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working towards a weaner

January 24, 2011
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My daughter is now 17 mo. we have breastfed exclusively since she was born.  People always asked me the same two questions ” are you going to breastfeed?” and “for how long?” My typical answer in the beginning was, until she gets teeth and bites me. Well that moment has come and gone and I haven’t been bitten yet. well, not hard enough to make me quit. So then I thought, well surely once she starts eating solids she won’t be interested in nursing (as I know happens with many babies). Nope. Still loves it. So then I said, one year. She doesn’t need it after one year, I’m stopping pumping after a year so no more bottles and no more boobies. Ok, 5 months later we’re still at it.

I want to wean her, I really do. And she definitely has her days where she is not interested in it. but those are few. I want my boobs back. I stopped wearing nursing bras so now I’m stretching all of my regular bras when she nurses. (awful idea but I’m not pulling the nursing bras back out. ) I thought, once she moves into her own bed (at 16mo – but that’s a whole different story) she won’t nurse through the night, which is true, so she won’t want to do it during the day. WRONG. The minute I see her after work – I can’t do anything until I nurse. B/c she cries for it, she pulls my shirt up, she asks for it. she points me to the couch so we can sit and nurse. And I’m torn – I love the time with her. Working all day, it’s our moment together. But jeez, I’d like to be able to pee when I get home. (On top of this, she does it if I meet her and her dad out somewhere right after work, or if I get home early in the day, it’s the same thing. So it’s not a  time of day thing – it’s a “mommy is home” thing)

Both my husband and our pediatrician (who I love) tell me its my responsibility and it is, I know. And I don’t want a 5 year old hanging off my boob. But it’s seriously hard to say no to her. I barely have any milk anymore so I know she’s just doing it for the comfort. And I think that makes it even harder, b/c I don’t want to take that away from her.  So what do I do? I need help!

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Lynn permalink
    January 24, 2011 2:24 pm

    I started out intent on breastfeeding but without any set age limit in mind. By 18 months, I *had* to nightwean in order to get some sleep (we were still co-sleeping). It was around that age that we also stopped nursing in public. Not because of feeling shameful about it, but just to cut down on the frequency in a way Iris could understand. If you want to cut back on nursing but don’t feel quite ready (or don’t think your daughter is ready) to wean completely, I think your daughter may be old enough to understand whatever limits you decide to set for her. Also, be prepared for the hormonal shift that will occur in you when you do wean completely. I’ve known several women who were caught completely off guard by the depressive symptoms they experienced for a few months post-weaning. Good luck! Yet another aspect of motherhood that is tricky to navigate.

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