated medicines if I need to, etc... Any advice or lessons learned is appreciated!

 

LisaB - February 5

I just this past week stopped nursing my ds hes almost 15 months. :( Heres what I did I elimitated one fedding at a time then I hung onto the last before bed feeding until now ( he could have cared less but I love that he would still snuggle and cuddle with me before bed and it helped tha transition to bed be alot smoother) anyway I was feeling really c___ppy the last week and didn't have it in me to nurse him so I put him down and he feel asleep without any issues so I just kept it up. I never gor engorged or anything so thats what worked for us. Very sad- its the end of an era. I am wondeering if my hormones are gonna go crazy as I heard they can so far ok though.

 

grendelcat - February 5

Thanks so much Lisa B! May I ask another question? How much cow's milk does your ds drink now -- and how often? I am feeling confused about how this is all going to work! Thanks also for validating how hard it is in some ways, but how ready you can feel to be done! I didn't know hormones might go haywire -- yikes! I will be looking into that -- that's all I need! Good luck to you and your lo!

 

ds1970 - February 5

grendel, I am in the exact same situation!! My son just turned one on 1/28, and I had planned to stop BF when he was a year old. There were a lot of times this past year that BF was a real challenge for me, and I almost quit several times, so I imagined I would be SO ready to stop when he turned one, but I came to enjoy it a lot and, like you, rely on it for soothing him to sleep for naps and at bedtime, as well as early mornings (4am) when he wakes up. I am having the same mixed feelings...there have been times when I have literally been in tears while nursing at night these past few weeks because I am going to miss it, but then the next day I really want to stop...it's crazy!! I have pretty much eliminated most daytime feedings, and now are just doing three (early AM, nap, and bedtime) and I just don't know how to eliminate those. It seems like he is getting MORE interested in the bedtime feeding than he was a month ago...there were plenty of times he would just refuse it all together, but now he seems so excited when it's time to nurse, it just breaks my heart!!! Matters are being complicated by the fact that he really is not taking to cow's milk at all, so I am paranoid he will not get enough fat/calcium, etc. It's turning out to be a much harder transition than I anticipated. But it's good to hear that others experience the same mixed feelings... sometimes I feel like I am crazy!!

 

grendelcat - February 5

ds -- it is really good to know I am not alone in feeling ambivalent. I also feel sorry for dd -- she has no idea how dramatically life is about to change for her! I feel like this is the downside of nursing successfully for a year -- they really rely on it! It would have been easier to stop when they were really little and not so aware -- but I know I don't want to hit temper tantrums and "terrible 2" behavior around nursing down the road! I think I also feel secretly guilty about stopping (to add to my already mixed feelings!) like I am being selfish or something -- because I want my b___bs back! Thanks so much for your advice -- it is really helpful!

 

grendelcat - February 5

DS -- is the 1970 your birthdate? If so, we are about the same age! My birthday is Dec 69 (practically 1970!) Nice to know other first time moms (as I am a__suming you are) are my age! If the 1970 is NOT your birthdate, I hope I haven't offended you by a__suming you're as old as me (or that you're a first timer, as I am!)

 

ds1970 - February 5

grendel, yes, 1970 is my birth year... I will be 37 in less than 2 weeks!! And this is my first child as well!! I totally agree with you about wanting to avoid the tantrums and weirdness that might arise if we nurse much longer, and yes, that definitely does make me feel kind of guilty and selfish. Also, I too would like my b___bs (and maybe my s_x drive?!) back and would love to be able to have a gla__s of wine without feeling guilty!! One of the main reasons I feel pressured to stop is that I need to get a mammogram...I have a family history of BC and my last mammo was 6 months before I got pregnant, so I am feeling really paranoid, even though I just had an exam at my OB 2 weeks ago and everything seemed fine. It's been hard because I don't really know anyone who is going through anything remotely similar, and everytime I mention it to someone, they are polite and all, but I can tell they have no idea what I am talking about and start to glaze over pretty quickly!! My poor DH...he is such a sweetheart and tries so hard to listen and be supportive, but I can't imagine he is not sick of hearing me babble on and on about my mixed BF feelings!! I am sick of hearing myself, for God's sake!!

 

grendelcat - February 5

Well happy upcoming birthday! I have been 37 for a month and a half! It is nice to know someone else my age is new to this! I live in a big city where lots of older moms are, but I actually seem to meet the younger ones and feel kind of old sometimes. They are all already planning their next baby, and I am pretty content with one, and grateful she is happy and healthy (and so am I!) I am so sorry about your risk for BC -- that should definitely give you a guilt-free pa__s to stop! But gosh, it's hard, isn't it? I am struggling enough and don't even have to worry about a mammogram! And what's a s_x drive? lol Keep me posted -- I would love to keep up with you and your ds during all these crazy transitions! And thanks again!

 

ds1970 - February 5

Thanks for the birthday wishes! Maybe we will actualy do something for my b-day this year, as last year I was in no shape to even think about it!! I live right outside of NYC, and our town is full of moms my age, too, but I just haven't met very many. I work from home, so between that and watching DS, it would be an understatement to say that I don't get out very often these days...I get excited when the FedEx man comes by, or when I run out of shampoo and have an excuse to go to the drugstore :-) Given my age, I am amazed at how everyone a__sumes we will be having more babies, but that is another area where I am conflicted and confused!! I would like to give DS a sibling, and get all teary when I see a newborn, but I just can't imagine physically going through this again, even though I had an "easy" pregnancy and delivery!! Does your DD sleep through the night? DS has just recently started sleeping (most nights) from about 7:30 til 4:30-ish, and then we've been nursing and he usualy goes back to sleep for about 2 more hours. So I am still pretty tired!! Yes, it would be great to keep up! I am curious to know how your DD takes to the cow's milk!

 

melissa g. - February 5

hi ladies, i am hopping onto this thread, not b/c i have anything to say about bf'ing ( we stopped at 4 months), but b/c I am a first time mom and 37 too! i just had my b-day a couple weeks ago! I am FREAKED out to be 37! never had a problem with my age before, but this seems so.... close to 40! my dh turns 30 this yr, he is 7 yrs younger than I am, i am excited to have him be in the same decade as me finally! i am also really conflicted about having another baby -- i had a hard pregnancy, felt awful most of the time, had gestational diabetes, had a c-section -- i thought the whole thing was pretty hard -- plus my dd is not really a big sleeper, she just recently started sleeping thru the night, not sure if I'm up for doing all this again anytime soon! but on the other hand, she is the miracle of my life and i would love to have another child if it meant having another light in my life like she is. But I dont want to have them back to back, waaaaay too much work, and if I wait a few yrs, I am pushing 40 or actually 40! dh would be just fine having just our dd, but i cant decide. I am pretty at peace with the idea of just having one, but i think my dd is so amazing i wouldnt mind having another sometimes! what are you ladies thinking re this issue?

 

Emily - February 6

I tried what Lisa did with my dd at 11 mos. I was being lazy and didn't want to pump at work anymore. I replaced all her pumped milk bottle feds with whole milk. Then was planing using the remaining one month till her one year b-day to wean her off morning and night time feds. The little stinker juist oup and refused to nurse after she got the whole milk. It was nice not to have to fight her, but part of me missed it so much and of course my b___bs killed me for a month.

 

grendelcat - February 6

Hi ds! We live in Washington DC -- but I have found it hard to find Moms my age -- plus I work too, so that limits Mommy and me activities during the week where I might find more Moms that are 35+. Everyone a__sumes we will have more also -- we actually only wanted one from the beginning! I am an only chlld and was very happy -- so I have never seen any problem with it, but I am starting to doubt myself because people have such strong reactions to it! I had an uncomplicated, but miserable pregnancy -- severe nausea the whole 9 months! I can't imagine doing it again and being so miserable with a toddler to take care of! Plus, we recently started working with a financial planner -- not sure now we can afford the one we have, much less others! I am sure the cost of living where you are is pretty high too! I have enjoyed every stage of dd's first year -- but I am so glad she is not a tiny, helpless little baby anymore -- I don't think I could go through it all again -- pregnancy, birth, no sleep! To answer your question, my lo started sleeping in her crib at months and more or less was sleeping through the night (from 6:30pm to 6am) but pretty consistently for the last 3 months or so has been doing the early-waking thing, and we also take her in our bed and nurse her back to sleep (so another hesitation about weaning has to do with getting sleep in the early AM!) I had been trying to shift her bedtime a bit later, to see if that helped, but she keeps getting colds and it is hard to tell what is happening, because I want to give her extra cuddles! Also, I have a confession to make about cow's milk -- I hesitated to post it so I wouldn't get any lectures -- but since Emily below did it too I will fess up -- I have been having trouble pumping enough milk for the last two weeks (since dd turned 11 months) so I tried supplementing with formula -- dd hated it and was up all night with terrible gas and crying like her stomach hurt. I am sure she would have acclimated, but a coworker convinced me there was little use in getting her used to formula for just a month, then having to get her used to cow's milk. My nanny (whom I trust) agreed -- so for 4 days a week, she gets one bottle of cow's milk (diluted with water -- that's how my nanny has always done it and I trust her) and all the rest is b___st milk. So far, she has had no symptoms that it is bothering her and has normal poops, etc... She also eats really well and eats A LOT, so I feel comfortable she is not missing out nutritionally. So I have been fortunate that the transition so far has been easy on her! My nanny is from India and says diluting the cow's milk 50/50 with water makes it more like b___st milk -- I know doctor's might not agree, but I wonder if that might help your ds if he is having difficulty with milk?

 

grendelcat - February 6

I meant to type she started sleeping in her crib at 6 months! THe 6 was missing in my post!

 

grendelcat - February 6

Melissa -- thanks for chiming in! I am glad to meet more moms our age! My DH is younger than me too -- sucks doesn't it? lol I posted just before about our desire for only one baby -- I often wish I wanted more than one, but deep in my heart I know one is really it for me! But it is hard when you know you want another and you know you'd be pushing 40 -- there are so many things to consider -- though I know tons of people who did it with no problem! I think once you know what you really want (and that's the problem with not knowing for sure) age is not that big a factor. How to decide what you really want is the hard part for me! BTW, I am also adopted, so have often thought if I really get baby crazy again, maybe I should "return the favor" and give another baby a good life like I was given! I guess that is always one way to avoid being pregnant!

 

grendelcat - February 6

Emily -- I am doing about the same thing -- I just haven't been able to pump enough lately -- I am so glad to know someone else is starting cow's milk early -- I was afraid to post it! I know, obviously, we are supposed to wait, but circ_mstances have led me to believe this is best for my lo right now! But my dd still wants cow's milk and to nurse too! It might be easier to have her refuse like yours did (except for the engorgement). Thanks for your response -- I feel much better about the cow's milk now!

 

ds1970 - February 6

hi again grendel! You are so lucky that your dd accepted the cow's milk no problem...for me, that has been part of the issue, because I have not been able to replace the eliminated nursings with anything!! I get SO paranoid that he is not getting enough fat and calcium. We are vegetarian as well, so he does not eat any meat or meat products. I also went out and bought a soy formula (EXPENSIVE!!) and he totally woud not drink it...he actually swatted the cup away!! The only other time he had formula was a handful of times way back in the beginning when I was paranoid about my milk supply a few nights. But I guess b___st milk is what he's used to, so it's going to be hard. I will try your suggestion of the 50/50 diluted milk...maybe that will help!! I also have a confession...yesterday I was so frustrated with him not accepting the milk that I melted some vanilla ice cream into it!! He still didn't even want to try it!!! I'm usually realy strict about excess sugar, so that shows my desperation! He eats a whole milk yogurt every morning, and likes cheese, so that's good. It's funny how you were afraid to post about the cow's milk!! I can't say I blame you, judging from some of the posts I've read on this forum...once or twice I tried posting an opinion and got really slammed, so I just don't post that often! The early waking is a problem for me, too, in terms of eliminating that nursing. Last night he woke up at 3:30!! Usually it's 4:30, then nurse, then back to his crib til about 6:30 or 7 if we are lucky! But he was running a bit of a fever last night due to his vaccines a week ago, so I had to check on him. I must admit that if he wakes before 4am lately, I have been letting him cry a bit to try to get himself back to sleep. It is SO hard to do, and one night he went back to sleep, but I felt so bad I couldn't sleep for another 2 hours!!! But I feel like at this point he really needs to start sleeping through...am I horrible??? About having another baby, if I had a tough pregnancy, I probably would not even consider it, because I am a pretty big baby when it comes to feeling sick!! I was so lucky in that I had literally one day of nausea, and practically no other symptoms throughout the whole thing...I guess I am afraid that I would not luck out like that again, and would be miserably sick the whole time! But I really would like DS to have a sibling..I can't imagine growing up without my sister, whom I am very close with!! It's like having a built-in friend, and I get sad to think that DS would ever be lonely on family vacations, or just in day-to-day life. But it's interesting that you are an only child...it sounds like there was none of that for you. That makes me feel better. I'm just so conflicted about it. I am so not ready physically or mentally for pregnancy, but keep worrying about the age thing...this is one of the only times I wish I had had DS a couple years ago, but life was just not cooperating back then!! Yes, our area is SO expensive!! We just bought a house a couple years ago, and it's definitely too small already. We are considering moving to Pennsylvania, where everything is a bit cheaper. How do you like DC?

 

ds1970 - February 6

Hi melissa! As grendel said, nice to meet another 37-year old mom! I can't believe I'm going to be 37!! I am a bit freaked as well...it seems like just yesterday I was turning 30!! I totally get what you are saying about another pregnancy..those are my thoughts exactly, and I did not even have a rough pregnancy or delivery!! I really want DS to have a sibling, plus I am still in awe at the intense love I have for our son...it is like nothing I ever thought possible, and on so many levels I would love to have another one!! But I am afraid that by the time I might be ready physically and mentally for another pregnancy, I will be 40(!!!) or close to it. I know that so many people 40 and older have successful pregnancies, but I think for myself it just seems too risky...I was a bit paranoid having him at age 36!! One of my main things has also been that DS is not what you would call a "good sleeper"!! He is not even sleeping through the night yet, and he turned one on 1/28!! It's been a hard road in that respect...he also never really took to the napping thing, either. Only pretty recently have we been able to get him to sleep sort of regularly for one decent nap, and that was through nursing him to sleep, which I am now trying to eliminate!! So poor DH has to lay with him and try to get him to calm down enough to sleep. I feel like we really screwed up in that department. Luckily we both work from home and can be there to help him, but I feel like he should be sleeping better independently. This is totally our own fault, though, as neither one of us ever had the stomach to get him to nap on his own, which would have involved a lot of crying. We are such push-overs!!

 

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