S-L-O-W-L-Y Weaning

When I look back on my first few hours of breastfeeding, it is hard to believe that I have been breastfeeding for 22 months and counting. I remember in the early days I was taken it one day at a time and before I knew it, I had been breastfeeding for 3 weeks, then 3 months, then 6 months. All of a sudden I was approaching a year and found myself beginning to think about weaning.

The thought of weaning felt really overwhelming. I had grown accustomed to my “secret weapon” of nursing. Becca having trouble sleeping? Whip out a boob! Not sure that Becca had enough to eat tonight? Whip out the boob? Becca fell and skinned her knee? Whip out the boob? Becca just feeling cranky and annoyed? Whip out the boob!

I hadn’t realized how much I had grown to rely on nursing until I began to think about not having it anymore. How the heck was I going to deal with all of the situations above without nursing? It was the ultimate panacea and I didn’t have any reliable back-ups.

Since Becca’s 1st birthday, we have been s-l-o-w-l-y working on weaning. A month after her birthday, she went 24 hours without nursing. I thought for sure that it was just a matter of days before Becca would be finished nursing. I felt conflicted at the thought but also excited about truly getting my body back. Instead, it was as if Becca had her own freak-out about losing her panacea and increased her nursing significantly.

For the past 10 months, Becca has continued to decrease and increase her nursing. During this time, she has gone as long as 72 hours without nursing. Just when I am getting ready to pack in my nursing bras, Becca will begin to nurse again. Apparently, she is as conflicted as I am.

Mary Kate

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5 Comments

Filed under Breastfeeding, Take a Moment, Toddler

5 responses to “S-L-O-W-L-Y Weaning

  1. Jen

    John Patrick was the same about nursing for comfort when I was breastfeeding. When I weaned I replaced those times with a bottle slowly. For example, if he was upset I would give him a bottle. It may be just luck but he quickly made the adjustment to the bottle. Now I have the problem that he uses food to soothe himself (much like his parents), thus he’s quite a chunker. πŸ™‚ Maybe try using the bottle as a soother? Good luck.

  2. jerseygirl89

    22 months? You are a better woman than I am. I lasted 15 months with Lovebug – we started weaning slowly at 12 months. I skipped the whole bottle thing and went straight for sippy cups of water for soothing. And a lovey. And music. And sometimes? He just yells for a while.

  3. mkate

    Jen-

    Unfortunately, she is not a huge fan of the bottle. She will take a sippy cup of milk occasionally but overall prefers nursing. She also has never gotten into a pacifier.

    I have noticed that she nurses less when I am not putting pressure on her to stop. So I am not going to worry about it anymore until the end of August (when she turns 2).

  4. I totally understand what you are dealing with. My son will also be 2 in August and we are still breastfeeding and at this point I see no end in sight. I really want to be able to put him to bed/nap without having to ‘pull out the boob’, but at the same time I know how comforting it is for him…Oh what is a mother to do?

  5. mkate

    Robin,

    I am so glad I am not the only one in this situation. I don’t have the heart to wean her but I am also a little worried that she may never ever self-wean (I know this isn’t true but it sometimes feels that way). This past week, we were on vacation and she increased her nursing again. Every time I think we are weaned she pulls me back in πŸ™‚

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