Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Weaning

I've been posting a lot on here about breastfeeding lately, because it's a topic that's been on my mind.

My baby is almost 14 months old and we're still nursing for comfort. She eats a full diet and drinks bottles and sippy cups of whole milk. She certainly doesn't need the nutrition of breastmilk. Mel weaned at 12 months, when I realized she just didn't want to latch anymore, but Baby is much more babyish for her age and somehow it still works for us to keep breastfeeding. It's still the most effective way to calm her down and put her to bed. Plus I really don't intend to have any more kids, so I know this is my "last chance."

I am starting to feel the pressure to wean though. At daycare, one worker shook her head at me when I said I was still nursing. I certainly don't want to be at a point where Baby verbally asks me to nurse. I also got bitten lately, and seriously, ow.

How about you? When did you wean and why?

20 comments:

  1. My third child weaned at 19 months, the four others were between 2-2.5 years. At that point, it was clearly comfort nursing for both of us, and by the time of weaning they were down to only morning, evening, and the occasional scraped knee. It was a great way for my babies/toddlers and I to bond at the end of the day when I sometimes spent much of the day seeing cranky patients and missing them incredibly. Most of them weaned just because... I don't know why, they just decided they'd had enough and weren't interested anymore. The last one I weaned at age 2 because his little brother was on the way and I didn't want to tandem nurse. If it's working for you, and you both enjoy it, carry on. Whatever day care lady thinks, it's not her decision.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Both of mine weaned around 18 months. With my first, I was pregnant with #2 and had major nursing agitation. Over time, she just lost interest (and maybe my milk had gotten a bit salty tasting?). My second was also around 18 months when he gradually stopped. I was fine with it. I agree that if it's working for your family, then continue. It's not really the daycare worker's business, anyway.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad to hear you had no problems at 18 months, because I've heard it gets hard after one year.

      Delete
  3. I weaned at 15 months, a bit by chance because I had a week long business trip and was just away. When I came back, it was almost like he had forgotten about it. I was kind of sad but relieved at the same time.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I have also been thinking a lot about breastfeeding, and as I've been in a bit of a online TMI spree, no reason I should stop now.

    I weaned my daughter at 5.5 months (even though I think I've blogged before that it was 6 mo, in retrospect I am almost certain I didn't quite make it to that mark) and felt great about it. Was ready to be done, was proud of myself to have made it that far. Now, for my own medical reasons, I've stopped breastfeeding my son at 6.5 mo and I am feeling sad about it. Not guilty, just sad. I am also not a resident anymore, and have a more pump-friendly schedule. I wouldn't be stopping now if I didn't have to.

    I wish for myself, and for all of us, that breastfeeding just wasn't as big a source of anxiety as it is. I am pro-breastfeeding. But not at the expense of feeling like you are a good mom. I am soap-boxing now, and this isn't in reference to just this post, but to also the previous post about the "locking up formula".

    I guess the only "benefit" to weaning early is that it wasn't difficult with either child.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree that there shouldn't be so much judgment and anxiety around breastfeeding. With pumping, it was all about trying to be a good mom and doing the best thing, and a lot of my anxiety was stupid. But when it comes to comfort nursing, it's a whole different issue because she's not getting any nutrition from my milk anymore. It's more like asking the question of when to take away a binky or comfort blanket.

      Delete
  5. My first weaned at 12 mo and the baby and I are going strong at 18 months, despite eye rolls from my usually supportive husband. It's right for us, but I do feel pressure to stop from many angles...

    ReplyDelete
  6. 17 months for my daughter, we'd just been on pre-bedtime feeds for a month or so,and I was about to start med school, so figured I wasn't always going to be available at bedtime. But we just changed over that feed to cow's milk in a cup with Daddy doing that&bedtime story for a few days and she never asked (signed) for a BF again, so I guess it was the right time for us all. I may have cried after the last feed, though. Just for a minute :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hey Fizzy, from your post it seems that you and your Baby both still enjoy nursing; why even think about weaning just yet? The only part about weaning you mention is outside "pressure". Who is this daycare worker and why is she judging you? Do you feel comfortable enough to talk to her about the benefits of breastfeeding? I applaud you for sticking with what works best for you and your family. I have an 11month old and I'm going to keep going until he or I decide it's time to wean.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I weaned my first at 7 months. I had wanted to go longer but it was just too hard to do internship and pumping. My middle child was weaned at 22 months. I didn't intend to go for that long but it just worked out that way--and I enjoyed all that bonding with him. I'm now nursing my 10 months old and who knows how long this will last, I'm just letting nature takes its course. I have never felt the pressure to stop breastfeeding. Maybe I just have thick skin, or maybe I'm just oblivious. I have nursed in public (discreetly with a big cover)--and that includes nursing while walking about looking at refrigerators at Best Buy.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I went 14 mos with my firstborn (he stopped because I was 20 wks pregnant with my second child and my firstborn got a GI virus and was vomiting around the clock and eating/drinking almost nothing for 3 days...when he came back to nurse, there wasn't much left, and he lost interest within a matter of days). With my second and third, I actually went about 2 yrs (23 mos with one and 25 or so mos with the other). It was longer than I had planned or hoped for--which was a year for each kid--but as others have said, nice for bonding and not burdensome in anyway since it was mostly a twice daily--morning and bedtime--thing at that point. I quit pumping at about 11 mos with each of them since that seemed to be yielding diminishing returns and was, in contrast to breastfeeding itself, something I loathed. There were some people who made snarky comments about the idea that I was still nursing a baby who was 2, but honestly, I didn't much care what anyone thought. Our family and close friends were supportive, which was helpful, but the only people whose opinions actually mattered--the babies and I--found it a sweet, comforting ritual. I'm not exactly sure how weaning happened with my second and third. It wasn't an event as with my first, and it wasn't even a conscious decision or concrete moment as I recall. They just sort of started nursing more and more briefly, then occasionally forgetting to nurse one morning or one evening, then it was done. It's strange not to remember it better.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Agree w mommabee 200%. Do what works for your family, not the rolly eyed daycare lady

    Also, even if babe isn't deriving a lot of calories, there is still some nutritional and immune benefit to whatever milk is to be had.

    ReplyDelete
  11. 20 months and still going strong! I never thought I'd go this long, just figured I'd stop at 12 months, but it has been great for us. Also, with me going back to residency and not seeing her much, it is a wonderful way for us to maintain our bond. F*** the eye rolls! Do what works for you! I finally got over all the stupid comments and I will breastfeed my daughter with pride until we're ready to stop!!

    ReplyDelete
  12. I nursed until 13 months. at the end it was just once a day and I think i just stopped producing enough. She kept biting and that was it. I miss it, though, and can't wait to nurse this little one that is on the way!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Ok, I love this topic. Especially with the recent picture on a popular magazine. I breast fed my first son, till he started walking up and pulling open my shirt for a meal and then I felt like. . . ok, time to quit. My second son, my last, I just felt like you. . . I didn't want to quit. He however, was grabbing food off the plates and chonping down choco-chip-nut cookies at 4 months, eating cherries and spitting out the pits. . .(no teeth) and by 9 months, couldn't be bothered by have to stop to take time to breast-feed. My doc, breast-fed her 4 yo till she got pregnant with her next. . . So basically, there is no exact time. . . Just got to work it out with you and the kid. Now I am dealing with much bigger issues. . . Like binging, STD's, getting through college, etc. Miss those days when I was breastfeeding and was looking into those sweet little baby faces.
    k-fro

    ReplyDelete
  14. Would wean when either you are or your child seems ready. That's what I did, with both, sometime around 12 months of age.

    ReplyDelete
  15. It was different with every baby for me. Number one weaned himself at 13 months, one morning he was done. With number two, I weaned her at 18 months because I was done. Number three nursed past 2.5 year. My baby, I didn't want to give it up (and neither did he). We did get to the point that he would ask for it and even request which side! There is no absolute right or wrong time, whatever you and baby are comfortable with.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Daughter #1- the week of her 2nd B-day, I was on call and didn't come home one night, she never asked again. We were ready though. Daughter #2 is going strong at 9mo, I'll let her wean on her own as long as I am not deployed. Do what is right for you and your baby, ignore the nay sayers.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Baby #1 (now 27) weaned on her own. At 12 months, she wanted solid food and her sippy cup. Baby #2 (he is 23 and has Aspergers) weaned himself at 16 months, about the time I was a tad anxious about it.
    As for teeth, #1 got me when she got her first tooth. I YELPED and she looked terrified at me. So, don't worry about that, I suspect you will both survive.

    ReplyDelete
  18. We are just now weaning my little girl after over 2 1/2 years. Honestly, I was emotionally done about 6 months ago and our breastfeeding relationship has been not stellar since I have felt trapped. We have sloooooowly day-weaned and had many discussions about night-weaning but when it happened, it seemed to shock her. She was very sad every time she woke up or got sleepy, although I was eventually able to coax her back to bed. Now (week 2), she is MAD. She has never been an aggressive child at ALL, but she has been pinching me, pulling my hair and hysterical at times.

    Of course, she also has a terrible virus and has been feverish. Everything I have read says not to relent even so - that it is important for her to learn to cope without nummies (but with lots of snuggling) but the aggression has hit me the hardest. This is a real challenge. I only want what is best for both of us; right now we are both sad, but I'm trying to keep my eye on the big picture... right?

    ReplyDelete

Comments on posts older than 14 days are moderated as a spam precaution. There may be a delay between submitting your comment and its publishing. Thanks for commenting!