Thursday, March 14, 2013

Weaning Baby

Before I had Baby, I hadn't given too much thought to the length of time I would breastfeed.  Everyone says you should nurse for at least a year, so I figured that was my goal.  I had friends with children who had weaned themselves around that time, so I thought that would happen with me.

Then I had Baby.

This child was one who you hear stories of; babies who crawl from the womb straight up to their mother to latch on.  That was Baby.  She came out, the midwife placed her on my tummy, and she wiggled herself right up to nurse.  Crazy how nature works. 

From then on, she was stuck there.  Really, I'm not kidding. 

She had severe jaundice, so the doctors said to nurse, nurse, nurse.  So I did.  Every time she opened her mouth, I latched her on. 

She fell asleep latched on.  She awoke latched on.  I know, I'm a crazy parent.  For practically two years she slept right at my side....latched on. 

She would only take a bottle from daycare, other than that she was stuck to me night and day.  Name a location and I probably discretely nursed Baby there. 

Then I night weaned her.  You can read more about that in a previous post.  That was extremely liberating.  You know, to not sleep with a child attached to me. 

I had always thought Baby would naturally wean herself.  Isn't that how it's supposed to work?  Nobody ever mentions weaning.  The focus is always on establishing breastfeeding in the first place.  I got that part.

When trying for Baby Number Two, I semi-considered the possibility of tandem nursing.  Baby was so attached to me, and I felt very guilty about not letting her wean "naturally."  However, after much deliberation, I decided I was done.

The day I found out I was pregnant was the last day Baby nursed.  I had been slowly phasing out feedings, so that morning before we went to Disneyland was her last.

Disneyland was a great distraction.  She was so tired out that she would fall asleep without nursing.  If she asked, we would distract her with a ride or some other attraction.  After our time in Disneyland and we came home, she would still ask, but I'd tell her she was a big girl and big girls didn't have "mama."

Slowly she stopped asking.

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