Happy Monday Mamas!
It’s finally time I share my quitting breastfeeding journey with you all.
I felt that many of you were super supportive with answering questions and helping this clueless mama know what to do.
Since I felt so lost, I am sure I won’t be the only one and felt like sharing my thoughts and tips!
I made it a goal to breastfeed Edison for 1 year!
I felt that if I could make it that long, that was a huge accomplish for me.
Breastfeeding wasn’t always an easy journey for me. Back when Edison was 2 months old we discovered that he was tongue tied. It was a huge answer to all of our questions and concerns we had been having.
Edison was always a very fussy baby, but never seemed like a colic or gas problems. Seemed different. We couldn’t ever put him down! EVER! He wanted to be held all the time and any chance we did put him down on his back he would cry and cry, more like a scream, but you get the picture. Something was a little off.
We finally figured out that Edison was pretty much starving all the time, which was part of why he was always fussy. I would breastfeed him 45 minutes to an hour every 3 hours. But he never seemed full. I actually thought my problem was that I had a low milk supply which is a whole entire story.
After discovering out that he was tongue tied we realized he just wasn’t able to get enough milk from me. He would suck and suck but was as if he were sucking through a coffee straw. Triple the amount of work which tired him.
The next few days after we got his Frenectomy treatment we noticed a huge difference in him. He was happy, and a completely changed baby.
He didn’t mind being put down, slept better, and smiled more!
He wasn’t hungry anymore. However, we still made the decision to bottle feed him both morning and night so we would be able to regain some of his weight back that he was majorly lacking.
I only share this with you mamas because I want you to know that Breastfeeding isn’t always an easy journey for everyone. If fact it is generally more difficulat than easy the first little bit.
But, just know that if breastfeeding doesn’t work out for you, that is totally okay too! Nothing is wrong, and nothing is right! Do what you feel is best. A fed baby is best!
I decided to end my journey of breastfeeding when Edison was 14 months. I went two months over my goal just because the timing of things.
We were heading to Italy and I didn’t want to have to stress about not feeding him, then it was Christmas and we were home for 2 weeks, I planned to start right as we got home, but we both ended up getting sick with major colds that lasted about 2-3 weeks. So after we were all clear of sickness we gave it a go. It was January 9th when we bonded for the last time in our unique special way.
I wasn’t sure how to approach quitting breastfeeding so I decided to just go cold turkey.
I honestly thought it would be better this way and easier on Edison since at that time we were only breastfeeding 1-3 times a day. Typically morning, after his afternoon nap, and before bed.
He was never a baby who begged for food from me, never lifted my shirt or showed any signs of wanting to breastfeed so I thought it would be easy.
What I did think was that it was going to be A LOT harder for me than it was for him. I used breastfeeding as a “way out” In the early morning hours when I wasn’t ready to get out of bed, out in public when he was being fussy, a quick easy way to put him to sleep. Of course the list could go on. So that is why I feared it more than he did. I felt like my life was going to turn upside down. To my surprise however, it wasn’t as bad as I thought!
Since Edison was waking up around 4 or 5 each morning before quitting I knew that I wanted his first “non- breast” feeding to be at that hour. Hopefully to get him to realize he isn’t hungry, just needing comfort from his mama. Sure enough he woke up the morning of the 10th at 4 am. I went into his bedroom, picked him up and tried to rock him back to sleep. He refused, and started to scream. Not just his normal cry, he was very upset I wasn’t giving him what he was used to. After several minutes of trying to calm him down, I laid him back in his bed and waited for a few minutes before going back in to try again.
After the second time failing, I left the room and had my husband, Brandon, go in. I knew it would be the best if I just wasn’t in the picture.
Nap time: After Edison wakes up from his name we would head downstairs, sit on the couch and nurse on most days. But the day we decided to stop he was still very unsure of everything.
I did our regular routine, which was probably my mistake, but headed downstairs, made a sippy cup of whole milk and ventured on the couch to give him bottle.
He lost it again! Same exact thing like earlier that morning. Just crying and screaming uncontrollably. I tried several things to get him to calm down and nothing was working. Finally I turned on “Sing” his favorite movie of the moment and that was the only way he would relax and stop crying. Thank you “Sing”!!!
Bedtime: I decided it would be easier if Brandon took on the bedtime roll the first night or two. It ended up being the best thing for Edison. After he refused the sippy cup time and time again, he finally gave up and fell asleep on Brandon’s chest. He did however sleep in until 6:30.
Edison basically went the entire day with out drinking any milk and water. Even at lunch time he refused his normal sippy cup he was used to!
Since the first 50 hours were very difficult for Edison and he hardly had any liquids in him I decided to change things up a little bit and not go completely cold turkey!
I did not give in breastfeeding him again, that I was for sure quitting.
But I went back to bottles and not sippy cups.
It just happened to be a lot at once for the little guy. I went 3 or 4 days giving him regular baby bottles for all three feedings. Minus his regular mealtime sippy cups.
He adjusted greatly and took the bottles each and every time.
After the 3 or 4 days I started weaning in the sippy cups one at a time. Meaning. I started after he woke up from his afternoon nap. Did that for a couple days before giving it to him for his morning feeding. Then again, a few days of him adjusting to both afternoon and morning I knew we could transition to nighttime.
He took it just fine. I am glad we decided to take a few steps back and not going 100% cold turkey.
Another thing I decided to do was give warm whole milk. He was used to having warm bottles of formula so I knew we could gradually start to heat them less and less until he is used to taking cold bottles.
This is something I haven’t done yet. I am still currently giving him warm bottles the 3 times a day. I do offer cold him during meal times and he doesn’t drink it.
I will probably soon start to make the transition. The reason I want to do this, is so he can drink milk while we are on vacation, or out and about on a long day. It makes things a little simpiler. I may keep warming the night time bottle until we transition to no night time bottle and doing a dinner bottle. (I’ll explain more below)
A few suggestions/tips I wanted to add.
Give your child Whole Milk once they turn 1 years old.
If you child is already used to formula and you want to make the transition easier mix half formula and half whole milk to the sippy cup for the first week or so. That’s what we did the first week and found it super helpful and easier to move to Whole Milk
We have found the NUK sippy cups were the best transition for those of you who’s kids were used to a bottle. They were the closest thing to bottles with the soft spout.
Make the transition from bottles to sippy cups as soon as you can, the longer they drink out of bottles the more damaging it can be on their mouths and teeth.
I remember being so worried that Edison and I special bond would be over after breastfeeding, or at least not be the same! But I have enjoyed extra cuddles from him each day and during our bedtime routine.
It has been my favorite thing when I give him his sippy cup at night as I am rocking him to sleep. He drinks the bottle, then pushes my hand away, turns his body toward mine and snuggles right up against my chest and falls asleep!
Sweetest little memories.
One tip I learned from you mamas, that I haven’t quite done yet but plan to is start giving the last sippy cup at dinner or during bath time.
The reasoning for this is to prevent tooth decay. Because they are drinking Whole Milk, the milk will set on the teeth and could potentially cause Milk Rot, the teeth decaying from the milk.
So our goal will be eventually to go without night time sippy to get him to sleep that way we can brush his teeth right before bed.
I really hope this is helpful to you mamas out there!
Good luck with your quitting breastfeeding journey!