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My son has weaned himself at 11.5 months


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#1 Amelia Jane

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Posted 08 July 2012 - 08:07 PM

This is just a bit of a woe is me post.

We've had our ups and downs with BFing, it's the hardest thing I've ever done but after using shields for 4 months we got the hang of it and it's been lovely ever since, bar a few biting episodes and nipple pain.

Then, suddenly, on Wednesday night, my son refused the left breast but took the right as usual for his bedtime feed. My left nipple had been really itchy earlier that evening so I just figured he knew it wasn't the same as usual and didn't think much of it. Then he only had a couple of small sucks from the right at his dreamfeed, and Thursday morning it was all over, he wouldn't have a bar of any of it. sad.gif He hasn't touched them since and he screams when I tried to offer him the breast. Tonight I tried again and he didn't scream but he poked at my boob and then looked up at me as if to say 'You're dreaming, mum.'

I always thought that I'd let him make the decision when he was ready, and I was happy to feed for as long as possible, but I never thought it would be this early. I was completely blown away from he suddenly refused out of the blue. It sounds dramatic but I seriously think Thursday was the worst day of my life. It was pure shite from start to finish and my breasts were killing me and my hormones were all over the place, it was just awful. I felt heaps better by Friday but I am still so sad to think that it's all over for us now.

I really had this thing about making it to 12 months, I was having warm fuzzy visions of us curling up in the chair together on the night of his birthday and having a feed and feeling good about making it to 12 months. Obviously that won't happen now, so my new goal is to express enough for him to have some EBM on his birthday and then just forget it after that. He is gulping down the EBM so it's not the taste he doesn't like, it's just me! It is scary how quickly my supply is dropping, I'm expressing twice a day for an hour and getting 20 ml if I'm lucky.

I still can't believe it, I am just so upset about it. sad.gif
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#2 *Clints-girl*

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Posted 08 July 2012 - 08:19 PM

It isn't your period that has him turned off?Sometimes bubs can taste a change a few days before.
If not,it could be a stage,sometimes they can go a few days without and then want it again.
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#3 jantastic

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Posted 08 July 2012 - 08:34 PM

11 months is an incredible accomplishment - especially with the nipple shields for 4 months, congratulations Piper. Seriously, kudos to you.

I know what you mean about 12 months - once I realised I was able to feed well, I wanted to hit that 12 month milestone as well. I had dreams of letting DS continue feeding for as long as he wanted, but once I went back to work I found that switching to expressing one of his three feeds just dropped my supply like you wouldn't believe, (I already had supply issues because I used shields, and had always had to express and feed longer to maintain supply) and it just ended up being too stressful worrying about supply. My DS had his final feed right on 13 months - and I was so sad!

I think your idea of expressing and trying to give him some milk as an alternative until his birthday is a lovely idea. I hope your supply sticks around for you. Keep trying to attach him as well, he may decide that he would like to continue bf for a little longer.

Good luck!

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#4 mango

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Posted 08 July 2012 - 09:24 PM

Oh Rosy sorry to hear it has all ended just before your goal. As the other girls have said maybe its a phase he may resume interest. Otherwise congratulations for being able to feed so long. 11.5months is a massive effort you deserve a massive pat on the back and a splurge on some new gorgeous bras!

#5 nephthys

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Posted 08 July 2012 - 09:39 PM

Awww, it's a perfectly understandable post. I'm still breastfeeding DS2 as well and I'm going to be sad when it's all over.

You did awesome getting to 11 months. Very well done. smile.gif
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#6 CRose

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Posted 08 July 2012 - 09:43 PM

Piper we have had exactly the same thing the last week - poking, looking at me with a no thanks expression she is refusing her night time feed but happily/greedily having the morning one, Annabelle did the same and fed only in the morning until I weaned her at 13 months and if Evie makes it it will be just after 12 months as I have to go away for work. It is all going well for her to self-wean, but I cried last night as I probably won't ever breastfeed a bub to sleep ever again now sad.gif

It isn't unusual for bubs to drop that night time feed around this age if they are eating a big dinner, could you try the morning feed? It is sad but I wouldn't worry about it if he is getting some milk and plenty of solids and water he will be fine, hugs to you though!


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#7 chelley

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Posted 08 July 2012 - 09:51 PM

Well done for making it this far. You may find it is a phase. Keep offering him if you would like to continue. Are you due AF - this can make a difference. Is he teething, I know some bubs who fuss or refuse the breast when a tooth is breaking through.
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#8 Melanie79

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 06:54 AM

We also went though a similar thing with Oliver at 10 months, turns out he was sick and it hurt to suck. I continues to offer and we tried having lots of extra skin to skin time (so bathing together and offering the breastfeeding with us both topless) and he did go back to it and I fed till 22 months. I was devastated too, but don't give up it can be a phase. If not feel very proud of yourself but also know it is ok to mourn this stage being over. Big hugs x

#9 Tigridia

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 07:53 AM

Oh Rosy, I know how important getting to 12 months can be! I've had several episodes of breast refusal and she normally gets over it after a few days. Since my supply has always been super low and I feed with a supply line it and can't express it does mean my supply is even worse for a few days. I normally just keep offering and then give her a bottle or cup if she won't have the boob and then she normally goes back to it. I think expressing in the interim is a good idea, if in a week or so he still interested you might have to call it quits if you don't want to continue with the expressing. Astrid has been terrible with the night time feed for ages. We have just transitioned that one over to a cup feed since she used to muck around so much and bite and pull off etc. She seems happier in the mornings though. Maybe try offerring the boob when he gets up in morning, he might be more interested then.

Honestly, you have done a fabulous job. It is just hard to accept that a special phase is coming to an end. I am struggling a bit with the realisation that feeding is ending very soon for us so I really do know how you feel.
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#10 Amelia Jane

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 09:08 AM

Thanks girls. I had originally thought it might be a stage but after 4ish days of no go I thought this was it forever. He in all likelihood will be our only child and the thought of never doing it again upsets me terribly.

I rang the ABA and the person I spoke to said it is unusual for babies to wean completely out of the blue like this at this age and that it would more likely be a period of breast refusal. I hope that's the case, I'll increase the skin to skin and start bathing with him again and see if I can entice him back. He isn't sick but he is teething, and today he is very very grumpy so he is not his usual self. When he started refusing and I was trying to feed him he seemed upset, almost like he was confused because he wanted it, but didn't want it at the same time, if that makes sense. He was looking at me kind of lost and confused. No sign of my period, the ABA counsellor did suggest that but because he is happily gulping EBM from a cup I don't think the taste is turning him off.

Interestingly, or perhaps not, the breast refusal/weaning coincided with a huge jump in motor development and absolute hatred of lying down and getting his nappy changed. So I will live in hope that it's just a stage! Seriously, 3 weeks ago he could barely hold weight on his legs and now he is running around the house pushing a little wagon thing. Could it all be related?
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Scooby 08/04/13
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#11 Monica

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 09:38 AM

Nina self weened at 7.5 months, I was devestated.
I had a lot of people tell me that babies don't self wean that early but after trying everything others have mentioned and her being so starving I had to supplement with formula and EBM, I coudn't entice her back.

Knowing she was my only made it very hard to accept but once I did, we were both happier.

I just had to be proud of the fact that I made it that far after all we had been through and that I was told I probably wouldn't even be able to breastfeed let alone have the good supply I did for the first 6 months.

I really hope it is just a phase for your little guy, fingers crossed!
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#12 Tigridia

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 11:16 AM

I have found teething and when they learn new things (and being sick) are all times I've had breast refusal so it could be any of those things.

The fact that he is still drinking the EBM is a good sign. Even though your supply will probably drop while expressing hopefully if he feeds again from you it will pick back up in a few days.

Hang in there smile.gif
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#13 CRose

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 04:00 PM

We are back on two feeds, a day Piper after being convinced our night feeds were gone forever - just keep offering and see how he goes

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#14 Amelia Jane

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Posted 17 August 2012 - 12:13 PM

I just thought I would update!

My son didn't go back to BFing. I kept offering but eventually he was screaming even if I just sat down in the feeding chair with him so I stopped. I kept expressing and feeding him from a cup and he had about 40ml of BM a day between when he weaned and 12 months. He had his last cup of BM on his birthday.

So I got to 12 months, kind of, still pretty upset about it but I'll get over it eventually. tongue.gif

I think my supply dropped so quickly because I didn't express for about 24 hours after he first refused the breast. I was a bit shocked and didn't really know what to do and by the time I figured out that I should express, I'd gone through that intensely painful, engorged stage and my breasts were softening up again. I think if I'd been on the ball and expressed straight away after he refused the feed I would have been able to get more milk out for those last couple of weeks. Just in case anyone else has this experience, maybe you can learn from my mistake.

I truly appreciate all the support, you girls are lovely. xoxo
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#15 jantastic

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Posted 17 August 2012 - 01:00 PM

A massive massive congratulations to you on reaching your goal of 12 months - it may not have been the way that you planned, but it worked for your little one, and that's the important thing.

You deserve a huge pat on the back!

And hindsight is really easy - don't beat yourself up about not expressing straight away.

I think you did an amazing job from day 1!

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