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.
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.
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.