BF Mamas! I need your help!

May 23, 2013 | All, Family | 25 Comments
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*****WOW! Thank you all so much! The response has been overwhelming. You guys have given me so much great advice! Thank YOU! I will do an update on what I ended up doing once we pick a plan and execute it out. *****

This post is for all of the BF moms out there and moms who have BF their babies in the past.

Riley is 10 months now, and I am still BF her. My plan was to do it until she was 6 months, but Iย felt it was necessary and convenient for us to continue on until she’s a year. I am a stay at home mom so it’s convenient for us to BF.

Now that the summer is here and she is beginning to walk I feel it is time to start the weaning process. I want to skip formula all together and just make the transition to regular cows milk. The problem is, I have no idea where to even begin making the switch!

I feed her to sleep at night so I am not sure how this is going to work out.

What happens to babies tummy? Are there any behavioural changes during the transition? How much cows milk do babies need per day at a year?!

MAMAS LET ME KNOW!!! Please email or leave comments below on how you transitioned and what worked best for you. Thank You!

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25 thoughts on “BF Mamas! I need your help!

  1. I’m about to start this transition myself. I’ve been pumping and not breastfeeding. I just hit 15 months and I’m done!

    I’ve read that you start by removing one of her daily feedings and leave the night time feeding until the end. You can substitute with solid foods to keep her belly happy.

    I tried giving my baby, cow’s milk (and soy milk ) straight up and the look on her face said it all. Since then, I’ve been “spiking” her milk with 1 oz of cow’s milk. I’ve been trying to ramp up the cow’s milk though

    She technically doesn’t need cow’s milk because her sources of calcium and vitamin D come from other foods. (such as cheese, yogurt). Has she tried drinking out of a sippy cup yet? You can give her some cow’s milk in the sippy cup to see if she likes it. (Don’t give her straight cow’s milk in a bottle, she may reject it altogether)

  2. I weaned my son at around 12 months. I was breast feeding 3 times a day at that point, once before every nap and then before bed. I just substituted a 6 oz bottle of home made formula (made with organic raw cows milk and a bunch of organic nourishing oils and supplements, you can find the recipe by Weston A Price online) for one feeding until every feeding was slowly replaced by a bottle. The transition wasnt hard, it seemed like he was ready, though every baby is different. Now he’s turned 2 today and is down to one bottle before bed:) grace to you as you figure out what works for you!

  3. It’s been awhile for me, but I recall that the advice was to avoid giving babies cow’s milk until their first birthday to avoid allergies. I nursed one baby until she was 15 months and the second until nine months (she got a bunch of teeth and started biting me, so I said “We’re done!”). With both, I supplemented with formula in bottles before they were one and then sippy cups with milk after they turned one. I found that a gradual tapering off (one bottle a day; one cup of milk a day and then reducing breast-feeding) worked fine. By the time we stopped entirely, the babies were ready.

    Good luck! You’ll both be fine. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. I, like you, had planned to BF for 6 months. After the 6 months had flown by I decided to keep it up as long as I could since it is so beneficial. Weaning came pretty natural. The older they get the more solid foods they will eat and you will be able to cut out some of the BFings. At about a year old I only BF both of my daughters (now 9 and 4) once a day and which was right before they would go to bed for the night. From 1 year to 2 years old both of them eventually became disinterested in BFing by the time they were 2 years old. And during the 1-2 year old stage I would suggest offering cows milk in a sippy cup either at meal times or snack times.


  5. Ayesha, I was floating in the same boat as you a few weeks ago. I planned to BF for six months, but made the poor decision of introducing the bottle too late. When finally offering it, the baby would not latch! I had 6 months with of BM in the freezer, but had to dump it all because she would not take ANY bottle (we tried 6 different kinds).

    This was life changing since I had to resign from my job. Luckily for us, my hubby was able to carry us through! I BF exclusively up until my baby was 18 months old. From that point, the doctor told me to wean cold turkey. My parents were brave enough to take her in for three days and nights straight. They said she was fine during the day, but challenging at night since she was use to midnight feedings (for comfort, not hunger). Each night, however, she got better and better.

    When being reunited on the third day, she was so happy to see me and did attempt to lift up my shirt a couple of times. After continuous reminders to her that there was no more milk, she finally accepted the new change.

    I would say that our lives have significantly improved! The baby is sleeping though the night, eating A LOT through the day, and finally taking whole milk through a straw-sippy.

    Weaning was HARD, but is just something you both need to overcome. I wish you good luck and hope you two have a smooth transition.

  6. What I did in weaning my daughter was pump & give her my pumped milk through a straw cup (I avoided sippy cups) throughout the day. Only at night I’d BF & by the time she turned one she easily made the transition from my milk to cow’s/soy milk since she was already drinking milk from a cup.
    This is just an FYI/headsup: I suggest you plan on staying home when you start your daughter on cow’s milk. When starting cow’s milk, start with 1/2 cup of cows milk to watch for allergic reactions (a reaction will usually occur within 30 minutes). I don’t mean to worry you about allergic reactions but I had to experience it & it is scary. My daughter had an reaction to cow’s milk, but she’s now two & outgrown the allergy. I wish someone (besides her doctor) informed me about the possibility of having an allergic reaction to cow’s milk. It makes a difference to hear it from someone besides her doctor.
    Not sure if its a female thing, but girls are easier to wean from Bf compared to boys. That’s what my friends and I have concluded when we shared our Bf stories. I have a 2 month old and I’m Bf so I have yet to experience the weaning process. Hope this helps and good luck to you. Take care.

  7. If she is used to drinking out of the bottle already then I would start off replacing one feeding with cow’s milk instead of the BM. You can then observe if this makes her gassy or anything. You want to make sure that her system is agrees with the cow’s milk. If she does, then maybe try organic soy milk or almond milk. If not, continue to replace BM feedings with cow’s milk until she is completely weaned off of BM. It definitely depends on the child because I began to give my son cow’s milk when he turned one and he has been drinking that ever since. His transition was sudden but it worked for him.

    If she is not getting BM from the bottle then you might want to start incorporating the bottle more during the day as opposed to directly BF so she knows that the bottle is now her source for milk and she will get used to that method of feeding. I hope that this makes some sense to you and helps you with your journey. The other ladies have great advice too. I’m sure she will be weaned in no time. Good luck!!

  8. For me, the way I weaned my babies was to gradually put c I did this because I was worried about
    BM then coSome babies arparticular and will not drink anything but breast milk but some babies don’t care.

  9. For me, the way I weaned my babies was to gradually put cows milk with pumdid this because I was worried about
    BM then coSome babies arparticular and will not drink anything but breast milk but some babies don’t care.

  10. For me, the way I weaned my babies was to gradually put cows milk with pumped BM. This was because I was worried about stomach issues (popping, mainly).
    Some babies are particular and will not drink anything but breast milk but some babies don’t care. This all depends on whether or now your baby girl takes the bottle though or sippy cups.

    I apologize for the multiple comment post. I am trying to multi task and it obviously wasn’t working. Love your blog by the way ๐Ÿ™‚ Don’t worry, in the end it will all work out, I promise! 10 months of BF is awesome!

  11. I too wanted to go to 6 months and today my daughter is 14 months and still breast feeds. However, only in the morning and night. At 11 months, I would mix organic milk with my breast milk. First two weeks I would 1/4 cow’s milk & 3/4 bm. 3rd week 50/50 and 4 week 75/25. At one year every day feeding was completely transitioned to cows milk. I’m having a hard time weaning night and early morning feedings though. Good luck!

  12. First off, I really enjoy your blog! I love all your recipes and tips!

    Secondly, good job breastfeeding your little girl for this long! It’s tough to keep it going. I BF my little girl until she was six months old (she is now 15 months). When she was ready for cow’s milk, her doctor recommended that I just give her a bottle and see how she likes it. Basically give up formula cold turkey, not really weaning. It worked well and we didn’t have any problems having her get used to cow’s milk. I have heard that you can slowly mix the cow’s milk in with the breastmilk though if baby doesn’t really like it.

    I have a friend with a baby around the same age as my daughter, and I know that his kid actually had an allergy to the cow’s milk. So, it might be best to just give a little bit at first to see if there is an allergy.

    I agree with introducing the cow’s milk (if pediatrician is alright with giving cow’s milk before age 1) maybe in a straw or sippy cup. My little girl has been getting about 16oz of cow’s milk a day. I think the range is from 16-24oz.

    Hope that helps!

  13. I’m right there with you… my little guy is 13 months and he’s still going strong on the bf’ing – though I suspect it’s mostly for comfort, not for food. I work full time and stopped pumping months ago but I’ve continued to nurse him in the mornings and evenings and even in the middle of the night still. I only offer the breast when he looks for it… and he’s usually looking for it.

    I’m at a bit of a loss because my older son (now almost 5 years old) self-weaned at 9 months and never looked back. I thought my second one would be the same way, but they have been pretty different since day 1! God certainly has a sense of humor in the way He creates us. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Back to you and Riley – of course, ask your pediatrician about this, but mine really wanted me to wait until he was 12 months or VERY close to 12 months before introducing cow’s milk. And that was even when he was refusing bm in a bottle at daycare… I was desperate to provide him sustenance but I was strongly encouraged to give him formula or bm only until 1 years old. As for the transition once he was 11 months and 3 weeks old, we gradually mixed cows milk with bm (by then he finally took to spoon feeding milk, just ok with the sippy cup but he loved the open cup – it just required supervision and assistance the entire time).

    Good luck and warm blessings to you during this transition time!

  14. WOW! Thank you all so much! The response has been overwhelming. You guys have given me so much great advice! Thank YOU! I will do an update on what I ended up doing once we pick a plan and execute it out.

  15. Hey! I fed my baby breastmilk for a year and got him to drink cows milk successful. I transitjoned my son onto the bottle(breastmilk), but at Riley’s age perhaps a sippy cup might be more logical. From there I just started to slowly mix in cows milk with breastmilk and he took to it just fine. It’s really mostly about understanding your baby and when they let you know they’re ready for changes. If she has trouble transitioning to a bottle, it sometimes helps if someone else besides you feed her. It would actually be best if you are not in the same room as her since she can smell your milk and knows that you are there. I hope this bit of advice helps and everything goes well.

  16. Hey Ayesha!!!

    First off I just want to mention that you have a beautiful family! Riley is beautiful.

    I BF for 13 months. At my daughters one year appointment with her pediatrician, she recommended that I stop that weekend, especially at night. It took me a whole weekend to ween her and it brought me to tears. She used me to fall asleep. My husband had to sleep with her and I left the room until she was asleep. Her doctor even recommended me not to be in the same room or bed over the weekend. My daughter was also a co-sleeper so she was in bed with us. She transitioned to regular milk just fine. However I didn’t know how much milk she needed and she was drinking too much causing constipation. We use the WIC program down here in LOS ANGELES and they recommended 8oz a day and my daughter was drinking well over that with 9oz sippy cups. However she’s now 4 and happy as can be and I think that the decision to BF was a great one for us. As a mommy, it was a hard time for me because our BF time was exactly that, our time. However when that changed, I felt no longer attached to her. But we are still close and I feel that BF has really strengthened her immune system and has kept her a healthy child.

  17. I BF my daughter for 13mos and at 12mos one of my breast dried up. Then is when I knew it wasn’t until a matter of time before the other did the same. But, by that time my daughter was already drinking milk. What I did was mix my BF with the milk of my choice so she was able to get familiar with the taste, and gradually I would reduce the amount of BF eventually leading up to milk only. In addition to that I sent my daughter to her grandmothers house for a week so she would no longer desire to BF. although as a new mom you may not want to be away from precious Riley for that long, keep in mind an alternative. It takes children 10 days to develope/break habits vs and adult 40 days to do so. So, if you can withstand to BF her under any circumstances then that should help quite a bit. Once she gives it up so far as in a fees source do be prepared to be felt up every now and again for about the next 2yrs. They never for get. Lol! Hope this helps

  18. I wanted to say wow ur baby has the same name as mine and that’s awesome!!! Also I wanted to create a blog and was wondering what website did u use to create this one?

  19. Ayesha,
    I was a stay at home mom and BF my daughter until she started walking which was about 10 and half months. She was such a happy and easy baby. I didn’t give her cows milk when I stopped I gave Silk Soy Milk. She loves it and still drink it today and she is 4.

  20. Oh my gosh, don’t stop! Just let nature take its course. Unless, of course, you have to go to work or school, and can’t be there. Eventually she will stop, slowly. In the mean time you will give her the food that nurtures her brain better than anything else. And, you (and she) won’t have to go through the pain of stopping cold turkey. I am old now, but I ended up BF for about 3 years for each of my 2 daughters. I never thought that would happen, but it was perfect. Just do what’s easiest for you. You can tell her as she gets a little bigger to wait if you are not in a place that it’s okay to nurse. She will want the breast less and less. You will see, just don’t worry about it. Also everyone has advise, just go ahead and you be you. I wouldn’t tell people because so many people find a way to criticize what is normal and absolutely the best thing for your baby. Also, sleep with her if it’s easier; she will want a big girl bed soon enough. My kids both got themselves out of the bed, no lingering or emotional issues at all.

  21. Ayesha, this is some great advice!
    I spoke with my LC concerning this issue just for future planning. She and I were talking about solids bc Im SO nervous about starting, so the convo led to transitioning to milk. I facebooked you the advice she gave. I hope the transition is smooth for you!xo

  22. Hi Ayesha! My advice would be to slowly wean Riley from nursing by first introducing a sippy cup containing bm in the day time. Night time was the hardest for me, because I did not want to give my son a bottle during this time. I would suggest introducing a sippy cup in the day time containing bm and gradually introduce cow’s milk or the milk of your choice in the sippy cup. She eventually will stop looking for the ”ninny jug” as my mom would say to fall asleep. I bf my youngest daughter and son until they were 2 years old..because I thought it healthier for them and it seemed to be because they have never even had an ear infection and they are now 5 and 6! You seem to be a great mother, and your instincts will let you know what is best for you and Riley, and you know what?? …that is best.

    Good luck! & God Bless! ..:)

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