DS is 15 months old and has only had BM and water as liquids. His solid food intake is OK & typically consists of fruits and veggies (he is obsessed with tomatoes and likes bananas, blueberries, broccoli, and cheese).
I WOH full-time and I was pumping from 8 mos. until 14 mos., and stopped pumping b/c I felt so depleted and lost so much weight that several of my family members were concerned (the pump seems to suck the calories right out of me much more than DS ever has). At that point, DS was often only drinking about 4-5 oz of the 8-9 oz I left for him, so once I stopped pumping, I didn't leave any milk for him and figured he would be OK until I got home. Plus, with a lot of what I have read about cow's milk and other milk alternatives, I wasn't 100% comfortable giving him any sort of milk other than my BM.
At this point, he nurses constantly when I get home. I'm assuming this is reverse-cycling and also to make up for what he does not drink while I'm away (especially if he eats tomatoes all day). DS has always been really small and a comfort nurser. Now he knows how to ask to nurse and asks CONSTANTLY. He co-sleeps with us and on an average night will nurse maybe 3-4 times and fall immediately back to sleep, but sometimes he won't let go and latches on and off and fusses.
I'm not ready to wean him but I'm also not willing to keep pumping; at the same time, I'm not loving 500 evening nursing sessions. I'm wondering what your thoughts are on not having a milk alternative for him during the day? Also, since, at this point, he is only nursing when I'm home, I can't imagine it would be a good idea to night-wean anytime soon? When is it appropriate for him to go with no milk at all during work hours AND at night? I'm feeling really worn out from all the nursing but I'm not sure what is best for him at this point.
I'm not very experienced so I don't have a ton of advice but our situation is similar: DS is 13 months and pretty much has "day-weaned". I WOH part time and sometimes pump once a day when I'm gone but for the past 3ish weeks DS has only taken 1-2 oz of milk a day while I'm gone. When I'm home with him all day he just nurses a minute or two before he naps so I dont think he really takes any more than that. He only drinks water during the day. But he nurses ever 2 hours at least at night. We cosleep and I am ok with that for now, and glad to know he is getting my milk that way. I am interested in what advice others may offer...
Kendra (30), mum to ds (2/14/11), and one . Pregnant with my due 6/10/13, it's a GIRL!!!
Thanks for your response. It sounds like you have a reverse-cycler as well. My DS has not yet dayweaned himself, though I really saw him decrease his intake of pumped milk when we took away the bottle and had him transition to the cup around 14 mos. (I had wanted my MIL to gradually phase out the bottle, and she didn't, so I ended up just having to take it so she would use the cup for BM. He was not happy about that). I wonder if he would have happily kept downing 8-9 oz of milk from a bottle still had I not taken it away.
When I am home all day (on weekends), DS will nurse from me throughout the day as well, sometimes 30 min after our morning nursing session. Unless I take him out to play and he's distracted, he will want to nurse constantly too if I'm home. So, it is hard to tell what is genuine hunger, what is comfort/reconnecting with me when I'm around, whether he's in need of milk during the day that I'm not there to give him, or whether things are fine as they are, etc.
He's a tiny little one so that is always a slight concern of mine, even though he's always been that way and his pediatrician hasn't been worried since he's kept an upward trajectory (however slow) on growth.
I have a 15 mo old too, and I WOH full time. I stopped pumping at a year. What helped our transition was making sure DH gave DS enough to eat for lunch. When he went from "Food is for fun" to "Food is a meal", he was able to cut down on the bottle intake, to the point he didn't take it anymore at all. When I'm home, he does want to nurse ALL THE TIME, but I think that has less to do with reverse-cycling and more to do with the need for comfort and MOM that he misses out on during the day. We do cosleep to allow me to do the nighttime parenting and have that time to reconnect after being apart all day.
I have to remind myself that my walking, trying-to-talk baby is still a baby, and still needs me! I do get your concern though- even DH, who has been a huge proponent of breastfeeding, commented last weekend that DS seems to be nursing all the time, any time I sat down. I does get kind of exhausting.
Jo - WOHM to E 12/26/10, Wife to SAHD DH.
|Breastfeeding Beyond Infancy|