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Posts Tagged ‘weaning’

I found that around 4 months of age, babies start to get very distracted while nursing. With my son, nursing was so difficult I almost stop nursing all together. He just was so fidgety and distractable. I made it to 10 months with my son before I weaned him, or should I say he weaned himself. Then with my twins, I was tandem breastfeeding them using the Best-friends Twin Plus Nursing Pillow. They did great nursing on the same pillow and did not bother each other. Actually, the girls use to hold hands and nurse together until the hit about 6 months of age. It was so sweet to see my two daughter holding hands. But then starting around 6 months, they started to swat, scratch, grab, and punch each other while nursing. OH, they even started to pull each others hair- OUCH! I thought I was going to have to give up nursing.

Around 6 months old, I gave them blankies to sleep with in their cribs. I started allowing the girls to hold the blankies while they nursed. Wouldn’t you know it, it made nursing so much easier. The twins stopped hitting, grabbing, pulling hair, and bothering each other while nursing. Instead, the girls played with their blankies. They would rub them, clutch them, and stroke them while they were nursing. I wish I would have thought to give my son a blankie while he nursed because I think it would have helped him to have some sort of distraction to help him stay still long enough to nurse. My twin girls are now 13 months old, we are only nursing in the morning and at bedtime now, but I still allow them to have blankies while they nurse and it is still working!

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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 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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Click Here to see product image: http://www.toysrus.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2799857

My son is 10 months old and I am trying to have him drink independently and not from a bottle. I have had a lot of trouble introducing a sippy cup to my son because he does not know to tip the cup and lift it so that the liquid can flow to his mouth. I have found much better success using a straw cup. At first I tired to introduce the Nuby straw cup, but it is spill proof. Spill proof cups makes sucking the liquid out more difficult. My son’s pediatrician recommended that I use a straw cup that is not spill proof or do a sippy cup and remove the valve (that makes it spill proof) to make it easier for him to drink.

I found  Take & Toss Straw Cups at Walmart and Target. You can get 5 cups for $2.50. You really cannot beat that. I have been offering this cup to my son for about 3 weeks now. At first I had to hold the cup for him. I put water in it and he would sip from it. Then just this week, I left the sippy cup next to him while he was playing. I noticed him picking it up and sipping water on his own. He drank almost the entire contents of the cup yesterday all on his own.

PROS:

  • Cheap 5 for $2.50
  • You can buy replacement straws from the company directly (I know I will loose a straw eventually)
  • Don’t leak very bad- for not being spill proof they don’t leak that much. The only leaks I have had with the cup is if my son holds it upside down and there is liquid near the base of the straw. My son leaves the cup on its side often and the cup hardly ever drips or spills.
  • Dishwasher safe

Cons:

  • It leaks more than spill proof cups

Overall Rating:

I give this cup a 5. My son can drink from it, it is cheap, and spills are minimal. What else can you ask for.

For more information on straw sippy cups check out the mom crowd. They did a review of sippy cups with straws. I also learned that sippy cups with straws are better for children than traditional sippy cups with spouts. Click on the link to learn more. http://www.themomcrowd.com/product-comparison-straw-cups

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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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What is a toddler? A toddler is a child usually between the ages between 1-3, but this phase could begin as early as 8 months old. This is a period when they start to become more mobile, usually crawling, walking, and cruising about. The feeding demands become quite different during this time period, requiring more nutrition from food and less from  breast milk or formula. You should also be gradually increasing the consistency of the baby food and making it more chunky so they can learn to mash with their gums. More “table food” or “finger food” should also be offered starting between the ages of 8-10 months. If you are concerned that your child is not eating enough, read my blog post entitled:Minimal Daily Diet for Toddlers or  Is My Baby & Toddler Eating Enough?

I have been struggling to figure out what is best to feed my son. I have stumbled across a good suggested feeding menu for toddlers in the book Secrets of a Baby Whisperer for Toddlers. The only thing that I am going to alter from the menu is the Juice. I want my son to learn how to drink his milk from a sippy cup before I introduce Juice again. I highly recommend that you wait until you child is drinking milk from a sippy cup until you offer juice. Instead of Juice you can offer more milk or water in a sippy cup.

Breakfast

  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup cereal
  • 1/4 – 1/2 fruit
  • 4-6 ounces either formula or breast milk (See below about introducing whole milk)

Morning Snack

  • 2-4 ounces fruit juice
  • cooked vegetables or cheese

Lunch

  • 1/4- 1/2 cup  cottage cheese
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup yellow or orange vegetable
  • 4-6 ounces either formula or breast milk (See below about introducing whole milk)

Afternoon Snack

  • 2-4 ounces juice
  • 4 crackers with cheese

Dinner

  • 1/4 cup poultry or meat
  • 1/4- 1/2 cup green vegetables
  • 1/4 cup noddles, pasta, rice, potatoes
  • 1/4 cup fruit
  • 4-6 ounces either formula or breast milk (See below about introducing whole milk)

Before Bed

  • 4-8 ounces either formula or breast milk (See below about introducing whole milk)

Introducing Whole Milk ” Between a year and 18 months, whether your child has been on formula or breast milk, introduce whole milk. Toddlers should have at least 24 ounces a day for vitamins, iron, and calcium. Start with one bottle a day for the first three days, two bottles for the next three, and finally, three bottles a day. Cheese, yogurt, and ice cream can substitute for whole milk. Common allergic reactions include excessive mucus, diarrhea, dark circles under the eyes. If your child is allergic or if you want to give soy milk, talk to a nutritionist or to your pediatrician.” p. 118 Secrets of a Baby Whisperer for Toddlers

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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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