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Hello Mamas! Im new to this site..and my lil guy is already coming up on his first birthday (i cant believe i just typed that... how time flies!!) Anyway, nursing has been very successful for us since day one. I started him on formula also when he was about 6 months because i wasnt producing enough to pump for him while i was at work. Now he has his bottle of formula while im gone and we nurse when im home. My goal when i was pregnant was to make it to a year then switch him to milk if need be. Now that we are so close to that point.. i dont feel the transition will be easy. He nurses to fall asleep for naps and to go to bed at night. He still will wake up a few times in the middle of the night and not necessarily because he is hungry..just for comfort. Any tips on how to start weaning??
I want to first welcome you to the boards. I'm so glad that you found us! It sounds like your first year as a mom has been very successful, and that you are approaching that tough 1 year mark. I say tough as, just as you state, it's often a good time to transition over to whole milk. Change is hard on most people, and so by nature this is a tough thing to do.
I want you to think about what things your son does for comfort when he is distressed. What else does he have-besides breast feeding that help him calm himself, fall asleep at night, and deal with stress in general. As you have identified he is using breast feeding at this point as a comfort mechanism. He is going to have a really hard time giving this up if he doesn't have another way to comfort himself. If you cannot think of way that he comforts himself, what are some ways that you can think of comforting him. Some kids have a favorite stuffed animal, some have a blanket, some do well with calming music, a favorite book, having mom/dad rub his/her back. This is not going to be completely smooth, but instead of breast feeding start offering your child one or two of these other things for comfort. You may have to do more than one comfort "activity", just keep going until you have both survived the experience w/o using breast feeding for comfort. Hard one I know!
Let us know if any of these tactics work for you and if any def. do not. Keep us posted!
Congrats on your baby's first year! I can't believe how quickly it flies by. It's ridiculous how fast time moves when you have a child. You might try switching out his nap time feedings first...just rock him and offer him a bottle at the time you would normally nurse him. Change up the routine a bit if you need to and sit in a different place and read some books while your son is drinking his bottle and then turn on some music to rock him to sleep. JessBaby's suggestion of coming up with an alternative comfort item can be helpful. During the night, when he wakes up, you can hand him his comfort item and soothe him back to sleep...of course, this will take time but eventually your son will learn to soothe himself other ways than nursing. Some babies do take a while, as children naturally wean themselves later than a year. Let us know how it goes!