Weaning.  The word brings about so many different emotions for moms everywhere.  Sadness seems to be what most moms feel when the time comes.  Even if it comes as a relief, and whether the child is 6 months or 2 years, it’s still bittersweet for everyone.  You’re losing a stage of babyhood that you’ll never see again.

I have shared in the past my struggle nursing Isaac.  I wish I had more sweet memories of nursing, but unfortunately I don’t.  He bit down on me from 3 months on (see this post for the first occurrence), and made me seriously consider weaning before we reached the one-year mark (my goal).

But I did enjoy the positives that moms love about breastfeeding – the ability to feed him anytime anywhere, the way nursing instantly relaxed him no matter how upset he was, the smiles he gave me after his tummy was full, the fact that I was providing him with the best nourishment possible, and the cuddle time it gave us.  I’m really happy that we made it to 14 months, too!  I really didn’t think that would happen and I’m glad that I didn’t give up when I wanted to.

A couple months ago I started letting myself really think about weaning him.  He had cut way down on nursing, only asking to at night before bed, then again once in the middle of the night.  He was drinking from sippy cups all day and I have him on organic whole milk.  He eats pretty much whatever we eat.  So I knew he didn’t need it anymore from a nourishment standpoint.  And really, look at the kid!  He’s a full-fledged toddler now, running, climbing, talking, oh-so-busy all the time.  He was just hanging on to this last bit of babyhood.

It was really the night feedings that were wearing on me.  He never slept through the night and I was beginning to realize he woke up just to nurse himself back to sleep.

So I tried for a week or so to give him milk from a sippy before bed instead of nursing.  He wouldn’t have any of that – oh the weeping and gnashing of teeth!  I gave up on that one.  I thought maybe a bottle would do it so tried that for awhile.  One time he took a bottle of milk instead of nursing, but the next time he threw a fit.  So I gave up on that.  In fact, I pretty much gave up and decided it might be awhile before we are done.

Then it happened.  One night I didn’t offer to let him nurse before bed and he didn’t ask!  I put him in bed and waited for him to wake up and scream for his milk.  Didn’t happen, he slept until 4 a.m.  I didn’t offer nursing to him again and although he put up a little fuss, he took a drink of milk from a sippy then went back to sleep.

And that was the start of his weaning.  I basically just stopped offering and he didn’t ask.  I was so happy.

And then.

I didn’t think I had that much milk since we were down to one or two nursing a day/night.  But quitting cold turkey (not recommended by most moms, by the way) brought to light that I did still have quite a bit of milk, and ouch.  That first week after your baby is born and you’re engorged came back to me – not fun.  And you have no baby to fix it, either.

I’ve been patiently waiting for the milk to go away for over a week, and although I’m not quite as sore as I was at first, it still is pretty sore.  It seems like it’s taking forever!  I’ve tried cabbage leaves and peppermint tea, and I ordered some No More Milk Tea from Amazon so hopefully that will help.

Despite the discomfort, I really am elated that we are done with nursing.  One of the big reasons is that Isaac has been sleeping through the night since it happened!  I am so happy about that.  And I don’t feel like I’ve lost my baby, either – Isaac is a total cuddlebug and crawls up in my lap to cuddle with me all the time.  He is making sure we still get our bonding time. :)

Next up – pacifier weaning!   We’re actually already working on that one – this morning I told him to put his pacifier in the bed and he took it out of his mouth and threw it in.  Our first step will be making it a nighttime only thing, then it’ll disappear.

Do you have a weaning story to share?  How did you feel about it once it was over with?

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3 Responses to Weaning – Mission: Possible!

  • It took me a while to wean my 4th baby. This was the longest I had ever nursed and I was determined to be done by the time he turned 1. I felt a little sad but happy at the same time that I had made it to that milestone. Chris who is 14 months would not sleep through the night and would wake up just to nurse back to sleep which mean I didn’t get a good nights rest. When my hubby came home on midtour he got up with him and gave him a bottle and he actually took it! When I would try it it wouldn’t work go figure. With our weaning feedings we went to morning, noon and night then to just morning and night and then to night and after that I stopped offering and when he asked I would give him a bottle. I’m glad its over I know some women mourn but I rejoice that he is healthy as healthy can be and I am blessed with 4 healthy children =)

  • Ok, first, he is so cute with his pacifier! Don’t take it away! LOL. Seriously, look at that picture above. Adorable!

    Congrats on weaning. Sounds like the first step for us needs to be replacing the daytime feedings with some milk. Jaxon still nurses several times a day, plus several times during the evening and night. I’d like to do night weaning this summer but I guess I should start with daytime weaning first!

  • I had complications with both of my babies and I couldn’t nurse which was really hard to take. I would recommend purple cabbage for drying up. I purchased it with my daughter, placed it in fridge, placed the leaves all over my breasts inside of my bra and literally within minutes felt better even before the cabbage was cold. I must say that after two hours I would switch the leaves (they do slightly stain your skin but well worth the help in pain!) and over the course of two or three days basically I had dried up. I tried pumping since my kids weren’t sucking hard enough and pumping was incredibly difficult for me and my size. It was completely normal for me to pump 10 ounces at each four hour cycle once my babies were a week old so I was full when I was drying up. Try the cabbage.

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