Category Archives: Weaning

Weaning the toddler..

This post may be all over the place..My heart is breaking as I type this..but I have to get it off my chest.I have been sick since Friday evening,almost 5 days now..On Saturday I literally got through the stall by gulping painkillers and by Saturday evening,I was sick to the extent of being delirious..I slept and slept,waking up to take pain-killers..and meds. Sometime in between,all that,I nursed Anan and put her to bed.Both the girls snuggled up with me..we went to bed.I didn’t want to feed her with so many meds in my body,so all through the night,whenever she asked for a feed,I just gave her water.
The next morning I was worse,and have more drugs in my body than food..so,I tried to keep her away..and she cried..and cried her little heart out.I held her,holding my tears back-she clung to me,crying her heart out.We dozed off most of the day just holding each other.
She still refused cow’s milk.But she ate her lunch and dinner properly.
Through out the day,she made me sit in our usual nursing spots and asked,for dudu..and every-time I told her dudu finished,her face fell.She then pointed at my face,cheeks,nose and asked,dudu? Gosh!She breaks my heart with her cuteness.
Today was day three of no feeding,she drank a little milk from her sippy cup today and I put snuggled up with her to put her to sleep. And since then,I can’t stop crying.. my baby is growing up..I want to nurse her one last time..just to see that happy content look on her face.I will so miss seeing her cheeks turn pink,after nursing..and just thinking about it,brings on fresh tears.
I wish she would stop asking ..I wish she would insist on being fed.. I wish I didn’t have to be sensible and just give into her..I wish..it wasn’t so hard.Last time round was bad..but it was good in the way that it was hard just for me,to let go..This time,its really really really hard..If I were to pick my hardest moment of motherhood,till date..it would be this,without a doubt.
Fingers crossed that..it gets easier..from here on..:(

Weaning from Bottle to sippy cup

Sooooooooo, we have been bottle-free for a little over 3 weeks now..Yayyy!
This is one transition,I was worried about.I had heard so many horror stories of babies crying their heads off for their bottles and being the weak heart that I am..I just wasn’t ready for it. My own siser didnt want to give up her bottle and one day,my mom just “accidentally” dropped it in front of her and she cried her hearts out over bottle “tutti”,I wondered how I would break this solid bottled.Since I had to wean her off breast-feeding too,I decided to take things slow,one thing at a time.
But when we went for Aadya’s 15 month check up,her pediatrician said that she should have been off the bottle by then..Her reasoning behind it was that bottle just adds to empty calories. It made sense to me..This little girl would any day trade in her bowl of dal rice for a bottle of milk.
So,I decided,it was time to take things seriously.In part,I think I waited this long because I was lazy.I mean she was drinking from an open cup and sipping from the straw too.But,it meant more cleaning..sitting with her for 20 minutes..holding the cup,so she could drink it.So,I just kept putting it off. And she had almost given up on her sippy cups.She refused to take it.Thus began my quest for the perfect sippy cup..something that she liked.
First I tried again with her old sippy cups, the ones with soft rubber spouts from Nuby .She sipped from it for exactly two minutes.Next I tried some no-name brands from Walgreens and CVS,just to get her interested.But all she wanted to do was play with them.I re-tried Avent Trainer spout..She cried through the whole thing and didn’t drink any milk.I think she was so used to the quick flow in the bottle nipple that sucking from a sippy cup required strength and she didn’t think it was worth the effort.
My friend P had been telling me about how her son baby A liked his sippy cup,which had a straw in it.Then it dawned on me..that she loves sipping from straws so why not try one like baby A’s.I found one and tried giving her some water in it..She took it..And in fact,started drinking water from that cup,every single time.Yayy..so we had a winner.But she still wouldn’t drink milk from it.
Now,I know Aadi is the hungriest when she wakes up from her nap.So,one day,I just offered her the sippy cup,filled with milk,instead of her bottle and she took it.But the flow in this cup was too fast for her to gulp.It was fine for water but not for milk.
So, we tried two more and finally found one which required slightly more work to get the milk out.It was one of those spill-proof cups from Playtex.I let Aadya choose the cup.And made a big deal about it. First I tried sucking from it..like P had suggested and then,made the valve slightly larger with the help of a knife. And gave her milk in it.
We did the after nap milk in the sippy cup,for about a week.But she still needed her bottle first thing in the morning and at nap-times and bed times.I tried taking away the nap-time bottle and she cried and cried..and it broke my heart. I let her keep it. And i think a big hindrance was a bleeding heart Papa too.Every time,I tried to take the bottle away,at bed-time or nap time he would give in to the tears and give her the bottle.
Then,one morning,I just replaced the first bottle of the day with her new shiny sippy cup! I was nervous and kept the bottle by the bed..ready to jump out the bed and transfer the milk from cup to bottle.So,I gave her the sippy cup..and both of us ooh-aahed over the new cup..And cuddled with her from both sides.And SHE drank!and finished !!! all the milk. That was a start.
After that I never gave her a bottle in the morning.Even if it meant scrubbing the sippy with my eyes shut after a long tiring day..I did it.
2 days after that I tried giving her the sippy at nap time again..And again she cried and cried and refused to drink from the sippy cup. The next day,I gave her the sippy cup 10 minutes before her nap time and let her play with it..Then asked her if she wanted milk and poured some in it ,in front of her.She was excited..we counted the seconds off the microwave together.. and then I gave her the sippy cup. She drank from it..and then threw the cup and then turned over and slept.I kept up this routine..followed by lots of Ooh-ing and aah-ing. and good jobs!
But we were still left with the bed time bottle..That one took longer to get rid off.But, I started giving it to her,around 2o minutes before bed time.That way,she drank her milk,we played,read and then lights off. But surprisingly 3 days into this routine and she was off the bottle.
On the 4th day,I was cooking and she was sitting on the kitchen counter,and spotted the bottle.She pointed it out to me..”This?” I said,”yes baby..that’s your bottle.”Aadi ko chahiye?”[Does Aadi want it?].And gave it to her..she looked at it,upside down and then held it for the longest minute and then chucked it,in favor of something else.The bottle is still on the kitchen counter.but she is not interested anymore.I guess she was more or less ready for the change. Also what helped was that she saw the milk in the cup,and so knew that she was getting the good stuff.I would really recommend getting those see-through sippy cups for beginners.If they see what they are going to down,they gulp it happily.
Like last time,this time also I tried step by step elimination..I don’t think I would have been able to go cold turkey.Oh..and most of all,it was possible because I took away the last two feeds-the nap-time and the bed-time bottle,on a weekday..when Sanj was working!hehehe..EVIL mommy!
But its so funny.. right from Day one Aadya has known..when he is around and always cries out to him for attention.Even when she was 2 or 3 days old,and I was trying to get her to latch on,she would try to cooperate if it was just the two of us,in the room.But when Sanj was in the room too,she would definitely cry and scream..like asking him for help!!And every single time,it worked.He would get mad at me and want to take her away from me..like I was some evil mother..torturing his princess. Gosh!we fought so much in those first 4 days…it was like that’s all we seemed to be doing.. every time,she cried,whoever was holding her,would get yelled at. I asked Sanj to “get out of the room” one time when he yelled at me,for forcing her to latch on!!Hehehe crazy times..Imagine,you spend so much time worrying about whether your baby is going to breast feed or not..and then you spend even more time worrying about whether she will ever be weaned off or not. 🙂
All the best Cee Kay,Rads and Mona 🙂

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.