Breast feeding – when’s the right time to stop?

I’m really proud of myself for how long I have managed to feed Lottie, I didn’t manage to get anywhere near as far with Maisy and Bella but this time I was very determined and it just worked – I love feeling so close and connected with her. That doesn’t mean at times in the early days I didn’t struggle there were moments I couldn’t see us making it to 9 days let alone 9 months! I found breast feeding support groups a god send and thank god for google helping me to find the answers to every little question I had. 

(Tip for any new or expecting mums out there’s a site called Kelly mom it’s amazing this was literally my bible in those early days!) 

But now we’re 9 months in I have a new question. 
When do we stop? 
Or 
More importantly – how do we stop? 

I left her for a day to attend blogfest last weekend and by the end of the day I was seriously uncomfortable, poor little girl was asleep when I got back but I desperately needed some relief so woke her up for a feed.

She has three meals a day and has recently accepted the odd bottle here and there but at night in particularly she’s still a boob monster – this is probably why she has never slept though the night and why she seems to end up in my bed every single night. Its more for comfort now I think than actually being hungry but my god with the other two being such early risers I really could do with that full night of sleep!

I feel completely selfish even thinking about trying to cut down and phase it out she still a baby but at the moment I’m kind of just being used as a dummy. 

Is it wrong that I crave a little bit of my social life back as well? 
I’m not a big drinker but it would be lovely to meet some friends for a few glasses of wine or head out for a few hours knowing with out being worried stiff she’ll be screaming for a feed.

Then on the other hand I think I’ll feel really sad not to feed her anymore, its a sign she’s growing up and doesn’t need me so much. Ryan’s very adamant he doesn’t want any more children so she will be my last little baby (sobs) I want to keep her a baby for as long as possible!

Is there a right time to stop?

When will I know? 

Would love to hear others stories from mums who have been or are in a similar position and how you knew when it was the right time to stop..

24 Comments

  1. November 13, 2014 / 10:29 pm

    Personally I think if it’s affecting you then it’s perfectly fine to stop. She’s eating well so you have no worries about that and if she’s just using you as a dummy then when do you draw the line? You could continue feeding for months & still not have any sleep. You can’t stop her growing up but you can enjoy your waking hours with them more by feeling less tired. There’s no guilt in saying enough is enough. Good luck with whatever you decide xx

    • November 17, 2014 / 8:29 pm

      Thanks your so right I’m a grump when sleep deprived! x

  2. November 14, 2014 / 9:40 am

    I stopped breastfeeding my son when he is 2. When that day came I just didnt show the boob anymore. As he is also eating solids since he is about 1 the weaning is easier. I just did not feed him even when he is asking and its done. I think that when you the child is eating and that eating can sustain his needs its time to stop if you want to stop. Goodluck =) #pocolo

    • November 17, 2014 / 8:30 pm

      thank you, wow well done you on 2 years! xx

  3. November 14, 2014 / 11:30 am

    I think everyone is very different with when it is time to stop and you have to go with what feels right for you and your little one. I don’t have any tips with trying to stop though – my eldest stopped at 17 months on the day I found out I was pregnant again. She had been gradually taking less and less milk from me anyway and having cows milk in the day so was just having one feed before bedtime in the last month or so which got shorter and shorter. The day I gave up, I was going on a night out so she didn’t get that bedtime feed and it felt a natural point at which to give it up. My youngest has just turned 1 and feeds more from me than her sister did at that age so if I go too long without feeding her I also have that uncomfortable feeling. I suspect I will feed her for longer than I did her sister but I can see it gradually easing off until we are both ready to stop.

    I suspect if you are still feeding a reasonable amount you will need to express a little here and there if you are planning on stopping entirely just for comfort or ease off gradually. Good luck with whatever you decide to do x

    • November 17, 2014 / 8:32 pm

      thanks for sharing you experience i am trying to cut it down in the day at the mo and see how we go! x

  4. November 14, 2014 / 6:28 pm

    If its time to give it up, then you’ll know as I know that moment wouldn’t be the same for everyone. If it i time I am sure you both have had a amazing journey together. x

  5. November 14, 2014 / 7:38 pm

    I stopped at 9 months, when I went back to work, but I do regret it. I think it’s because I felt as if I was forced to stop. I’m not sure when we would’ve stopped had it not been for that, but my plan was to get to one year.

    Good luck with whatever you decide.

    xx

    #pocolo

  6. November 14, 2014 / 10:07 pm

    Oh I know how you feel. With G I had to cut down at 5 months to prepare to go back to work but after a few weeks of bottle she traded me in for full time bottles. With L my milk dried up after 7 weeks (we now know due to tongue tie) and I was heart broken. I wasn’t ready and neither was she.
    I know so many mums who have struggled with this and after a week they agonise whether to build up their milk supply again and carry on. It does get easier though and you adjust to the new routine of bottles.
    I will say also that I feel closer to L as my cuddles with her are real cuddles whereas G always looked at me as a milk supply and cuddled me with the intention of a feed lol!! Also, L sleeps like an absolute dream whereas G never slept a wink until she went onto bottles.

    Whatever your decision do it for you. And know that if you change your mind you can bring your supply back up to 10 months after quitting!!! How crazy is that?!! xx

  7. November 15, 2014 / 5:15 pm

    You’ve done amazing hun. I tandem fed the twins for two months. That was tough. I stopped for various reasons. You have to do what’s right for you and your little girl is just perfect. You should link up to Zena’s Breast Feeding Diaries hun! Xxx

    • November 17, 2014 / 8:38 pm

      thanks lovely tandem feeding for 2 months thats amazing must of been sooo tricky! x

  8. November 15, 2014 / 5:41 pm

    I had to stop at 9 months – because that is what Grace chose! I think that the best thing to do is to stop when you feel it is natural to do so. Not an easy decision though! Thank you for linking to PoCoLo 🙂 x

  9. November 16, 2014 / 12:17 am

    I have had to stop breastfeeding at varying times with my kids, ranging from 12 days to 18 months. It has been so heartbreaking for me every time it has ended regardless of whether it was because we needed to give bottles or that they weaned themselves.
    I will say though that giving bottles doesn’t always give the full nights of sleep people expect. My 11 year old was switched to the bottle completely at 5 months old. She didn’t sleep a full nights sleep until she was two (and even then it was rare!), so I wouldn’t necessarily use that as the only reason.
    Only you can decide if you want to stop, don’t let anyone else push you into making a decision. It has to feel completely right for you, if there are lots of niggling doubts you may find that you regret it so maybe wait a couple of weeks to see how you feel then.
    When you are ready it might be an idea to slowly introduce more formula to her to gently wean you both off and then it also won’t be such a shock to the system for either of you.
    This is such a hard decision for you to make, sending lots of love and hugs xxx

    • November 17, 2014 / 8:40 pm

      thanks for sharing you experiences katie its nice to hear others stories sounds like it varys massively depending on the child I am so scared if i stop ill regret it!

  10. November 16, 2014 / 8:49 am

    I’m in the same position now and my daughter is 1 in two days! She won’t however accept a bottle and will have a few sips from a beaker then throw it down – she wouldn’t drink a beaker full of milk before bed to see her through the night and she’s not a big eater generally.
    We’ve finally cut out daytime milk from me – much screaming and head butting at nap times and it seems she can settle without milk better at night- but I just keep waiting for her to give it up herself- I may be waiting a long time!!

    • November 17, 2014 / 8:42 pm

      argh its so tough when they don’t take a bottle isn’t lottie wouldn’t at all its only recently she will she now has 1 a day! x

  11. November 16, 2014 / 9:02 am

    I can’t help at all with this, as I didn’t manage to feed any of mine, but it doesn’t sound like you are being selfish at all. Everyone needs sleep and you will be a happier family with a Mummy who gets more sleep xxx

  12. November 16, 2014 / 7:03 pm

    Everyone’s journey is so personal lovely. I fed my eldest until a couple of weeks before her first birthday – she pushed me away one night when I tried to feed her and didn’t want it anymore. My 2nd was 15m and it dwindled down to one tiny feed right before bed. My son is 9m and very firmly attached to the boob still. I’ve been pondering the same thoughts you’ve vocalised here… #sundaystars

  13. November 16, 2014 / 8:20 pm

    Firstly well done, it’s amazing to hear you’ve done so well. You need to do what is right for your family, and that is a personal thing. There is nothing wrong with comforting and nursing a baby, that’s one of the key factors of breastfeeding but if you’re struggling to meet your own and the rest of the families needs, maybe its time to reduce it. Good luck with what ever you decide to do

  14. November 16, 2014 / 8:22 pm

    Hi Amy, I still remember sadly making the decision to stop breast feeding my daughter fourteen years ago. I’d breast fed her for a year and she was a pleasure to feed. I slowly got it down to one feed just before I went to bed as that was my favourite one, just me and her sat in the dimness of her room. I loved the way her little hand opened and closed on my breast as she fed and the way her eyes would one minute be locked with mine and the next minute she’d be fighting to keep them open.

    Breast feeding is such a special experience and you’ll know when the time is right to stop for you and for Lottie….I love the names of your children!

    Popped over from #PoCoLo.

  15. November 16, 2014 / 9:09 pm

    I’m having this dilema, I don’t want to stop as he’s my last but I’d really like a mulled wine this Chrstmas but I’m bed sharing and feeding overnight too. #sundaystars

  16. November 16, 2014 / 9:33 pm

    I am still breastfeeding, and my baby is 17 months old… But I guess a good way is to stop it gradually, so you will get used to producing less milk and it won’t be that uncomfortable (for you). When I went to work we had to reduce the amount of breastfeeding sessions, and did it by dropping the odd feed, distracting her with lots of food and activity during the day time, and gradually she stopped wanting day time feeds.

  17. November 17, 2014 / 8:16 pm

    Wow! Nine months! Well done you. I managed five weeks or pumping and that was a nightmare! I think you’ll know when the time is right for you to stop… and then maybe you might get a full nights sleep. I feel your early riser pain!

  18. November 17, 2014 / 9:49 pm

    Congratulations Amy, nine months is a real achievement! I did six months and seven moths with my two. To be honest I was ready to give up after six months with Lili but I could have gone on longer with Poppy. My tip for finishing is to do it slowly!

    Thanks for linking up #SundayStars xx

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