Nursing strike at one: to wean or not to wean?

Yesterday, Lydia refused her bedtime feed. Very determinedly – she bit both nipples when offered them, and was very upset until it was apparent that I wasn’t going to going to ask her to feed anymore.

This morning, a repeat of the performance occurred; purposely biting and then horribly upset until my Mum took her away. As soon as she saw she wasn’t going to be asked to breastfeed, she was her happy little self. She was then sat on their bed with them eating Mum’s croissant, and I could hear her happily squealing away. Such a huge contrast to her five minutes earlier, when she was inconsolable, scratching me and throwing herself around so much I thought she would hurt herself.

Lydia will drink cows milk with no problem, and has long been a master of sippy cups.

A few weeks ago I thought that she was beginning to self wean; her requests for feeds were becoming less frequent and she was dropping feeds often. Then she got ill, and she wanted to feed again. Maybe now she is finally almost entirely better she has decided that’s enough?

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The comfort aspect of it is unnecessary to her again, and she just wants food. Real food. She has always loved food, and never really loved breastfeeding, so I wasn’t at all surprised when she was showing very strong signs of self-weaning a few weeks ago.

I have always said that I will feed my girls until they want to stop. With Georgie that was 15 months. Lydia has always been a month or two ahead than Georgie was at the same age (Lydia is the baby that looked 6 weeks old after a few days), and so it wouldn’t surprise me if this was her saying she was done.

The question is, do I continue to offer her the breast and just upset her a lot, on the off chance that this is just a strike and it will end… or do I say “ok, we’re done” and move her entirely onto a diet of solids & cows milk?

One of the deciding factors may be the current whereabouts of my breast pump – in the storage container! If she continues to refuse to feed then I’ve no way to keep my supply level up until the point where she might possibly be interested in feeding again.

I guess we’ll just have to see what happens over the next few days!

4 thoughts on “Nursing strike at one: to wean or not to wean?

  1. Honestly, now that she’s over a year there’s no real significant difference between breast and cows milk. I stopped formula at a year as I knew cows was fine. If she doesn’t ask for a feed then I wouldn’t put her on. Chances are if she goes a week without asking then that’s more than likely her done and I wouldn’t worry about your supply.
    I fought with Ruaridh to get him to still take a bottle on the lead up to 12 months, he just didn’t want it, so I didn’t force the issue.
    I’d see it as a sign that she’s ready for lifes next big adventure 🙂

    1. There really is still a significant difference between the two… but breast milk is no longer absolutely necessary. It is much more beneficial than cows milk though, even at this age, there are many advantages of breastmilk over milk from a cow in a cup.

      However, I don’t want to push her and upset her – if she doesn’t want to have it anymore, then that’s fine.

  2. She doesn’t ‘need’ breast milk anymore as she’ll have cows milk so there’s no real need to continue really, surely switching to cows milk now is just bringing forward what would happen anyway? There seems to be a lot of ‘pro’ points – She doesn’t want to feed, she’ll drink cows milk, she’s over a year old – and not many ‘cons’ – I can’t think of any.

    1. The cons are losing the benefits of breast milk, which although not as great as they were 12 or even 6 months ago, are still significant. There is the comfort factor when she is ill or teething, the immune system boost, and that it is so great in a nutrition sense – so days when she doesn’t have as much food she’d still be getting enough of everything she needed through milk.

      However saying all that, I don’t want to push her into something she doesn’t want to do. At bedtime tonight she had a biscotti and a big cup of milk, and was very happy!

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