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Weaning My 14 Month Old – Help!

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When I was pregnant with Aiden, I knew I wanted to breastfeed because off all the great health benefits. The Alpha Parent’s timeline really shed light for me on all the milestones reached through breastfeeding up until 1 year.

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When Aiden was 1 week old and my nipples felt shredded and I was using pranic breathing to get through the first 15 seconds of his latch, I thought 1 year sounded like an eternity, but at 14 months, I’m here to say they went pretty fast and we are still breastfeeding 3-4 times per day depending on varying factors such as night time sleep and if he needs extra comfort from teething or being under the weather.

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It has recently crossed my mind that weaning could happen in the next few months and honestly, I feel a little unprepared.  David and I do not consume dairy in our diets due to the health benefits of skipping it.   If you’re interested in why you should potentially skip dairy, click here.  Anyways, I feel like in our society, most families wean their children off of formula or breastmilk around the time their baby turns one and then they switch over to cow’s milk.

I don’t think that cow’s milk is the best option for Aiden, so I’m trying to figure out some other options, including if any milk is actually necessary.  I think that Aiden gets enough nutrients from his diet and when we stop breastfeeding, I’ll be honed into making sure of that even more.  We do feed him a little bit of greek yogurt right now and he absolutely loves it.  I like the strains of probiotics, calcium, protein, and fat he gets from it.

I’m wondering how many times Aiden would need to drink some form of milk once we wean.  Right now, he’s only drinking breastmilk when he wakes up, before his nap, before bed and if he wakes in the night, so basically for comfort only.  However, I know it’s providing good nutrients.

I think I need to start offering him some form of milk if I plan on incorporating that into his diet at some point, so here is my research on different types of milk.

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An Overview of the Different Types of Milk

Goat’s Milk

The issue with cow’s milk points to the composition of the casein (milk protein) in it.  This is the component that causes the health problems with cow’s milk.  Goat’s milk casein is molecularly different and not as harmful as the casein in cow’s milk.  I might try this with Aiden because the nutritional profile is still very good.

Almond, Coconut and Rice Milk

David and I use coconut and almond milk as a great substitute for cow’s milk.  Almond milk still has lots of nutrients, but the calories are a lot lower, which is nice for an adult.  A child, however, needs those calories that a high in fat milk provides for the significant brain and body development they are undergoing.  I think Aiden would be missing some of the fat if I were to fully use these types of milk – although we do give him cod liver oil for DHA and other essential fatty acids.

Hemp Milk

Hemp milk has a great nutritional profile and I would use this milk if it wasn’t for one thing – carrageenan.  This is an additive in many health foods now and new research is now coming out about it that it causes intestinal inflammation, ulcerations and even malignant tumors.  Had it not been for that, I would have ordered the Living Harvest Tempt Hemp Milk today.

Dairy-Free Cultures

Many other cultures practice extended breastfeeding until the age of 2-3 for these nutrients, so there is no need for them to incorporate another form of milk.  Breastmilk is definitely the healthiest option for babies, but I do not feel like I am cut out to breastfeed Aiden until he is 3 years old – mad props to those mamas who do!

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What Do We Do?

I’m honestly still trying to figure this out.  The process of weaning looks a little different for every family and situation.  I don’t think there is a right way to do it.  

I think I am going to try offering him some organic goat’s milk and see how he does.  A couple weeks ago, I randomly offered him some almond milk to see if he would even drink it and he spit it right back out.  I think this is going to be a process for sure!

Questions:

What kind of milk did you give your kids (if any)?

How long did they drink milk?

How did bedtime weaning go?  I know that you’re not supposed to have kids drink milk and then go to bed because of dental health, so how does that work?

HELP!

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10 Responses to Weaning My 14 Month Old – Help!

  1. Courtney says:

    Aria just gets whole cow milk, and she never had a problem accepting it in place of breastmilk. I make her oatmeal with it and she’s been having that since 9/10 months or something.
    As far as nighttime milk, Aria just went from nursing at night to stories with both parents kisses and bed…no milk no water. She gets her last water before her bath or during if she asks. She didn’t have any problems going from nursing to no nursing at night. Aiden might not even care in the end!

    • Ali Damron says:

      Thanks for that Courtney. I was hoping that Aiden just went from breastfeeding to nothing too, but I wasn’t sure. How many times a day do you give Aria cow’s milk?

  2. Tania says:

    ah, I’m in the same situation! 13 months, I (kind of) want to completely wean him, hopefully completely by August, but he’s not having it so far! So far I’ve given my little guy whole milk, he liked it, but would only take a few sips. LOVES water, and he eats plenty of cheese and yogurt, so I’m not pushing the milk on him. But I am lost on how to get him to wean! I keep telling myself it will happen when he’s ready. good luck!

    • Ali Damron says:

      Yeah… Aiden loves water and his yogurt, so I feel like that is sufficient too. Sometimes I really want Aiden to wean, but other times I think it’s me that is complicating the process. I kinda feel like if he’s going to drink milk, it might as well be mine? I don’t know…

  3. tonya says:

    Ali,
    It has been a quite a few years since I had to think about this. I gave Riley whole milk from age one to two. My pediatrician recommended it, but this was 8 yrs ago so I am sure some of that has changed. At age two switched to two percent and he has been drinking that since. It did take Riley a little time to get used to it. What I did was start with a bottle with 1/4 cows milk to 3/4 breast milk. I slowly decreased the amount of breast milk until he was on all cows milk.

    I weaned my little guy by taking one feeding away at a time. When he got used to not having that feeding I would take another away, and so on until it was done. I was always worried about fluid intake so I kept a cup within his reach so he could grab it as needed during the day. I will admit that I used a bottle at night if he wouldn’t go back to sleep,one of my biggest regrets. He was not a sleeper and in my pure exhaustion I caved. I also gave him two cavities by age 2. I would suggest keeping a snippy cup with water by his bed just in case he may need a drink. He is a handsome little man and will be quite happy and healthy no matter what you decide. Good luck.

    • Ali Damron says:

      Thanks so much for your input. I think I’ll have to do the 1/4:3/4 ratio too and then go from there. I think it’s me that doesn’t feel quite ready to start weaning… I’m not sure. It’s a weird predicament.

  4. Alyssa says:

    So glad to read this posted, as i will be in the same situation very soon. Someone recently told me if you don’t want to give dairy you can give them almond milk and full fat coconut milk. I have not done my research at all. I will probably stick to organic whole milk just cause i would be nervous i would be making him miss some vital nutrients, but that is just me! Keep us updated when you decide what you are going to do!

    ps. Thanks for your post on the Stamped Life before….i received a beautiful necklace for mothers day:)

    • Ali Damron says:

      I’m glad that you got a necklace! I still love mine too:) As for the milk debate, I think I’m going to try organic goat’s milk and see how that does. I am up in the air about almond and coconut milk too, but I know that goat’s milk has the necessary nutrients – it’s just dairy, but a better-for-you dairy. Let me know what you do too!

  5. […] off, thank you for your supportive comments on Monday’s post.  They all helped me gain a little more clarity on the weaning […]

  6. […] been worried about how and when I’m supposed to wean Aiden from breastfeeding and how hard it’s going to be, but just now, I’ve realized that I don’t have to […]

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My name is Ali Damron & this is my home for sharing my chaotic motherhood lifestyle, attempts at newfound recipes, & how I stay fit out here in Denver, Colorado. Thanks for stopping by!



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