Breastfeeding 16 month old starting daycare tomorrow... - Mothering Forums
Life with a Toddler > Breastfeeding 16 month old starting daycare tomorrow...
Au Contraire's Avatar Au Contraire 06:16 AM 04-24-2012

I have no idea what to do! My son is almost exclusively breastfed, per his choice. I try to feed him solids and he flat refuses to eat them most of the time. He has been off the bottle for at least 6 months, won't take one. The taste of formula makes him gag. He only likes to drink water, and does not enjoy anything else we've tried (soy milk, strawberry soy milk, whole cow's milk, chocolate cow's milk, juices, etc).

He has been in the care of his grandma while I attended school, but she is returning to work. I will be transitioning from a part time school schedule to a full time externship, so he will be at daycare full time starting next month.

Any ideas on what I can do? What should I give him for daycare? Am I being selfish in that I don't want to pump and give him bottles with breastmilk? I'd like to have weaned him but, again, he does not eat. I don't really want to pump because I was hoping to have weaned him and don't want to take steps to keep the breastfeeding going. I know that sort of puts him between a rock and a hard place, and I feel terrible in general but something has to give (besides me, for a change)!

Help, please!

Mosaic's Avatar Mosaic 07:34 AM 04-24-2012
There are a few options you can investigate here. At 16 months, he should be eating at least some solids and drinking water or other liquids out of a cup (sippy, straw, or open), plus your LO can always nurse evenings and weekends. You can definitely pump and see if he'll take that; but if you're not interested in that, you could also introduce other beverages several times as he will take to them eventually. Try feeding him before nursing, or space out your nursing sessions and then try to introduce snacks when he might be hungry but not too hungry.

Chances are that when in daycare, you might really be surprised at how much he eats and drinks along with the other kids!
Au Contraire's Avatar Au Contraire 11:41 AM 04-24-2012

Thank you! I hope he does well, and I do plan to continue with nursing in the evenings... I just want to make things easier for him, not more difficult. I feel like if he had weaned by now that things in general would be easier transitions, and that nursing is just another obstacle we have to overcome. I do not really desire to continue to nurse him because of the very fact that he is unhappy if he does not get "boobies on demand". I always read that the best way to raise him would be via attachment parenting and on demand nursing, but now feel that this has been of detriment to him since I must work to sustain our household and he is "missing out" on the things he feels most attached to and desiring of. :(

caseykn's Avatar caseykn 02:40 PM 04-24-2012

My youngest is 17 months and has been in part-time day care since she was about 5 months. She suddenly stopped taking a bottle at about 10 months old and has mostly just had water to drink after that. For a few weeks I kept pumping but when I realized she wasn't going to drink it from a bottle, sippy, stray cup or anything, I stopped. You're totally not selfish for not wanting to pump, especially since he likely won't even drink it! From 10 months old and on she nurses when she's with me but just drinks water, or a little cow milk, when we're apart. My supply has been fine and we continue to have a great nursing relationship. Where my babe differs from yours is that she's a total chow hound. She'll eat just about anything in sight. Your LO will probably figure something out. Some little babies will just forgo milk at all until they're back with their mama and they survive. Others will decide to start eating/drinking when faced with hunger and mama's away. With a few rare exeptions, babies don't starve themselves. What does he do now when his grandma watches him?


Try not to look at it like your son is missing out when you're away because you're following an attachment parenting philosophy. He's getting SO many benefits when you're together! I feel like the nursing, baby wearing, part-time cosleeping make up for some of the time my youngest and I have to spend apart.


Au Contraire's Avatar Au Contraire 10:59 AM 04-25-2012

Thank you so much for your reply! You know, I had posted on other forums that are predominated by formula feeding moms who made me feel like a monster for not wanting to pump for him to have breastmilk while at daycare at 16 months old... I felt really bad, like I was insane for not wanting to! But your post reminded me about what I'd read on the topic of reverse cycling. My son doesn't need my milk to survive, he just loves to nurse... I'm now recalling that even when I was pumping when he was younger he would barely drink what I had pumped when he was at his grandma's, which had made me really frustrated with all the wasted effort.


He had an excellent day at daycare today for the 3 hours he was there, and drank the almond milk I sent with him and even ate a little. I'm feeling a lot better... again, thanks for your reply!

caseykn's Avatar caseykn 11:33 AM 04-25-2012

I'm glad his first day went well! Leaving your child and being at work or school is stressful enough without adding in finding time/space to pump. It sounds like he'll get what he needs when he's with you.

babymommy2's Avatar babymommy2 10:15 PM 04-27-2012

It will all work out. I went back to work full time at 12 months with my first 2, then very part time at 16 months with my third. I didn't wean them in any way prior to going to work. They could all eat solids when I went back, but preferred milk, especially my last, he didn't eat hardly any solid foods until he had to when I was at work. The first 3 weeks or so of full time care my first 2 hardly drank anything all day and made up for it with nursing before and after work. They adjusted and eventaully drank cows milk while in care, and I would give them cows milk at the table with meals. They drank more eventually out of thirst, but also kids like to do what other kids do and will copy them. Breastfeeding isn't all or nothing, you can do it at home still, and you don't need to pump. I found it way too time consuming and my babies never took bottles anyways, so after the first I never bothered trying. At age one you really don't need to pump for first 2 gradually nursed less over the age of one, at first nursing all the time when home, then less on weekends when we were busy and they were distracted, eventually just for naps and bedtime.  My last one because I worked only very part time, he kept up with nursing on demand all the time, like every 2 hours for a lot longer, until I got more serious about partially weaning him when I was still at home. It was just constant for awhile, as though he was a new born and he would hardly eat any food! Now at 2 he is finally eating only before and after bed and nap, and he actually eats at meals!


There is nothing better when you first go back to work to get home and nurse your toddler. You reconnect and you unwind from work. Throw on some comfortable clothes, breastfeed, and you will go right from work mode to mom mode as you feed your baby!

JudiAU's Avatar JudiAU 10:19 PM 04-28-2012

I think you probably should accept the situation as it is rather than wishing you had differently. Fact: he gets almost all of his calories from bm at the moment so you probably need to pump at work to get him bm in a vessel of some sort. If he rejects the vessel/expressed milk, then he might show interest in alternative fluids and foods but I don't think you can send me to daycare with *nothing* he eats.He will probably will adjust to drinking some water, eating some food, and tolerating a small amount of breast milk. And that is pretty healthy at his age, when calories from bm or another nutritious fluid *should* make up the bulk of his diet.

Tags: Toddlers