Q & A: dropping down to nursing twice a day
Hey it’s half way through the week. Whoop! Our little family is going away for the weekend, which makes me look forward to Friday even more. Today we’re talking food, but not so much recipes. Hunter food. The boob food.
Between 9 and 10 months we made a big switch in our daily nursing routine. At 9 months he was nursing 4-5 times a day. Then at 10 months we dropped down to 2-3. Now at almost 11 months we are just at twice a day. When I originally made the switch to less than 4, I had lots of questions, so to the internet I went searching… and I came up disappointed. I couldn’t find that much info on when or how to do it. So I went with my mommy instinct and dove in. While I am no expert in nursing or babies, I thought it would be helpful to answer the questions that I had, in hopes I can help another mom out there. This is what worked for Hunter and I. Remember, every baby is different!
I should also note that Hunter does not feed on demand. While we do follow the baby led weaning approach for his food, I did not follow the ‘let him nurse whenever’ approach. We have a flexible routine, which I’ll outline, but it’s still a routine none the less.
When does Hunter nurse?
In the morning before breakfast. If he wakes before 7am, I’ll have him play for a bit until 7am, then we nurse and have breakfast. If he wakes after 7am I nurse him right when he wakes. He nurses again at 7pm before getting ready for bed.
When did you know that Hunter was ready to drop a feeding?
A few months ago I remember reading about some other babies that nursed just twice a day, that were the same age as Hunter. I thought to myself, I don’t think Hunter will ever get there! Well, at the time he wasn’t ready. He was eating solids well, but still I think his solids vs. nursing was split 50/50. Then around 10 months (or a little before), I decided one day to just try nursing 3 times – morning ,mid day and before bed. On that day he instantly made a switch to eating more solids. He didn’t fuss about nursing less, it just seemed natural. I was already at the point where he was eating solids first, and then nursing.
How old was he when he dropped a feeding?
Between 9-10 months he dropped down from 4-5 times a day, to 2-3 times a day. Now at 10 1/2 months he only nurses twice a day.
How did we drop the feedings?
Cutting out the midday feeding was a more gradual thing. He would eat lunch between 11-12pm, then I would nurse him about an hour later. He didn’t always seem to need it, but I did it anyway. Then one day we were busy and I just forgot. Thankfully he didn’t seem to mind. For a couple weeks he would want it (he’d get fussy), so I’d nurse him. Then last week I just decided not to anymore and it’s been fine. He eats soooooo much food. I think nursing has become more of a comfort than anything for him.
Do I pump now that he is nursing less?
When we first went down to 3 times a day, I was still pumping. I wanted to make sure my milk supply stayed up in case he really wasn’t ready to nurse less. Then on the days I only nursed him in the morning and night, I pumped midday. Now I don’t pump midday. I have seem a huge decrease in my milk supply, but I figured that will happen as he needs it less and less.
Nursing and solids, how does it work together?
When Hunter first starting eating solids, I would always nurse first, then offer solids. Then as time went by I picked one meal a day to offer solids first, and then nurse. Then as we continued on over the weeks I’d offer solids first at more and more meals, to where he was always eating solids first, and then nursing. I tried to make sure solids and nursing were within an hour of each other, so that it was a big meal, instead of two separate snacks.
When will I stop nursing?
My goal was always to nurse to 1 year, and I know we’ll make that goal. After that, I”m not sure. This is probably a selfish reason, but I want to get pregnant again, and breastfeeding has definitely been working as birth control for us. I’ll see where we’re at when he turns a year.
I hope this is helpful to you nursing mamas out there. Please let me know if you have any questions I didn’t answer!
Have a great day.