2.21.2013

this is the hard part

I've really had the feeling the past few weeks that I need to start weaning Evaleigh from nursing.

I'll say at 13 months and with 12 teeth, we did great.

Nursing her has been one of the best things I've ever done. I have loved it so much and I'm glad to have been able to do it as long as I have. It's been way to stay connected with EJ and to bond with her. And hey, as a busy mom it's an awesome opportunity to just sit down and relax for a minute midst all of the running a round we do in a day. Sure there have been times my boobs have been living in a constant state of fear with that little piranha mouth coming at me but luckily we never had a problem with biting.

I was grateful to have had a pretty easy go with nursing. I didn't experience much pain in the beginning and Evie took to it right away. I know for some people it is the complete opposite so I count my self lucky.

Now weaning...this is the hard part for me. Between crying fits and having EJ pull at my shirt I feel like crying too. It's hard to know exactly what she wants and know that what's best for her now is not to give it to her. I struggling getting her to drink cows milk and she isn't the best eater either. She is a nibbler and will take teeny bites of things but never really commits to the task.

Any advice or tips any one has on weaning a 1+ year old would be great. I'm feeling a bit helpless.

8 comments:

Robyn said...

I have no experience to share-but stories from friends of nursing have unfortunatly been bad-they just found it so difficult-so you are lucky. Lovely photo of the two of you x

~M~ said...

I am of no help as I am still nursing my 17mo old. He was still nursing pretty frequently at 13 months.Currently he's slowly cut out all of his day time feeds. I didn't offer to nurse but I didn't refuse. I would also distract him during the day (when I could tell he wanted to nurse out of boredom) with toys, going outside, drinks and snacks.

I have a friend who wanted to wean for her fertility to return and once she cut out some feedings her cycles returned. Another family member wanted her body to herself for a few months before expanding her family. Every woman has her reasons for continuing or stopping bfing so hopefully she has only support and not judgement!

Nancy Holztman has a wealth of BFing knowledge and has some info on weaning you may want to check out: http://www.isisparenting.com/page/webinarsbreastfeeding#bfweaning

kyns said...

*WARNING* GOING TO TALK ABOUT NIPPLES:

Sally weaned Laney around the same time as well, and what she did was put band-aids on her nipples and whenever Laney would lift her shirt she would just say, BOOBIE YUCKY. and Laney stopping trying within a couple of days. In fact, Sally couldn't handle the pain of the milk any more so she tried to give in and let Laney nurse and Laney refused. She was like, "Boobie yucky." Haha.
SOO that's just Sally, not science, but ya know, it worked so, whatevs!

Good luck!

Jessie said...

I reciprocate your love for nursing! I'm nursing my second baby right now and I absolutely love it. I'd nurse forever if I could.

Each child and each momma is different, so go with your gut. I only have one experience with weaning my older son at about 13 months. I could tell that I needed it for me more than he needed it for actual nourishment, so I just started cutting one feeding at a time for a week or so and slowly weaned him. We didn't have any problems that way, but that was just us.

As for getting him to drink whole milk, all I offered him was water or milk in a sippy -- absolutely no juice. At first I thought he wouldn't be a milk drinker, but I was persistent. A month after weaning completely he learned to LOVE it! (I think it goes along with the old adage of offering a new food at least 10-15 times before a baby will eat it.)

Best wishes! Nursing and weaning is surprisingly emotional.

Justina F. Lee said...

I'm not a mommy yet so I have no advice, but I have to say you two look stunning in that photo! You are a gorgeous mom with a beautiful daughter :-)

michele said...

Rachel this is so sad! I don't know what I'm going to do when that time comes for me and Anna. Good luck, and I may come to you for advice soon. I'm planning on weaning at 2 years if she hasn't initiated it on her own by then.

omgyogi said...

Hey Rachel! Choosing to stop breastfeeding is a personal choice, and you have to do what is best for you. If EJ will take a bottle from you, you could try giving her pumped milk when she's wanting to breastfeed, and gradually start to do a mix of breast milk and formula, cows milk, or soy milk, and eventually only doing formula, cows milk, or soy. Definitely take your time, for personal comfort and to make it a little easier on yourself emotionally. It took Liam and me about a month to drop all feedings. I started by dropping day feedings by trying to get him very full on food and water or juice, and putting him down for naps with a bottle. I would still bf him to sleep at night and pull him into bed with me when I was asleep. He still will wake up wanting a bottle or wanting to be changed, but I just pop another bottle together, and he's back to sleep in a few seconds. (although he does get to have a bottle in bed with us which we both like because it still means we get to snuggle.) It seemed to be a pretty gentle transition. He still only wants formula because cows milk seems to upset his stomach, but we are about to try soy to see if that will work for him. It's way cheaper than buying a big can of formula each week! ;) Best of luck to you! I know how hard it can be to want to and also not want to nurse! ::::::::::hugs:::::::::::: You can always facebook me if you have any questions, or just want to cry about it being hard!!! <3-Ginny C.

Ashley said...

I weaned my now 16 month old when he was 13 months. I really needed my boobs back (and my freedom) and I wanted to break the bond because he was starting to opt of bonding to Daddy. I talked to my Pediatrician who recommended going cold turkey because he showed no signs of choosing to self-wean. It was REALLY hard. The first few days there was a lot of sobbing from both of us and extremely confused 26 month old big brother taking it all in. The first day I tried to offer him milk as often as I could in a sippy cup instead of a bottle. I knew he liked sippy cups a bit because I'd caught him stealing his brothers a few times. This worked a million times better than a bottle because there was no nipple to make him sad. I also offered him food constantly even if it was just a cracker every half hour to make sure he was getting full. The people around me told me he wouldn't let himself starve and sure enough by day 3 he was drinking more milk and eating more food and getting better. I also followed suggestions like wear a bra, don't let him see your breasts (I waited about 3 weeks to change in front of him), etc. It doesn't help that you are in pain from going cold turkey too (fill your bra with cabbage - it works - every hour and wrap your boobs as tight as you can in sports bras and tape or whatever you have ... I also drank less water and more caffeine... all the things they suggest you DON'T do to increase milk production), but after about one week we were doing better and after about 2 weeks I felt better and he was drinking milk like a champ. It was hard, but I'm so glad I did it. He's 16 months now and still loves me hard and snuggles with me and we have our bond but he's now bonded to Daddy who held him a lot when he just cried and cried and cried those first several days. GOOD luck, Mama!

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