Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Weaning: Stage 3 Accomplished.

seems so long ago, these cuddle naps
Ok so we are half way to weaned.  It's a long process for us because I do not believe in sudden weaning, nor should anyone (I think). It can be dangerous for mommy and baby.  But it's hard, is a conscious choice every day to remind myself to not offer the breast and start new feeding patterns.  We're on stage 4 of our 6 stage weaning timeline; aka what I came up with to give me a list to guide me down this process and make it feel less crazy.

Stage 1: Get my high needs baby to nap without being on the breast. Either before or immediately after.
Stage 2: Wean off day time feedings.  Gradually.
Stage 3: Change night/bed-time pattern.
Stage 4: Drop night feeding and start changing morning pattern.
Stage 5: Drop morning feeding.
Stage 6: Mourn the loss of my baby and accept my independent little toddler.  And put away all my nursing clothes.

Dropping the daytime feedings were rough in that I had to repeatedly, all day, for weeks, refuse his little hand sign for "milk" and "more"--especially during the times when he would be crying and whining, and putting his little hands together so hard I though he was going to break his little fingers trying to sign "more milk". Then he got used to pointing at the fridge, me taking the jar of his smoothie out, and us sitting in the chair all cuddled and him drinking it.  Still cuddling, still giving lots of affection.  So he's gotten used to it.  

Changing the night time pattern is rough if he's napped to early and he's crying and just wants to nurse for comfort, to sleep.  But he's slowly started to let me read him more and more books.  He still points furiously to the chair and boppy pillow we only use at night, but last night we skipped the chair, the pillow, and only had 2 minutes of nursing on each side and he let me read him 3 books and rock him to sleep.  Today we put away the nursing pillow. Tonight we will try the same.  Tomorrow, no night time feeding.  

I cried as I was rocking him last night.  He curled up and was just falling asleep--hearing his little snores made me feel like I'm losing this huge time in his life where he's a baby.  It's over.  My little pink infant is a toddler who walks, talks, and can clearly communicate.  He's no baby.  

This whole process has been gradual.  There's almost no guidance out there (although this article was the most helpful, non-helpful article I've found) on how or what ways there are out there to wean.  And with my little high needs, breastfeeding addicted, little boy I really struggled. I am struggling.  But he's doing remarkably well.  It's such an end to this hugely important time in his life.  In my life. In our life.  And it's almost over.  So emotional.  I never expected to love breastfeeding like this.
Post a Comment