When Hailey was born my hope was to breastfeed her for 1 year. Do you know how long 1 year seems in the beginning when I cried in pain every time she latched? So imagine my surprise when here we sit, almost 13 months later, still nursing.
I nursed Hailey four times a day at 10 months. Once she turned 11 months, it was three times a day. At 1 year, we dropped to morning and night. Then, we got stuck.
I have no intention of nursing Hailey through her second birthday (not that there is anything wrong with that!), but I wasn’t comfortable dropping nursing all together until she was established on cow’s milk.
Though I considered whether milk was even necessary, then considered all the alternative options, like goat’s milk, I ultimately decided we’d go the classic route of cow’s milk unless Hailey had problems with it. (If you are interested in the discussion of cow’s milk versus other options, Emily wrote a great post about milk options for baby)
About a week before Hailey turned one, I decided to give milk a try.
Hailey grabbed the cup, took a swig, then in shock, opened her mouth and let the white waterfall escape. I guess she was expecting water.
I tried again and she MAYBE had a sip or two before she would just shove it away. Great, my kid that eats everything hates milk.
I thought that was my only concern, until later that day I noticed she had hives. Well, I didn’t know they were hives. They looked like mosquito bites around her wrists and ankles.
She didn’t seem bothered by them and I couldn’t be sure they were from the milk. I had also given her strawberries that day, and though she had eaten those before, allergies can develop overtime. Either way, I didn’t want to bother upset her system with her party only a few days away, so I put the milk away.
After her birthday came and went, I decided it was time to give milk another try. Armed with Benadryl, just in case, I poured milk into her cup. Unfortunately she hadn’t developed a taste for it and took only a sip or two before shoving it away. No hives developed though.
The next day I tried again. A sip or two at best, but again, no hives. By then I felt confident that the hives were a freak accident. Though relieved at that fact, I still had a challenge. Hailey hated milk.
I asked the doctor what to do and she suggested I give her soy or sweeten the milk, since breast milk is much sweeter than cow’s milk. Neither option sat right with me, until I realized I didn’t necessarily have to sweeten the milk with sugar. I could use fruit.
Thus, banana milk was born. (I kid, I doubt I’m the first one to think of this).
I started blending 1/2 a banana with 5-6 ounces of milk. It worked. Where as Hailey had been drinking an ounce at most, she started drinking 3-4 ounces throughout the day. Success!
She is now drinking about 6 ounces of banana milk throughout the day. I feel successful with that. I plan on upping the amount to 10-14 ounces a day, blended with a whole banana, then slowly wean off on the banana and give my magic bullet a break.
Now that she’s drinking milk (or banana smoothies- it’s all how you market it ), I feel more comfortable weaning.
She nurses about 10 minutes total in the morning and only about 5 at night, so I plan on dropping the night feeding soon.
I’d be lying if I said emotionally I was fine with being done with breastfeeding. I’m not 100% there yet. Though I look forward to the freedom and I feel confident Hailey’s nutritional needs are being met, it means saying goodbye to a very special chapter in my life.
Though I know I can’t nurse her forever, nor do I want to, I think when I get to the final morning nursing session, I might shed a few tears.
I’ll be back to discuss different types of cow’s milk and what Hailey is drinking, but I figured I’ve chatted your ear off enough for one day!
Did your child like milk immediately?
What kind of milk does your child drink?