I know I’ve said it before, but this time I’m serious. I am weaning my baby—well, toddler—from breastfeeding. Before, I was in a different headspace. I was more concerned with losing the bond that we’d developed during our nursing sessions. But now, I’m ready to be free. I don’t want to enter into the new year still feeding on demand or every two hours—especially since my son has a mouth full of teeth and eats three solid meals a day. At this point, he’s only nursing out of habit, he’s getting the proper nutrition he needs and some!
Today marks day five of only nursing my son in the morning when he wakes and at night before bed. Unfortunately, this week’s weaning trials have come at a cost: naps. He either fights to stay awake by throwing a tantrum or he stays awake because I’m trying to distract him from wanting to be nursed. To be honest, I don’t think there’s ever been a time when I was able to get him to sleep without nursing or feeding him with a bottle. His dad, on the other hand, can rock him to sleep with no problem. (*rolls eyes*)
I’m Weaning My Baby for the Both of Us
While I’ve been doing well through the tantrums and tugs at my shirt, it’s painful to watch. I know that I have to be strong because it’s bigger than weaning him from breastfeeding. It’s about teaching him to self-soothe, to be independent.
I’m a member of a few online support groups for breastfeeding moms and many of them encourage baby-led weaning but my 15-month-old is showing no signs of leading. I’m past the thought of feeling selfish or guilty for wanting to be done because I’ve gone well beyond my one-year goal. I’m sorry, but I don’t think I have it in me to be a mom who still breastfeeds her four-year-old—which is perfectly fine for those committed moms—but I need a break. It’s my hope to have at least two more children within the next five years and I don’t want to be so exhausted from breastfeeding my first child that I rob them of their nursing time.
Last week, I was encouraged by another first-time mom who’s weaning her one-year-old and she understood exactly what I was going through. (Thanks, girl!)
My milk production has already adjusted to the change, now it’s just time to get this kid onboard. I’m still pumping one bottle a day because he won’t take any other milk; not cow’s milk, almond milk, soy milk—just mine! Since I work from home, I need him quiet during conference calls. Nursing was my go-to before, but now I keep a bottle on hand just in case.
Now that we’ve made it to the fifth day, the tantrums don’t last as long as when we first started weaning this week. He’s learning to find other things to occupy his time. And that’s reassuring because I know that he’s catching on pretty quickly. Soon, this will all be behind us just like sleep training.
Next, it will be potty training…
All prayers are welcomed. Thanks, in advance.