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Weaning

Discussion in 'Parenting' started by chicabonita, Jun 7, 2011.

  1. chicabonita

    chicabonita New commenter

    Apologies for starting yet another weaning thread. I tried to bring up others using the search facility, but it just kept refreshing the baby & toddler page.
    Right- LO is four months old. I am going back to work when she is 7 months old. I'm breastfeeding and it's gone brilliantly so far (touch wood). What I'd like to do ideally is keep feeding her myself as long as we can after 6 months, once or maybe twice a day; and wait until probably 5 or 5.5 months to start weaning.
    However, OH is going to have her on the days I'm at work, and he's concerned that unless we establish a formula feed now, he is going to struggle when I'm not around. I know I can express, but (and these will sound like poor excuses, I'm sure) (a) it's time consuming and I can't do it in the day- LO is too demanding and doesn't sleep for long stretches, so it's evenings or nothing and I'm usually knackered; (b) unless she's missed a feed, like when she sleeps through, I can't get more than 3oz out- and that's the maximum, it's usually more like 1 or 2. I know it can be frozen and built up, but it's very dispiriting and the whole palaver is so time consuming what with the steriliser, the washing up and so on. So by the time I go back, she won't have much of a store of whole feeds anyway.
    OH is also keen for me to drop breastfeeding entirely at six months, saying she'll have had the benefit, he wants to free me up, he wants "us" to get back to normal, and that if I carry on, I'm likely to continue for longer than he is comfortable with- I think he has visions of me feeding a grown child! I did initially think I would do that, but it's gone so smoothly and I am convinced it's brilliant for us both, so I'd like to carry it on. If I wasn't going back to work I wouldn't consider formula and I don't like the idea now.
    The point to the post (sorry, I'll get there one day) is: is it feasible to start weaning at 5 months or later, and get her onto 3 solid meals a day by 7 months, or will it take longer than that? I've heard both, you see, and have no first-hand experience at all. If she is having 3 meals then I'm sure she won't miss me during the working day, but if she's not then I imagine she will need the formula.
    If she will need formula, should we start introducing it now, or would it be ok to wait until 6 months? I know the official line on weaning, but I've also been told by a midwife friend that the guidance is excessively cautious to make up for people who'd be weaning at 8 weeks if they thought 16 weeks was ok (if you see what I mean). So I'm less worried about a few organic vegetable meals early than I am about dropping the b/feeding!
     
  2. I dont think you need to give her formula, the key thing is to make sure she will drink from a bottle.
     
  3. I started weaning at 19 weeks and LO was on 3 meals a day (+puds) by 6 months. She is now nearly 9 months and I have had my first day back today!
    I am still able to exclusively breast feed as I am lucky enough to be only working 2 days from half 8 until half two. We cut down to 3 milk feeds at around 7 and a half months as she was putting on so much weight and eating loads of solids and eventually we got into a routine where I fed her at 6am, 3pm and 7pm (ish) so I was able to keep going once I returned.
    We tried her with a bottle when she was about 6 weeks and she didn't take to it at all so as we didn't need to do it we didn't try again. I was worried about whether she'd cope ok if she suddenly wanted milk in the mornings when I was back to work, but so far she's coped fine. She's now really good with a beaker so I'll use one of those rather than a bottle if I need to as I feel I've prob left it a bit late in the day to start trying bottles now.
    I had the same issue with you with expressing, even when I was engorged I couldn't express any after she was a couple of months old! Part of me wishes I had persisted with a bottle as I would have had more freedom and flexibility earlier on but I am quite proud of the fact that I've kept going this long. My OH and I were having a discussion about when to stop and I think he wants me to soon, what is it with men?!
     
  4. chicabonita

    chicabonita New commenter

    I genuinely think (and hope) that they don't understand the emotional connection with it. If my OH does understand then he's being really unkind!
     
  5. I do think he is being quite unfair. If he could read a bit about the benefits of bfing beyond 6 months he'd hopefully realise why there's no point in introducing formula if it's not necessary. I;m sure he's making suggestions for all the right reasons! We're starting BLW in the next few weeks so will let you know how it works with bfing!
     
  6. Chica77

    Chica77 New commenter

    Yes, I agree, or your OH will have a problem!
    My son was formula fed mainly, and we weaned him just before 6 months, but he was a nightmare and not at all interested in food and barely ate anything until he was 18 months when he suddenly started eating more like a normal child! So he still had several bottles a day until then. Hopefully your child will be much easier to wean that that.
    My friend who EBF her daughter weaned her about 4 months and she took to it really well (greediest child I know lol) and she dropped feeds quite quickly of her own accord as she preferred to eat!
    Maybe wait until nearer when you're back at work then you'll have a better idea how the weaning's going and you may have to introduce a lunchtime formula feed but bf morning and evening?
     
  7. chicabonita

    chicabonita New commenter

    This is my thought, but he wants it to be clearer-cut, and of course, if she was on formula entirely by then he wouldn't need to worry about how the weaning is going two weeks before I'm back at work. I can see his point, it's just that I'm naturally a little more relaxed about such things, having heard of babies just 'saving up' their milk feeds and so on; but I also deeply don't want to stop b/feeding yet. Just the thought of it makes me want to cry, or actually cry. (That might make me sound terribly self-centred, and I do realise how fortunate I am to have been able to feed for this long without any real problems.)
    I suppose it's just one of those things, really, that I will have to come to terms with. I suppose he will get his way eventually. Any ideas how I can come round to it without massive heartache?
     
  8. Chica77

    Chica77 New commenter

    Even if you did get her used to formula before you went back to work, you still might find you have problems. When my son first went to the childminder he went on hunger strike or something and i'd pick him up at 4 and he'd have refused his bottle all day and then he'd have 3 really close together. He only wanted mummy or daddy to feed him. I know your OH will have her, but it'll still be a big disruption for her with mummy not there.
    I don't think men understand things like bf and what they mean to us!
     
  9. That's my thought too. My lo would take a bottle (to a point, maybe 3oz, if that) right up until the day I went back to work. She then refused to drink from a bottle and has not entertained it since. I had only been weaning (BLW) for about 2 weeks by that point, so I'd planned on making sure she was taking a bottle - I'd spent weeks getting her used to a bottle! She survived though, she just saved up her milk feeds til I got home. I would feed her twice in the morning, then as soon as I got home, bedtime, and once (or twice) in the night. And she went loopy with solids, she started eating way more than any other child I know at that stage of weaning.
    I don't think you OH understands what it means to you. Most men (and a lot of women) don't have the first clue about how these things feel. I have been very lucky that my OH has always been very supportive of bf, even when I went past what he thought I was intending. We're now at 15 months and are planning to let her self-wean, which I hope will happen at some point before she starts school [​IMG] Talk to him and try not to be too emotional when you do it (I know a lot of men who switch off as soon as any emotion comes into a discussion), but try to make him see your point of view. It will be a big upheaval for lo when you go back to work, whatever preparations you make. The best laid plans don't always run smoothly, especially when you are talking about a little person with her own ideas of what should be happening.
     
  10. There's no need to panic, which is what it sounds like he's doing. Maybe he's just a little jealous and would like to feed her himself?!
    I have a friend who is still bf (our daughters are 16 months old now) and she works; she started off expressing at work but she did establish her girl on three meals a day before she went back when LO was about 7 months old. This reduced the need for milk and her LO was perfectly happy to have no milk or one bottle of EBM in the day, unless she was with her mum, in which case she had more. Our bodies are very clever as you can feed her as often as you like on whichever days you like.
     

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