How I wean my baby off breastfeeding

I’ve just successfully weaned my toddler (17.5mo) off breastfeeding a few days ago. I wouldn’t say it was easy, but it was not that difficult either. It does need a little planning and a lot of patience to make this transition as smooth as possible for both my baby and I. Here I would like to share with you my experiences in weaning my babies off breastfeeding.

For a start, you must be ready.
I have been talking about weaning off the boy since he turned 1 year old but each time I couldn’t bring myself to do it because I truly enjoy the special bond that it gave me and my little one. I especially find it difficult to refuse his request to nurse with his cheeky yet extremely endearing way of asking. (He would say “plea(se) in his sweetest voice and then a cutest ever smile when I agree. Ohh…*heart melting*) So you see, you will need to be ready to have the commitment to make it happens.

Once you are ready, pick the right time to do it.
Don’t pick a time when your baby is sick or there are some changes in your family (like a move, new routine etc). It will only going to stress you out and when you stressed out, the baby will be stressed too.

Give yourself a target. Doing it gradually and slowly.
For both of my children, my target is always to wean them off by the time they turn 18mths old.
So, I would start trying to wean them a month before I want to stop breastfeeding entirely. First I started to stretch the nursing time as long as possible. E.g. instead of nursing every 4-5hourly, I would try to stretch as long as possible – say every 6-7hourly.

Then I would cut one daily feeding session at a time, starting with the least important nursing time (usually the afternoon feed). I would do this over a period of a few days to a week, depending on the clues from my baby. If he asked to be nursed during the feeding time that I have eliminated, I would try to distract him with other food or activities. If he clearly wants to be nursed, i.e. cannot distract him with anything, it is ok for me to nurse him. I just need to make sure that I stay on track the next day. The benefits of weaning off slowly – it will be less traumatic to the baby and easier on the mother (i.e. less battle of wills, more manageable discomfort from engorgement etc).

While I know Pediatricians recommend offering sippy cups to baby if you haven’t introduce bottle and to wean baby off bottle at the age of 12-18months if you have. But I find that it is easier to transit from breasts to bottle. Think about it, isn’t the closest thing to our breast a milk bottle tits? If we can’t offer the real thing, why not give them the best next alternative i.e milk bottle. I’m not saying you cannot offer a sippy cup, but if your baby doesn’t take much milk from a sippy cup (like mine) or refuse a sippy cup, then I think bottle is the way to go. Besides, with a bottle, you can actually cuddle him the same familiar way you do when you breastfeed him while he drinks the milk from it. And that is really comforting to the baby and he will be more likely to accept the transition.

Regarding bottle feeding, some babies will take a bottle right away, while others need a little extra encouragement and/or some of our brain power to outsmart them. Because I breastfed both my children right from the start, both refused to take the milk bottle and we (DH and I) had to figure out how to outwit them introduce the bottle to them.

With the girl, she didn’t give up her night feeding till she turned 16 months. So, what we did was to dream feed her. We gave an oz of milk at a time in the middle of the night and she just sucking away without any struggle. By the third night, she would down 4oz bottle while still sleeping. A week later, we started introducing her the bottle when she was wide awake with no problem too. I guess even with dream feeding, she was still aware of what had happened to some extent.

As for the boy, we tried the same dream feeding method on him but failed. He would cry bloody murder every time we put the bottle in him. So we had to re-think our strategy again. Because he loves to do what his sister does, we needed the girl to demonstrate to the boy on how to drink from a bottle. It worked for a few times, but we were still unable to get him to drink more than 1oz and to give up on the breasts. So, I had to “force feed” him a little (because he would refuse bottle the first few instances), and then cuddling him like I did when breastfeeding him and let him touch my tummy (For some reasons, my children had ‘special feelings’ for my wrinkly tummy. *roll eyes*) Surprisingly, it worked!

To SSSF, this is basically what I did to wean my babies off and I hope you will find this sharing useful. Good luck!

spring craft: simple foam flowers

Someone’s trash is another man’s treasure. We were picked up a bag of craft materials for free last year during one of our yard sale trip. I finally found time to sort them out recently and found these pre-cut flower shaped foams. Since Spring is coming and the girl has been asking for a craft project, we decided to make use of the foams to make a really simple bouquet of flowers, as seen in the below picture.

Spring flower craft

Materials used in this craft project:
pre-cut flower shaped foams (u can cut your own if you don’t have it)
round shaped foams – for center piece of the flower)
pipe cleaners (as stem)
tape (to attach assembled flowers onto the stem)
glue (for assembling the center piece to the flower shape foams)
markers (for decorating the flower petals)
recycled pill bottle (as vase)
recycled construction scraps (to wrap the vase)
recycled ribbons (to decorate the vase)

The girl had a lot of fun creating and decorating the flowers. She only stopped because we ran out of green pipe cleaners. It is a really fun and easy project for any preschooler or kindergartner.

Recycling fun: Vegetables!

scallions

Lian from Tips and Tricks to Effective Parenting shared a very interesting recycling idea last summer i.e. recycling vegetables. She suggested planting the stems of the greens into a pot, instead of throwing them into the trash. I love recycling and I think this is another wonderful way to recycle kitchen waste beside composting. I wanted to try this recycling idea ever since I saw her post but as usual, procrastination got the better of me, I only tried it like half a year later. *roll eyes* Anyway, I’m happy to share with you that my scallions (green onions) are growing and looking healthy. I hope to harvest some of these organic homegrown scallions in a few weeks time. That is, if they ever survive my little boy’s “gentle” touch.

By the way, Mumsgather just harvested some vegetables which she grew using the same method! I’m so going to try planting some other greens this Spring too. (My bag of soil and pots are still covered in the snow now. Sigh.)

Photohunt: Warm

We were blessed with two warm days 2 weeks ago when the temperature rose to 50F (10deg C) !! I know it is pathetic, but we were overjoyed nonetheless. For the first time in many cold winter months, we didn’t have to wear any coat!! Here’s a picture of the very contented Niklas, enjoying his strawberries and grapes in the car on the warm day while waiting for his sister, who had refused to come out of the school playground because of the warm weather. :)

I wonder when we will have another such warm day again. We are expecting another snow storm today. In fact, it has started snowing already. -_-

the girl’s 1st school report card

Finally the lazy mom decided to stop procrastinating and post about the girl’s 2nd exam (Winter term) which she had on the eve of Chinese New Year. She scored a perfect 100 marks again. :)We are extremely proud of this little girl, who did so wonderfully well even though she is at least 1-2 years younger than her peers. :) Along with her exam papers came this 1st school report card.

I’m sure the grandparents wish to know what was written on the report card, here’s the translation:

“The girl is respectful to the teacher and also the classroom discipline. She is active in participating class activities and is diligent in completing her home assignments. Teacher hopes that The girl would continue with her good learning attitude and be more confident in answering/asking questions during class. She believes that The girl’s Chinese will improve continuously.”

:)

simple Solar System mobile craft 2


While doing a disk cleanup on my computer, I came across some pictures of the simple solar system mobile craft that I did with the girl last summer. It was actually a continuation of this solar system craft project. I finally found a frugal way of stringing the foam balls to make them into a mobile using recycled materials.

What you will need for making the mobile:
recycled coffee stirrer – like this straw kind
yarns
recycled circular foams or you can make it from scratch using hard cardboard
index paper – for labeling the planets
foam balls in assorted sizes – see how we made these planets here.

Method:
Just cut the coffee stirrer to size and poke them thru the planets foam balls.
Cut the yarn to desired length and string them thru the stirrer.
Make an incision on the circular foam or cardboard and tie the planet foam balls to the cardboard. Space them according to your preference (or like what we did, we space the planets according their distance to the Sun.)
Lastly, if you like, you can attached labels on the yarn to name the planets.

Photohunt: Bridge(s)

Toy bridge:

Niklas loves his new train set. He particularly loves to place his train engines and carts on this bridge. Today he found the helicopter and placed it on the bridge too before proceeding to turn the train engine on so that it can crash onto the helicopter. -_-

Suspension bridge :

One of the three suspension bridges at Canyon Ste Anne, Quebec, Canada.

New and Old bridges – also in Quebec, Canada.

See other Photohunt entries here!

sweet buns

sweet buns

It was quite a busy week, but I couldn’t resist trying some new recipes. This time I baked some sweet buns!! I have seen this recipe from KookyCulinary for a while already, but I just didn’t have the time and energy to try it until recently. I’m so glad that I pick this recipe (there are really a lot of sweet buns recipes online!!) because it is so simple and tastes good. The bread texture is really soft, just like those sweet buns that we can get from the bakery in Singapore. I had baked and shared some sweet buns with my friends over the weekend, and they love them too! :)

Ingredients:
250 gm bread flour
50 gm castor sugar
1 ½ tsp instant yeast
1 egg yolk
40 gm butter
65 gm water
65 gm milk
½ tsp salt

Method:
1. Put ingredients into bread machine according to the specification of your breadmaker.
2. Start the DOUGH ONLY cycle.
3. Shape your dough according to your preference, with or without fillings.
4. Let the dough proof until double size.
5. Bake at 375deg C for about 15mins or until golden brown.

Check out also this blog entry of KookyCulinary to learn how to shape the dough into dinner rolls.

kueh bangkit

I think I caught the cooking and baking bug! I have been cooking/baking something new every other few days. On the eve of CNY and after the children were asleep, I suddenly had the urge to bake some Kueh Bangkit and so I started searching online for an easy and perfect recipe and I found it on Lily’s Wai Sek Hong blog.
I did a little modification from Lily’s recipe since I don’t have all the ingredients.

Ingredients used:
225g tapioca flour
30g melted butter
65g icing sugar
1 egg yolk
75-90ml coconut milk
a pinch of salt

For instructions, please refer to Lily’s recipe.

The cookies were really yummy and I love how they just melt in the mouth. Niklas and DH had been snacking on them until I didn’t have much to share with my friends. So, I hope to find some time to bake this again. :)

(Added : 2/4/16 – Instructions from Lily’s blog for easy reference……..

Method:

1. Line a large pyrex bowl with greaseproof paper, microwave the flour and pandan leaves on high 1 min at a time for 5 times, stirring every minute.

2. Set aside, cool completely before using.

3. Cream margarine with sugar and yolk till sugar dissolves.

4. Add in 75ml coconut milk and mix well.

5. Add flour to mix till a non-sticky dough is formed. If dough is too dry, add more coconut milk but add 1 tsp at a time, otherwise, dough may be too sticky. Leave dough to rest covered with a damp cloth.

6. Take a quarter of the dough and roll dough on a floured table to 3/8 inch(this thickness is necessary to obtain a nice size cookie)and use cookie cutters to cut into shapes. Using a pincher to pinch desired designs. Alternatively wooden moulds can also be used and that omits rolling the dough.

7. Baked on lined tray in preheated oven at 300 f convection for 15 mins. Cookie should not brown.

8. Remove to cool completely before storing .