My “baby” turns two next month, and we’re oh-so-quickly approaching a milestone that is both exciting and sad at the same time: weaning. While I’m going to be VERY happy to “reclaim my boobs,” I also find myself scared to wean, which is something I didn’t expect.
Aside from the obvious worry about pain as I try to “dry up,” my biggest fear is that I will lose our special moments at bedtime. We’ve always nursed to sleep, and when AB was younger, she would slowly drift off into a milk-drunk slumber in my arms. She was so peaceful, softly breathing and utterly relaxed. Sometimes her eyelids would flutter as she dreamed whatever it is that babies dream about. I could hardly take my eyes off her to lay her in her own crib.
Now that she is older, she rarely falls right to sleep, but instead will sit up afterwards and snuggle with me. She will tell me what’s on her mind, whether it’s the toy she wants to sleep with, or what color hair everyone in our family has. These whispered conversations absolutely melt my heart. We have to share each other’s company with the rest of the family during the day, but these moments before bedtime are ours alone. I wonder if when we stop nursing, will we ever have moments like this again?
It’s funny because I never saw myself as “that mom” who would end up nursing a toddler. Even though the World Health Organization recommends breastfeeding until at least two years of age, the single response I receive when someone finds out I’m still nursing is ASTONISHMENT.
I’m so happy and proud that we made it this far, but I would be lying if I said I wasn’t looking forward to having a bit more freedom. I have a work trip scheduled a few months from now, so that actually creates a concrete deadline to wean. Even still, I haven’t been able to bring myself to officially “start” the process. I keep telling myself that there is plenty of time. Or maybe I just wish there was plenty of time.
I worried that AB would be devastated to give up nursing, but it seems like really it is I who am scared to wean! My baby isn’t really a baby anymore, and she needs me less already. I know it’s a part of growing up, but it really is so hard to let go sometimes!
What about you mamas? Do you ever miss nursing? Was there anything that made weaning easier for you?
Helpful weaning resources:
- Mama’s Milk is All Gone – a book made for toddlers to help them better understand what’s happening and make a smoother transition through the weaning process.
- LaMa Bra for Breastfeeding Engorgement Relief – comes with removable velvety cold packs
>>Read more of my posts about breastfeeding here<<
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Thankfully, weaning wasn’t painful or long for me. I was worried that I’d have mastitis (I’d had it twice before). But I’d go without feeding for 24 hours, then when I saw that the breasts weren’t very full, I went longer than that and soon the milk was gone. I was relieved to have such a smooth transition. I started weaning at 18 months (the plan was also to feed until around 2 years), because I found out I’m pregnant 🙂 we had quite a few nursing problems in the beginning with my first (due to him being tongue tied and no one noticing at first), but I definitely don’t regret sticking it out! I love how easy it is (don’t need to waste extra time washing bottles, don’t need to get milk ready when heading out somewhere). I’m excited to give it another go with baby number 2. Hopefully the beginning won’t be as hard this time around. Great job with sticking to breastfeeding! Who cares what people think or say, it’s obviously the best for the baby, and also has benefits for the mom. God knew what he was doing when he designed it to be that way!
Also, don’t worry too much about those moments being gone – my little one loves to cuddle, kiss me, etc. 🙂 you could spend that time reading a book or singing a song instead, just the 2 of you
Stacey aka the Soccer Mom says
I’m not as worried about mastitis as I am that she’s going to have a tough time. She LOVES her mama milk and I know she still gets nutrients from it, especially on days where she’s a bit picky at dinner. Thank you so much for your encouragement!!
My boy turned 2 mid-May and still feeds to sleep! We are down to once or twice during the day and once overnight if he wakes up. I’m kinda ready to give it up but I don’t think he is!! I’m just riding with it ? just do what you and AB want to do, it has nothing to do with anyone else!!
Stacey aka the Soccer Mom says
Hi Katie – Thank you for your kind advice 🙂 We actually just weaned a couple weeks ago, and it turned out to be such a non-issue for AB! We cut down one feeding each week leading up to a weekend out-of-town trip for me. It was a clean break without me there for a few days, and she didn’t ask to nurse when I returned. I think we were both ready after all, but I am glad we had as long as we needed.