Weaning off breast-feeding
A friend wanted to know how I weaned Aadya from Breast-feeding.
And just the very next day, Mona and I were chatting when she asked me about how I weaned Aadi off her bottle and after giving her a few pointers,I decided to write a post about it. We had trouble breast feeding initially and that’s when I had decided to breast-feed Aadya for about 15 months..against the recommended 1 year,as if to make up for time lost.
So,when she turned 1 year old,she was both bottle-fed and breast-fed and her pediatrician told me to try and get her off the bottle in time for her first birthday.But the bottle was so darn convenient..more than her,I think I was the one who wasn’t ready to let go of it.Every time we were out in the car and she was crying,I would prop the bottle in her mouth and she would be happy. I am quiet sure,that on certain days,she used the bottle as a replacement of her pacifier..but whatever kept her quiet.
The day after she turned one,I started her on whole milk and she loved it. Since the pediatrician was already nagging me to get rid of the bottle,I tried giving her milk in a sippy cup,and then in an open cup. She refused to drink milk in the sippy cup..as it was for water ONLY.She would drink from the open cup,but soon the novelty wore off and we were back to the bottle.
In the mean-time,I was trying to fit in cups/bottles of whole milk with breast-feeding.So,I first replaced the mid-morning feed with a cup or bottle of milk.She was happy..Slowly after a week or ten days,we replaced the after-nap feed with the bottle too. And so on we continued till only two feeds were left- the early morning and bed time feed. By this time she was almost 14 months.
Then one I was too tired and Sanj let me sleep in and gave Aadya her bottle.And she was equally happier.She snuggled close to between us and happily sipped her bottle and then dozed off again.Sanj was happy too,because this time she was cuddling with him,instead of me. And that was one of the last morning feeds.And we were down to just one feed,sometimes two,but mostly one at bed-time.About 2 weeks before she turned 15 months,we were out all day.one Saturday and she didn’t fuss or ask to be nursed.And i didn’t offer after we came back.Next day,again,we were out,but that she kept tugging at my shirt.I gave her the bottle and she was OK.When we came back,I did nurse her.But,I knew it was just a paci-feed. She nursed a little and then just snuggled up.
After that,every time,she tugged at my shirt,I would give her the bottle,and cuddle up..snuggle real tight.And soon,we were completely weaned off.One week later,I woke up and realised,that Aadya hadn’t nursed for one whole week.
I had heard and read of so many things about weaning the baby-horror stories about physical discomfort etc.. but the thing that worked for us was gradual elimination ..By the time,we finished,we were both ready to let go.I did feel a little bad,initially..I think I was a little depressed over the fact that my baby is growing up too soon..But the fact that I could be more independent and have more choices when we were out,made me feel good.The first time I ordered a Latte for myself and organic milk for the baby..I felt GOOD!!
So,all you mommas trying to wean off your baby, be patient..its going to happen..when you and the baby both are ready. Go slow..be persistent and you will be fine.
But if you do decide to go cold turkey,be sure,you have lots of cabbage in your refrigerator and a good painkiller,on your bed-side table.
Why Cabbage you ask? The instructor at the parenting and child-birth course we attended,was also a lactation consultant and she suggested stuffing the bra with cold cabbage leaves, if you have to stop breast-feeding immediately.
I haven’t tried it..but she swore by it and even claimed to have tried it herself.
So, good luck!
Transition from Bottle to Sippy-cup coming up next.