Being a Breastfeeding Mother
by Angela Price, Beauty, Style & Family Blogger
A little history of our breastfeeding journey: Liv was strictly breastfed for the first two months of her life. At two months we introduced a bottle (with pumped breast milk) just to give mom a little freedom. From talking with other moms, I knew I wanted to introduce a bottle earlier than later to ensure she would take a bottle. Liv never had a problem with latching or nursing, so I had no reservations about introducing the bottle. She took the bottle fine and would go back to the boob no problem.
At five months Liv was a bit underweight, and I was not able to pump nearly as much as I was in the beginning. Once our freezer supply of breast milk was gone, we introduced formula. I first used the formula to just top her off at night after nursing. By the time she hit eight months, I had given up pumping altogether so when I was not around Liv would get a full bottle of formula. I have to admit I struggled a little with this. Topping her off with formula was one thing, but giving her a full bottle of formula was harder for me. But let me tell you, once the stress of pumping was gone I felt like a new person. I now think that was the best decision I have made so far.
So from 8 to 12 months, Liv got a mix of nursing and formula. I knew I wanted to be done with nursing at 12 months so starting at around 11 months I slowly cut out nursing sessions. By the time she hit 12 months, I was only nursing once, and that was at bedtime.
The week before she turned one, I cut a few of the night nursing and let Carey or my sister (who was in town helping with the move to Kelowna) give her a bottle. She was still wanting to nurse (always putting her hands down my shirt) but was doing way better than we anticipated...this girl LOVED to nurse.
So now it was the time to introduce whole milk. We regularly drink almond milk in our home, and we don't eat much dairy so I went back and forth a lot trying to decide if we would give Liv cows milk. In the end, we decided to. I would prefer raw milk, but that is actually illegal in Quebec (so stupid). So, for now, I am giving her Organic, grass-fed local cows milk. When we are in Washington, I will give her raw milk since it is easy to come by there.
Once we had the milk, we had to start incorporating it into her diet. My girlfriend who has a son about the same age as Liv had great success with adding a little to the bottle each day. So we decided to try that as well. The first night she had 1 oz cows milk with 7 oz formula. Each day we added one oz of cows milk and took away an oz of formula. She eventually went with just cows milk no problem.
While we were already making changes we thought this would be a good time to address the eat/sleep association we had created.
Liv would usually nurse or drink from her bottle until she fell asleep in our arms. So this changed our bedtime routine a bit. Now, she reads her story, gets in PJs and then comes and has her bottle on the couch in the living room. Then at bedtime, we take her to her room, rock her for a minute and then put her in the crib. Of course, she was not happy about this, so we had to let her cry it out. It wasn't too bad though; she never cried more than 10 minutes, and now she cries for maybe 30 seconds.
My original plan was to get rid of the bottle entirely when she went to cows milk. However, she doesn't seem to be ready to give up the bottle, and she is refusing milk from a sippy cup. I wanted to just cut her off cold turkey, but the hubby and I disagreed on this. So we came to an agreement that we would give her until 18 months to get off the bottle.
About the Author
Angela Price is a 30-year-old mother from Washington State who now spends most of her time in Canada. She attended Washington State University (Go Cougs!) where she majored in Marketing and minored in Finance. Her husband Carey Price plays hockey for the Montreal Canadiens, so during the winter months, she resides in Montreal, Quebec. Her summers are spent in Kelowna, British Columbia. She recently gave birth to her first child, a sweet baby girl named Liv. She writes about motherhood, fashion, beauty and home decor on her blog By Angela.
Image Courtesy: Marie Photographe