Monday, May 12, 2014

Weaning

Tonight I nursed Benjamin to sleep for hopefully the last time. He honestly very rarely nurses to sleep anymore (tonight he was in quite a bad mood). He is, after all, 1 year, 11 months, and 9 days old.

I obviously don't know how to wean this child but we're slowly, slowly getting there.

Thanks to the crazy mixed-up schedule at church lately, we've cut out his sacrament meeting nursing session. That was the one day-time nurse that he just couldn't kick. He'd get bored during sacrament meeting and demand (and I mean demand) to nurse. Any other day of the week and he simply wouldn't have time for such things. But sacrament meeting meant an hour-long open-buffet in his mind.

And now it isn't, thankfully.

So we're down to one or two nursing sessions per day: morning and night.

Some days we only nurse in the morning and I'm able to get him to go to sleep without nursing at night (the new fridge has been helpful here because sometimes if he asks to nurse and I offer him a cup of ice water instead he'll be satisfied with the latter option). Some days—if our morning is terribly rushed or exciting—we're able to skip the morning nurse.

We've never successfully skipped both (meaning we've never gone a full day without nursing at least once) but hopefully we'll start to because I'm hoping to have him weaned by his second birthday (that gives us just a few weeks).

The problem is he's terribly dependent on nursing to control his mood.

He will wake up a grumpy, bleary-eyed toddler. But nurse him and he transforms into a happy, giggling boy.

If he's fussing and whining about going to bed (which will turn into a full-on tantrum), all I have to do is nurse him and he'll agree to go down quietly.

How do I take that away when he show no inclination of dropping the habit himself?

Rachel nursed until she was 19 months old. I tried to wean her by 18 months but we missed our mark. She gave it up fairly easily but I was still making too much milk when I initially tried weaning her. I had to reintroduce her to nursing in order for her to wean off more gradually than I thought we'd have to.

Miriam nursed until she was 22 months old. I missed the 18-month mark with her as well, but it was the middle-of-the-night feed that she wouldn't give up. I finally told her that I was no longer going to nurse her at 4 AM so she just shouldn't bother waking me up. She stopped nursing cold-turkey; I never nursed her again after that discussion.

And then there's Benjamin—23 months old and quite content to nurse until he's ready for college.

I don't really know what I'm going to do about him.

4 comments:

  1. Good luck! I'm impressed with how long you've made it with all your kids! Gareth self-weaned around 11 months (and he would've given it up earlier, but for some reason I thought we just *had* to make it to a year). Malcolm enjoyed nursing more and probably would've been content to go for at least 18 months. But I found myself getting extremely anxious to stop sharing my body with him as we neared a year. So I somehow managed to gradually wean him around 13 months or so. Again, good luck!

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  2. I have been nursing for five years straight... And in two weeks, will be done, possibly forever. I have been trying to wean Tallulah because I leave so soon but she is not having it (she's 26 months) so we will probably both be in for a rude awakening after I leave. I have her down to once a day but can't get her to cut that middle of the night feeding, I wish she was smart like Miriam and would understand when I told her it was the last time, that's incredible she understood and complied at so young. Good luck with Benjamin!

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  3. I have no advice. I left the state for four days, came home and she started nursing again. I think weaning happens when your desire to not nurse outweighs your desire to not hear them complaining they want to nurse. Good luck lady!

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