Welcome to week 11 of the Breastfeeding Blog Hop hosted by The Gnome’s Mom, Happiness Redefined and myself! If you haven’t linked up before- it’s simple. Just write a post that focuses on the weekly topic, add your link to the linky and grab the code for your own post. Readers will be able to hop from post to post and see all of our different perspectives. The linky is open until midnight on Friday.
This week we are talking about WEANING. Any facet of weaning is welcome- full on stopping, night-weaning, weaning earlier than you expected or want. If it has to do with weaning, the post is welcome here.
I’ve been spending some time on The Leaky B@@b Facebook page recently. I see the requests for people to answer questions come across my feed and I jump over, just in case I have some wisdom that might help someone.
Lately I have seen a lot of questions about whether or not it’s possible that an infant would self-wean before they turn one. Almost without question, people jump in and say it would be very rare for that to happen.
Really? I just don’t buy that.
Just because the WHO recommends breastfeeding until the age of 2 doesn’t mean that all babies are going to follow that timeline. My twins refused to nurse at 4 months(and really the entire 4 months was a struggle), my youngest son weaned just a few days after his first birthday but started dropping sessions at 6 months- as soon as he was mobile.
For us there was no fighting it. Just as I couldn’t force the twins to nurse (no matter how much help I had) I was not able to make Judah continue to nurse. He was much more interested in playing with his brothers than sitting in my lap. Even for a few minutes at a time. We tried going into other rooms, having little rituals to bring his attention back to the task at hand, but no dice.
When he started walking at eight and a half months, it all went downhill. I pretty much went from sitting in the Big Red Chair nursing around the clock to chasing him around trying to get him to sit still and nurse. And then correcting him as he chewed his way through my nipples to show me his displeasure at being asked to nurse when he didn’t want to.
Of course before bed, late night and early morning were sacred, but even they were dropped one by one. We comfort nursed when needed but pretty much from 8am until 11pm he wanted a sippy cup, like his brothers.
I didn’t even realize we were at the end until one morning I pulled him into bed with me and offered and he pushed me away and crawled off the bed. Done. I got one more chance the next day, but I think that was just so I could enjoy that one last time and KNOW that we were done.
I was happy to have made it a year. That was the long term goal when I started. Of course the plan was to reevaluate once we got there, but we never actually thought we would get there. He didn’t make it easy on me by being so independent. There were many times when we thought it wasn’t going to happen, but we hung on. We scraped it together and made it work.
I can say without hesitation that all of my boys weaned themselves. I don’t think it’s as uncommon as some would like us to believe. Would I have liked them to nurse longer? Of course. But I also wanted it to be something that wasn’t fraught with frustration, stress and tears.
I am glad he led the way. I am glad I didn’t have to make the decision and take something away from him. He may not fit into other people’s idea of when he should have weaned, but it was all him.
That much I know is true.
Have you been through the weaning process before? What was your experience?