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Breastfeeding Chronicles: I Keep Trying and Failing to Wean My Youngest

I am currently in the process of trying to wean my youngest and last baby.

Let me clarify. I am currently planning to wean my youngest and last baby. This planning stage has been occurring for the past 3 months. I am feeling apprehensive, anxious, and devastated. This stage of my life as a momma is (about to be) over.

sleeping and nursing- is he ready to wean?

He likes to have one hand on the boob at all times.

I nursed my first son, Jack, for 9 months. I was working full time and was pregnant with his brother. At the time, I was not knowledgeable about sustaining milk supply while pumping and pregnant. In honesty, as my milk supply waned, he seemed to self-wean with ease. He transitioned easily to a bottle and that became our new norm.

6 months after Jack finished nursing, his big, beautiful, hungry brother joined the ranks. Joe was hungry from the instant his umbilical cord was cut. My milk supply has more than kept up. We had ounces upon ounces of frozen milk in the fridge until we went away for a couple’s weekend, and he quickly depleted the freezer stash.

Over the past 18 months, we have tried twice to go away overnight for a couple’s weekend. The first time, we were told there was no way he would be welcomed as an overnight guest again. “He looked for boob all night.” Direct quote from his grandmother. The second time we went away, the hammer really came down. Joe could return only when he was no longer a boob addict. 

grumpy

This is how Joe feels about no more boob.

I was feeling low and torn, knowing that at 15 months he was ready to be weaned.

I also knew that I wasn’t ready to break that bond. As time went on, I made up my mind. January 1st would be the day. I even talked to my pediatrician about methods to wean. When I solicited advice, I was told that if I wanted to go cold turkey I could, “Put hot sauce on your nipples and say, ‘Momma’s boobies are hot.’ until he doesn’t want to nurse.” If I did not want to quit all at once we could have a conversation about “Momma’s boobies only work at bedtime.” Hmmm…

Here’s where we are at currently. It is almost February, Joe is about to turn 19 months. Our current status is no nursing during the day. I just say, “Momma’s boobies don’t work during the day, only at night-night.” He’s got that down. As soon as it’s dark and we are anywhere near a bedroom (doesn’t matter which one) he looks at me with his enormous blue eyes and says, “Boob?” I melt. We nurse all night. I don’t sleep well and I’m mad at myself that I’m still up to these shenanigans. Yet, we haven’t quit yet.

This weekend is D-Day. Friday night.

We’ve got an assortment of bottles, different milk types (almond, cow, formula) and Daddy on board to start our “No More Boob” campaign. I’ve warned Dad of the shrieking and lost sleep that we will endure. I mean, if he’s that bad when he sleeps at Grammy’s and has no boob milk, he’s going to be unhappy when the milk factory is in the same house, but permanently closed!

nursing

One of our last photos nursing.

I keep giving myself pep talks every night like we’re heading into a big sports game.  I’m taking picture after picture of him nursing. Leading up to this weekend I am spending time reminding him that we will soon be “all done” with nursing. I keep telling him, “Soon, Momma’s boobies won’t work anymore.”

Am I crazy to think that he gets it? Perhaps, it won’t be so bad. Maybe the pep talks and honesty will help him transition smoothly. This is definitely a challenging decision, and to me, an even more challenging task. All I know right now is that I at least have to try. Like so many parent moves we just have to try.

How did you wean your babies? How did you feel? What worked for you?

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2 Responses to Breastfeeding Chronicles: I Keep Trying and Failing to Wean My Youngest

  1. Christine February 10, 2017 at 11:29 am #

    It’s such a hard decision and so personal, but my question is, why do you feel the need to set a specific date? Or specific constraints around when he can nurse? It was tough to wean my daughter. But then I went on meds for Lyme disease and had to stop cold turkey at age 2. Now 1.5 years later, she still talks about it and nostalgically touches my breasts through my shirt with a look in her eye like she misses them still. It was traumatic. She still wakes up in the night calling for me. No judgement just curious if you feel the pressure from society telling you to stop soon. Good luck! Do what works for you and I hope you get some sleep soon

  2. Megan February 10, 2017 at 12:28 pm #

    Hi Christine!

    Thank you for asking. It is a very personal decision. I do not feel pressure from society to stop nursing. I started with day weaning because there were other activities that would distract him from nursing. He slowly stopped asking to nurse as frequently until he no longer asked during the day. I chose a specific date to stop because personally, I had to plan to stop and a date made it seem concrete.

    For the first time in 4 years I have a girls trip planned. I will be away from the boys for 4 nights. My youngest is unable to self soothe and will not take a bottle from Dad. No one sleeps if I’m not home! We also have several overnight trips, without kids, planned in the next 6 months.

    I too expect boob grabs with looks of longing! I feel that weaning at any age is hard for any momma.

    Thank you for reading the blog and asking questions!

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