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Does my 13-mo-old still need breastmilk during day? (ie can I quit pumping?!)

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Do toddlers still need breast milk during the day if they're eating plenty of solids and getting lots of breastmilk in the evening and morning (and all night long, really)? In other words: can I quit pumping now?


The backstory:

  • My toddler is 13 months old and even though I work full time she has never drunk ANYTHING but breast milk (I've been pumping) and an occasional sip of water.
  • I plan to nurse for at LEAST another year but I'm SO SICK of pumping (I find it super painful and it's really hard to schedule). And she's never liked drinking bottled breast milk much--she only takes 2-4 oz of it a day currently. She prefers the boob direct.
  • We cosleep and she nurses frequently at night and the am. And by frequently I mean FREQUENTLY and for LONG periods of time, and during the whole night through. She is a big healthy girl--24 lbs and very active.
I had originally planned to let her have whole organic cow's milk during the day after 12 months so I could quit pumping. BUT turns out she's highly allergic to cow's milk and so far isn't loving soy milk (and I worry about hormone issues with soy)...
So is it bad if she only has water (plus tons of solid food) in the 9 hours I'm at work each day? She eats everything given to her, with great enthusiasm--fruits, veggies, whole grains, beans, chicken and lamb--all organic.
post #2 of 8

I would stop pumping for the daytime and offer more water.  Right now my 17 month old nurses on demand, most days that's at wake up, before nap, and before bed.  Once in awhile she wants to nurse in the late afternoon, but not often.

post #3 of 8

I would try offering water more and see if she starts taking less breastmilk during the day, switch it over gradually as you don't want take away the breastmilk and not have her drink water. but nutritionally she should be fine if she's only taking 2-4 oz already. 

post #4 of 8

Yes, you can stop pumping.  And, if you hate it - by all means, stop pumping!!  That was about the age I stopped pumping, and although my ds did get cow milk, he kept nursing until his second birthday.


You can try almond milk, or another drink, but just water should be fine (especially since she doesn't drink much breastmilk during the day anyway).

post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thanks all--so I'm stopping pumping to see how it goes. She nurses like crazy when she's around me during the day on weekends 

and in the evenings so I guess she makes up for those stretches without milk just fine...

post #6 of 8

we had those same exact factors at 13 mos, which is when i stopped pumping.  as long as you continue night nursing for a while (we stopped at 18 mos by nightweaning) your babe is getting plenty of nutrition.  we tried almond milk and coconut milk, but neither was a hit.  our dd continued to eat well, nurse at night and gain plenty. 

the only problem i had was that as soon as i quit pumping, i developed mastitis, so try to drop your sessions very gradually/slowly if you can.  (though i was also away for 10 hours a day with a commute from hell, rather than a normal workday)

good luck!

post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thanks! I do worry about mastitis, as I've been getting plugged ducts since I stopped pumping... I stopped gradually (cut back to once a day, then every other day, then none at all) but if she doesn't nurse the second I get home I'm in awful pain! So good thing she loves to nurse when she sees mama!

post #8 of 8

You probably could have stopped pumping at around 9 months. My DIL went back to work at 10 months and never pumped. We never gave my grandson cow's milk (he isn't a calf) or soy milk (it isn't milk). He ate solids only while his mother was at work at first. I tried to get him to sleep a lot while she worked. With babies under 12 there is a concern about not getting too much solid food but since your child is older that doesn't matter.

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