Friday, November 21, 2008


D will soon be 10 months old, and thus my mind is beginning to turn to the process of weaning him. Yesterday we went to the library and I found a copy of The Nursing Mother's Guide to Weaning. It's a topic that seems so simple at first (you just stop breastfeeding) but there's so much more to it-- when? How quickly? After having the benefits of breastmilk and its nutritional value imprinted on my brain, how do I make sure he's getting adequate nutrition without it? Etc.

The plan is to continue nursing through his first birthday, and then start weaning from there. I've read warnings to expect the process to take up to several months, so I'm cautiously optimistic that we'll be done by spring/summer. He's been dping better lately with drinking out of a sippy cup and even a regular cup, which I figure is pretty key to him being able to take in enough other liquids to substitute my milk. He also seems to be completely fine with the dairy I've added back into my diet, so I'm hopeful that he'll also be ready for cow's milk by 1 year.

I remind myself that I should enjoy these last months of breastfeeding, but honestly I'm not sure how much I'll miss it. It's nice to snuggle up several times a day, but thinking about it I don't know if I find nursing sessions any more comforting or special that the times he crawls up to me and hugs me, laying his head down on my shoulder (I guess I'm not guaranteed how often that will happen each day, which is the difference). I am glad that I've been able to breastfeed D this long, something I give both Zach and D a lot of credit for. There were many times in the first months when I might've quit if it weren't for Zach (they say the husbands' support of breastfeeding is a huge factor in how long mom will do it, which I think is so, so true), and if D hadn't been so adamantly against it he might've ended up on formula after the dropping-off-his-growth-curve debaucle. But I also can't help but look forward to being done with breastfeeding, for completely selfish reasons-- I want to wear regular bras again (the idea of a Victoria's Secret shopping spree makes me want to jump with joy). And be able to pick out my clothes without thinking of whether I can breastfeed easily in them or not. It also will be nice to get past breastfeeding and see what my body does once I'm not producing food for another person anymore, so I can buy clothes again and have some hope of them fitting for a while to come. Reading the weaning guide, where they speak of how nursing for two years is really the ideal, I feel a bit of guilt-- is it really that much to ask to put my selfishness aside for another few months/year for the benefit of my son and his health? But when I think about continuing to breastfeed, and all that means, I feel my heart sink, and that seems like a good sign to me that it may be time to stop soon.

One thing that will happen sooner than later, is that once we get back from our week in Texas I think Zach and I will try to cut down on D's night feedings. It's been months since I've had more than about 4 hours of sleep in a row, and while I know that's normal for some kids/moms and I know a few that get by on less than that, the lack of sleep is starting to really get to me. Even one consistent 6 hour stretch a night would be nice. I don't like taking feedings away from D or letting him cry, but I also strongly believe in both baby's and mama's need for sleep and rest. And sanity. When I find myself so tired that I'm desperately fighting off sleep while D is playing, or worse, while driving, I figure it's about time to draw the line.


  1. I recently read "No Cry Sleep Solution" and it made a lot of sense to me. It discusses how to deal with the night time feeding issue.

    One idea is to get them to increase their food intake during the day while at the same time having the non-food source (also known as Daddy) help them soothe themselves back to sleep at night without a feeding.

  2. R weaned herself at 13 months. As her solids increased, she lost interest in milk from mama. I miss it terribly. My mom said that was about when we all weaned too. It was good because she was getting pretty heavy and we weren't really comfortable sitting anymore. Had to lay down.

    I don't know how people nurse until 2 yrs. The kiddo gets so big.

    No guilt here. She turned out just fine, and has quite an active mind and healthy body.

  3. E's still nursing at 14 months but we are down to just two sessions a day (first thing in the morning, last thing at night). This was my goal so that I could be away from her during the day (trying to go back to work) and so that I could wear normal bras again (yay! though you should see my boobs--boo!). One thing I didn't know about that happened to me, though--when I dropped from four feedings a day to two, I got really, really nauseas, like first-trimester nauseas. I had to add a feeding back for a while so my hormones could catch up. I plan to keep up the BFing through the winter since Ellie started daycare but I have to confess that I am looking forward to being done! It's already very different nursing an older child who knows to lift up my shirt and gets in the oddest positions to feed!



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