Today I decided to linkup with these mamas over here for their One Year and Beyond series.
Today's topic: Weaning.
Hot button topic for me.
Over and over again I hear the same thing when the topic of weaning comes up (and let's be honest, I'm nursing an almost 2 year old everyone asks me when I'm going to wean at this point) I hear how easy weaning was. They stopped offering one feed, kid hardly noticed, they got rid of another, kid still didn't notice, etc etc until they were fully weaned like a week later.
And all I have to say is, WHAT DO YOU MEAN IT WAS SO EASY???
Weaning has become one of the most challenging aspects of motherhood to date for me.
All efforts to wean have been thwarted by my toddler. We began the weaning process 9 months ago and we've whittled it down to 4 (sometimes 3) nursing sessions a day. But it has been anything but easy and it feels like we're a long way from completely weaned.
He is fiercely determined to continue breastfeeding.
We started at 1 year with Don't Offer, Don't Refuse. I stopped offering but he kept asking and since I wasn't refusing we were still nursing roughly 8 times a day, every few hours through the day (he was sleeping through the night at that point so that's 8 times DURING THE DAY!)
Since that landed us exactly nowhere and I was looking for my period to start we began being a little more proactive in our weaning approach in that when he'd ask I'd try distraction, water and food. If he still wanted milk I would give it to him.
The result? We'd have several mini-meltdowns every day because he REALLY REALLY wanted the milk and toys, games, food and water WERE NOT THE SAME AS MILK and he knew it.
I even tried sippy cups of almond milk because he understands that we put milk on our cereal but no...he definitely knew milk in the sippy was not the same as milk from the boob.
After a few days of this I gave up on weaning because EVERYONE ELSE SAID IT WAS EASY and this was so far from easy that I decided something wasn't right.
If Jett was SO DETERMINED to continue nursing perhaps it wasn't the right time and I should let it go for awhile.
So I did, I let it go. I quit trying so hard and I let him have milk whenever he wanted it.
And he wanted it all the time.
At some point, 18 months? I got a little fed up with the situation and decided I wasn't going to nurse in public anymore, so we started our nursing rules.
Jett likes rules.
If we were at the park and he wanted milk then I would explain that we only nurse at home and if he wanted milk we were going home, this actually worked as he rarely wanted to leave the playground/park or wherever we were and even if he did by the time we got home he'd completely forgotten he wanted milk.
FINALLY, some progress.
We've continued with the rules, which amusingly Jett does really well with. He's a big rule follower.
We've made some more progress and now the rules are: milk is only for wakeup and bedtime. And he gets it, he understands. If it's an hour before bedtime and he wants milk and I tell him milk is for bedtime, HE GETS IT and he waits. Which means WE'RE FINALLY DOWN TO 4 NURSING SESSIONS A DAY.
Obviously the next step is getting rid of the daytime nap nursing sessions...but I'm not sure how to create a rule around that, milk is only for morning and nighttime?
So here we are 21 months and still nursing with the deadline of wean by 2 years old that I gave myself looming overhead.
Someone, anyone, please tell me that there's someone else who's had trouble weaning??? It can't possibly be THAT easy for everyone!