Motherhood

How I Successfully Weaned Each of My Babies

When I was pregnant with Mini, I knew that I would breastfeed her. Not only was I committed to doing what I thought was best for her, but I was also broke since I had no job when I was pregnant with her. I committed to 12 months of breastfeeding each of them without actually thinking about the weaning process. But how I weaned each of them was different but it worked with each!

Nighttime Weaning

Breastfed babies tend to wake up more in the middle of the night than formula fed babies. For me, this was never a problem. I co-slept with all of my babes and it made midnight feedings “easy”. When Mini was 6 months, her doctor sent a note home with her that said there was no nutritional need for her to nurse in the middle of the night. I was pretty excited to wean her since I was the only one getting up with her. And it was easy since she took a pacifier.

The first night she woke up, I gave her a pacifier and that settled her. The second night, same thing and by the third night, she was done. Easy breezy!

Now my other two were NOT so easy. My husband had to wean them in their own rooms with a bottle of water and snuggles. It took about a week for both BC and abc to be weaned and we waited until they were between 8-10 months.

Moment of truth: when I weaned my babies I was happy. It was time for both of us to gain independence. Here's how I did it with all three.

Weaning From Regular Nursings

Again, Mini was easy. I think it’s because I had to supplement her with formula. She was used to taking a bottle and come 12 months, she basically stopped asking. That was until she got really sick and then all she wanted to do was nurse for like a month. And then at 13 months she just quit on her own.

Both abc and BC would still be nursing to this day if I let them!!! Ok, maybe not abc. Our breastfeeding relationship was a strained one. I couldn’t wait to wean her. We started out with an improper latch that led to many tears as I corrected it. Then when she was teething she bit me and drew blood. And did I mention he had the nerve to hate a bottle? I got her down to nursing 1 time a day when she was around 17 months. I simply stopped offering the breast to her. Then at 18 months, she stopped asking.

Now BC was a challenge. He loved nursing and I didn’t completely hate our breastfeeding relationship. And he’s the baby, the last one that I will ever breastfeed. I was ready to wean but he wasn’t and that made it harder for me. As we got down to him nursing 1-2 times a day, he would try and revert to nursing 4-5 times. After a weekend with his grandparents, I stopped offering and started telling him “No”.

Friends. This was the hardest thing in the world for me. He would beg and sob when I told him no breaking my heart. I almost gave in a couple times but after a week, he stopped asking or he would ask and then laugh it off before I could answer.

Tips to Weaning The Hard To Wean Child:

  1. Don’t show them your boobs. This is like a tease for them.
  2. Say no firmly but lovingly.
  3. Be consistent.
  4. Let others help.
  5. Try to figure out what they’re seeking when they’re asking. Are they hungry? Thirsty? In need of comfort? Address those needs in a different way.

Why I Believe In Moms Determining When Weaning Should Occur

Breast is best. Yes, I agree. But mainstream media makes it seem like breastfeeding is this great and pleasurable act when most times, it really isn’t. It’s hard to breastfeed and pump. In the beginning, it can get overwhelming because the baby always needs your boobs. And in the end, most of us really just want our bodies back. And you know what? That’s ok.

Have you weaned your babe? What tips and tricks can you offer?

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