So my 2 year old is still breastfed, but I need a 'milk substitute' for when she's being babysat. She won't go to sleep without being nursed or having a bottle of formula. She has a dairy and soy intolerance, so she's been on Alimentum when she's being babysat. I've never been very comfortable with her having this because I think it's so full of crap, but until she was 2, she "had" to be on either breastmilk, formula or whole cow's milk.
I just realized that the Alimentum is constipating her horribly! I know that pumping would be the best option, but I'm not producing enough milk anymore to pump very much. It also takes way to long (like over an hour) and she still wouldn't have enough for 1 bottle. We're also trying to get pregnant again and I don't think pumping would help that situation very much either. I would also like something that I could 'sort of' wean her onto. I'm planning on nursing her still for a while, but I do need to work part time...
Anyway, I've been debating almond milk or coconut milk, but I worry about some of the crap that's in that too. I've thought about making my own almond milk too. It's also possible that she's outgrown the dairy intolerance, so maybe some organic milk? But then I worry that could constipate too... What to do??
Milkshare! Check out EATS ON FEETS on Facebook. You can check out the mom's health status and pasteurize the milk, if that makes you feel safer.
Alternatively, try goat's milk. It's usually tolerated better than cow dairy.
When I can't nurse my son for whatever reason, and I really hate pumping, I give him a cup of warm home made bone broth or some raw goat milk. Since you say your daughter is dairy intolerant you could make home made coconut milk, which is super simple, free of all the thickeners and guar gums, cheap, and tasty. Here's a recipe.
Another thing that seems to satiate him when I can't nurse him is warm, soft boiled egg yolks. A few of those seem to calm him and even make I'm a little sleepy if it's close to nap or bed time.
Not questioning, but are you sure she won't go to sleep without? My almost 2 year old is amazing: if I'm in the house, she knows it, and she knows she gets to nurse before bed. If I'm not home, of if she's staying with the grandparents, she goes to bed fine for whoever is there, no milk needed. Maybe your little one would be ready for that?
Anyway, other than that, I'd say to try goat's milk. You can try the milkshare, as Dragonfly suggested, but I had always heard they gave precedence to infants.
I had twins and never produced enough milk for both, so I unfortunately had to feed formula. The Weston A. Price Foundation page has a number of home-made formulas that are pretty good, but the ones I used all involved cow or goat's milk. My guess with a two-year-old is that it would be best to keep nursing before bed when you are home, but wean her from the bottle with other care-takers.
The way I weaned my boys off the middle of the night feeding was to slowly decrease the amount in the bottle until it became a "why bother" scenario (around 2 ounces) and they just slept through. I tried this technique with the before bed bottle when they were around 20 months and it worked okay until I reached about 4 ounces, then I had major rebellion! What finally worked was I changed their entire bedtime ritual so that the bottle wasn't right before sleep anymore. Instead it was jammies, bottle, (washcloth teeth cleaning in chair), followed by stories and "saying our thank-yous". Once this was fully ingrained I just skipped the bottle one night and there was no rebellion at all. They were so used to going to sleep after stories and thank yous/good nights that they just went to sleep. We never had another night bottle after that. Maybe changing your bedtime ritual could also help you wean her from care-taker bottle feedings?
Mark's Daily Apple had a post involving fenugreek today, and several moms commented that it really helped increase milk production.
Two of the comments: "I used fenugreek early on while nursing both my kids. Took it in pill form but still didn’t like the smell. It did work in terms of boosting milk production" and "I too used fenugreek to boost milk production & it worked a treat. I was threatened with having to formula boost-feed my twins & just one week on the fenugreek improved it enough that we didn’t touch the formula."
Sounds like she's got you pretty well trained... (been there, done that). it can be pretty difficult to change habits once they're ingrained, but one of these days your little one will need to learn to get to sleep all by herself without nursing or a bottle involved. The longer you wait, the harder it's probably going to be. Have you considered switching to just a bottle of water before bed?
I remember when my 9-month old would wake up wanting to nurse in the middle of the night - I'd go in, give him a hug, a drink of water, tell him I loved him, but it was time for him to go back to sleep now, and gently leave the room. It was total hell for a few days and then he got the message, and was able to learn to calm himself and go back to sleep on his own. The key is not letting yourself get too upset by how upset she gets. But it depends on what you're comfortable with. That's what worked for me (I needed to be able to sleep through the night myself or go nuts).
Apart from what you give her, you may want to read up a bit on how you give it to her. I never understood how the bottle or pacifier could aid in dental problems and even though I nursed my daughter until she was 20 months, she did get a bottle (no pacifier). I now regret ever giving her a bottle. I'm sure a sippy cup is better though maybe not much. It is the pushing action of the toungue (typical of nursing) that gives the teeth their eventual shape whilst what damages them is the sucking (typical of the bottle). I know my dental arch has narrowed considerably (an age related issue) and I also know it is due to having quit smoking 10 yrs ago which led to a nervous habit of sucking...on nothing...just the inside of my mouth. My daughter's arch is narrow and we will soon have to deal with this. an intersting fb page...http://www.facebook.com/YCrookedTeeth I'm sure the web site has an article of nursing versus bottlefed babies and teeth.
the previous response about weaning from the bottle sounds like a great idea. (the timing factor) Another thing that works is diluting whatever is in the bottle with water...more each day. This removes some of the appeal since eventually what is in there is just water.
I still nurse down my 2 year old for just about every nap, and at night, but I've noticed that he does okay without that pre-nap infusion when he's with my mom. I stressed over this a lot too, and then one day we just had to wing it and he was fine. I think babies and toddlers are smart enough to expect different things from different people.
She shares her cups of herbal tea with him, and will put whatever she is having in his sippy cup with a little cold water to make it the right temperature and he loves it. Chamomile tea is great for getting kids to sleep as long as they don't have a daisy allergy, so that might be a good choice for a bottle.
Her system for actually getting him down for his nap is to provide him with a lot of snacks like avocado and yogurt, so he's not going to be hungry, and then she does this amazing thing where she rubs the top of his head lightly until he's practically in a hypnotic state, and then he'll just lie down in her lap and doze off.
I'm not sure what part of the cow's milk was upsetting your baby's stomach, but I have on occasion resorted to putting an ounce or two of heavy cream in a bottle and he realllly liked that.
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