When Elizabeth is 9 months old, I have to go on tour and leave her for three weeks. I am building up a stash (I have over 400 oz now, which sounds like a lot, but it's really only 10-15 days of milk for a 9 month old, and I need 21 days) and will potentially have the opportunity to use dry ice and mail some milk home while I'm gone. In a perfect world, she will come back to nursing when I get back home, but if she doesn't, I plan to continue pumping and have her exclusively drink breast milk until she's one. She takes bottles well.

My questions:
Should I go cold turkey and nurse her up until the day I leave, or wean her gradually from the breast? I think if I wean her, the likelihood of her returning to nursing is lower, but I feel like cold turkey (suddenly no more nursing) may be a little cruel and hard for her to understand.

Has anyone ever done something like this and had the baby come back to the breast? There is no way she can come with me, so bottle-feeding for those three weeks is the only option.

Has anyone ever shipped milk across the country? Any advice on that?