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Weaning a 15 month old
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Posted 08 January 2013 - 03:50 PM
I am thinking about gradually beginning to wean my 15 month old. I know weaning will take a while and I'm thinking about aiming for her to be weaned by 18 months. I have tried having daddy go into her at night but she just screams and thrashes about until I go in to her. She still feeds to sleep during the day and at night with on average two night wakings for a feed and probably another 2-3 feeds per day for comfort. Any help is most appreciated. I want to make sure I do what is best for my little girl. I do not know where to begin. DD1 self weaned.
Posted 08 January 2013 - 07:31 PM
I will be stalking this thread as I have the same issue. My DD2 is still feeding to sleep at night and during the day on the weekends, but is happy to fall asleep at daycare, and with daddy holding her (once), but for me, nothing but the boob will do. I am beyond tired of the usually 2+ wake ups overnight
Posted 08 January 2013 - 07:32 PM
I have no advice sorry. DS basically weaned himself at 16 months. I stopped offering and only fed him when he asked. DH took over bedtime routines for a few weeks (though I still went in at night if he woke). After 4 days he stopped asking for feeds.
I am currently starting to prepare to wean DD (13 months), and am in a similar situation to you. Currently, when she wants milk nothing else will do. I plan to day-wean first though (as I did with DS). I don't mind it when she wakes up at night, but for daycare it is best if she is weaned for the daytime hours.
Posted 08 January 2013 - 07:33 PM
You'll probably get some great advice if you post this in the Breastfeeding section, there are some really helpful people there. Good luck, my DD2 is the same age and I've got no idea how to wean her either!
Posted 08 January 2013 - 07:36 PM
I night-weaned my then 14 month old using a version of Dr Jay Gordon's gentle method (detailed here).
I continued to feed her to sleep for her nap and night sleep, but cut these out when she was about 16 months with very little fuss (I just stopped one day). I was pregnant at the time and I think my milk supply had dried up before I actually stopped "feeding" her.
I have heard of a method called "don't offer don't refuse", but didn't use it myself.
So my advice would be to night wean first and then see how you go.
Posted 08 January 2013 - 07:36 PM
I slowly weaned all of my three following the "never offer, never refuse" principle. It is as it says, don't offer, but if the child is upset and clearly asking for a BF, then feed. I found doing it this way meant that feeds dropped off slowly. Leave the bedtime / middle of the night feeds till last! Start with the midmorning feed, then work either side of that.
Posted 08 January 2013 - 07:43 PM
I would suggest that if she is eating well then she probably doesn't really need the night feeds and they are now habit/comfort. I think you had the right idea with sending Dad in but you may just have to be strong and persist for a few days, or at least if you do have to go in aim to not feed her. Once she realises that she is no longer getting this feed, she will probably stop waking for it.
I had the same problem when my DS was waking for feeds when he was 9 months old. I was certain it wasn't hunger as he ate heaps in the day so I sent my hubby in for a couple of nights. It only took 2 nights (of probably 30 mins crying on and off) and on the 3rd night he slept through the night for the first time ever.
I should add that in my opinion before you try this you need to make sure that you and hubby are on the same page and you need to be happy with what you are doing, each to their own I say. Also you would be surprised what a toddler can sleep through. None of my sons crying on 2 nights woke my 3 yo DD.
With regards to dropping the day feeds I think it is important to reconsider feeding to sleep if you wish to stop feeding. Once they don't rely on a feed for sleep (I tried to do all feeds at least 30 mins before sleep) then it will be much easier to wean. Again, this is something you need to be comfortable with. Good luck with the process and enjoy the feeding while it lasts (my BF experience ended before I wanted as I introduced a bottle for one feed and he preferred it :()
Posted 08 January 2013 - 07:46 PM
I should add that as your DD is 15 months she probably doesn't need to go to a bottle as she could get her milk requirements from a sippy cup. My bub is 16 months and recently stopped any bottles and now uses a sippy cup. Good luck.
Posted 08 January 2013 - 10:04 PM
Thanks everyone. I think the feeding to slepp issue is a big one. However, DH manages to put her to sleep both during the day and at night if I am not there so I guess that is a good sign. She doesn't have a dummy so I don't know how would approach it. I mean, do I just go in and hold her, rock her, soothe her etc even if she is screaming for a feed?
She drinks water from a cup and sometimes one of those Bobble bottles but doesn't really use baby bottles.
Thanks again everyone. I might try the not offering, not refusing. Sometimes I do preempt her and offer a feed if she seems irritable or tired.
Posted 08 January 2013 - 10:28 PM
My DS is also 15 months old and I want to wean him. I've started refusing him feeds unless it's for his one day nap or I think he is tired, or if he is really cranky. Ive started distracting him or offering him food (like apiece of cheese or some yoghurt) instead.
I've also started offering him food every 2 hours.
He is fine without feeds on my work days so I know he can go without it. I only work 2 days but will be returning 4 days in march so am hoping he'll stop asking for feeds altogether.
Nights for us are still shocking and I know I have to tackle this but I'm still persisting. I think my final attempt will be to give him to my mum for a week for both day and night. I have no doubt that he will sleep all night for my parents. So maybe if I give him away he'll sort it out (can you tell I'm desperate for some night sleep?)
Posted 08 January 2013 - 10:34 PM
Sunnycat - Yes our nights are pretty bad too. She wakes up usuallly twice during the night then another feed when she wakes up in the morning.
Posted 15 January 2013 - 08:32 PM
My 13 month old is a big booby girl, too, and I've only recently cut out the night feeds. I was adament that she still needed them to get back to sleep, as she was waking 2-4 times at night and screaming inconsolably, so obviously she needed the feeds, right? However, I finally decided to try giving water (didn't work much), or just cuddling her until she calmed down. The latter has worked, and I've realised the feeding was more about comfort than needing food. I still have to get up sometimes during the night, but often now a quick cuddle is all it takes, and she's self settling better too. So perhaps you can try cuddles and dummy instead of boob?
I must say, I found this really hard at first, because after 5-10 mins of hysterics it was so much easier to just flop out the boob and shut her up, so I could get back to bed. But once I had a few successes at cuddling her until she calmed down, it became easier and quicker.
Good luck. I'm so over having a baby tethered to my boob, I can appreciate your wanting to cut back (and get some sleep)!
Posted 15 January 2013 - 08:36 PM
Just out of interest, why do you guys want to wean? I'm dreading the thought of her weaning even though it probably won't be too far away. Sleeping all night would be nice but I would worry that it is the beginning of the end IYKWIM.
Posted 15 January 2013 - 08:40 PM
I night weaned DD at about 13 months. When she woke up yelling, I went in and picked her up. She'd start furiously pointing at the rocking chair. I'd say, sorry darling, no boob, it's the middle of the night, time to go back to bed. Queue much screaming and nashing of teeth. I'd keep cuddling her until she calmed down a bit (or I'd had enough!), then put her in the cot, say good night and walk out. I'd then count to 30 and if she was still yelling, go back in and repeat. The most it every took was 10 turns, so about half an hour. And it reduced each night, took about 3 nights to have her sleeping through consistently. I still have to do a reduced version of this very occassionally, DD is 21mo now.
ETA: I'm still feeding DD now, once before her day sleep and then before she goes down for the night. She doesn't fall asleep on the boob anymore though, but she does like her feed
ETfurtherA: don't exchange the boob for a bottle or anything else, then you're just creating another problem to solve down the track!!!
Edited by Escapin, 15 January 2013 - 08:41 PM.
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