Breastfeeding an older baby

Hi all,

I'm really curious to know how often your older babies breastfed. My almost 11 month old lo is still feeding 4 -5 times daily (ebf) - along with 3 meals and at least two snacks. He and I are happy with this arrangement but I have spoken with some other mums with babies the same age and they all seem to be bfing much less than I am... Also wondering if there will come a time when LO will drop feeds on his own - would love to hear others experiences as I am planning to start giving cows milk when he reaches his first birthday instead of bfing during the day and I'm not sure how to go about it.

12 Replies

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  • Hi, my lo has just had her first birthday. We are still bfing and I'm intending to introduce more cows milk but not done it yet. On average, she bfs first thing in the morning (between 5 and 6), mid-morning, mid-afternoon and at bedtime. Also sometimes once or twice in the night depending on how she is feeling (she's actually slept through a few times recently which was cause for much excitement!). She has three good meals a day and I sometimes give her a solid snack rather than the daytime breastfeeds. Basically, I could drop the daytime b-feeds tomorrow, with no issues but the nighttime and before bedtime feeds are going to be much harder to drop! I'm planning on keeping as we are at the moment as we are both happy with it but I'll be interested to see how you progress with introducing cow's milk if you want to post again!

  • Here's our information on how to stop breastfeeding, no matter what age your child is: nct.org.uk/parenting/how-ca...

  • Hi my baby is 11 months I'm still breastfeeding and she is eating throughout the day small bits at a time I still breastfeed a lot and plan to continue at least until she is 2 there's a very nice group on Facebook of ladies that all breastfeed older babies they ll be able to help you but it depends on the baby some dont stop at all

  • All babies and mums are different - if you are both happy to continue to bf, no reason at all why you shouldn't. Indeed the WHO guidelines state that "exclusive breastfeeding is recommended up to 6 months of age, with continued breastfeeding along with appropriate complementary foods up to two years of age or beyond".

    I breastfed for 21 months (did want to go longer until at least 2 but got pregnant and had some complications so decided to stop). I introduced cow's milk during the day when he was 12 months and started nursery. Tried expressing at work but was difficult and not all that pleasant in a windowless meeting room! It was slightly easier as he started nursery and therefore i wasn't around.

    Don't feel that you "have" to drop feeds just because others are breastfeeding less. The longer you do it the better the benefits. I found that breastfeeding when the little one had started nursery really helped his immune system and he seemed to avoid the nasty diarrohea and vomiting bugs that went around - not so with colds though - constant nursery nose but i guess there are hundreds of different cold viruses.

    There is also a La Leche League book (may be a group/Facebook group in your local area) called How Weaning Happens which might also be worth a read.

  • My 11 month old feeds around the same, if not slightly more if were are at home all day and has three meals and snacks. However if we are out and about he feeds less and drink from a sippy cup. I have four children and have breast fed them all until over 2 years old and never bothered introducing cows milk as a drink (have it in porridge/cereal etc.) during the day as they all seemed happy with water (the older ones) and squash and water with the younger ones. Sorry standards have slipped as I've gone along! I have to admit I've followed their lead but I do find the busier we are during the day the less they ask for it as they are distracted by whatever it is we are doing. When they do feed lots I usually find they are about to go through a growth spurt and the boys have definitely fed for longer and asked for it more than the girls ever have, hope that helps.

  • Thank you everyone, so good to hear your experiences, sometimes I doubt myself when I speak with others and hear that they are doing things differently, I need to be a bit more confident in what I'm doing I think. Will carry on going with the flow for now and will check out the groups / texts suggested. Thanks again :)

  • Hi,

    Wow! Your son has a great appetite! :)

    My son fed very similarly to yours except that he didn't eat much solids at that age. He started eating properly at around 18 months and then he went down to 3 feeds a day. Now he is 2 and still has one bedtime feed. When he feels poorly (e.g. teething) he still feeds 3 times a day. I think it is good to let them feed as they want to (within reason) if you are able to.

    I introduced cow's milk at around 15 months because my son was getting a lot of breastmilk. I just thought that it was enough for him. I gave him water and plant based milks. Not soy though. Now he mainly drinks cow's milk because I am pregnant with our 2nd baby and my milk supply dropped for a while. I am not against cow's milk BTW. I drink a lot myself but I like plant based milks too.

    I hope it makes sense! :)

  • I'm home with my 21 month old every day, and he will quite happily snack on booby on and off all day. He doesn't drink many other fluids, a couple of ounces of formula twice a day and a little bit of very dilute squash, so I'm probably his main source of fluid. He still nurses for his nap and once or twice during the night..

    Actually I'd probably be better just staying at home topless!! He has always nursed on demand, and I've never set any schedules so he used to having it whenever he wants, boredom, ouchies, watching TV, just because and anytime he's close enough to touch them lol. I do envy anyone nursing only 3 or 4 times at this age.

  • Hey, I have a 14 month old and he is still BF, not exclusively now as I am back at work (he was 11 months when I went back), I expressed for a while to keep my supply up for my off days but like others found it tricky to find somewhere private and comfortable to make it work so I decided to drop the morning and afternoon feeds and he had formula at 1st and at around 13 months I started introducing more cows milk. He has a 50/50 mix at the mo. I am still BF breakfast and before bed and I do not know how long this will continue. If I was asked I would simply say, I don't know.

    I also sleep trained so unless teething will most likely sleep through now but I have been known to give a BF on those nights when I just cannot settle him, not for food but for comfort I guess.

    Do what's right for you from day to day and as lifestyle changes etc roll with it, there is no right or wrong, there is just what other people are doing that make you doubt what you are doing, well done you for getting this far with the breast feeding, it does take some commitment and you carry on or not as you see fit xx

  • >>I found that breastfeeding when the little one had started nursery really helped his immune system and he seemed to avoid the nasty diarrohea and vomiting bugs that went around - not so with colds though

    I agree with Irishmama about immunity.

    My son will be 2 next week. BF stopped when he was about 20 / 21 months. He started nursery full time at 14 months. At the time we had 4/ 5 feeds a day on weekend and first thing morning, last thing in the night and one midnight one on weekdays. He had started on cow milk at 12 months. Between 18 to 20 months my milk supply automatically dwindled. And his demand too went down. Not sure what started it but as the supply/demand had increased in early days, it dropped the same way. Feeds went from 3 to 2 to 1 a day and then 1 in two/ three days. Last one he asked was after 5 days break. Naturally there was nothing left! He informed me that 'mommy milk all gone' and asked for milk from fridge. :-)

  • Hello,my three have all really loved their milk. My 16 month old still feeds 3 ish times a day and all through the night! In my experience they are all fully weened before they are 2 and my advice would be to just enjoy it whilst it lasts x

  • #isupportyou

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