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Archive for the ‘weaning’ Category

If you have decided that you are going to breastfeed your baby, not matter how long your decided to breastfeed, there will come a time when you will have to be apart from your child and you will need him or her to take a bottle. Unless you make giving your child a bottle a part of your weekly routine, he or she will most likely reject the bottle at some point. This happened to me.

Here is my story:

I have 3 child. My first child, Cooper, I gave a bottle to at 3 weeks old after we had established breastfeeding. He did well taking the bottle and it really presented no issue for him. Cooper got a bottle at least twice a week if not more when he was a small infant. I would pump and then offer him the breastmilk in his bottle. When Cooper got older, around 5 months old, I started having issues making enough milk for him at his bedtime feeding. So I began to pump before I went to bed. I used that breastmilk in a bottle to supplement his bedtime feeding after I had finished feeding him. So Cooper got a bottle every day from that point on. When it came time to wean Cooper, he took all his feedings from a bottle so well. He weaned at 10 months and it was so easy. I cried having to stop breastfeeding, but Cooper did not seem to care one bit. I really think that the weaning process went so well because Cooper was so use to getting a bottle every day prior to weaning.

Then I had the twins. I tandem breastfeed my twin girls using a double nursing pillow. The girls took to bottle pretty quickly around 3 weeks of age too. They got an occasional bottle with daddy and we use to use the bottle to give them a dream feed for a short while. I soon dropped the dream feed and giving bottles was difficult for me to do with two babies at the same time so I decided to exclusively breastfeed for ease. Plus, my husband needed to occupy my toddler son while I was breastfeeding in the evenings so I did not have an extra pair of hands to feed the babies bottles. The girls did get bottles at church or when my mother-in-law would watch them, but that was very infrequent. Around 5 months old, I started to not make enough to satisfy both girls at their bedtime feeding again. The solution was to give one girl a bottle of expressed milk at bedtime and the other to breastfeed. That allowed for enough milk for them both. Anna got the bottle and Molly was breastfeed. BIG MISTAKE! So Molly almost NEVER got a bottle from 5 moths and on. Anna got a bottle every night. Guess what, now at 11 months old, I cannot get Molly take a bottle. It does not matter if I hold the bottle, if Daddy holds the bottle, or if she holds the bottle, she just will not take a bottle. Anna on the other hand, will take a bottle no problem.

Closing Thoughts: I think it is important to introduce a bottle at least 2-3 times a week with your infant even if you choose to breastfeed. There may be a time when you will not be able to be around to breastfeed, and you will want someone else to give your child their milk. I am very “boob-bound” because my daughter Molly will not drink from a bottle. How I wished that I would have done bottles with Molly more often so she would be more willing to drink from a bottle, giving me some more freedom to come and go without having to race home to nurse. I am trying to wean Molly to a sippy or straw cup since she will not take a bottle, but it is a very slow process. Hopefully, I will be able to wean Molly in time.

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My son is 14 months old and I have been giving him a bottle at bedtime now since he was 10 months old. Prior to that, I was breastfeeding him. I have been reluctant to give up the bedtime bottle of milk because I feared that he would not sleep through the night or he would wake up super early. Well, it has been three nights with no nighttime bottle, and he has slept his normal 11 hours of sleep.

Reasons I decided to drop the bedtime bottle:
1. He was not eating a good breakfast anymore. I think that his bedtime bottle was filling him up to much and he was not hungry enough to eat breakfast.
2. His diapers were becoming soaked over night and leaking through his clothing. I was even using a larger diaper at night and he still leaked.
3. According to Kim West in the book Good Night, Sleep Tight, at one year old they no longer need the milk to help them sleep through the night.

How to drop the bedtime bottle or breastfeeding:

Option #1: Try reducing the amount of ounces that goes in the bottle every night or the amount of time you breastfeed.

  • With my son I was giving him 8 ounce of milk at night. He would happily drink this. I slowly reduced the amount of ounces every few nights until we were down to almost 2-3 ounce of milk. Then I decided to go cold turkey, and just not offer him milk. I made sure he was drinking at least 16-24 ounce of milk during the day before I did this.
  • If you are breastfeeding, you can reduce the duration/ length you breastfeed at night. So if your child normally breastfeeds for 15 minutes, than try reducing it by 2-3 minutes every few nights until you are down to only nursing for 2-3 minutes. I did this when I was weaning my son of his early morning feeding (4am) when he was 4 months old. It helped my body adjust to not feeding him during that time and it helped my son to adjust to not needing that feeding.

Option #2: Try moving the bedtime bottle/ breastfeeding further away from bedtime.

Let’s say you feed your child dinner at 5:30pm and bedtime is at 7:30pm. You would try to move the bedtime bottle/ nursing further away from bedtime. So the first night you might give the bottle/ nurse at 7:15pm. Then 3 days later, you would give the bottle/ nurse at 7:05. Then 3 days later you would give the bottle/ nurse at 6:55… and so on and so on….until you reach dinner time.

Important things to keep in mind:
1. Always check with your child’s pediatrician to make sure they are getting enough formula, milk, or breast milk before you drop the nighttime bottle.
2. If you child is dependent on a bottle/ nursing to go to sleep at night, you will need to work on replacing that bottle/ nursing with a bedtime routine that will help sooth your child to sleep. A good replacement for bottle/ nursing is reading books, cuddling, rocking, and signing to your child. Your child will probably still desire closeness with you so go ahead an offer an alternative.
3. If your child still needs something to drink, try offering a sippy cup of water. That way water will not fill them up, but possibly satisfy their need to suck. Just a warning if you use water, it will still lead to a very heavy and wet diaper in the morning. If you are potty training, try to limited liquids at least an hour before bedtime.
4. If you are breastfeeding, you might need to leave the bedtime feeding to maintain your milk supply. If you decide to stop the bedtime feeding and see a dip in your milk supply, please add back the bedtime feeding.


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At some point you are going to need to wean your baby of being swaddled. For me, I started to the weaning process once my son started to roll over. I felt it was dangerous for him to have both of his arms wrapped in his swaddle if he rolled onto his tummy. Something magical also happened once I started to wean him of his swaddle, he discovered how to suck on his fingers and I did not have to worry about putting his binky back in his mouth if it fell out.

Here is how I weaned my son of swaddling

1. I left one arm out of his swaddle until he was sleeping well and not waking himself up.

2. He slept in a sleep sac at night but swaddled with one arm out during the day for naps. I tired to make the switch to the sleep sac for both naps and nighttime sleep, but that proved to be a bad mistake. My son was just not ready to give up the swaddle quite yet. My son slept more sound at night so we tired not swaddling at night and that worked well. He has some adjustment problems, but he eventually got the hang of it. There were a few night he would wake up in the middle of the night and have some trouble, but we just let him cry-it-out a little and then he would go back to sleep. He would only cry for 5 minutes or so and it only lasted for a few nights.

3. He slept in a sleep sac for both naps and nighttime sleep. This was a hard transition for him during his naps. He had a hard time falling asleep with both arms out. He also had a hard time during his sleep transition during his naps (45 minute sleep cycle/ 45 minute intruder). There were days that I caved in and just decided to go in and just swaddle him for his naps, but those days of needing to swaddle become less and less. I only re-swaddled him during a nap if he really had a hard time falling asleep or he would wake in the middle of a nap and have difficult returning to sleep (if he woke early in the nap). It took about 2 weeks for him to get the napping without a swaddle down.

For more information about weaning from swaddling please read this article I found:
http://www.thesleepstore.co.nz/Swaddling/Weaning+your+baby+off+wrapping.html

The Swaddle I used was the kidapotomus brand called swaddleme: http://www.kiddopotamus.com/p_swad.php
The Sleep Sac I used was the Halo brand: https://www.halosleep.com/products/results/?product_category_id=10
You Can also sew your own sleep sac: http://cbfoley.com/2009/05/08/a-weeks-worth-of-posts/

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My son will be almost one in about two weeks. I decided that we would start the switch to whole milk from formula before he turned one. He is currently getting 4 bottles a day of formula. I plan on switching one bottle with a straw nuby cup every week. So far, this switch has been great and painless. Here are some suggestions to make the transition to whole milk easier.

Suggestion #1: Introduce a sippy cup or straw cup prior to their first birthday. I tried to put formula in a straw cup, but he would not take it. I think at that point, my son had associated formula with bottle. I gave up and just started to offer him water in his sippy cup. He was drinking 5-10oz of water from a straw cup. I gave him a take-n-toss straw cup to learn from. It is not spill proof so it make sipping from the cup easier. I also offered my son water from a nuby straw cup, but it is spill proof. I took a knife and enlarged the opening making the nuby no longer spill proof and easier to drink from. My son’s pediatrician recommended that I do this.

Suggestion #2: Do not give juice until your child is successfully drinking whole milk from a sippy or straw cup. You don’t want your child to associate that juice is the only things that comes out of the sippy cup. My pediatrician and trusted friends also confirmed this for me. I was told it is okay to put water in the sippy cup, just not juice. I stopped offering my son juice and I think that has really helped us with the transition from bottle to sippy with milk in it.

Suggestion #3: Gradually introduce whole milk. Don’t just stop giving breast milk or formula one day. Your child’s digestive system needs time to get use to drinking whole milk. You can do what I am doing and replace one bottle or sippy with whole milk a week until you are totally on whole milk. Or you could give your child a mixture of whole milk and formula starting with 25% whole milk and 75% formula. Then slowly increase the amount of whole milk and decrease the amount of formula every few days.

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I finally gave in and started to wean my son from breastfeeding. My son is 10 months old. Ever since I got my period when my son was 6 months old, breastfeeding has been a real challenge for me. Every month when I would get my period, my milk supply would significantly drop. Thus, causing a fussy and hungry baby. I was able to keep my milk supply up by using mother love more milk plus, but towards the end, nothing seemed to help. I will blame the low milk supply mostly on stress. We recently move from Maryland to Texas, which has been very stressful on me. Everything I read says that stress can cause your milk supply to decrease. Then to top things off, my son just simply would not sit still long enough to nurse. So I have thrown in the towel. At first, this was really hard for me to accept. I cried quite a bit, but after a week of crying and my hormones all over the place from weaning, I realized that my son could care less that I was no longer nursing him. Once I notice that he did not care, I was okay.

Here is how I have been weaning him:

Week 1: Morning BF, Mid-Morning Formula, Afternoon BF, Bedtime BF

Week 2: Morning BF, Mid-Morning Formula, Afternoon Formula, Bedtime BF

Week 3: Morning Formula, Mid-Morning Formula, Afternoon Formula, Bedtime BF

Week 4: Morning Formula, Mid-Morning Formula, Afternoon Formula, Bedtime Formula (I continue to pump this last feeding, but decrease the amount I pump every 3 days until I completely dry up)

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I have tried introducing a sippy cup to my son since he was 7 months old. My son is now 9.5 months old. We have tired pretty much every brand out there. The brand of sippy cup that we have finally found success with is the Nuby Cup with a soft straw and handles. and Take & Toss Straw Cup. My son has difficulty with sippy cups that have a spout because he does not know how to lift the cup up to tip the water/ juice in to his mouth. Have you tired sucking from a spout yourself? I have. It is difficult to get water to come out of those things. The straw is much easier.

My son is use to receiving his milk from me (breastfeeding) or a bottle. The only think that I have put in a sippy cup so far has been water or apple juice. Well the other day I decided to give him his milk in the sippy cup, since he seems to really have the whole drinking from the straw concept thing down. I handed him the sippy cup and he held it and took a few sips. Then he leaned his head on me while still trying to drink. I could tell he wanted me to hold him so I picked him up and sat him in my lap and helped him hold his cup. That was not what he wanted! He proceed to throw his first tantrum. He threw the sippy cup across the floor and started to wail, scream, and kick his legs and arms all over the place. I picked up the sippy cup and then picked him up. Calmly told him, “Sweetie, it is just a sippy cup. You can still have your milk and sit in my lap.” He would not accept this. He kept getting more and more angry. I knew what he wanted. He wanted ME to HOLD him and for ME to give him his milk from a BOTTLE. I believe that he made the association that milk is in a bottle or from mommy (breastfeed) and water and juice belong in a sippy cup. After 10 minutes of screaming, he finally calmed down. I did cave in and give him a bottle. I was afraid I was pushing the sippy cup on him to fast.

Well, I have had time to regain my thoughts and rethink that particular situation. First, I recogonize that my son was manipulating that situation. Second, I need to break the association that sippy cups are only for juice and water. Finally, I needed to give him a lot of affection, cuddle time, and snuggling at other times of the day and while he drinks his sippy cups so he does not think I am trying to “replace” our snuggles when I give him a bottle or breastfeed him with a sippy cup instead.

I have decided to try something out: I am going to give him 2/3 of his milk in a bottle and 1/3 to follow it in a sippy cup. Eventually, I will slowly put less in the bottle and more in the sippy cup. Until finally, one entire feeding will come out of the sippy cup. Once I have one feeding coming completely from the sippy cup, I will try to slowly wean him from the bottle/ breast to sippy cup at another feeding. I think this might be more of a gentle way to introduce the sippy cup than what I tried to do. I am also going to try and offer him some milk in a sippy cup during his snack when he is most happy because I am giving him his favorite food, Cherrieos.

Here are some other suggestions that I found on how to introduce a sippy cup: http://www.babycenter.com/0_sippy-cup-dos-and-donts_1439508.bc#articlesection2

Nuby Cup with Flip-It Straw Top http://www.amazon.com/Handle-8oz-Flip-Straw-Colors/dp/B0019MJZDG/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&s=baby-products&qid=1247372158&sr=1-6

Take & Toss Straw Cup http://www.toysrus.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2799857

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