April 12, 2012
More on breastfeeding, and questions about weaning
We’re still (happily) breastfeeding. I ended up pumping during my trip to New York, realizing just in time that it would be a terrible idea to wean cold turkey while away from home. Although I almost ended up weaning accidentally…as my train pulled into Penn Station I realized that I had forgotten the attachments for my pump! I had bottles and the actual pump, but completely forgot the “nozzles”…thank goodness for friends of friends!! I pumped kind of sporadically while I was there, which luckily didn’t affect my supply at all.
At this point, I’ve decided that I’m going to breastfeed for the full year, partly based on the AAP recommendation, partly to try and avoid bottles and formula and eventually wean directly onto milk, and partly in case any of the research on the cancer preventing benefits (in mothers) is true. I know there are a ton of other reasons out there, but these are the ones that resonated with me.
I’m still questioning whether I’m going to miss the “bonding” aspect of breastfeeding. I feel pretty confident that I’m still going to get my snuggles and cuddles and honestly, I’m pretty ready to have my body back. Not my physical body, but ownership of it. 😉 I think it’s kind of going to be like being pregnant…I loved every second of being pregnant, but once A was here, I never missed having him inside rather than out. Every day with him gets better and I have made a conscious effort through this whole process – of growing him to raising him – to enjoy each moment and milestone, without pining for what has passed or looking forward to what will come.
So now I’m trying to figure out how the weaning process actually works. I don’t have any interest in extended breastfeeding (although I absolutely don’t judge anyone who decides that’s right for them!), so I’m planning to start weaning right around his first birthday. I honestly think that he is psychologically ready for it now, so I’m not worried about harming him by “taking away the boob.” He uses a pacifier and really doesn’t need the boob to settle down or go to sleep, which I have always been so grateful for!
My problem is finding some practical advice on how to actually wean, without judgement or guilt for not continuing through to two years or beyond! From what I gather, you start with the feeding where you think they’d least miss it – so for us that’s going to be lunch – and offer milk instead. Then once he’s comfortable with that, move on to another feeding (probably breakfast in our case). So if all goes well, we’d get down to just the morning and evening feedings within a few weeks. I’m thinking that the early morning feeding will probably be the last to go, and maybe that’s just solved by moving breakfast a little earlier and adding a mid-morning snack?
Does anyone else have any suggestions, success stories, or recommendations for reading material?