Weaning angst

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-17-2007
Weaning angst
9
Thu, 09-09-2010 - 1:29pm

So, now that I'm back from my summer vacation, the time I was planning to wean has come. And lo and behold, Patrick, without any encouragement from me, has STTN for the past two nights (he's never night weaned) and is barely nursing during the day. He nursed for 3-4 minutes yesterday, at my initiation, and only on one side. So I had to make him nurse this morning b/c the other side was so full. He was annoyed at me for not letting him continue playing, but did latch, but was done after two minutes.

It's funny b/c on vacation, he was nursing like crazy, and it was really stressing me out. The only time he's ever done the lifting my shirt thing.

I should be glad that he's letting it go so easily now. But, I'm sad to let my baby go. And...to get to the complicated part...I almost wonder if part of the part of me that wants to keep nursing just wants to do it to be contrary to all the people that make disparaging comments about BFing toddlers. They bother me so much, and I feel like by weaning now, I'm giving in to societal pressures.

But, most of me wants to wean now. I'm excited to have my body back for a bit before TTC. I'm hoping to maybe go away for a weekend sans-baby and not have to take a breastpump. And if Patrick's not putting up a fight, that should make me happy! Butt, I end up feeling a little rejected :P

So, all these complicated thoughts and feelings. I just feel like I'm going to cry every time I start to think about it.

Is there anyone on here who's weaning in the 12-24 month range? It seems like everyone I know either weaned before a year, or kept going until age 2 or 3. Or just general moral support is appreciated :)

Thanks for reading,

~Lorien









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~Lorien





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iVillage Member
Registered: 04-13-2008
Sat, 09-11-2010 - 3:05am

Lorien,



It's a hard thing to do. I weaned Teddy off at 13 months - it felt like the right time to me and Teddy was only nursing once a day anyway. It was very sad, mostly because it does feel like you're losing your baby. But at some point IMO you have to let go and let them grow up - I wouldn't want to try to nurse my toddler if he wasn't interested anymore.



It is a very emotional thing, and I do miss it in some ways. In other ways, it's great to have my body back for a while and wear proper bras! Teddy didn't mind being wenaed off at all and has not once "asked" for the breast again.



It's right what you say though - most women seem to either give up BFing early-ish (<6M) or nurse til the children are older; there aren't many that wean off after a year.



Good luck in making your decision and seeing it through - you'll just have to figure out what works best for you and for Patrick. I wouldn't care too much about what other people think; even in the way you were doing it (nursing longer just to show them).



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iVillage Member
Registered: 08-24-2005
Fri, 09-10-2010 - 9:32pm
Oh Lorien, I totally understand you!!! I don't have much advice to give you, except that I guess it's totally normal to feel this way. Breastfeeding is something so special to share with your baby, and once it's gone it's like loosing an important part of the relaitonship with your child. Hang in there girl!!
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iVillage Member
Registered: 12-05-2006
Fri, 09-10-2010 - 8:59pm
Megan weaned at 14ish months, but a huge part of that was my milk drying up from pregnancy.

new siggy

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-11-2010
Fri, 09-10-2010 - 12:28pm

Lorien,

(((HUGS)))--I've never been in your situation, but I plan on doing child-led weaning and I think I would be upset if James decided he was done before I was ready for it!

It sounds like you are pretty much ready, and in that case, this is definitely the time to take advantage of. I think when toddlers get really mobile they just can't be bothered and aren't as interested.

However, if you aren't really ready, you probably could get him to keep nursing, maybe by working it into your bedtime routine or something. (And from what I understand/have heard from people, he might get re-interested in another few months.) I have heard of tons of Moms whose kids ONLY had the one bedtime nursing session, and sometimes held on to that for years after they had dropped the other sessions.

But if you are ready, it certainly sounds like this is the time, he is ready, too! You have done an awesome job at nursing him for this long--what a gift to give your child. You rock, Momma. (((HUGS)))

Definitely KUP on how things are going/what you are doing!

Silly Expecting Siggy



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iVillage Member
Registered: 02-27-2008
Thu, 09-09-2010 - 10:50pm

Just popping in to offer my support! Not there yet, but I know I will be someday (and probably sooner than I think!). I completely KWYM about not wanting to wean to "show" people -- I am right there with you. I'm always saying I'll nurse Eliza until Eliza doesn't want to nurse anymore. I guess I never considered that it could be younger than 2 or 3 years old. Like Grace said, it definitely sounds like Patrick is choosing to wean and you're not actually weaning *him*... IDK if that helps or not, though; I totally understand the feelings of rejection and sadness over losing part of his babyhood. :( Sending you thoughts and support!

Ack, this mothering stuff is so complicated!







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iVillage Member
Registered: 12-23-2003
Thu, 09-09-2010 - 5:32pm

I think I have an inkling how you are feeling due to Teddy's nursing strike. It is hard not to emotionally feel rejected when they just aren't that into it:( Even if they are over a year and ready.

Maybe whenever people make comments about nursing toddlers, you can say something like that you would have loved to nurse Patrick longer but he weaned himself or something like that so you could at least share your viewpoint on the issue.

Big hugs and remember your hormones are also playing a role in how you feel for all of this and after Patrick has really weaned and a bit of time has gone by you will probably feel more emotionally OK with it- at least that is what one of midwives said was the case for her.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 12-04-2007
Thu, 09-09-2010 - 3:50pm
I could have written your post a couple months ago when James weaned. He was 13 months, so we were definitely in that window. And I know exactly what you mean, I feel like I should keep nursing him because I have no problem with nursing a toddler, and I don't want people to think I do. But, If you're going for child led weaning, or whoever is ready first, or something like that, it sounds like he's ready. That's exactly how James was and it was really hard for me, the rejection feelings and everything. There is often some mood swings that come with weaning as well, so be prepared for that. Anyway, I just wanted to say I know exactly how you feel, and I'm right there with you, when they're ready, they're ready and there's only so much we can do to control the process...
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iVillage Member
Registered: 12-17-2007
Thu, 09-09-2010 - 2:17pm

Yeah, I might change my mind if Patrick were really loving nursing right now. As it is, he just seems annoyed at having to sit still.

I did two nights away two months ago, and due to pump issues ended up barely doing any, and was pretty uncomfortable by the time I got home. But, we're certainly nursing less now, so maybe not a problem anymore.

The next few days will be interesting. Yesterday and today it's almost felt like he's already done, whether I'm ready or not!

~Lorien









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~Lorien





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iVillage Member
Registered: 10-11-2005
Thu, 09-09-2010 - 2:07pm

I haven't weaned yet, either of mine, though Desmond will be weaned before the baby comes, I am not nursing 3 at once. That being said, lots of support for you on weaning, it is tough even with Desmond at 3 1/2 I feel like he is such a little kid still and wonder if it is really a good idea to wean him, since he loves nursing so much.

That being said, I won't actually be shocked if Eloise weans while I am pregnant as well. She likes to nurse, but she is not happy with how little she is getting at this point in time, and half the time asks for juice instead or nurses for only 10 seconds or so and is done. So I may actually have one who weaned between 12 months and 24 months.

That being said, even if you don't end up weaning completely, you do not have to take a breast pump with you on a weekend vacation. Before Eloise was born I went 2+ days on occasion without nursing Desmond and I never needed to pump.

It is really hard to wean, even if you are ready and you feel like baby is ready, since it is giving up a major part of their babyhood. Moral support from me, even if I haven't intentionally weaned either of mine in the 12 to 24 month time period.




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Edited 9/9/2010 2:08 pm ET by tabrizia



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