Sunday, July 20, 2014

Adventures in Weaning .... Episode 1!

Today my baby boy is 20 months old!

Mr. Handsome at church this morning

We have been talking about weaning him off and on-- just things like when and how...  I'm super happy that we have made it to 20 months of breastfeeding, it's been an amazing journey so far and though I'm not ready to give it up completely (and neither is he), we are ready to start the process. 

I had somewhat hoped that he would start to self-wean a little past a year and he would be done by now.  He isn't slowing down much lately though and actually since school has been out for the summer and I have been with him all the time now he has picked it up a little more.  Pretty sure he would be nursing well beyond 2 if I let him.  But this mama is about ready to be done.  I'm happy we have made it this far and we have both benefited from it immensely.  I am ready though to have my body back to myself for a bit; and we are not preventing baby number 2 right now so a break between nursing and being pregnant will be nice. 

Our typical day goes like this--- he wakes up in the morning and nurses first thing.  Then we are up for the day and he usually goes the whole morning and down for his nap without it.  (Once in a while on a day where he's fighting the nap I will go ahead and nurse him before.)  Then he usually asks to nurse as soon as he wakes up, another random time in the evening (sometimes), then before bed.  He also still nurses a couple times at night.  This isn't a huge deal because he spends half the night right in our bed.  He usually wakes up in his crib between 12 and 1, I bring him to our bed, nurse him back to sleep and then he will wake up again around 3:30-4, nurse back to sleep, then wakes up for the day around 7/7:30 and we start all over again.

Recently, my babysitting job for the summer ended prematurely (job issues for their family) sooooo that left me without a summer job (ahh!)  It worked out ok because I started back up working at the YMCA.  I will have to do one evening shift a week if I want the hours I need so Brew and I decided that it would probably be best to cut out the bedtime nursing session first.  We were going to night wean first but hopefully by cutting bedtime it'll make it more consistent for him, and not to mention it will give me/us a little more freedom.  If we want to go out on a date night and go see a movie or something I won't have to worry about him not going down for bed without nursing.  He usually does ok for daddy but I've been a little worried it might not work as well for my mom or mother in law.  Most people when they wean cut bedtime last because it tends to be the hardest so we will need lots of prayers to get through it!

Our game plan is this-- I will nurse him in the evening if he requests it but no more nursing in our bed like I was before.  I just will plan on cuddling him to sleep.  He is going to protest like he did tonight but if he doesn't calm down after 5 minutes then I will let him nurse for just a few minutes and decrease the time each night until he's not nursing at all.  I'm trying to take the gentle approach.  It'll be easier on BOTH of us even if it takes a little longer.

So tonight it worked ok.  He threw a major fit when I declined his first request so I did allow him to nurse for 5 minutes only, but I told him before "ok but you can only nurse for 5 minutes then we are all done".  I know he doesn't have any real concept of how long five minutes is but I figure he understands more than I give him credit for so it can't hurt.  Besides it prepares him for it being taken away (I know he knows what "all done" means!) and it also enforces the idea that I am the one setting the limits here.  So tomorrow should be easier because I won't be here at all (Daddy is doing the bedtime); I will be working.  We will see how things go the rest of the week.  On Tuesday he will get 4 minutes, Wednesday 3, and so on-- but I am hoping he quits asking for it altogether during that time.  I will do an update at the end of the week and let you know how it is going/how it went and then we will be starting on phase 2-- Night weaning!

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