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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Weaning... The journey begins...

Last night we began the process of weaning B. We were down to only bedtime nursing sessions & it had been this way for quite awhile.  Originally I had been planning to allow B to self-wean, but honestly, it just doesn't seem like that's ever going to happen.  He is perfectly fine when I'm not around - he doesn't even ask for "mama milk". He goes to sleep perfectly fine without anything & he sleeps in, almost always.  At our house, he won't sleep past 7:30, & rarely does he sleep longer than 7am.

So, because he was away from me each night this weekend (although Saturday night, I kissed him goodnight & left him with his GG right as he was getting ready to take a bath & go to sleep) & he will be again this next weekend (Hubs & I are heading to Chicago for a couple days), I thought this might be a good week to go for it.  Last night, we tried a couple different things. First, I helped get him ready for bed, just like normal.  I then kissed & hugged him good night & left the room.  He did okay until Hubs laid him down & he really realized that he wasn't getting mama milk.  We let him cry for a few minutes, but then Hubs took him another of his lovies (we call them ghost puppy). He then asked me to come up & give B another kiss good night.  I talked to B about it & explained that he was a big boy now & that mama won't be able to have milk for much longer... He laid down & cried for a minute or two & went to sleep.  He slept til 6:50am.

Tonight, we did the same bedtime routine, but read a couple extra books.  He only asked for mama milk once & we explained to him again.  I kissed & hugged him & then left the room.  Hubs laid him down.  B cried for a minute & has been asleep ever since.  So far, success (knock on wood!)

I know this is a controversial subject... on one hand, people will ask why in the world I'd still be nursing a 26 month old.  Well, to that I say, the WHO recommends 2 years.  (And also, screw you. Harsh? Maybe, but don't judge breastfeeding (or formula feeding for that matter) mothers.)  Then of course, there's the mamas who will disagree with my choice of weaning B before he self-weans.  Well, to that I say this... It's sort of gotten to the point where I don't like breastfeeding anymore.  I don't want to continue until I hate it.  I would never want to look back on this (wonderful) experience & remember that I hated it in the end.  Also, when B nurses, he is constantly asking to switch sides- my assumption is that he's not getting milk out, so he tries the other side.  And, since I know how well he sleeps when I'm not there, I know it's just a comfort thing, rather than a need.  Obviously, I will be comforting him for the rest of his life, so I'm not concerned that he will feel uncomforted by the lack of breast milk.

I will update as the week continues, but so far, so good.  For this, I'm extremely happy... but I'll say that once it's all done, I know I will be sad.  Breastfeeding is an amazing experience, completely worth the time, energy & pain.  I am so proud to have made it this far & I hope, with any future children we may have, I'll be able to do it again...


JayZ said...

Way to go for lasting so long! I hope the weaning continues to go well. Jos is 9 months and I'm starting to hate it at times. I love the moments we have together because of breastfeeding but pumping at work is a PITA. And I feel like my supply has really gone down. If I make it to a year, I'll be really proud of myself. But I do fear it's going to be a struggle to wean her because it's a comfort to her.

Stephanie said...

Good for you! It amazes me how closeminded people can be when it comes to breastfeeding! My lil' man is only 4 months old and the thought of eventually weaning him down the road breaks my heart!

For my own curiousity, how old was he when you went down to just the bedtime feeding?

amanda said...

Stephanie- Thank you! I think we dropped to one feeding just shortly before his 2nd birthday- maybe a few weeks before. We were at just morning & night for quite awhile before that, at least 6 months, I think.

Janelle- I'm pretty sure we wouldn't have lasted this long if I'd worked. I can't imagine how awful pumping is...