Thursday, June 02, 2011

on weaning. . .


I love nursing my babies. I love the feeling of their little tummies pressed to mine, and their little fingers grabbing my neck. I love the contented sighs they make and the drowsy look in their eye. It is one of my most favorite things about having a baby. Of all my kids, this boy has loved to nurse the most. The problem is that I don't think I have ever had the milk he needs. I've tried formula off and on, never with success. He nurses mostly for comfort now, because I don't think he is getting much else from me. So it is time to wean him. He is not gaining weight, and he needs more calories in his life. I know he would benefit from some whole milk (or something else?). My other three weaned to milk at his age without a problem. But this baby doesn't want anything to do with it. This is where I need your help. I've tried cold milk, warm milk, chocolate milk, instant breakfast, and formula, all in bottles and sippy cups. He has refused them all. I'm not sure what to do. Do I just need to keep offering them? Have you ever had this problem? I'm trying not to worry.

45 comments:

  1. I'm delurking myself here for a moment -- my third was hard to wean. I had to cut her off completely in order to get her to drink milk from a sippy (she never would take a bottle). It took 3 days of screaming, but she finally did it. It's no fun, but taking away all other options seemed to be the only way. Good luck!

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  2. None of my kids have been big milk fans. I gave them yogurt, butter, and cheese and just kept trying with the milk. They are still not huge milk drinkers, but are fine with it. They have milk on their cereal, and drink a lot of it when they eat spicy salsa with their chips. :) Good luck.

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  3. The thing that worked the best for us (although I only did this once, so you're really way more experienced here) was to use a "special" cup. I bought one with a straw and special characters. He got very excited and we were able to use regular sippies after that. Good luck!!

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  5. my experience with henry was similar to what jlk already said. it was heartwrenching for a few days. i even left him with nana for a couple nights and went to seattle with trent. good luck!

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  6. Perhaps you could use a nursing supplementer filled with milk for a while. The comfortable feeling of nursing might help him get used to the milk. I've always used supplementors with my babies because I have supply issues.

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  7. your words were so sweet about nursing - so sorry that you are facing this challenge. i have no wise words to offer as my kids weaned themselves -- i hope that what ever path you choose is one you can get through. instigating change with babies is never fun -- we're trying to get ethan to talk -- we'd settle for letter sounds even but nothing from him. our days are long and overwhelming.

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  8. How many months is he now? Maya weaned at a little over a year, and Finn just shy of one. Both were adamantly opposed to milk in any form (formula included). I still comfort nursed at night for about a month until absolutely nothing was left. But I started feeding them yogurt along with their other baby food. The doctor has always told me that my non-milk-drinkers are A-OK with yogurt and cheese. And if he's a good eater otherwise, it shouldn't be a problem. Maya loved these (they come in lots of flavors, and you can even buy an attachable "spoon spout"):
    http://www.diapers.com/products/Plum-Organics-Baby-Second-Blends-Blueberry-Pear-Purple-Carrot-422-oz-6-pack-54119

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  9. I'm at the same stage with Sophie, as you know. She spits milk out everytime I give it to her. Livy did the same thing at her age. As with other comments I gave her cheese and yogurt. I also would put milk and yogurt in fruit smoothies that she loved. I put a little strawberry powder in her whole milk (healthy right) until she started to like milk then I gradually took the powder away. I'm just going to do those things and keep trying with
    Sophie.

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  10. As long as he gets adequate calcium from other foods, I wouldn't push the milk. I have a thriving 4yo who still doesn't drink milk. My recently-weaned 2yo hasn't tried cow's milk yet either. I'm sorry this is making you worry!

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  11. I nursed until 13 months and then watered down whole milk at the beginning since it's so rich. He didn't want anything to do with it at first, but we kept making him take sips each day. Eventually, he loved it. We used bottles until 17 months because he couldn't figure out the sippy situation until then. I've heard friends talk about their babies refusing whole milk as well and started off with 2% until they could be convinced to at least try it. This too shall pass!

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  12. Try rice milk. My little guy won't take regular milk at all. If your little man just wants to suck on something to soothe him and he is eating other food well, then rice milk is a good alternative. Look for the unsweetened version.

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  13. Having talk to my dad about this (he's a pediatrician) about my own babies. It's best to just give him milk and nothing else. He will get thirsty enough. Eating food and drinking are to different things. It could take a few days but he will get thirsty enough that he will drink it. It will most definitely pull at your heart strings but it's the way that works, for me anyway. When it comes to gaining weight etc. whole milk is a good source along with a good diet. Babies brains need fat to grow. Hang in there it's so so hard. You're a good mother trying to figure out what's best.

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  14. None of my kids ever wanted cows milk or soy milk when they were around 1. I let my babies wean themselves. My pediatrician said as long as they are getting enough liquid and calcium from other sources it doesn't really matter if they have milk or not. Maybe just try giving him yogurt and cheese along with a sippy of juice? some kids just don't like milk?

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  15. My kids were both milk resistant. So I would pump and put it in a bottle so they would recongnize the taste and like a bottle/cup then I would mix it with whole milk with less and less breast milk a day. I also put in some strawberry nesquick:) I also like the stoney farms yogurt. It is made organic with whole milk and my kids liked that and I felt like they were getting some good nutrients that way too.

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  16. Hi Stephanie! I wanted to give you a suggestion that worked for Megan. Try the vanilla coconut milk. Megan hated milk and I was concerned, she has been crazy about coconut milk since the first time she tried it and it is really healthy and nutricious for babies! I buy either the silk brand or the So Delicious Brand and heat it for 15 secs. I also poked a bigger opening in Megs bottle (Dr Brown) so it wasnt frustrating for her to get stuff out. Good luck!
    Amy Parker

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  17. Start by having your husband do it. It took me 7 months to get my daughter to take a bottle of anything at 9 months old....but when she did it was from my husband. Good luck.

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  18. children actually don't need anything from a cow to be healthy. on the contrary, they are healthier without it. rice or almond milk is an alternative, but they should get most nutrients from food at this stage. not a drink.

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  19. I nursed for 13 months but was pimping and feeding her from a bottle during the day when I was at work. So she didn't have the bottle problem but hated real whole milk. I had to mix my milk and whole milk for about a month--slowly adding more whole and taking away mine. Long process but now she loves milk. It's because our milk is so much sweeter!!

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  20. Coconut Milk, Almond Milk, are both great suppliments for Cow's Milk. Cashel had Cali of Almond Milk (dairy issues) and Amy (sean's wife) has Megan on Coconut milk because she didn't like Cow's milk at all.

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  21. My little guy weaned himself but we give him a combination of Almond Milk and Whole Milk now because he wasn't gaining weight either. He loves the almond milk. If your little guy has no allergies I would try almond milk. It has the same amount of calcium in it!

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  22. I'm going through the same thing with my 16 month old (my second). She loves water in a sippy, bottle, or regular cup, she asks for it all day long, but has no interest in milk or juice. So I'm really interested in what you end up doing.. I don't have it in me to do a 3 day holdout, that scrunched up sad face would just bring me to my knees. I was interested in the comments to try 2% milk instead... You might try this (I sometimes get a few sips out of this) - I add a couple spoonfuls of vanilla yogurt to her milk bottle and shake it up.

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  23. I had this same problem with my last baby. I wasn't making good enough milk for what he needed. I ended up completely stopping breastfeeding and started on more solids and formula for just a month or two and switched to whole milk.
    Good luck. i know how frustrating this can be!

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  24. I'm having the same problem weening #4. My "healthy friend" says Baby Gray doesn't need ANY milk. He can have water to drink (and green smoothies) and get his fat from avocados and nuts. So I've been giving him a half to whole avocado every day and nuts, fruits and veggies alternately.

    Personally, I'd avoid the super sweet stuff like chocolate milk and instant breakfast. Or pretty soon you'll be worrying about how to ween him from that.
    :)

    Good luck!
    :)

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  25. I never have given my babies/toddlers cow's milk. After about a year of nursing they had water or a little orange juice diluted. I did make my own almond milk with my first...they didn't have it in stores back then.
    I hope you find what works for that little cutie!

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  26. Grant always took a bottle, so we really didn't have an issue with weening from me. Our doc said that babies get the fat they need for their brain, from milk, during their first year and then after that it doesn't really matter. I personally agree. Grant has cow milk with cereal and now and then with a meal, but otherwise it's water, water, water. That's the best thing for all of us to drink anyway. Babies should be eating regular meals soon after the first year anyway and don't rely on a liquid diet. That's my 2 cents. There are so many opinions out there that you just have to decide for yourself. I hope something works out for cute little Elliot....soon, for your sake. :)

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  27. My son refused to take a bottle, cup, binky anything other then my breast was not for him. I slowly worked in sippy cups more as a toy. Trying juice, milk, water etc. Our doctor said to boost his calories with Pedisure and other high fat and calorie foods. (still healthy choices for babies) He eventully used the cup enough that it wasn't an issue anymore and then self weaned at 18 months. Hope all goes well.

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  28. keep trying! maybe take a break for a day or two and then try again. I think when I make a big deal (cry/yell, etc.), I seem to make it worse. But I don't think you have that problem! I'm willing to bet that it'll get better before too long. Good luck!

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  29. my mom said i loved to nurse but i also refused milk..26 years later I still HATE milk. ug, the thought makes me sick! i love dairy though!

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  30. My background- have 7, expecting #8 and I nursed all of them up to/around a year...I don't know your little guy's age- but most imp.- he needs the fat(that whole milk is known for) to help his brain develop until age 2. If you feel like you're not making enough milk- look at your diet/fluid intake- and how often you're nursing- if you supplement with formula/milk- you're supply will decrease b/c he's not stimulating the milk production in you. Also, when you nurse- first side is "dinner", second is "dessert"- if he doesn't empty you on at least one side each feed- he's not getting the hinds milk which is the rich, creamy stuff that helps them gain weight. Is he on baby foods? When I stop nursing - with either milk or formula depending on their age (I'm usually pregnant so it's painful for me to cont. nursing)- just like some other comments- just for a few days- give them bottle/sippy cup and they have all adjusted fine. You may want to hold him the way you do when you nurse with the bottle instead, don't let him know it's painful to you- they pick up on that, try different bottles/sippy cups- there's a trainer sippy cup by gerber that my nurse practioner recommended and my kids did well with. Hope this helps. Best wishes.

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  31. I don't think 100% breast fed babies ween to milk well at all. They are used to nursing or starting to eat real food. They have not been consistently getting bottles of formula and are therefore used to chugging down liquid calories. This is a personal theory but I think there is a lot of validity in it. I nursed 3 kids to 12-13 months and none would drink milk to save their life. I tried some of the tricks you mentioned but my best was to make the simplest, runny smoothies for them. Just a bit of banana, maybe a few berries, and milk thru the blender. Then I run it thru a sieve to pour into a cup to make sure it is tin enough to flow thru the valves and tips. This worked with all my girls.

    I know I am also in the minority but I don't stress about their milk consumption. They eat dairy - yogurt, cheese, etc and I don't stress. But my sister who nursed a few months then switched to formula replaced formula bottles with milk and her kids stay on a 3 giant sippy cup of milk a day habit forever.

    I always try to remember we probably can't screw up these kids too much.

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  32. Have you tried anything to increase your milk supply? Drinking more water (drinking a full glass before sitting down to nurse) and eating more whole grains, especially brown rice, seem to help me the most. If it's not having enough milk for him that you're worried about, you might try those things before you give up on nursing him. I like to let my babies nurse until they wean themselves...they are only babies for such a short time, why rush?

    My advice is, listen to your heart, and do what you feel is best for your baby. God knows what your baby needs and He will help you know, too. Good luck and God bless you!

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  33. Oh, good luck, Stepahanie. I haven't given my kids cows' milk either. I don't know--I just never felt pressure to force that. They went from nursing to water and lots of fruits and veggies and yogurt (as unsweetened as I could get them to eat.)

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  34. I'm not sure but I'm guessing your concern comes from the weight gain problem. We've struggled with the same problem the past year with my little guy. My Winn was a big nurser but I apparently wasn't making enough this time around. And he wouldn't take a bottle or anything else until things just got desperate. It was so hard and really caused me a lot of worry until something just clicked. Play around with different bottles and sippy cups and try Pediasure. Great source of calories! Good luck!

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  35. One of mine only liked strawberry milk. Have you tried that? We did sippy cups with strawberry milk for YEARS!

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  36. i say what's the harm in letting him nurse still? Give him calories in different forms if you're concerned he's not getting enough. But your breast milk is only beneficial and the exact opposite of causing him any harm, health and growth wise. Don't think of it as his main source, find another for that. But if he loves breast feeing, and you love breast feeding...why stop? Keep going! And add calories in other forms.

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  37. no help from me, my poor kids got skim milk from me so they were so happy when they got formula.. real food. good luck. but what i do know, is kids will eventually eat..

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  38. There is a lady in my mom's neighborhood that sells her fresh goat's milk. It's worth a try. My kids and I love it. Adam is fairly anti-dairy and his kids are very healthy. Avacados and pb without trans fats (hydrogenated oils) are super healthy fats. I'd go for a banana and some greek (high fat. low sugar) yogurt as a smoothie in a sippy cup.

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  39. My 14 month old had a lot of trouble weaning to whole milk at 12 months when I had to stop breastfeeding. My first loved it, so I was concerned, too. My pediatrician suggested trying rice or almond milk(unsweetened). He loved the almond milk right away and now mostly drinks that. He gets plenty of whole milk yogurt and cheese and healthy avodado fats also. I'm now working on getting him to drink a little whole milk, too, just so he gets used to it and we could go to it down the road. I think he'll get there and that it just takes some babies longer than others to adjust. Good luck!

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  40. Have you tried goat's milk? It is more similar to breast milk than cow's milk. You can buy it at Whole Foods or other natural foods stores.

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  41. I had the exact same problem. My son finally took to soy milk which he drank for months. Then one day I re-introduced whole milk and he has loved it even since.

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  42. I had the same problem when I tried to wean my babies who had hardly ever drank from anything but me at 1 year. In the beginning I gave them juice in a sippy cup until they learned to drink from a sippy because it was worth the effort of learning because it was sweet. Then when they had that all figured out they would drink milk when they were thirsty. Good luck!

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  43. I mixed Keifer (a lot like thinned yogurt, it comes in a variety of flavors and can be found in the dairy aisle) with whole milk when I weaned my son. He was just shy of 13 months and was weaning himself but completely uninterested in milk. My second is 11 months and showing no signs of wanting to wean. Yikes.

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  44. I mixed Keifer (a lot like thinned yogurt, it comes in a variety of flavors and can be found in the dairy aisle) with whole milk when I weaned my son. He was just shy of 13 months and was weaning himself but completely uninterested in milk. My second is 11 months and showing no signs of wanting to wean. Yikes.

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