02 April 2010

To wean or not to wean ...

I'm struggling a bit at the moment in the baby feeding department.

Three or four weeks ago I began weaning MissyMoo2 off the breast and onto the bottle. Besides a few top-up bottle feeds as a newborn, I had been breastfeeding her for the first eight months of her life. But at around eight months old, things had started to change. The first thing was the biting - granted, that only happened on the occasional bad teething day but my very real fear of nipple amputation at the teeth of my daughter started me thinking about weaning. The next thing was what began as her preference for one side over the other, which over time morphed into MissyMoo2 almost exclusively feeding from her favourite side (right) and showing contempt for poor lefty. Then, in an attempt to get her sleeping through the night I gave her a bottle of formula one night before bed to fill her up. It worked. She drank it all up and slept through the night instead of waking for a feed as had been her habit to that point. Then when, after having continued that for the next couple of nights, I gave MissyMoo2 a choice and she laughed at me while grabbing for the bottle, I knew that it was time.

Fast forward to two days ago and MissyMoo2 was down to one breastfeed per day. Things seemed to be going well. But now things seemed to have turned. Since yesterday's mid-morning feed, MissyMoo2 has refused the bottle. She squirms, screams and the clamps her mouth shut when the teat goes near her. I've tried a sippy cup too with much the same result. So now, worried that she will dehydrate I've been offering her breastfeeds again, which she is thankfully accepting, but after 3 weeks of weaning I don't have enough milk to sustain her.

So now, as of tonight, the situation is this: no bottle, formula or cow's milk (tried both to
see if the taste was an issue), no spout cup, only breastfeeding, mainly from one side but with not much milk.

Oh, and she's also teething, which could be contributing to the difficulties.

I've done everything I can think of except buy new spouty bottles but the shops were shut today. Any ideas anyone???


  1. Oh no!! Thankfully the weather has cooled so dehydration is not as much of a concern as it might have been...but still you can't help but worry. From my experience with a fussy baby who did as you described, with the whole refusal thing, a baby will have the bottle if she is thirsty or hungry. A paediatrition told me so, in a way that made me feel like a panicky mum (as they often do!). I would really keep on trying with the bottle, especially if she's doing ok otherwise. Poor you! It was all going so well! Good luck! xo

  2. Hey Fran, Sorry to hear of your feeding troubles! If you're worried about not having enough milk I'm sure you could build up your supply again with more frequent short feeds, even if it is just on one breast. I was sick a little while ago and my supply dropped significantly. But I read up on building my supply (on the Aust Breastfeeding Assoc website) and tried the short frequent feeds (every couple of hours if you can convince bub to cooperate, but she probably will if she's hungry!) for a couple of days and we were all good again.

    We've just been through a MASSIVE bout of teething with Bellarose where she refused to eat, and was constantly grizzly. The only thing that helped was breastfeeding and nurofen. Not a lot of sleep was had by anyone for about a week, but now we have two new teeth to show off!

    Anyway, I hope things settle down for you soon!
    cheers Belinda

  3. Thanks for your comments :-)

    24 hours later and Missy Moo 2 is still refusing the bottle. She also refused to drink from a new spouty cup thingy which I bought today. She played with it and chewed on the spout though so she just might not have known what to do with it.

    I've been offering her breastfeeds a lot today and she's even given lefty a go, so she must have been thirsty! Last night she slept through even without the bottle so I'm hoping we've kicked the habit of the night feed (although now that I've said that, she'll probably wake at 2am for a feed hehe).

    I'm going to have to wean her eventually - I've always said I'd stop by 12 months - so I'm thinking I might just try and get her used to drinking water from a sippy cup. Then she might accept milk from it later on as a matter of course (or that could just be wishful thinking). At least for now I can just put that in the "I'll deal with that later" basket in my mind and thank my lucky stars that I still have a bit of milk and that she's still drinking something. I'm seeing a paediatrician about some other stuff in a few weeks so I'll get his take on all this too...

    It feels weird that a few days ago she was almost fully bottlefeeding and now we seem to be going back to the breast. I feel a little disappointed that the weaning progress of the past few weeks appears to have fallen apart, but it's also kind of nice / familiar / comforting to have her on the breast again. She's only 9 months old, but all her milestones of late, she seems to be growing up so quickly. It's a bit nice to be kind of taking a step backwards and getting a bit of her babyhood back (as long as a don't have to get up to feed her in the middle of the night!!!).

  4. Hiya - might be worth expressing on both sides but particularly the poor unwanted lefty to build up your supply - a day or two of two hourly expressing, even of only a small amount, say 20-30mls will help get your boobs working again :)


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