September 5, 2011

The weaning game

Let me start with this- I love breastfeeding. I feel such a bond with my children knowing that I am giving them an amazing gift that my body was created to do. I have never once, for a second, regretted my choice to breastfeed. Through three bouts of mastitis, having to fuss about food and drink choices, and spending the first 6+ months of my children's lives being tied down by the availability of a breast pump or hungry baby, I have loved all of it (okay, I wouldn't have missed the mastitis, but it was still worth it).

Okay, now that we have cleared that up...

I am ready for Delaney to be done. I feel like such a bad mom for even saying that, but it's the truth! Delaney is 13 months today, and we are in a process of weaning her. It is awful! I actually never had to do this with Jameson. He was nursing until about 14 months, but it was only once at night and it was a "sit down with mommy, have our nursing time, and go on to bed" routine, so I didn't mind it at all. Then, suddenly, he just stopped. It wasn't traumatic (well, not for him, I was actually kind of sad about it). Delaney, on the other hand, seems to mistake "mommy" for "drinking fountain". If she was actually nursing every time, I wouldn't mind at all. But, instead, she will latch on for about a minute, pull off, and want to get back down to play. This was happening constantly throughout the day. And please, don't try to just tell me to "not let her"- you obviously haven't met Delaney if you think this is possible. She is an all or nothing kind of girl. We have pretty much discovered that if we are going to put a stop to this, it is going to have to be a "we're done" kinda thing.

Where the problem comes in is that, although I am firm and resolute about how I feel about starting breastfeeding, I am totally stumped when it comes to understanding how I feel about ending it. I am so torn! I have done so much research and soul searching and I am not sure how I feel about weaning. I do know that I have no interest in nursing my children until they are toddlers and they decide to stop nursing. I know that some moms are fine with that, and that is good for them, it is just not something I think is right for me. But, on the other hand, I am really not interested in putting my baby through a stressful weaning experience when I really don't see any harm in letting her nurse for a (little) while longer. Plus, as ready as I am to be done, I think I am really going to miss it when she is done!

Do you see why I am getting nowhere with this? Ugh! I guess Jameson has me spoiled! I suppose at this point I am just playing it by ear and hoping that I get lucky and she will do it all on her own so it can be a positive experience for both of us!

Yeah, I think she will find herself plenty to eat without nursing...


  1. Awe, that's so hard. I think girls are just harder to deal with, period. Maybe if you picked her up and just cuddled her? Maybe she'd stop using you like a pacifier? I don't know. All of my kiddos have been sooo different. Danny self-weaned at 11 months, but he was only nursing at night at that point. Bella started wanting less and less around 9 months. Cali loved her "milky" and wouldn't give it up and so we went cold turkey around 17 months. She was already not enjoying it as much because I was pregnant... Alaina go ripped away at 6 months because I was always driving with her and had to start supplementing. We'll see with Eviana. Go with what feels natural to you. You are in my thoughts and prayers!

  2. Could you try having a bottle/cup/whatever of milk ready in the fridge for her, and when she wants to nurse like that, offer that and lots of good snuggles? Does that count as just not letting her? I realize I'm offering suggestions as someone with no experience, so I won't be offended if you don't think it will work!

  3. Thanks, ladies! We have tried the cuddle with a sippy thing, and that actually works most of the time, but she will just get to a point where all she wants is nursing. Generally Shaun just takes her because if she has me I think she knows it is right there. I just want to do what is best for her and I don't want it to be traumatic! I am really okay with her going for awhile longer if she does it just before bed, but I don't light being a pacifier! Ugh!