Nursing/Weaning question

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Joined: 06/09/06
Posts: 3264
Nursing/Weaning question

So I think the twins, particularly Brian, are interested in weaning. Sad I'm not ready, for lots of reasons... but I'm not sure how to handle it. Right now, I offer first thing in the morning, usually before and after naps, and right before bed. Both boys nurse first thing in the morning, usually once at some point during the day, and then before bed. Although, for the past several nights, Brian has refused to nurse before bed (or only tries for a few seconds and then gives up), so I've been going in his room right before I go to bed and nurse him then. Honestly, he's rarely interested in nursing aside from that sleepy feed. Sad His side has always been my weaker producer and with the big decrease in nursing, my milk supply has just tanked. I do try to nurse him at times on the other side, but he's really just not that interested.

I keep reading that babies don't typically self-wean before 18-24 months or so, but what am I supposed to do? This morning, all 3 kids woke up at the exact same time and I ended up getting to Brian last, so he was pretty upset and not his normal sleepy and just waking up self - so he kept biting me instead of nursing. Sad I offered again before his nap, but he refused.

I know I shouldn't take this personally, but I hate the feelings of rejection every time they refuse to nurse or (and this is almost as bad) they attempt to nurse for a little while but I can't get a let down fast enough for them so they give up. I feel like I should be celebrating the success of nursing twins for almost 14 months rather than feel like a failure for not being able to provide enough milk to make them happy and deal with the feelings of being rejected all the time.

So I guess my questions for those of you who let your baby self-wean - how did you handle their refusals to nurse without feeling like a failure? How long did you keep offering before giving up? And how long would you do a 'dream' feed like I've been doing with Brian before I go to bed? (one of my concerns with him is that I think the BM is helping him not be constipated and I worry that he'll have more issues with that once he fully weans)

And I have to confess, on a completely and totally selfish note - one of my big reasons for not wanting to wean yet is that I love the extra calories I get to eat! I haven't been this thin since before I got pregnant with Noelle and I will miss eating like a teenager again... just didn't want anyone to think my intentions are completely noble. Wink

Joined: 06/29/08
Posts: 1096

Well, one, I think that rather than looking at it like you nursed for 14 months, you nursed for the equivalent of 28 months!!

We nursed for a LONG time out of just habit. Both of us really didn't care but neither of us knew how to stop, either.

Would you be okay with one of them stopping? I think it'd be harder on both of you if you forced it. I mean, ideally you want to have it be a positive experience for both of you when it ends.

I would probably stop the dream feed soon. I'd be afraid that that's the one he would get addicted too and I'd lose sleep over it. And you never know, if you cut that one he might take more at an early one.

Also, if you know B is the most fussy one, maybe make it a point to always nurse him first, or when he is most likely to take it.

Good luck!

luangwa's picture
Joined: 06/29/07
Posts: 8898

I'd give it at least 2 weeks of refused offerings before you stop offering it to him. Could be lots of reason for a nursing strike. I always assume nursing strike before I consider weaning. Is he starting to pop some teeth through?

I rushed through your post because I smell Abigail needs a dipe change. I'll be back to possibly add more.

mommyvolc's picture
Joined: 03/22/07
Posts: 1296

Ruth :bigarmhug: Congrats on nursing both boys for 14 months...you did a great job mama!

I had a huge reply typed up for this and lost it, so forgive my briefness...

I think if Brian is ready to wean you should let him. You need a break. He is old enough to to onto homo milk. His body may take a week or two to adjust to the diet, but he will. For Alicia, when she weaned she was SUPER constipated and we added karo syrup to her bottles for a couple of months.

Both my kids weaned early. Alicia weaned at 10 months because I was pregnant with DJ and couldn't maintain my supply. We both cried and then went to cuddling with a sippy cup at the times she would have otherwise nursed. DJ weaned at 9.5 months...he was just to busy to nurse. We also cuddle with a sippy cup. We still do, my favorite parts of the day! I had night weaned well before they weaned (8 months) so the dream feed wasn't an issue...but I would get rid of that one first and eliminate the morning feed last. You need some sleep! Once DJ started refusing regularly, I stopped offering and went to a sippy cup. It was sad and hard, but I also enjoyed the feeling of having my body back and not having my boobs hanging out all the time.

Good luck with your decision!

Nicole

toothy35's picture
Joined: 02/20/06
Posts: 4578

"gottharf" wrote:

So I think the twins, particularly Brian, are interested in weaning. Sad I'm not ready, for lots of reasons... but I'm not sure how to handle it. Right now, I offer first thing in the morning, usually before and after naps, and right before bed. Both boys nurse first thing in the morning, usually once at some point during the day, and then before bed. Although, for the past several nights, Brian has refused to nurse before bed (or only tries for a few seconds and then gives up), so I've been going in his room right before I go to bed and nurse him then. Honestly, he's rarely interested in nursing aside from that sleepy feed. Sad His side has always been my weaker producer and with the big decrease in nursing, my milk supply has just tanked. I do try to nurse him at times on the other side, but he's really just not that interested.

(((((((HUGE HUGS))))))))) this is how it was for jack, too....his sisters and him waking at the same time, this started occuring at around 10 months when we sleep trained and he was consistantly sttn, and it was just very hard..and the huge lack of interest to boot....he become more interested in just waking with his sisters and eating breakfast....not sitting in his dark room while he could hear his sisters going down stairs, or laying in bed with mom when his sisters where heading down stairs.....that was when he dropped the morning feed.
I keep reading that babies don't typically self-wean before 18-24 months or so, but what am I supposed to do? This morning, all 3 kids woke up at the exact same time and I ended up getting to Brian last, so he was pretty upset and not his normal sleepy and just waking up self - so he kept biting me instead of nursing. Sad I offered again before his nap, but he refused.

I know I shouldn't take this personally, but I hate the feelings of rejection every time they refuse to nurse or (and this is almost as bad) they attempt to nurse for a little while but I can't get a let down fast enough for them so they give up. I feel like I should be celebrating the success of nursing twins for almost 14 months rather than feel like a failure for not being able to provide enough milk to make them happy and deal with the feelings of being rejected all the time.
jack stopped nursing at 14 months 4 days....that was with many days of offering and no taking......abby stopped at 12 months 6 days.....same scenerio......lucy stopped at 15 months and sarah and max stopped at 9 and 9.5 months...i know it's hard to put aside everything you read......but really...you know your babies the best. i was to the point, of leading the horse to water, but how the heck do you force them to drink
So I guess my questions for those of you who let your baby self-wean - how did you handle their refusals to nurse without feeling like a failure? How long did you keep offering before giving up? And how long would you do a 'dream' feed like I've been doing with Brian before I go to bed? (one of my concerns with him is that I think the BM is helping him not be constipated and I worry that he'll have more issues with that once he fully weans)
i tried to look at it as my baby was just moving on to the next exciting phase of independence....i never really viewed it as a personal failure. but i also didn't have long term goals......i wanted to make it to a year, and knowing how my kids eat by a year......i was personally very happy with that and very ok with it.....(emotionally it is still very hard....the ending of such a HUGE event in your life such as breastfeeding is just emotionally draining on so many levels......but i knew the babies were gonna be a-ok!!!)
with abby and jack.....by a year we were only nursing at night before bed.......so when they refused that 4th, 5th, and then the 6th night......on the 7th....we just revised the routine.......for jack it meant i was to NOT to sit in our glider at bedtime.....i just stood and rocked him and talked quietly for a couple of songs played on his radio and then i laid him down and when he didn't throw a fuss.....i knew he wasn't even concerned that he didn't nurse......
basically the same with abby, just i think she let me rock her for a bit in the chair..and then put her in the crib...so we all still got some kind of nighttime snuggles....just altered...

i never did dream feeds...but if that is the only time you get him to latch, and you still want to do it.....do it......if you think he will be fine then when your ready to stop, give it a try.

as far as constipation ......maybe just offer more water during the day......keep a sippy available at all times.....and just be proactive with what your offering him to eat, and if it starts to get bad......i know these ladies swear by miralax.....

And I have to confess, on a completely and totally selfish note - one of my big reasons for not wanting to wean yet is that I love the extra calories I get to eat! I haven't been this thin since before I got pregnant with Noelle and I will miss eating like a teenager again... just didn't want anyone to think my intentions are completely noble. Wink

well it doesn't have to end today...... Wink i say give it a couple weeks and see if it's not a teething issue/cold issue/ or just a stubborn issue with the interest level being low......who knows maybe it will pick back up.

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

I always let the baby decide - this took the onus off me! Self-weaning was just easiest on all of us.

Both Max and Theo quit around 17 months - I never minded because I was pregnant each time and was relieved to have my boobs left alone for a while!

Anna nursed until 2 years and 9 months - obviously, the last chunk of that was just for the pleasure and comfort of it.

I honestly don't think they can get addicted. I would just continue doing whatever they want - you know that at this point it is not "necessary" but nor do I see any harm in it.

...And the bonus is you stay slim (biatch :wink:).

luangwa's picture
Joined: 06/29/07
Posts: 8898

Ok, the only thing I have to add other than :bighug: is that I wouldn't wean Micah just because Brian might want to stop. I would also offer Micah both sides at each session for a bit. If he's going to be the only one nursing, he definitely is going to have to get used to eating from the other side. Unless you plan on being a one milk-bag momma. LOL

Joined: 06/09/06
Posts: 3264

"luangwa" wrote:

Ok, the only thing I have to add other than :bighug: is that I wouldn't wean Micah just because Brian might want to stop. I would also offer Micah both sides at each session for a bit. If he's going to be the only one nursing, he definitely is going to have to get used to eating from the other side. Unless you plan on being a one milk-bag momma. LOL

LOL Micah's smarter than people give him credit for - he's very aware of the more scant supply on the other side and he is only interested in 'his' side. I do offer him the other side, especially when Brian is being really stubborn, but Micah very rarely goes for it. It can be a challenge to nurse him on his own side, so I don't want to rock the boat too much.

Thank you everyone. This has actually been going on for a few months now and just recently feels like it's coming to a head (especially with Brian and the biting). I think Brian is definitely more ready to wean than Micah is, but I'm going to continue the sleepy feeds for Brian for a while, even if that ends up being our only nursing session. Maybe his interest will pick up again someday and then I won't be totally dried up...

Joined: 03/07/05
Posts: 1595

I'm sorry! Sophie almost weaned at 12 months due to major lack of milk (was pretty much completely dried up due to being pregnant with Nadia). In the end I was able to continue getting her to nurse for 3-5 times per week for comfort until my milk came back in, BUT that obviously won't be the case for you. Honestly, it probably is best just to let them wean when they are ready at this point. Maybe there is something "special" that you can add in place of nursing now that they are getting older, so you still have a special bonding time together? Behaviors are not so much removed completely, as they are replaced by something else. Also, as far as calorie burn is concerned. I won't worry about that. If you milk supply has already gone down drastically then chances are, you are already not getting much calorie burn from nursing, SO, if you are maintaining your weight as things are right now, then chances are you will be just fine!

kristimcw's picture
Joined: 08/03/07
Posts: 1914

Zack self weaned at about 11 months. He was too busy to sit still that long anymore and up and decided he was done. He didnt ask to nurse again....One day he just sat up from me when I was trying to nurse and wanted his cup......

Wyatt bit the tire out of me at 10 months and made me bleed so I weaned him then and there and it was slowly coming for him. He was biting off and on and I had a feeling he was going to hurt me one time....all it took was that one time and I went to the store that day and got bottle and formula, but he didnt seem sad about not nursing anymore. And because of the moisture, it took that nip a long time to heal. It was so very painful.

Cheyenne would never latch so I pumped for 8 months before I dried up. I felt like I had let her down since I couldnt keep up with it. But, she got 8 months of breast milk.

If M wants to continue, keep nursing him if you really feel you want to.

You have put in 14 months and that itself is great. Dont beat yourself up for it for his lack of interest. They are mobile, they are wanting to explore, and it sounds like B isnt wanting to just sit still for to long of a time.

:bigarmhug: whatever you decide, we will be here for you!!!

Allie01979's picture
Joined: 10/10/07
Posts: 4706

I'm on my phone so please forgive any autocorrect lol!

Aidanself weaned at 15-16 months, I cried! I wasn't ready, but with going back to work at 12months and him getting a bottle, my breast just couldn't compete I guess. I offered for months after but he was done. I agree that the best thing is self weaning, keep offering until they flat out refuse. It's easier on them than you. I remember trying to cut some feedings before going back to work and at that point he was still nursing like a newborn, it was heartbreaking when he cried for it.

Can I just say how amazing you've done?? I remember your struggles with BFing Noelle and I'm so happy that you've nursed this long, and with twins!! Good job Ruth Biggrin