A couple weeks ago I started sharing my weaning journey; for those of you who aren’t familiar with our story, Nora is two-and-a-half years old and I…I have no clue what I’m doing (ha!). In all honesty, though, I couldn’t find any pointers online about how to compassionately and effectively wean a toddler. Any advice I found was how to do this with babies so I’m hoping that by sharing my experience other moms may learn from my trial and error. You can read Part 1 here…and here is Part 2:
Day 7 – Nora fell out of her bed this morning. Oops. I didn’t refuse to nurse when she asked, I felt so bad. I also wasn’t feeling well and didn’t have much energy to put up a fight anyway.
Day 8 – Feeling this mystery sickness in full force today; my in laws were so wonderful to take Nora for a second day in a row so I could rest. We didn’t nurse today.
Day 9 – Nora ended up staying over my in laws since I had to work this morning (again, how awesomely helpful are they??). Because she only had been nursing in the morning and I didn’t see her this morning, we didn’t nurse.
Day 10 – I think she missed me after being apart for well over two days; it was really rough on her for me to say no to nursing this morning, but I held out.
Day 11 – She asked to nurse a lot today but didn’t complain much when I said no. I didn’t have to bribe her with some sort of substitution this time around – talking with her was enough.
Day 12 – Nora got into the nursing position but was satisfied with just snuggles. I also caught her nursing a doll at playgroup today and inwardly high fived myself.
Day 13 – My breasts are feeling very full and uncomfortable but I held out on nursing. I gave in and nursed after a couple days last time I felt full but I believe there’s no turning back now. I may have to break down and pull out the pump. I reallllllllly didn’t want to have to pump ever again but I also don’t want to risk mastitis or a clogged duct. I’ll make final decision when I get home from work tonight. This is officially the longest we’ve gone without nursing or without me expressing milk in some way.
Day 14 – I’m still waiting to pump. Nora went into full tantrum mode when I wouldn’t nurse her this morning, and threw everything off the coffee table with wild, sweeping arms. I let her be this time and didn’t move to scold her; I know this can’t be easy on her.
Day 15 – I turned a corner this morning with my breasts not feeling full. I never did use that pump again. Nora asks to nurse every day but I haven’t given in. There really is no turning back.
Day 16 – Nora fell out of the bed again at 3:00 this morning (I’m so sorry, kiddo!! I know it’s an awfully big bed!) The difference this time was that she didn’t ask to nurse for comfort. This is a huge step for us, since nursing her was my number one way of comforting her in the past. This makes me really feel like she’s becoming okay with the process to just want snuggles for comfort. I’m proud and sad at the same time.
It’s now been nearly 3 weeks since we nursed. I’m surprised at how many days have actually passed since I breastfed Nora last. I’m still processing how I’m feeling about the whole thing, and will try to share that with you at a later time. For now, though, Nora seems to be doing fine without the nursing. One thing I have noted is that we spend much more time now just sitting and snuggling on the couch than we ever did. Perhaps we had spent just as much time – and, I’m guessing, much, much more – sitting on the couch while nursing, but this feels like a very different type of snuggle than the ones I got while breastfeeding. Nothing will ever replace that feeling I had snuggling her while we nursed, but I have to admit these new snuggles feel pretty awesome, too.
While it’s been a week since she had a throw-everything-off-the-table fit, she still asks to nurse every day. She hasn’t put up a verbal fight at all since that last time, but I don’t think I’ll consider her fully weaned in every sense until she stops asking for it. I imagine that will take some time, since breastfeeding had been part of our lives for so long.
Still, for now, I’m going to call this the final chapter of weaning. I had again not expected for it to happen so quickly and, in my opinion, fairly painlessly – for us both. As I continue to work through the range of emotions I’m still experiencing surrounding the weaning process, I know that this journey isn’t entirely over. For the time being, though, it seems we have made the transition out of this phase of her childhood.
Now…can we wean her off of diapers, too?? 😉