Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Weaning the Unweanable

Trent was such an easy kid to wean. He never cared breast vs. bottle, he just wanted his milk. The timing was really great too for when I wanted to wean {he was about 14 months}. I was going through an inspection at work that was going to mean 2 weeks of 60+ hour work weeks. Brent was going to be flying solo, and we used those 2 weeks as the perfect opportunity to wean. I was usually gone when Trent woke up and home after he went to bed, so there just wasn't any opportunities for me to breastfeed {those being the only times we still were at that point}. When the inspection was over, and I was around again, he never really cared about breastfeeding anymore. It was SO easy.

Drew? Not so much. Girlfriend has, at worst, hated bottles and, at best, been indifferent to them. But me? She LOVES to nurse. I wanted to nurse past 2 for a multitude of reasons, and we're now past that point. And it has been a battle since the first minute we started the weaning process. 

When she turned 2, I was still pretty much nursing on demand, and she might nurse 6-8 times/day. My first step was to not let her nurse every chance she wanted and started to get more strict - when she woke up, before/after nap, at bedtime. We did that for a while, and I started to notice I could distract her after naps with other things, so it was pretty easy to get rid of that session. Then I realized she wasn't really nursing at bedtime much, so Brent and I have started switching off who puts her to bed, and I just stopped cold turkey. Sometimes she asks and will cry when I tell her 'You can have milk in the morning', but I can distract her with singing or another book. Same thing at her nap.

But the morning session? I have NO clue how/when we'll stop that one. This is the one time a day she REALLY still nurses - for a good 20 minutes. She asks for it first thing and afterwards will smile and say 'My milkie'. Yes, it is, little girl, but not for much longer!

Spring Break has been a little tough as we've together a lot more, and she's been asking for it more, but I bribe distract her, so I'm hopeful that once we get past this week, we can work out a plan for cutting the morning out. But I won't lie and tell you I'm not nervous...because I am!

If you made it this far through this post, you are a saint. Mainly I just wanted to document my thoughts around this process and remember how sweet my girl is and how much I've enjoyed the past 2 years nursing and bonding with her!

Our last nap nursing session...she was home sick, and I was trying to be on a conference call, and she was ready to nap. I nursed her during the call, and she fell asleep {she hasn't done that in AGES}. Such a precious memory.


Karen M. Peterson said...

I'm sorry. I obviously haven't been there and don't know what it's like, but I'm sure it's tough for both of you!