Our wee one has been on three meals a day for a few weeks now, and she's taken to it with absolutely no problems whatsoever. However, she was still breast feeding every couple of hours and waking every night at 2.30 on the dot for a feed. As I am due to go back to work soon, and I work 12 hour shifts (day and night shift) it is going to be quite impossible to continue breast feeding. So how do we go about weaning from the breast?
I asked the Health Visitor at our breastfeeding group what I should do. She advised to drop one feed a day. I explained that the wee one has no regular pattern to her feeding (my fault probably, I just fed her as and when she wanted) and that she could feed up to every two hours as well as having three meals through the day, so how would I know which one to cut out? But she just said "pick one and replace it with formula". However he wee one has never taken a bottle and only just takes water from a cup. And formula? Oh my lord, we are going Ito territory I have no idea about.
So I asked another HV at a mum and baby group I go to. Her reaction? "she's six and a half months and on three meals a day? Oh, she should oy be getting milk morning and night" so her advice was to cut down to two breast feeds a day and replace with water.
By this time my head was spinning. I hate conflicting advice. I jut wish there was a set way if doing thigs that were guaranteed to work. Speaking to other mums at that group didn't really help, cos most of their kids were bottle fed so not going trough the same problems.
One breastfeeding mum did help though. She suggested feeds spaces through the day, like 7am, 11am, 3pm and 7pm. Then try to cut down gradually and introduce formula milk in the morning and evening.
So for the last week, we've only been feeding for times through the day. And you know, it's going really well. I've realised that the wee one was feeding mostly out of habit, or boredom and not hunger. Sometimes she will still nuzzle in if she's bored but a little bit of distraction with a toy or music and she's fine.
She's also started sleeping right through the night. Which goes to show she was waking out of habit and I was feeding her out of habit (and to get midnight cuddles too).
In the next couple of weeks we'll try to cut down to three feeds, then eventually two. But for now, I'm still enjoying the cuddles through the day.