I have slowly been working on weaning with Abby and I think we are almost done. I wanted to breastfeed for at least a year and this week Abby will be turning 20 months old, so we’ve really surpassed my hopes and expectations. Weaning hasn’t been something that I have really been looking forward to, in fact, the prospect of weaning has seemed overwhelming and made me hesitant to start. A couple months ago I stopped her first nursing session when she wakes in the morning. She didn’t like it too much but accepted drinking her morning milk from a cup without much difficulty. Then I stopped her first evening nursing at 5:30 p.m., the time when we arrive home, so she jad been drinking whole milk from a cup from the time she awoke until going to bed at night.
I thought that she would have a hard time when stopping breastfeeding before bed around 7:30-7:45 p.m., but she handled it like a champ after a couple days. After this she got a cold and was teething, so I was hesitant to continue dropping another nursing session until she felt better.
Finally this week I let the other shoe drop and decided to try and not breastfeed at night, if possible. I hid the Boppy pillow in my room, thinking that if she saw it that it might trigger her to insist on getting Mommy’s milk. I then made sure she had a sippy cup of water in the corner of her crib and also on my nightstand and the side table in the living room at night. My goal was not to tell her no; if she asked I would let her nurse but I wasn’t going to offer it.
The first night she wanted to be held and fell asleep quickly the first couple times she woke. The third time she saw her sippy cup full of water next to me and asked for it instead for milk. The time she woke up after that she again asked for the water, so I think that perhaps the last few weeks (or more) that she has continued to want to breastfeed at night she may have just been thirsty instead of actually hungry. Last night she only got up three times. She never asked for milk. Once while I was holding her while sitting on the couch she patted my breast a couple times then lay her head in that spot and snuggled in before falling asleep. Once she took a few swallows from a cup of milk but otherwise she just cuddled with me.
I am really surprised that it has been so easy this far, but we are only two days in. Hopefully she will continue to do this good and doesn’t regress. I’m going to miss our special time spent together, but I know it had to happen sometime.