This post is likely to be very boring to about 90% of my readers, but weaning (while a very personal thing). is something I wish more bloggers wrote about online. Just like birth stories, I love reading personal experiences and I believe this is worth sharing with my fellow nursing mamas or those who plan on nursing at some point in the future.
The Wee One and I have always nursed on demand but sometime between 3 and 4 months a daily schedule formed. Once we passed the 4 month sleep regression, I felt it was even more important to stay as close to our 6 scheduled feedings per day as possible because he was doing so well sleeping through the night. It’s been a blessing for us that he has wanted all of his nutrition during the day instead of waking up hungry at night. Now with The Wee One eating more solids, and us being on the go more often (yay warmer weather!) I thought it’d be nice to add a little more flexibility into our day.
The Wee One’s Nursing and Solids Schedule (4 months- 8.5 months old):
6:30/7 AM- Morning Nurse #1
7:30-8 AM- Breakfast
10 AM- Post- Morning Nap Nurse #2 (sometimes there is a tiny nursing session before the nap if he seems really hungry or fussy)
12 PM- Lunch
12:30 PM- Post Lunch Nurse #3
3 PM- Post-Afternoon Nap Nurse #4 (the one I’d like to drop)
5 PM- Evening Bottle Feed #5 (the bottle is important because it gives others the opportunity to feed The Wee One and me a chance to be out of the house for an extended period of time if I so desire)
5:30 PM- Dinner
6:45/7 PM- Bed Time Nurse #6
Writing it all out makes it seems like we nurse a lot, and we do, mostly because The Wee One has always wanted to nurse every 2-3 hours and could never usually last 4 hours between feedings like some babies do.
The thing is lately he’s not emptying me, and he’s getting more and more distracted during each session. So, after a frustrating Easter weekend of nursing, I made the executive decision to cut one nursing session.
My plan is simple, attempt to stretch the time in between feedings and eliminate the mid-afternoon/3 PM session. Instead of feeding at roughly 7, 10, 12, 3, 5 (bottle), 7, the schedule would be 7, 10, 1, 4:30 (bottle), and 7.
Here’s how weaning went… I’m only noting the changes so unless I write otherwise, assume morning and evening feeds went on as normal.
Day One: Nursed before and after lunch, at 12 and 1:15. Made it to 4:30 for bottle.
Day Two: Nursed at 12:30 after lunch then had trouble falling asleep in his stroller at the mall so we did a mini nursing session at 2:30. Bottle at 4:30.
Day Three: Nursed at 1:30, and then again at 2:45 because he woke up crying after his nap and couldn’t calm down. Then because I had evening plans we attempted to nurse instead of bottle at 4:30 but he wasn’t interested, and so we tried again at 5:50 before I left. Apparently he gulped down his bottle at 6:45 with The Scottish so I’m guessing he hadn’t had enough milk!
Day Four: Nursed at 10:30, then didn’t nurse again until 2, completely skipping the noon feed because we were busy at the zoo and then decided to head home first. Bottle at 4:30.
Day Five: Nursed at 12:30, and bottle at 3:45.
Day Six: Nursed at 1:00, and bottle at 4:30.
Day Seven: Nursed one side at 10, one at 11:15, then again at 1:15, and bottle at 4:00 PM.
After a week, I think we can officially say we have altered our nursing schedule! Aside from the occasional off day The Wee One is down to 5 breast milk feeds per day instead of 6! Why am I so excited about this little change? The freedom it gives us in the afternoon is awesome. Plus, it’s been nice to keep nursing separate from mealtimes. Consequently, he’s already drinking more at the breast and eating more solid foods at his high chair. We even tried real bits of chicken the other day and he LOVED them. 🙂
My next goal is to eliminate pumping altogether because well, pumping sucks. Currently I pump twice a day, once during The Wee One’s bottle feed and once around 10 PM before I go to bed. Weaning off pumping will take more work because I have a decent oversupply of milk but I’m hoping to be done pumping around June 1st. We’ll see how it goes!