There are few things I am wholey and completely proud of in my life. One of those things is the amount of time I have managed to breastfeed Bug. However, every superpower has its day and my wife thinks it may be time to hang up my super hero cape. Bug is nearly two years old and she is still nursing.
A few months ago we began the weaning process.
First, I refused to nurse her in the car. That was pure hell. She would scream from the backseat, pointing at the vacant spot next to her, “Mommy! Sit! Babo! Puh-lease?!?”
It killed me, but I was glad to be free of the contortion acts, sore neck and back spasms that resulted from feeding her while in motion.
Then we took on the recommended “don’t offer, don’t deny.” It was an easy transition. I don’t think she really realized anything had changed.
Next? We erradicated feeding in public. Now, I did go back on this last week. She was tired and the other kids weren’t ready to leave yet. I covered her up, latched her on and let her be. But as a general rule, no public feeds. Thankfully she no longer asks.
We took the “don’t ask, don’t deny” approach one step further. If she asks, I will attempt to distract or bribe her. Unless she absolutely wants/needs it, she stops asking.
The next “step” was to eliminate my least favorite feeding. That was an easy choice and easy to distract her from….the dreaded morning feed. At first, when she asked, I would pick her up and we would discuss breakfast options, etc. Getting out of bed is crucial. It’s harder to deny an inquiring nursling when you are cuddled in a nice warm bed!
She no longer nurses in the morning.
So, here we are.
During the day, she nurses for ten to twenty minutes before she naps. If she gets up early enough, I will let her nurse a bit to wake up.
Before bed is the same as nap time, but there is no after bed time feed. However, there are in the middle of bed time feeds. Also known as night feeds. Occasionally, she will sleep through the night, but typically she wakes to nurse very briefly twice a night. She never really wakes up, she just crawls over, latched on and passes back out.
On the weekends, she tends to nurse a bit more, especially if I sit.
I guess our next step is to gently encourage her to drop another feed. While I would LOVE to eradicate the night feeds, fighting/distracting/comforting a screaming toddler at two and six a.m. sounds less than appealing.
And yet, I cherish our nap and bedtime feeds.
So, we are on our way. Now, I will not deny her comfort. I will not force her to wean. I fully believe in child lead weaning, but I also have to respect my wife. Therefore, we will begin to eliminate night feeds as gently and calmly as possible and go from there….at her own pace.
I think her nap and bed time feeds will be the hardest (and longest) to obliterate, but this is the next step. Hopefully she will be fully weaned by the time she hits thirteen.
Ok. I’m totally kidding, lighten up.
Here is day twenty-six of the photo challenge, close up. How I will miss these moments!