I’ve been breastfeeding for 48 months so far, with a 6 month break between kids, and it’s been mostly great. Part of the reason I’m into extended breastfeeding is that I work full-time and spend 9+ hours each weekday separated from my kids. I pumped until they each turned one, at which point they were able to drink non-human milk during the time I was not with them. With Charlotte, I continued nursing her mornings and evenings until I was into my second trimester with Campbell. At that point, it seemed to be a good idea to wean her for 2 reasons: it was getting increasingly uncomfortable for me, and I wanted there to be a good chunk of time between the end of her nursing and the beginning of her sibling doing so to try to offset any associated jealousy. She did fine with stopping, mostly because she LOVED cow’s milk in her bottle. Weaning her off the bottle was a battle, but that is for another post.
Now that Campbell is closing in on his second birthday, I’m starting to think about closing up the milk bar. There is NOTHING better than snuggling with him in the morning or at bedtime. But if you were to ask my advice on what nursing position has worked best as he has grown into toddlerhood, my answer is…defense.
Unlike Charlotte, he never took to a bottle (even with expressed milk), so I don’t deny him a nursing session if he requests one. And he requests one often when I’m around. If I stayed home during the week with him, I would not be giving in every three hours like I presently do on evenings and the weekends. Even though the working mom guilt is tugging firmly at my bra straps, I’m seeing the signs it may be time to wean my 22-month-old:
1. He multi-tasks; nursing and rehearsing his acrobatic skills.
2. His legs are long enough to reach behind me to my kidneys, which he kicks repeatedly.
3. Every couple of minutes he pops off for some idle chitchat: “Shoes? Wow. Hello!”
4. He wants to bring snacks. But he doesn’t share.
5. Sixteen teeth and a determined jaw.
6. He thinks if I’m sitting down it means I’m available for nursing. Even if I’m on the toilet.
7. He loves to run his fingers through my hair, and pull.
8. His word for my boobs? “Mine.”
I know that the time to stop will be when nursing is no longer working well for BOTH of us (and I have to remember that I count in this equation too). But I think I need him to be my baby just a little while longer.
How have YOU struggled with weaning?