Monday, March 28, 2011

Weaning: You Don't Always Have to Play By the Book

I despise the word, wean. Especially when my little P-man doesn't adjust well to change. His personality is completely different compared to his brothers. W had no issues weaning from a formula to milk, bottle to sippy cup, or even taking away his paci. Patrick on the other hand, hates change. I've been working with him trying to get him to take a sippy cup since he was 6 months old (don't bother asking me how bedtime bottle weaning is going). I have tried four or five different sippy's and nothing is working. He will place the cup in his mouth, take a drink, stick out his tongue with disgust, and then toss it like a quarterback would to his wide receiver. I know the more I offer, eventually he will give in, but not without him putting up a fight. I have put water, juice (diluted with h2O of course), and milk...he just isn't having it. I just keep telling myself he won't be taking his bottle with him in his lunch box to kindergarten, oh and that P-man is definitely not W. Even though I'm parenting them both the same, introducing things the same way, etc they each have their own personalities. With that said, I need to let my perfectionisms go, and realize it's not the end of the world if I don't get things done on a certain timeline...more like I'm "weaning" myself from trying to be that "perfect mom". Even though I've always been a trial and error type parent, I'm ready to throw away those books that tell me you HAVE to do this and HAVE to do that. Even though it may work well with one child, it doesn't necessarily mean it work well with the other.

One adjustment P-man made quite easily was his transition to whole milk. He LOVES it. I'm not sure if many of you know, but P-man stopped breastfeeding when he turned nine months old due to a low supply. I first started noticing my low supply after my first postpartum period when he was 8 months old, it took a lot of pumping and nursing around the clock to get it back up, but it was my second postpartum cycle I wasn't able to recover from. I was sad about it, but knew 9 months of breastmilk was a great accomplishment. Anyway, back to the whole milk transition or "wean" from formula... I started adding 1 oz of whole milk to his bottle when he turned 11 months old each week, so for week one I added 6 oz of formula to 1 oz whole milk, week two was 2 oz of whole milk to 5 oz of formula, week three was 3 oz of whole milk to 4 oz of formula, and week for was 4 oz of whole milk to 3 oz of formula. Finally, a few days after he turned one, I gave him 5 oz of whole milk to 1 oz of formula, and he handled the transition perfectly. He didn't have any reactions to the switch like constipation or diarrhea, or any excessive spit ups or gas. He's been drinking close to four 6-8 oz bottle of whole milk a day now, and just squeals in delight when he sees me pouring the milk. I'm very thankful this transition/wean went so smoothly.

Wean is definitely a word most of us as parents dread, because we are unaware of how the child will react. Sometimes it can be a good thing and sometimes it can be a bad thing. I also know weaning doesn't always involve the child, but the parent as well. Letting go or "weaning" from trying to live under perfection is a process, just like that of a child letting go or "weaning" from a bottle. I do have a better understanding of patience, which does come with having a second child.

Instead of putting all my trust into those parenting books, I need to put that trust into my heart, because I'm the only one who truly knows my child, not the text in a book.

“Follow your heart, but be quiet for a while first. Ask questions, then feel the answer. Learn to trust your heart.”


  1. So true! Things will fall into place, in their own time.

  2. I just wrote up this awesome response, and it is gone.... this keeps happening to me.. I should of selected and saved my written post.... I will try to write it again later..... gosh!

  3. All kids are different.
    My kids all were switched to cups at various ages. I watch my kids and evaluate their needs. Every child is unique and their needs are different.

    Grace- switched to cup full time at 11.5 mos.
    Audrey- 28 mos. (and since that day only drinks water)
    Elijah- 10.5 mos.
    Abigail- we nursed and drank a cup until 19 mos.
    Rebecca- same as Abigail

    In this case, I truly believe in mother's instinct. (as long as your child is not endangered, then mother's intuition is the best! some people use it as an excuse to move their child to front facing in their car seat before their bodies are ready, it's not the same thing)

  4. Lord help me, I have also had to stop reading the books, and asking for advice. Even reading a million blogs can be disheartening!!! I KNOW that every child is different, and I KNOW that my child is thriving, and I KNOW that I must be doing something right. But, changes can still be so frustrating, and make you doubt yourself.

  5. So well put. Be confident in your decisions. You have to do what is right for you and your family. That is soo soo sooooo important. I'm still working on that too.