I have been debating writing this for a few months now but honestly it’s still a challenging topic for me. It seems that shortly after I wrote our last update that our nursing relationship took a sudden turn.
Edith and I have had quite the nursing relationship over the past 20+ months. We started with non-stop nursing which left me stressed and in tears, to hourly nursing, to bi-hourly and then for many months we nursed 6-8x during the day and then 1-2x at night. For the most part we have followed baby led weaning with the exception of night weaning. In December I decided that we just didn’t need to nurse at night any longer, my new pregnancy and midnight wake ups to comfort nurse were just too much for me. Since Edith had been dry nursing aka not eating nursing but rather just soothing herself back to sleep for about a month at that point I decided that it was time. I talked to Edith about it and started slowly with the process and after about a week she was fully night weaned. We nursed around 7pm and then not again until at least 5am.
Shortly after this Edith started to drop nursing sessions during the day as well and despite my asking her if she wanted to nurse (what seemed like) constantly she would usually say now and started only nursing when she woke up in the morning, before nap, sometimes mid-afternoon and before bed. By mid-January we had dropped down to morning and night and by the end of January just mornings and then just like that it was over. In February Edith asked to nurse maybe five times and all of those times she nursed for 60 seconds max.
While this makes things a little easier on pregnancy number two and I am glad she made the decision to stop nursing on her own it is still a challenge for me. I had these grand plans of nursing her until at least two and possibly even tandem nursing. I never thought that she would self-wean so early. Even now it makes me sad that we don’t have that time any longer. Now we read books together all day long and this is our new nursing time. I can’t help but wonder if my decision to night wean prompted her to self-wean or if maybe my new pregnancy pushed her to self-wean as I have heard to toddlers self-weaning around 18 months when mama is pregnant. Either way she has and it’s over.
How long did you nurse? Did you choose to wean or did your baby/toddler wean on their own? How did you handle weaning (literally, emotionally, physically)?
Kathleen Ojo @ My Ojos
It’s hard, weaning 🙁 my daughter weaned herself at 13 months, and probably would have done so even sooner if I hadn’t held on! She had no interest in the bottle either, and jumped straight to a sippy. Emotionally I was okay with it- I saw it coming and picked a day for our last session, to make it special. Physically I felt full for a few days but otherwise had no discomfort, but my supply was always pretty low anyway. I wrote about my experience here: http://www.myojos.net/2013/11/weaned.html?m=0. But don’t worry, you’ll be able to reestablish that special relationship with you new little one!
Lemon and I always struggled with nursing. We ended up moving in November, and our first night at the new house she would not nurse to bed like we had been doing the 16 months before that. It was scary for me. I felt rejected in a way. Then the next day she wouldn’t nurse again, then the next, and the next. She was done, just like that. It was so sudden. It was really hard, but it was a big relief in a way too. Like I said, we always struggled. I had to pump when I was at work, I was always worried about having enough milk, etc. My biggest goal was making it at least a year. I did not want to use formula of any kind, so I was just happy I made it that long. Once I made it past a year I relaxed a bit about my goal and just decided that whenever she was done, that was fine. It was still really hard though. I felt so needed for so long, and then it was just over.
My son will be 2 on May 2nd. Currently I am still nursing. I am a full time student and really busy during the days so during the week he nurses upon waking, when we get home around 5 and before bed. On the weekends he nurses on and off throughout the day but I try to make it revolve around before and after sleep. I am not producing very much and it is more of a comfort thing for him. He is very possessive of his “bubby” and I can’t see him self weaning anytime in the near future. I am struggling a little bit because I enjoy the time he really lays there and nurses but he doesn’t do that very much anymore. He just wants to nurse for 60 seconds at a time then play for a minute than nurse again for 60 seconds. When he nurses now he wants to hold my other breast in his hand and pinch my nipple which is uncomfortable for me. I have to hold my shirt closed on the opposite side he is nursing to prevent this. He gets really upset. If he had his way he would want my beasts just hanging out at all times for him to suck on like a pacifier at whim. This Is Not Practical. Because it is turning more and more into a possessive thing that he only wants when he can’t have. Or he wants both out together with one to hold and pinch as a sensory type of comfort. I’ve been wanting to wean him myself because our nursing time isn’t so special anymore and causes more tantrums than soothing relaxation for mom and baby. I’m not really sure how to go about this though. I feel bad because he never really became attached to a pacifier or a blanket/stuffed animal to transition to. I’m not really sure what to do but what we a are doing now is not working. Any tips?
Eriana and I never did well with nursing, and two months in she wasn’t getting nearly enough nourishment, and I was pumping more often than nursing because she actually ate from bottles and just fell asleep at the breast. So at 2 mos I started exclusively pumping which was heartbreaking for me. I did that for two months and it just was so time-consuming and so painful and we were still supplementing, so I gave up completely. I cried for days. But it was what was right for us. If I were to have more biological children or adopt a newborn I might try again and hire a lactation consultant to help instead of just asking around for help from my friends.
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