Monday, April 5, 2010

Question For Experienced Lactomoms

Paloma eats a lot of things these days, from orange slices to cheese sticks to chili to grits, and has now finally learned to drink from a valved sippy cup, sucking down soy milk with the usual low key, understated enthusiasm she reserves for food.

The breaky cheese stick

While I'm illustrating this post with a snapshot of Paloma and her cheese stick, it's the drinking that interests me most. Lately, she's been signing for milk, but when I offer up a boob and settle in to nurse her, she's like "What's this? This isn't what I asked for!" after just a few sucks. If I then give her a sippy cup, she has herself a grand old time with it (even if I still have to help her tip it up far enough).

Note: This doesn't bother me. I used to get all weepy thinking of weaning. Not because I wanted to breast feed forever but because I thought it would be so sad to be a baby and one day be denied access to the boob because the cutoff date had been reached. I'm all for Paloma deciding to wean herself if that's what she wants to do since I would like to get my boobular autonomy back some time!

I'm more curious as to whether her dissing the breast in favor of the sippy means she's weaning herself. She'll still nurse a tiny bit in the early morning and for a while before bedtime. Occasionally she'll nurse before a nap.

And if she is preparing to wean herself off the breast, can I just continue offering the cup frequently while also feeding her plenty of water-rich foods or do I have to give her a bottle of something (frozen milk, soy milk, milk from a cow) X times per day? If she'd even take it, that is, since she's no big bottle fan. I really don't want to have to unpack the stupid bottles.

Advice, please!


  1. I don't think she needs a bottle if she's got the cup figured out. We use the straw kind of cup so Nathan doesn't have to lift it to the sky to get to the bottom. I swear by those. When I was at Jess's, Emily figured it out and drank some of Nathan's OJ. Hee.

    I give Nathan mostly whole milk, but half soy half whole milk when we have soy around. He'll suck down a good 14-20 oz per day.

    He's still breastfeeding once in awhile, especially if he wakes up during the night. It's still nice, but I want the freedom and I want to have another baby and I'm not sure what the ovulation situation is.

  2. She sounds like she is slowing down some and that's all normal, well and good but she may continue at that low level for a long time yet or she may decide to stop and that's all also normal, well and good. It is lovely to let her decide but a little encouragment from you to continue some minimal breastfeeding by offering the breast when distractions are minimal would possibly keep her going longer and that can still be good for her developing immune system. Either way a bottle is not needed. Your plan for wet foods and drinks is smart.

    And now I will geek out on the subject just for intellectual interest and not really meaning to apply this to you and Paloma.
    My mother in law used to tell me never to wean babies in the summer. It was interesting to me (she was so often right in what she told me) and I've googled a bit and found this one reference which then led to googling the Dr. Smith it mentions and got this

    Apparently weaning in hot weather led to death by diarrhea in situations with bad sanitation.

  3. Thanks so much for stopping by my blog!

    Nothing makes me more nervous than switching from nursing to sippy cups drinking and regular food. I'm always afraid I'll be starving my kids. (Absolutely no worries there!)

  4. Thanks so much for visiting me on my SITS Day! I am finally getting the chance to meet and greet the fabulous ladies who showed some love for me. Hope to see you at Theta Mom again! :)

  5. Disclaimer: totally not trying to be miss smarty pant know it all but I have nursed 3 kiddos for a long time! :)
    Not sure how old your sweetie is? but if she is under a year she really needs to either be nursing or offered formula. It is really what they need to grow that first year. It is totally common for them to slow down while they discover new foods and skills(walking and talking, and even teething), and then pick up nursing again as they calm down some/ the teeth break through. Offering healthy snacks and drinks is always smart though :). And if she has gone this far without a bottle I wouldn't give her one again, that is just one more thing to wean from later.

  6. @Mama of 4 I guess I probably should have included that info in the post, huh? Paloma is going on 14 months, and I'm definitely still offering the breast - she's just not as interested as she used to be! But she's way more interested in the cup than she used to be, so I feel pretty okay about her hydration levels overall.

  7. Just a little shout out Christa, YAY FOR YOU that you are having these 'nursing difficulties' at 14 months. I remember commenting on posts about nursing in the beginning and it rocks that you stuck it out and got through that first year. Now onto what works for B... he's almost 19 months, and on days when we're busy, he'll only nurse when he wakes, before his nap, and before bed. Slow days, sick days, insecure days, it's more than that. He really never took to sippy spouts, so we use a straw cup, which is great for me - he had been starting to gnaw on the spouts, and me, so him not diggin' them saves my girls. He doesn't care for cow milk, but does like plain, unsweetened soy. I tend to treat it like juice, only give 4-6 oz a day, and give him yogurt, cheese and dark greens in smoothies for extra calcium. He always has water available in the straw cup.
    Is he weaning? Slowly, but it goes in waves, some times he really only nurses once or twice for weeks at a time, then it picks up again. I don't really offer, but I don't refuse him either. We have instituted some manners around asking (no shirt pulling). Follow Paloma's lead, don't bother with a bottle, and you'll be good to go :)
    Wow - that was a novella.

  8. With my 18m old, she naturally weaned herself down to the before bedtime feed. I would stick with the sippy cup and forget about bottles. That's what we did. My daughter got really adept with the straw type sippy cups, that way she didn't have to tip them.

    Before bed, she drinks from her cup until she asks to nurse. I don't think I have much of anything left because often times she'll ask for her cup back after she's done with the boob. It's all comfort now.

    With my daughter, she just got too 'busy' with things during the day to want to sit down and nurse. She much prefered carrying her cup around for a bit and having the freedom to continue playing.

  9. I think each baby is different. My youngest, who is 17 months, weaned himself at a year. He just wouldn't nurse anymore. It wasn't that he didn't want breastmilk, he would down it from a sippy cup. I think he was just wanting to keep up with his big brother and sister. Sounds kind of like what your little one is doing, except it sounds like she still wants to nurse a little bit.

    Stopping by from SITS! Have a beautiful weekend!

  10. Thanks for weighing in, The Grown-Up Child and Jenny! I definitely think part of it is that Paloma doesn't have the patience for my slow-flows. I've thought about pumping again for cups, but I am so happy to be free of that darn thing!


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