Our long, long journey
Months and months ago, I wrote a blog about our intent to wean our toddler. We can finally say we have successfully weaned the little man, gently and without tears.
When we began our nursing journey, I was aiming to breastfeed for one year. At first, I didn’t think I would be able to last past the first six weeks. Nursing was painful, and I was exhausted. As we got into our rhythm, and nursing became more comfortable, Brooks decided that he did not want to drink from a bottle. And he never did. Later, we discovered that he had allergies, including an allergic reaction to milk. These factors all contributed to our lengthy nursing journey. In the end, nursing was a source of comfort, and a way to lull him to sleep.
So, how did we finally wean? It happened… by accident.
Lately, our weekends have been pretty busy, and Brooks has been going without naps (a time when he would typically nurse). Then, by the time bedtime rolled around, he was so exhausted, he would fall asleep on my husband’s chest, or nestled between us in the covers.
Another night, Brooks mentioned that the “bee-bees” were broken. I think this was his way of saying that my milk production has come to an end, and he just isn’t getting milk any longer. I knew that this would be inevitable, I just wasn’t sure at what point in my pregnancy it would happen.
The following few days during nap, and at night, if he asked to nurse, I reminded him that the “bee-bees” were broken. Instead, we snuggled in bed and, when he was sleepy, I’d pick him up and hold him until he fell asleep.
While our approach was accidental, it worked well. There were no tears. It wasn’t emotional. It just felt very natural.
I am so glad that we were patient with Brooks, and trusted in what he needed, knowing that he would wean eventually!
- Talk to your toddler. Talk to them about every step of your weaning journey.
- Try not to create an aversion to nursing, by using apple cider vinegar or anything to make nursing gross or traumatic
- Go slow and wean gradually, if possible.
- Be patient with your child. Nursing provides nourishment and comfort for your child, and suddenly stopping can be tough.
- Have faith in your decision. Every nursing journey will come to an end, and only you know what is best for you and your little one.
Did you nurse for an extended period of time? What strategies did you use to wean your toddler? What worked, and what didn’t? Please feel free to share your experiences in the comment section below.