Weaning at 18 months

For discussion of issues related to breastfeeding an older baby/child
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adk
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Joined: Fri Feb 06, 2009 6:48 pm
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Weaning at 18 months

Post by adk » Thu Oct 15, 2015 10:05 am

Hi Ladies. I haven't been around here for ages, but was hoping that the lovely village could give me some advice.

Unbelievably, after supply issues, many, many bouts of mastitis, nipple thrush (which I have AGAIN at the moment) and a raft of stressful life events, I am still breastfeeding my 18 month old. He only has two feeds a day - morning and night, unless he is sick, at which time he sometimes wants an extra one overnight or during the day. He has moved to this completely on his own.

He was feeding once or twice overnight until about 4 months ago then just started sleeping through, dropped the day feed at about 12 months because he was in child care 4 days a week and wouldn't drink ebm so was only having a middle of the day feed when I was at home and soon lost interest in that, and he honestly has just led the whole breastfeeding journey.

He now seems very ambivalent about breastfeeding and I am wondering if I should persevere or let him lead the end too. He often only feeds one side in the morning, and sometimes at night. Other times he wants both with a vengeance. On one occasion he refused the night feed completely. I suspect that if I offered him a cup of cows milk in the morning instead of a breastfeed, he would take it happily (he often has a cup after his breastfeed anyway because his big brother and sister have on and he likes to join in lol). Similarly, there has been the odd night recently when I have had to leave him with his dad and he has gone to bed reasonably easily with a cup of milk instead of a feed. I am ambivalent about weaning. On one hand, it would make my life so much easier as there are nights I have to do things for the older two and if I could leave him with a babysitter and know he would settle without a feed it would be fantastic. Similarly, getting ready for work would be heaps easier without a half hour feed to fit in :) . But obviously I love the time with him, the cuddles, and the knowledge that he is still getting nutrients (so if he has the odd wheat biscuit for dinner on hectic nights I don't have to feel too guilty lol). What would others do? Let him lead the end, which I suspect he would happily do with a cup of cows milk instead of boobs, or keep going until he outright refuses any more? I think if I did the never offer never refuse, he would never ask, as it really is me who leads the routine of a feed when he wakes and a feed before bed, so he would just go without. Maybe I should let that happen? I don't know!!
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adk
Posts: 1256
Joined: Fri Feb 06, 2009 6:48 pm
Location: Melbourne

Re: Weaning at 18 months

Post by adk » Thu Oct 15, 2015 10:07 am

I should add that because of my supply issues, I suspect if he misses more that one feed, my supply will dry up very quickly, so i don't really have the choice of leaving it for a day or so to see how he goes - if he wanted it back i would probably have to go on medication again (which i weaned myself off when he was 12 months) to produce anything!!
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~WildChild~
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Re: Weaning at 18 months

Post by ~WildChild~ » Thu Oct 15, 2015 6:57 pm

I have no wise words because I would be very conflicted too. Maybe drop the night feed & see what he does? At least with still having the morning feed, you should be able to get your supply up again at night if he wants it. Or wait 6 months & see then. 18 months is still so little, maybe you'd feel less conflicted at 2?
DS1 2006 - breastfed for 5 years
DS2 2009 - breastfed for 5 years
DD 2011 - breastfed for 4 years 9 months
Angel baby 2016
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Yankee
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Re: Weaning at 18 months

Post by Yankee » Fri Oct 16, 2015 10:49 am

Been lurking for a while but just wanted to pop in and say, I'm so happy for you! I remember your journey, so similar to my own, and I'm so glad you're still going at 18 months!

That being said, I reckon it's up to you now. I was feeling ambivilent at 12 months and by 13 months DD decided for me; I think by that point she was hardly getting anything at a feed (like you, I had the supply issues). I still had a huge cry about it because I thought it would be on my terms and it was such a shock that she was suddenly over it. But within a few days I was fantisizing about buying new (non-nursing) bras! :lol:
DD born September 2013

adk
Posts: 1256
Joined: Fri Feb 06, 2009 6:48 pm
Location: Melbourne

Re: Weaning at 18 months

Post by adk » Fri Oct 23, 2015 8:09 am

Thanks Ladies :). He has been feeding pretty regularly again so i am just going with it, but honestly I think I will drop the night feed soon and as wild child suggested, see what happens. Yankee - I remember your story so well too!! I had actually hoped he would make the decision once I stopped the medication at 12 months, but he seems more determined than his sister was. I can't wait to get into pretty bras again :) I have changed the night time routine in preparation for cutting the feed in that we read a story and clean teeth after the feed now, rather than the feed being the last thing before bed (better for his teeth, too). He seems to have coped with this. We will see how it goes. Thanks for your thoughts ladies.
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