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Weaning a toddler because of pregnancy


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#1 Riotproof

Posted 25 April 2012 - 11:24 AM

I am about 7 weeks pregnant and I'm thinking about weaning my DS. While I know that feeding while pregnant is possible, I've been finding it painful and it's not his latch, it seems to be coming from within the breast. I really wanted to go with his timeline, but since I'm on his allergy diet, I'd really like to a) expose the new baby to his allergens in the hope we can avoid it next time and b) eat them myself.

I'm looking for advice on how to go about it. I don't know that Don't Offer, Don't refuse will really work.. we have a little plateau at the moment of just morning and evening feeds and these never fail to be asked for. This morning he asked and I couldn't bear the thought of it, so I said No and that it hurts mummy. I'm wondering if I should just continue saying no to morning feeds for a while and then build up to saying no to the evening ones. Really just looking for experiences of other people who've done it.


#2 a letter to Elise.

Posted 25 April 2012 - 12:47 PM

I had the same issue when pregnant with DS. It was getting really painful, and just too uncomfortable to continue. I stopped offering, and we started getting DH to do the whole bedtime routine (bath, milk, stories, and then cuddle in bed till he fell asleep) from start to finish. It was best if I just disappeared when possible - into another room, door shut. If I wasn't around, it didn't really bother him that much.

If he got really upset, and really wanted mummy, of course I would go out. We started with DH doing bedtime every now and again, and then it became more and more frequent. In the meantime we had a few chats about mummy being a bit sore and tired, and about how babies drink breast milk. DS was at that stage where he was really wanting to differentiate himself from babies.

After about a month, he stopped asking regularly, and then when I felt we were both ready, I told him there wasn't any more milk in there. He didn't believe me, and I let him try, and there really wasn't much there, so he understood that we were done. He still asks occasionally, or nuzzles in, but he's not bothered when I tell him they don't work anymore.  

I feel like it was a nice gradual process that we were both comfortable with - he was never really distressed, and it gave us both time to get used to it, and separate ourselves from it.

#3 Mrs Dinosaurus

Posted 25 April 2012 - 12:59 PM

I was the same as the PP, because of the pain I had to stop - although DS was nearly ready as he wasn't asking for it so much. We switched to DH doing bed time routine and although. Felt awful at the time, he stopped asking after a few days.

On the flip side to that, since DS2 was born I've had a few moments of absolute guilt to DS1 and keep wondering if I should have put up with it. Hopefully that's just those pesky hormones though (but I wanted you to know it's not all sunshine and roses after you do wean).

Good luck - I remember the pain well.

#4 deejie

Posted 25 April 2012 - 08:02 PM

Hi Rp, congratulations on your pregnancy  biggrin.gif

QUOTE (Riotproof @ 25/04/2012, 11:24 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I really wanted to go with his timeline, but since I'm on his allergy diet, I'd really like to a) expose the new baby to his allergens in the hope we can avoid it next time and b) eat them myself.


I can completely relate to this. When I was pregnant with DS2, DS1 was still having 2 feeds per day (morning & before bed). He would have his morning feed as soon as he woke up and then breakfast, so instead I would get his breakfast ready as soon as I heard him stir. "Mummy doesn't have any milk for you this morning, but I have a surprise!" For the first few days, I would have something special to eat as well as his cereal (an allergen free pikelet, stewed fruits etc) just to get him excited to help him forget about the missed BF. Worked a treat.

I was happy to keep going with the evening feed but as the weeks progressed my supply was obviously dwindling. There was a lot of sucking and not much swallowing. One evening, DS1 latched, popped off, whinged and said "all gone". Same again next night. Didn't bother offering the third night. Instead, I had an OMELETTE for dinner. Eggs! On toast with REAL BUTTER. DH picked up a box of CHOCOLATES and a piece of COOKIES N CREAM CHEESECAKE on the way home from work. Oh, I will remember that night for a long time biggrin.gif

So, in the end due to dwindling supply he self-weaned the last feed, never looked back and made it all easy. I *never* thought he would give it up just a few months beforehand, but from my reading I gather this is not uncommon with toddlers.

Good luck original.gif

#5 Riotproof

Posted 25 April 2012 - 08:16 PM

Thanks Deejie, I knew if anyone would understand you would.

That's pretty much what I've done this morning, which I plan to keep following up with. The night time feed is a bit harder because he seems to really love that snuggle, and even though I don't purposely feed to sleep, since he's given up the daysleep, that is effectively what happens. Tonight, I fed until I felt him getting really heavy and popped him in the cot, where he said "No, no, no, no" before going to sleep.
I did try to skip the feed and see what happens, but he was quite adamant.

I really did have the feeling that he would simply not self wean, which I know is ridiculous. Might be hard for people who haven't done it to understand, but the allergy diet requires such a sacrifice. Particularly when the items are egg and milk. I feel like I've given him enough in that regard.


#6 michie0moo

Posted 26 April 2012 - 04:40 PM

Firstly, congratulations on your pregnancy.
Secondly, I think your idea sounds like it will work really well for dropping the morning feed and then you can attempt to drop that night feed too. Can you try and just hold him for a bit longer before you put him down to give him a little bit of time to fall asleep in arms in the evening to help shorten that feed. Not easy with a heavy toddler I know, and also not ideal having him fall asleep in arms, but might help to shorten the feeds.

I can also relate to the feeling of never going to self wean. DD is now 22 months and will still ask for (read demand) several feeds per day (and while not deliberate, we also seem to slide in to a feed to sleep pattern). She is gradually dropping some though but I have no idea how she will cope if she is still doing so in a few more months when I am due. At the moment, even if it isn't a "feed to sleep", that feed prior to bed seems pretty essential to her.

#7 Riotproof

Posted 29 April 2012 - 07:23 PM

Thanks Michie.. yes, we are still going fine in the morning, he does ask, but is offered water which he doesn't take everytime. I am trying to make sure we have lots of contact during the day to compensate.

So, I'm just seeing how it goes.  



#8 Cat Burglar

Posted 06 May 2012 - 10:43 PM

would love to hear how the others are going with this, just posted a similar but slightly different topic. I only wish dont ask dont refuse would work for me! DD has literally ripped my clothing trying to pull my top off and she will scream at the top of her lungs for hours when she wants bf - nothing else will calm her  sad.gif

#9 michie0moo

Posted 08 May 2012 - 06:56 PM

SoccerMum - I'm not really weaning (except for trying to reduce the total feeds via distraction techniques that are at best, hit and miss) but I certainly sympathise with the "nothing will calm if she wants bf"

I'm having a little bit of success with "later" or "after we do this" but not always. Not sure how old your DD is so don't know if talking with her will work. Should also add, that that approach was a complete failure this morning when she had a total meltdown that was sparked by me saying "no" to chips and ended in demands for breastfeed, so it is slow progress, like most things.

#10 Riotproof

Posted 08 May 2012 - 08:14 PM

Soccermum, I feel similarly torn, I don't want to force him, but it is was starting to hurt and I'd rather not remember bfing as something you grit your teeth through. It certainly hasn't been like that for me.
You definitely don't need to wean if you don't want to. It may be that your supply drops and she gives it up willingly or she might go through.

i have had some success with removing the morning feed. He hasn't had one since I posted this topic, which seems like ages ago, but it's just almost two weeks. We had a few mornings where he cried at the no, and then others where he doesn't even ask or is happy with a drink of water.
The night time feed is one he is hanging onto. I don't want to replace it with a cup of milk in the bedroom because we brush teeth prior to a bath, and it seems I am asking a lot of him just to lose that cuddle time with no replacement. I think given his age, I may have some luck with talking about the milk being gone and seeing what happens, but I'm not ready to try that yet.

#11 FauxPas

Posted 08 May 2012 - 08:22 PM


Hi - I had to stop breastfeeding DS at 2 years and about 2 months for the exact same reason.  

My approach was to sit down and explain to him that there was no more milk and that my "bee bees" (his word for breasts) were too sore to give him milk and that he was a big boy and big boys drink their milk from a cup.

He was very understanding and reasonable about it. He asked for a week or so and I was consistent with my response.  I always offered milk pre-bed but post-toothbrushing.

We only had one random incident when baby was born when I had shower and had bee bees exposed and he literally went to jump forward for a suckle.  I laughed in a gentle friendly way reminding him he was a big boy and didn't have bee bee anymore.  He laughed too and gave me a hug.

All the best - I know how very hard it is.



#12 Riotproof

Posted 21 May 2012 - 03:42 PM

QUOTE (FauxPas @ 08/05/2012, 08:22 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Hi - I had to stop breastfeeding DS at 2 years and about 2 months for the exact same reason.  

My approach was to sit down and explain to him that there was no more milk and that my "bee bees" (his word for breasts) were too sore to give him milk and that he was a big boy and big boys drink their milk from a cup.

He was very understanding and reasonable about it. He asked for a week or so and I was consistent with my response.  I always offered milk pre-bed but post-toothbrushing.

All the best - I know how very hard it is.


Thanks for this post, Faux Pas. It's almost been a month now, and the morning feed is not overly missed. He will occasionally ask though.
I am considering doing as you did and just explaining that the milk has run out. Why the thought of this is making me teary, I'm not sure. The night time feeds are reduced to a very quick time frame and he accepts when I say that I just can't anymore, so I think he might be ready to hear that there isn't any left.

#13 Riotproof

Posted 22 May 2012 - 07:15 PM

This is night 2 of me just not mentioning the m word and Ds not asking. I can't believe how sad it makes me feel.  I do feel happy that he obviously feels secure without it, I would feel so much worse if he was constantly asking.  

Should I expect any physical symptoms? I know there is a hormonal impact, but other than that?

#14 deejie

Posted 22 May 2012 - 08:06 PM

QUOTE (Riotproof @ 22/05/2012, 07:15 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Should I expect any physical symptoms? I know there is a hormonal impact, but other than that?


Hey RP. Sorry to hear you are feeling a bit down. I remember I was elated the first few days because of all the new things I could eat again, then the sadness came. You and your DS will find new ways to spend that special time together.

I didn't have any physical symptoms after DS1 self weaned unsure.gif I'm not sure if that is because it had practically dried up already by that point and that is why he lost interest to start with!

I know it's hard now,  but I think you should feel so proud of yourself. You have BF for such a long time under some very difficult circumstances and given him a wonderful start to life original.gif

#15 Riotproof

Posted 22 May 2012 - 09:03 PM

Deejie, I have popped out to the supermarket after I couldn't get DH to.  rolleyes.gif And have just eaten cheese on toast, 2 boiled eggs and toast with butter on it for dipping.
Gosh, I hope all that dairy in one place doesn't make me sick.

I guess it makes me sad because I know how easy it is to fix him when he's sick with bf. Those days when the only fluid he would take was milk, and the only place he'd sleep was on me. Actually, ironically, that has only happened the once! And it's a bit sad to think he's so grown up he doesn't need it anymore. And I feel guilty for not being able to sit on the sofa tonight without dashing out to buy the cheese and eggs.
The pregnancy hormones are probably making it worse, I had no idea when I was pregnant how special breastfeeding would be. I know I'm being a bit of a sap.



#16 deejie

Posted 22 May 2012 - 09:25 PM

QUOTE (Riotproof @ 22/05/2012, 09:03 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I know I'm being a bit of a sap.


Don't be too hard on yourself, you have the perfect excuse to be a total sap wink.gif

I remember it took me two weeks to get used to having dairy again after soooo long not eating it.
Doesn't such a simple meal like eggs, toast and butter just taste simply divine biggrin.gif I still get a kick out of eating eggs and DS1 hasn't had a BF for a year now!




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