Monday, April 28, 2014

2 Days Toward Weaning

It has been two full days since Ayden has nursed. I established a "nurse only in the morning when you wake up" rule a while ago.  On week days he still requests to nurse right when he wakes up but we are getting to a point now where by the time we get up, use the bathroom, get me water, and are ready to get situated in the glider he has moved on and forgotten about it.  I don't remind him since I stopped offering to him a long time ago and we just go with the flow.  He's skipped days here and there over the passed couple of months but this is the first time that he has gone two full days in a row without nursing.  Both days he did request later in the day but I just gently remind him that he can only nurse in the mornings and he accepts that reply and moves on.  I have a lot of feelings and emotions about all of this weaning business:

The positives:
1) Hooray for making it passed two years! My original goal was 1 year so I can live with 2 and 3+ months.
2) Though I have had to play a bigger role than I ever wanted, it has been a gentle process which was top priority for me.  His lack of resistance reassures me that he is ready enough.
3) I have been able to see it coming so each and every time he nurses these days, I realize it may be the last time. I always take a moment to savor the sweetness. 
4) I have heard that in a lot of cases, toddlers who are close to weaning find a whole new obsession with nursing once the milk for a new baby comes in.  Weaning Ayden now(ish) will allow enough time to pass so that it will be easier for him to see Logan nursing without wanting to himself (I think??).  I am also hoping this will prevent possible jealousy due to how often Logan will need to be nursing...
5) He is finding other ways to connect with me physically.  He plays with my hair, snuggles into my lap, lays his head on my shoulder more often, gives me more hugs and kisses, pulls me close, asks me to "hold him tight," etc. and these connections are just as sweet and meaningful for me.

The negatives:
1) I feel a small amount of guilt because I wanted him to wean completely on his own when he was ready.  I feel like this pregnancy and my lack of desire to tandem nurse has rushed him a bit.  Luckily he is taking it well because this would be much worse on me emotionally if he wasn't.  
2) I still enjoy nursing Ayden very much so I often wonder if tandem nursing would be such a bad thing and wonder if weaning him is the right thing to do at all.  Then I think about the demands of a newborn and how confusing it might be for Ayden; him having to have limitations while I feed Logan 'round the clock on demand. 
3) Contrary to popular belief, older children do still benefit from breast milk that is filled with nutrients and antibodies.  I'm not sure how much he is even able to extract these days but even if it is a tiny amount, I liked the idea of him still having access to the goodness.
4) Though I know in my mind that being his mother alone makes me stand apart from anyone else, breastfeeding him is the one thing that I can offer him that no one else can.  Once he is weaned that is gone.  This is the tiny selfish reason of mine for wanting to continue nursing. I know this one is a little silly because as his mother I will always be able to offer a presence that no one else can match but I'm keeping it real here and it's an honest feeling that I am having about it all...

All in all, we have had an amazing breastfeeding relationship that I will always cherish.  The positives definitely outweigh the negatives here and I am so happy to have been able to experience it together.  I realize that soon enough I will be starting from the beginning on a new breastfeeding journey with a new sweet baby boy.  This does not make the fact that Ayden's journey is coming to a close any easier but I am looking forward to experiencing it all again. I hope that I am able to give Logan as much as I have been able to give to Ayden.  Breastfeeding gets easier but it is never completely easy.  It takes sacrifice, dedication and determination. One thing that parenting Ayden has taught me is to go with the flow.  My breastfeeding journey with Logan is sure to have its differences from Ayden's but it will be his and that alone will make it just as special.

What feelings and emotions did you experience when your first born weaned?  

Flashback!  Here's what we were up to one year ago today: "Sarah's Feel Better 'Tea'"
And two years ago today: "Party Time"

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  1. I had plans to wean my child at one year due to me going back to work. Weaning may not happen. I may have to pump. My baby loves to nurse and looks forward to it. My own mom nursed me until 3. I cant imagine ever going that long with sunny. Even past 18 months will be tough. I hope ayden doesn't get jealousy with the baby nursing.

    1. I've heard the only way to know the right time is when one or the other is ready to quit. That can be before a year or after 3. There is no right or wrong and no two babies will be the same! Ayden doesn't really show jealousy in other ways so I *think* we'll be okay. Still want to prepare him the best we can though.

  2. My son is 17 months and he wants to nurse more than eat real food. He gulps down milk and I can tell he is getting a lot. I am not sure if that is normal because other moms of toddlers have said they don't seem to make much milk at this point and their babies don't nurse so often at this age.

    1. At 17 months old, my son was still getting most of his nutrition from breast milk. At just-turned-two, some days he still nurses more than he eats! I pretty much never refuse him when he asks (except when I was briefly pregnant, ouch) although I know a lot of people put restrictions on nursing at that age (only at night, in the morning, etc.) but I'm fine with the amount he wants, and that can be a lot! You're the mom, you do what you feel comfortable with. I just want to assure you that it's okay and normal for him to nurse like that. At 17 months, I still had so much milk that I would still get engorged and leak!

    2. At 17 months I was still making a lot and he was still nursing a lot. NIght weaning in December and then gradually cutting our night and nap feedings were what got us to where we are now. I agree with Tricia, if you are still happy and comfortable with the way things are, all is well.

  3. #4 on your negatives--- I felt the same way! But my daughter self-weaned at 18 months. she still wants me when she's sleepy, when she's sad, when she's happy. I'm still her momma and that is never going to change!!

    1. I think a lot of bfing mamas feel that way. It's just hard to let them grow up but we have to eventually...

  4. I can't imagine how demanding tandem nursing would be. I think you probably made a wise decision to wean him now and hopefully enough time will pass that there will be no jealousy issues.

    1. He still asks every now and then but is okay with me turning him down. I am pretty positive my milk has dried up so when he does nurse it is just some quiet pacifying time for him I think. I do miss the long, quiet snuggles though!