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Time to start weaning?

Posted by on Apr. 28, 2013 at 9:20 PM
  • 12 Replies

DD is almost 10 months old. The past week or so DH has been dropping hints that he thinks it's time to start weaning. He'll say something along the lines of "They're your boobs but..."

We have a friend that has a LO two weeks younger than mine. She's starting to wean him now and giving him whole milk instead of breast milk during the day. She's just trying to start her LO on things way too early IMO (and that's a whole other can of worms lol), but from DH's perspective, it's like "Her son is already eating/drinking this, maybe we should do it too"

Like earlier today, she was distracted while trying to nurse, and latched on a bit too hard with her teeth, not wuite a bite, more like a nip. DH said "It seems like she's getting more teeth, maybe she should start weaning cuz it looks like that hurts" I told him I wanted to start weaning between 12 and 18 months, and he suggested I start doing it now so when she IS that age she will already be weaned. ANd he said maybe I should start feeding her more solids during the day, but she already gets one or two small meals during the day. (I say small because she wants to feed herself and I'm not sure how much actually gets in her mouth lol)

He was all for me breastfeeding when she was a little baby, but now that's she's bigger and almost walking, I think it's starting to make him a little uncomfortable

by on Apr. 28, 2013 at 9:20 PM
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by on Apr. 28, 2013 at 9:22 PM
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Maybe explain to him the benefits of breastfeeding until a year, if you haven't already. Tell him that your friend has started her LO on milk too early, that it's not supposed to be until they are a year. Even doctors will tell you that. Good luck, I hope you are able to keep going.
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by on Apr. 28, 2013 at 9:23 PM
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just tell him this.... before one year, every feeding she does not recieve at the breast she will have to get from formula and a small can of formula (enough to last maybe 4 days) is $15... still want me to start weaning from breast milk?
by Bronze Member on Apr. 28, 2013 at 9:33 PM
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I have a friend doing  same thing! He grabs her shirt to nurse and she wont. She will only nurse in morning, nap and bed. I thought it was supposed to be on demand and before meals for at least a year. He's only 10 months! Keep at it, you're doing the right thing!

by Gina on Apr. 28, 2013 at 11:04 PM

On you will find info on the benefits of breastfeeding past a year.

What also tends to impress husbands: Michael Jordan & Albert Einstein were both breastfed till age three!

by Kate on Apr. 28, 2013 at 11:06 PM

Breastfeeding Past Infancy: Fact Sheet


By Kelly Bonyata, BS, IBCLC

PDF version (great for printing) | Bulgarian

Breastfeeding benefits toddlers and young children…
nutritionally, immunologically and psychologically.

Breastfeeding contributes to your child’s NUTRITION

  • Although there has been little research done on children who breastfeed beyond the age of two, the available information indicates that breastfeeding continues to be a valuable source of nutrition and disease protection for as long as breastfeeding continues.
  • “Human milk expressed by mothers who have been lactating for >1 year has significantly increased fat and energy contents, compared with milk expressed by women who have been lactating for shorter periods. During prolonged lactation, the fat energy contribution of breast milk to the infant diet might be significant.”
    – Mandel 2005
  • In a study of 250 toddlers in western Kenya, breastmilk provided, on average, 32% of the child’s total energy intake. “Breast milk made an important contribution to the fat and vitamin A intakes of toddlers in this community.”
    – Onyango 2002
  • “Breast milk continues to provide substantial amounts of key nutrients well beyond the first year of life, especially protein, fat, and most vitamins.”
    – Dewey 2001
  • In the second year (12-23 months), 448 mL of breastmilk provides:
    • 29% of energy requirements
    • 43% of protein requirements
    • 36% of calcium requirements
    • 75% of vitamin A requirements
    • 76% of folate requirements
    • 94% of vitamin B12 requirements
    • 60% of vitamin C requirements

    – Dewey 2001

  • Studies done in rural Bangladesh have shown that breastmilk continues to be an important source of vitamin A in the second and third year of life.
    – Persson 1998
  • It’s not uncommon for weaning to be recommended for toddlers who are eating few solids. However, this recommendation is not supported by research. Research does indicate that in situations where breastfed toddlers have an increased risk of malnutrition, this appears to be due to inadequate complementary feeding or reverse causality (the mother is more likely to continue breastfeeding a child who is ill or growing poorly). In one study of 250 toddlers in Kenya, solid food intake increased after weaning, but not enough to replace all the fat, vitamin A, and niacin that the child had been getting via breastfeeding (Onyango 2002).  According to Sally Kneidel in “Nursing Beyond One Year” (New Beginnings, Vol. 6 No. 4, July-August 1990, pp. 99-103.):  Some doctors may feel that nursing will interfere with a child’s appetite for other foods. Yet there has been no documentation that nursing children are more likely than weaned children to refuse supplementary foods. In fact, most researchers in Third World countries, where a malnourished toddler’s appetite may be of critical importance, recommend continued nursing for even the severely malnourished (Briend et al, 1988; Rhode, 1988; Shattock and Stephens, 1975; Whitehead, 1985). Most suggest helping the malnourished older nursing child not by weaning but by supplementing the mother’s diet to improve the nutritional quality of her milk (Ahn and MacLean. 1980; Jelliffe and Jelliffe, 1978) and by offering the child more varied and more palatable foods to improve his or her appetite (Rohde, 1988; Tangermann, 1988; Underwood, 1985).


Breastfeeding contributes to your child’s HEALTH

  • The American Academy of Family Physicians notes that children weaned before two years of age are at increased risk of illness (AAFP 2008).
  • Breastfeeding toddlers between the ages of one and three have been found to have fewer illnesses, illnesses of shorter duration, and lower mortality rates  (Mølbak 1994, van den Bogaard  1991, Gulick 1986).
  • “Antibodies are abundant in human milk throughout lactation” (Nutrition During Lactation1991; p. 134). In fact, some of the immune factors in breastmilk increase in concentration during the second year and also during the weaning process. (Lawrence & Lawrence 2011, Goldman 1983, Goldman & Goldblum 1983, Institute of Medicine 1991).
  • Per the World Health Organization“a modest increase in breastfeeding rates could prevent up to 10% of all deaths of children under five: Breastfeeding plays an essential and sometimes underestimated role in the treatment and prevention of childhood illness.” [emphasis added]


Breastfeeding contributes to your child’s INTELLECTUAL DEVELOPMENT

  • Extensive research on the relationship between cognitive achievement (IQ scores, grades in school) and breastfeeding has shown the greatest gains for those children breastfed the longest.


Breastfeeding contributes to your child’s MENTAL and SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT

  • A couple of studies have shown a positive relationship between longer breastfeeding duration and social development.
    – Duazo 2010, Baumgartner 1984
  •  “A shorter duration of breastfeeding may be a predictor of adverse mental health outcomes throughout the developmental trajectory of childhood and early adolescence.”
    – Oddy 2010
  • According to Elizabeth N. Baldwin, Esq. in “Extended Breastfeeding and the Law”:
    Breastfeeding is a warm and loving way to meet the needs of toddlers and young children. It not only perks them up and energizes them; it also soothes the frustrations, bumps and bruises, and daily stresses of early childhood. In addition, nursing past infancy helps little ones make a gradual transition to childhood.
  • Baldwin continues: “Meeting a child’s dependency needs is the key to helping that child achieveindependence. And children outgrow these needs according to their own unique timetable.”Children who achieve independence at their own pace are more secure in that independence then children forced into independence prematurely.


Breastfeeding your child past infancy is NORMAL

  • The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that “Breastfeeding should be continued for at least the first year of life and beyond for as long as mutually desired by mother and child… Increased duration of breastfeeding confers significant health and developmental benefits for the child and the mother… There is no upper limit to the duration of breastfeeding and no evidence of psychologic or developmental harm from breastfeeding into the third year of life or longer.”(AAP 2012, AAP 2005)
  • The American Academy of Family Physicians recommends that breastfeeding continue throughout the first year of life and that “As recommended by the WHO, breastfeeding should ideally continue beyond infancy, but this is not the cultural norm in the United States and requires ongoing support and encouragement. It has been estimated that a natural weaning age for humans is between two and seven years. Family physicians should be knowledgeable regarding the ongoing benefits to the child of extended breastfeeding, including continued immune protection, better social adjustment, and having a sustainable food source in times of emergency. The longer women breastfeed, the greater the decrease in their risk of breast cancer.” They also note that “If the child is younger than two years of age, the child is at increased risk of illness if weaned.” (AAFP 2008)
  • The Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine affirms breastfeeding beyond infancy as the biological norm. “The average age at weaning ranges anywhere from six months to five years… Claims that breastfeeding beyond infancy is harmful to mother or infant have absolutely no medical or scientific basis,” says Arthur Eidelman, MD, president of the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine.  “Indeed, the more salient issue is the damage caused by modern practices of premature weaning.”  The global organization of physicians further notes that“Human milk contains nutrients, antibodies, and immune-modulating substances that are not present in infant formula or cow’s milk. Longer breastfeeding duration is further associated with reduced maternal risks of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and heart attack.” (ABM 2012)
  • US Surgeon General has stated that it is a lucky baby who continues to nurse until age two. (Novello 1990)
  • The World Health Organization emphasizes the importance of nursing up to two years of age or beyond (WHO 1993, WHO 2002).
  • Scientific research by Katherine A. Dettwyler, PhD shows that 2.5 to 7.0 years of nursing is what our children have been designed to expect (Dettwyler 1995).

References [see also position statements supporting breastfeeding]

MOTHERS also benefit from breastfeeding for a longer duration

  • Extended nursing delays the return of fertility in some women by suppressing ovulation (References).
  • Breastfeeding reduces the risk of breast cancer (References). Studies have found a significant inverse association between duration of lactation and breast cancer risk.
  • Breastfeeding protects against osteoporosis. During lactation a mother may experience decreases of bone mineral. A nursing mom’s bone mineral density may be reduced in the whole body by 1 to 2 percent while she is still nursing. This is gained back, and bone mineral density may actually increase, when the baby is weaned from the breast. This is not dependent on additional calcium supplementation in the mother’s diet. (References).
  • Breastfeeding reduces the risk of rheumatoid arthritis (References).
  • Breastfeeding reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease (References).
  • Breastfeeding has been shown to decrease insulin requirements in diabetic women. There is also a decreased risk of Type 2 diabetes mellitus in mothers who do not have a history of gestational diabetes (References).
  • Breastfeeding moms may lose weight easier (References).


Additional Resources

Extended Breastfeeding Links @ 

Extended Breastfeeding References @ 

by Kate on Apr. 28, 2013 at 11:07 PM

Is it safe to use cow’s milk or other milks as a supplement to breastfeeding?

AUGUST 2, 2011. Posted in: MILK

By Kelly Bonyata, IBCLC

  • Goat’s Milk
  • General Guidelines

    In general, only breastmilk or formula should be used if your baby is less than six months old.

    Between six and twelve months, supplementing with solids (instead of formula) or very small amounts of cow, goat, soy or rice milk is less of a problem, as long as baby is still nursing for themajority of milk intake and baby is not allergic. However, babies under a year are more at risk for allergic reactions (see below) so it can be a good idea to wait.

    After a year, other milks may be used, but are not needed (other sources provide the same nutrients). It’s recommended that you limit the amount of cow’s milk that your child receives (possibly other milks too, except breastmilk) to 2-3 cups (16-24 ounces) per day. Too much cow’s milk in a child’s diet can put him at risk for iron-deficiency anemia (because milk can interfere with the absorption of iron) and decrease the child’s desire for other foods. More here on cow’s milk after a year

    Cow’s Milk

    Use of cow’s milk before a year is controversial among experts. You might want to get your baby’s doctor’s opinion on this.

    The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends NO cow’s milk until after the first birthday.

    Cow’s milk is more specific to a baby cow than a baby human. Cow’s milk formula is based on cow’s milk but has been engineered to be closer to human milk (still a ways off, but closer). Many infants still have problems with cow’s milk formula (allergies, GI problems, etc.). Babies who are exposed to cow’s milk before their first birthday are more likely to be anemic, have diarrhea or vomiting, and/or experience an allergic reaction (the proteins in milk are more numerous than those in other milk products, such as the yogurt). The excessive protein load in cow’s milk can also overload a baby’s kidneys. It is deficient in vitamins C, E, and copper. It is harder to digest as well, often causing intestinal blood loss. A number of studies have also indicated that early introduction of cow’s milk may contribute to the development of Insulin-Dependent Diabetes Mellitus.

    Others see no problem with starting cow’s milk toward the end of the first year unless there is a family history of allergy to it. Dr. Jack Newman, a renowned expert in the lactation field, is one of these. See the “Breastmilk, cow’s milk, formula, outside work and bottles” section of his articleBreastfeeding and Other Foods. Notice that he qualifies this advice with the importance of the baby being well-established on a variety of solids and continuing to be breastfed (both of which should help make up for what cow’s milk can’t offer at this age). He also suggests that supplemental milk of any kind is not all that necessary if the baby is allowed to nurse frequently when with mom. He suggests offering the baby solid foods with some water or small amounts of juice instead.

    Yogurt and cheese

    Some experts consider yogurt and cheese to be okay for most babies after 6 months. Others prefer waiting until 9-12 months. Of course, if baby has a cow’s milk allergy or there is a strong history of allergy to cow’s milk in the family, yogurt, cheese and all other foods made with cow’s milk should be avoided until 12 months or later. The main difference between yogurt and milk is that the lactose in yogurt has been converted into lactic acid. Cheese differs from milk in two ways: the whey proteins are drained off in the cheese-making process (so only casein proteins remain), and the curdling enzymes break down the casein proteins into smaller protein molecules. For babies and toddlers, try to find the whole milk yogurt (not low or no fat), and avoid the yogurt with artificial sweeteners lots of sugary fruits. 

    Additional Information on Cow’s Milk

    Michaelsen KF. Cows’ milk in complementary feeding. Pediatrics. 2000 Nov;106(5):1302-3.

    American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Nutrition: The use of whole cow’s milk in infancy. Pediatrics. 1992 Jun;89(6 Pt 1):1105-9.

    Breastfeeding and Other Foods by Jack Newman, MD, FRCPC

    Milk & Gruel May Be Cruel by Lynn M. Johnson. “Giving cow or goat’s milk and solids too soon is unhealthy for tiny tummies.”

    Yogurt for infants? by Sue Gilbert, Consulting Nutritionist

    Cow’s milk for nursing toddlers? @  also discusses other sources for the nutrients in cow’s milk

    Calcium @  Lots more info here on cow’s milk and substitutes

    see also the Nutrition Comparisons below

    Goat’s Milk

    Using goat’s milk before 6 months or regular use between 6 and 12 months is not recommended. Goat’s milk is no more appropriate to give baby than cow’s milk. If you need to supplement and breastmilk is not available, formulas are a more nutritionally complete product. There are several comparisons of goat vs. cow vs. human milk in the links below. Using this information, goat milk is much closer in composition to cow milk than human milk. Goat’s milk is high in sodium (like cow’s milk) and is very high in chloride and potassium, which makes the renal solute load too high for babies. This can cause gastrointestinal bleeding and can result in anemia and poor growth (these problems are usually undetected until months later). Goat milk is also deficient in folic acid, which can lead to megaloblastic anemia. Also, infants who are allergic to cow’s milk protein are often allergic to goat’s milk too.

    While it’s true that whole goats milk (and whole cow’s milk) was commonly used prior to the advent of infant formulas it is also true that the infant mortality and morbidity rate during the times of such substitutions was very high.

    Additional Information on Goat’s Milk


    What About Goat’s Milk? by Lynn M. Johnson. “Goat milk is touted as having exceptional nutritional value over cow’s milk, but for tiny tummies it just doesn’t measure up.”

    Why formula instead of goat’s milk? by Sue Gilbert, Consulting Nutritionist

    Goat’s milk as supplement to breastmilk? by Sue Gilbert, Consulting Nutritionist

    Can I … use goat’s milk? from

    Got Goat’s Milk? from (just keep in mind that he is advertising particular brand of goat’s milk here)

    Basnet S, Schneider M, Gazit A, Mander G, Doctor A. Fresh Goat’s Milk for Infants: Myths and Realities–A Review. Pediatrics. 2010 Apr;125(4):e973-7.

    Pessler F, Nejat M. Anaphylactic reaction to goat’s milk in a cow’s milk-allergic infant. Pediatr Allergy Immunol. 2004 Apr;15(2):183-5.

    Hendriksz CJ, Walter JH. Feeding infants with undiluted goat’s milk can mimic tyrosinaemia type 1. Acta Paediatr. 2004 Apr;93(4):552-3.

    Infante Pina D, Tormo Carnice R, Conde Zandueta M. Use of goat’s milk in patients with cow’s milk allergy. An Pediatr (Barc). 2003 Aug;59(2):138-42.

    Nutrition comparisons

    Comparison of Nutritional Content of Various Milks by David B. Fankhauser, Ph.D.

    Dairy Goat Milk Composition by John C. Bruhn, PhD, Dairy Research and Information Center, University of California, Davis

    Comparing Milk: Human, Cow, Goat & Commercial Infant Formula compiled and referenced by Stephanie Clark, PhD

    Why Goat Milk? by George F. W. Haenlein

    Goat Milk and Its Use as a Hypo-Allergenic Infant Food by Dr. H.P. Maree, MBChB 

    Goat Milk Formula

    Goat’s Milk Formula from (just keep in mind that he is advertising particular brand of goat’s milk here)

    Dairy Goat Co-operative (N.Z.) Ltd New Zealand manufacturer of goat milk formula

    Bambinchen goat milk formula German manufacturer of goat milk formula

    by on Apr. 28, 2013 at 11:12 PM
    1 mom liked this
    My dh said things like that too. I started withholding the boob a few times a day, like before meals. My dh noticed the change and he told me I was right when I said he wasn't ready. He was 13 months at the time. I decided I'm going to keep letting him nurse on demand until after he turns two, which is what the who recommends. By then ill also be nursing a nb. Babies are supposed to get breastmilk until they can eat enough food to sustain themselves. My theory is why take away what is made for him to give him substitutes or milk made for other species?
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    by on Apr. 28, 2013 at 11:18 PM

    My friend is convinced that anything her doctor tells her is ok. And I don't know if her doctor REALLY tells her these things or if she's just saying that to justify her descisions. Her son has been eating solids since three months, at six months he was eating cupcakes, nine months and drinking cow's milk and forward facing in his car seat. O.O I've tried explaining how unsafe everything listed above is, but "her doctor told her to do it"

    Quoting K8wizzo:

     Babies who are exposed to cow’s milk before their first birthday are more likely to be anemic, have diarrhea or vomiting, and/or experience an allergic reaction (the proteins in milk are more numerous than those in other milk products, such as the yogurt). The excessive protein load in cow’s milk can also overload a baby’s kidneys. It is deficient in vitamins C, E, and copper. It is harder to digest as well, often causing intestinal blood loss. A number of studies have also indicated that early introduction of cow’s milk may contribute to the development of Insulin-Dependent Diabetes Mellitus.

    by Member on Apr. 28, 2013 at 11:22 PM

    10 months is to soon for cows milk. Breast milk or formula till a year. I would tell your DH that you are breastfeeding till you or the baby decides you want to wean and its a simple as that. I would tell him that just because other people are doing diffrent that does not mean you need to do the same thing. 

    by on Apr. 29, 2013 at 11:21 AM
    I know exally what your feeling my hb is the same way. I still give breast only, but I give it in bottle in day and after 4 pm I give from breast... Jr is 8 month he has three meal and two snacks. Jr weighs at last vist at 6 months he was 16 lbs 4 oz and 26 1/2 inches.
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