March 05, 2008,
M.C. asks from Vilas, NC on February 29, 2008
Weening My Son.
When my son was born nearly 2 years ago, everything I had read about breastfeeding said "Try to breastfeed for at least the first 2 years." Well, I thought to myself...no way! Ha! Ok, so right now the only time I nurse him is first thing in the morning. There's nothing better than waking up and going to get him so we can snuggle up in my bed while he nurses every morning. However, I am getting to that point where I feel like I need my breasts back! My son, like most boys, could probably breastfeed for the next 5 or 6 years if I'd let him! I don't think I'm producing THAT much milk anymore, but he gets just enough to not want to eat any breakfast in the morning before it's time to leave. He'll be 2 in about 6 weeks so I'm wondering if anyone has any suggestions for weening him off the morning snack and any tips for me as far as when I start to dry up. Part of me is not ready for this, but I feel it's time for both of us to move on to the next step.
So What Happened?™
It's only been a few days since I posted this request. I wanted to get suggestions to start implementing some of the advice I was getting. This weekend we are headed out of town so I didn't really want to change his routine until after we returned. Well, after reading everyone's advice (and thank you all!) I had a game plan. However, this morning I got him out of his crib so we could go nurse, he started whining when I put him in my bed and he immediately crawled off, grabbed my hand and headed for the kitchen. I fixed him a bottle and gave him a banana and he was a happy camper! Can you believe that? I asked him, You don't want any mommie milk today? And he said NO! We'll see how tomorrow goes!
Thanks again to everyone for your helpful suggestions and votes of confidence!
J.W. answers from Hickory on March 01, 2008
I applaud you for your efforts and as my girls were nursed tilll age two as well, I know how you feel. As soon as I quit nursing my first born, a month later I discovered I was pregnant. So it seemed like I was nursing or pregnant for five years! I wanted ME back. And i am total cookie mom. As a dental hygienist, I never worked full time again. It was a great way to keep me talking with adults and feeling vital while having tons of time to nurture and volunteer in school. I was with them so much, in 5th grade my youngest asked me if she could go on a field trip without me. Hah!
I tell you this to let you know motherhood and mothering and nurturing are who I am! So at age two I tried all the recommended weaning things, but nothing worked, until i read a article abut Texas pete Tabasco sauce. I planned the day to be one when i could be home all day and the next day as well. Then placed a teeny tiny bit, not even a drop, of Tabasco sauce on the end of one nipple. I discussed the fact that "booby" I know I know "was sick today, and tasted bad and did she still want to try to have some?" She said "Yes." And before her Sweet rosebud mouth could fully close on the nipple, she sat up and said yuk! I then gave her some regular milk to sip and water, and asked her if she wanted to try the other booby as it was not sick (sorry, I know...but it was her name for Me) and she shook her head and pulled me over to a puzzle which we worked for an hour. later I told her booby was "all better. Not sick anymore." and asked if she wanted some and she shook her head and said apple. And that was sit!
I cried for about a week. She never asked again.
Might seem mean to some but for us it worked just fine. She grew to have a son whom she nursed for a year and a half, so no lobg term trauma i think. And she loveshot sauces!
Good luck and God bless the Mommys of the world. If you do it well, they never leave you.....
S.D. answers from Nashville on March 01, 2008
My husband nicknamed my daughter "the titty baby" when she was little. Both of my boys had weened at age 1. But, my daughter did not want to give up nursing. By the time she was 2 she was only nursing at bedtime and first thing in the morning. At age two I started talking to her about being a big girl now. We substituted snuggling up with mommy, reading a book, and drinking a sippy cup of milk for nursing. I started calling it "mommy-Kate" time. I also used a trip to grandma's house as an excuse. I said, "You want grandma to think you are a big girl now, not a baby. Babies nurse. Big girls drink out of sippy cups." That worked!
My daughter is 11 now and she still loves her "mommy-Kate" time. But, now we go shopping or out to lunch or to a teenage chick flick. Today we are going to see her Science Fair Project on display in the city Science Fair. I enjoy the "mommy-Kate" time as much as my daughter does.
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A.M. answers from Charlotte on March 01, 2008
I weened both of my children around 2 and nursing my third (2mon). My daughter had no really problems weening I just told her that my boobies were not working any more and she could have a drink in a cup. My son on the other hand I had to leave him with somebody else for the weekend. By Monday he seemed to forget all about it. Everybody is different. Try a few things and see what works for him. Maybe you could have a sippy cup of his favorite drink ready and snuggle while he drinks that. Good Luck.
M.T. answers from Nashville on March 01, 2008
the only advice that I have is to ween. By that I mean let him suck them down to nothing then leave off the next feeding and then let him suck them down to nothing again and then leave off the next 2 feedings. UNLESS of course you like big boobs then let them fill up and do not feed him every again. I fed 4 kids that way. My first 3 were boys and I weened them. My 4th, a little girl, bit and it was very painful, which by the way made it very easy to want to quit. My left breast was in so much pain that I couldn't ween her from that one. It never went down, however I did ween her from my right one. I now have 2 very uneven breast. So if you like big boobs, which I didn't, let them fill up and then quit. If you don't like big boobs, then make sure he gets every drop out and keep leaving off an extra feeding every time so they dry up without any milk in there.
Now your hormones do change when you stop feeding and it is a sad process. I cried all 4 times weening them but I knew in my heart it was time. Soon my hormones straightened out and began to enjoy my life without an attachment.
Just beware and you will be alright.
Keep snuggling with them even though you aren't feeding anymore and they will continue to be lovable and snuggable from now on.
M.W. answers from Raleigh on March 01, 2008
Hi M. - my son just turned 3 and is still nursing in the morning as well - except he comes in to my bed and helps himself, and has been doing so for the last year. I too wonder when he'll decide to be done. Since you go in to get your son and then sit down to nurse, what would happen if you just went in to get him and then went downstairs for breakfast? Could you bring him a sippy cup in the morning and then still sit and snuggle? He may take right to it or fight you a little - may be a process, but worth a try. Is there someone else in the house (dad or sibling) that can get him out of bed in the morning? That way the routine is completely different and he may respond better.
Hang in there!!
M.B. answers from Knoxville on February 29, 2008
If it helps, I breastfed my daughter until she was about 2 1/2 years old. She's 9 now, so I'm a little fuzzy on all the details. At some point (and I want to say around the 2 year mark) we started backing down the breastfeeding a little at a time. At first it was just first thing in the morning and last thing at night. Then it became just last thing at night. Bit by bit it became every other day, and then just a couple of times a week, and eventually none at all. A lot of it had to do with making sure that she was getting enough to drink and spending some real quality time with her. When the "bonding" time was not in danger, she could relax in my arms as I read a story or sang to her, and there was not as much inclination to breastfeed. I hope this helps!
A.S. answers from Lexington on March 01, 2008
How about changing the routine? Maybe you could have your husband get the kiddo up and take him down to eat breakfast. Or start the day with another activity he enjoys - reading a book or watching a quick video while you fix breakfast might help distract him until he learns the new routine.
A.P. answers from Charlotte on March 02, 2008
Congratulations on hanging in there for 2 years! I nursed my daughter that long also, and really by 1 1/2 she was down to bedtime feeding. I really didn't have a problem, as she was already drinking from a sippee cup. We just substituted the cup for me and continued our rocking routine and she never fussed about the difference. As others have suggested, skip the snuggle routine and head straight to breakfast with his sippee cup and see how that works. I know it's hard to let go of this special bonding time, and I felt like I was the one holding on more so than my daughter. But really, once you let go it is such a relief to have your body back and you find different opportunities and times to sneak that cuddle time in.
As for the milk drying up- mine never completely did. There was no major leakage, and no pain since she was nursing only once a day by the time we weaned, but even to this day (she's 3 now) I have experienced a "wet" feeling, but not enough to warrant breast pads or anything. I will, however, contribute part of this problem to the fact that my husband is a boob man. I think if he would have left them alone a bit longer after my daughter was weaned, they may have completely dried up, but who can say. Now I'm preganant again, and they have started up again. Guess we'll see this time if he can leave them alone long enough for them to dry up completely!