This week, a weird thing happened with Natsuki. Well, weird for me anyways. Natsuki turned 10 months on Monday and I had been planning all along to start weaning her around this time. She is nursing four times a day (8am, 12pm, 4pm and 8pm) and my plan is to take one feeding time away every two weeks and hopefully finish nursing her before her first birthday. I did the same thing with Misaki & Sakura and it worked really well. Emi quit on her own one day when she was 8 months old probably because my milk had changed since I was pregnant again(surprise!). I'm already not feeding Natsuki her 4pm feeding on Tuesdays when I teach English and it doesn't seem to bother her at all so I figured this process would go smoothly. I started giving her a bottle with apple juice and water in it a few months ago and although she doesn't drink the whole thing down, she will drink some of it so I figured if she was thirsty she would drink more.
I thought my plan was pretty good. On Monday, instead of her 4pm feeding, I gave her a bottle with formula instead and she drank about 20ml. Not great, but it's a work in progress, right? Then on Tuesday, she refused to nurse at all and she only drank about 100ml of formula altogether (I think normally a baby her age would drink between 800-1000ml per day). When I went to teach my English class, I was so sore from all the build-up of milk in my breasts so I made an effort that night to concentrate on her during her 8pm feeding. She hardly nursed at all, but at least it relieved the pressure for me.
On Wednesday, again, she wouldn't nurse at all again. This time, not even bothering to latch on, just a lot of crying and screaming. So I tried the bottle again, but she only drank about 80ml throughout the day. Grrr! I was pretty sore again, but not as much as the day before which worried me because I could lose my milk supply if she's not nursing so I went through the last few days to see if I could find any contributing factors. One thing I know is that she is working on her second tooth so I think that when she nurses, the pressure hurts her tender gums. Other than that, the only other problem would be stubbornness. Just my luck.
On Wednesday night, I really wanted her to nurse well for her 8pm feeding so I gave her some Infant's Tylenol before her 7pm nap and then woke her up after the girls had gone to bed. I kept the lights low and just had a CD playing to minimize distractions. She was pretty groggy when we got her up and she nursed for her normal 20 minutes. Yeah! If she hadn't nursed, I was going to go to the store and buy a breast pump and a variety of bottles and try them all with her until something worked. But she nursed, so I thought that whatever was going on with her was over.
Was I ever wrong!
This morning, she woke up at 7:30am so I brought her down and tried to nurse her and I was met with protestations. Crap. Not again. I was also busy trying to get Emi out the door to school so I decided to ignore Natsuki a bit and see if she would change her mind if she wasn't getting anything else. After about 30 minutes, she gave in and nursed half-heartedly and then I gave her breakfast. But I tried the same thing at lunch, but she's smarter now and wouldn't even *think* about it.
So what do I do now? She needs to drink something and besides feeding her popsicles to get liquids into her, I can't think of any other options than just pursuing the formula with her until she gives in or figures it out. I'm worried about her getting constipated and/or dehydrated (it's starting to get hot here). Also, should I just let her stop nursing? If her tooth comes in and then she wants to nurse again, it's going to be too late.