Skip to Content

Partial weaning turned out to be a good thing

With both my sons, my plan was to nurse exclusively until six months, then slowly do partial weaning until one year, and then encourage {and I mean encourage! but gently! lol} self-weaning from there.

I figured this would mean full weaning by around thirteen months. But the reality…

partial weaning

How solid foods worked out with partial weaning:

Both boys took little tastes of cereal, yogurt, and avocado around five and a half months, because of their interest in food. We introduced foods regularly at six months. So that part went about according to plan.

My first son, I fed purees (smooth and then gradually chunkier) for awhile, because I was always afraid of choking hazards. Results: When we switched to finger foods, he tended to “gulp” large chunks at once – like blueberries – hardly chewing at all. I had to teach him how to chew at least to a count of five before swallowing! Also, he took a long time to want to feed himself with a fork and spoon and even until earlier this year; he COULD and WOULD feed himself, however, he was always asking us to spoon feed him. And, sometimes I would, because he’s the light eater, so my worry about him not getting enough to eat played into this!

With our second son, I tried to follow baby-led weaning (self-feeding) practices more closely. I gave him real/whole foods that he could gnaw, suck, and chew on pretty much from the outset. Things like crackers and bananas. Because he was always hungry, I did feed him purees but encouraged him to reach for the spoon and try to get it into his mouth himself more. Result: He learned how to use his jaw to chew early on. His gag reflex is very strong, so if he got a piece that was too big, he’d chew a few times, then spit it out, indicating I needed to chop it up more. He’s a “big eater” at just about every meal.

I’m not sure if the differences in feeding styles have anything to do with how much they each prefer to eat or not.

partial weaning

How breastfeeding worked out with partial weaning:

Both boys nursed round the clock until a year, even while starting on foods. At one year, both were pretty much breastfeeding upon waking/breakfast, lunch, nap, dinner, bedtime. My oldest was not sleeping through the night yet at a year so he also was nursing one time in the night.

At a year, I started dropping a feed at a mealtime every week or so and replacing with milk or water at those meal times. Neither child fussed about this.

My oldest fully weaned around sixteen months of age. Our baby is fourteen and a half months, and is just about fully weaned. He still likes to nurse a little bit upon waking and a little bit at bedtime, depending on his moods and teething pain.

I keep thinking the baby is going to just “forget” to nurse one day, and be fully weaned (for real! *tears!*), but he still shows interest off and on. In a way, I’m glad he’s still nursing a little bit because: we had a thunderstorm at camp that frightened him, he got a fever, he broke three teeth at once… all good times to use breastfeeding to calm a baby.

So partial weaning has turned out to be a good thing for us.

I don’t have to drop everything during the day to nurse him, yet when he’s ill, frightened, or fussy, I still have a way to comfort him. Plus, the snuggles are great too!

And I get to keep wearing these comfortable nursing bras from Leading Lady! If I didn’t KNOW they were nursing bras, I’d never know… you know? They are flexible, seamless, and totally not bulky or strappy like other nursing bras I’ve owned.

I’ll definitely miss those snuggles once he’s fully weaned. But guess what? I’ll still keep wearing these nursing bras! haha!

Did you use self-weaning, or gentle weaning with your babies? How did the partial weaning phase go for you? 

breastfeeding partial weaningAlthough THIS post is not sponsored by Leading Lady bras, I did receive product samples for a promotion earlier this year.

Sonya Morris

Monday 30th of September 2013

I love the Leading Lady nursing bras as well!! They are the best!!

Sonya Morris

Monday 30th of September 2013

I love the Leading Lady nursing bras as well!! They are the best!!

Trisha W.

Monday 30th of September 2013

Thanks for sharing your story Julie. I know lots of my kids held onto the morning and bedtime nursing sessions. Eventually it dropped to just bed time with most of them. It was nice having milk on hand for times like you mentioned.

Trisha W.

Monday 30th of September 2013

Thanks for sharing your story Julie. I know lots of my kids held onto the morning and bedtime nursing sessions. Eventually it dropped to just bed time with most of them. It was nice having milk on hand for times like you mentioned.

103 Shares
Share
Tweet
Pin103
Share
Yum