April 05, 2006

Bye-bye Nur-nurs

Weaning has always been easy for me.

When The Boy was 25 months old, I was nursing him once a day to get him to fall asleep for naps. One day it didn't work and he couldn't fall asleep. I cuddled him to sleep instead and he never nursed again.

The Middle Girl worried me. I had wanted to nurse her longer, but I was due with baby #3 when she would be 25 months old and I did not want to tandem nurse. I was afraid I would be short-changing her and that getting her weaned any younger than her brother would be impossible. I had her down to once a day nursing too though, by the time she was almost 20 months old. She caught a head cold, couldn't breathe and nurse at the same time and stopped nursing entirely -- no pain or sadness on either of our parts.

When I got pregnant again, I knew I was going to have to think about weaning The Toddler Girl. I wasn't ready to do it yet -- she's only just now seventeen months old. Again, I have been fretting about how it would go and would it be a major struggle. She's been nursing about twice per day, sometimes three times and very enthusiastic about it.

Last Sunday I decided to myself that I was going to start trying to work on moving that down to once a day. Monday morning was busy getting everyone going and The Boy and his dad out the door for school and work. The Toddler Girl didn't even ask to nurse and so I celebrated to myself. This was going to be easy! Then she didn't ask to nurse at all that day. I decided to wait until she asked, because afterall, I do want to wean eventually.

Tuesday morning she asked for water (she does this by getting herself a cup, taking it to the sink and babbling loudly and insistently until you get her a drink). As I was getting the water, she said, "Nur-nur." But she forgot all about it when I handed the cup of water back to her. She didn't mention nursing for the rest of the day. She hasn't mentioned it today.

I thought weaning the other two was simple. This time it has been so simple I'm not emotionally prepared for it. It seems so sad for her to stop now, when she's not even a year and a half old and such a tiny thing. You can tell my bias is for long term breastfeeding. On the other hand, if she's going to make it this simple, I'm not going to encourage her to keep nursing and I'm not going to offer. Afterall, I did want to wean her in a few months.

A big milestone and I wasn't ready at all.


I feel for you. Squink weaned himself at 10.5 months. I was completely unprepared. It was August and the AC was not working well, I am sure my milk was hot. One afternoon he just pushed away and refused, he continued to refuse for 4 weeks, I was pretty heartbroken. He even refused pumped milk after a while... talk about trauma! Here I was planning to do this until he was at least two and he goes and makes up his own mind.

Posted by: blair at April 5, 2006 10:46 AM

Sounds like a bittersweet moment for you--but before you know it, you'll have a brand new nurser in your arms again!

Posted by: Meredith at April 5, 2006 11:50 AM

My 15 mos old is down to nursing only at night. Bittersweet is right.

Posted by: chris at April 6, 2006 08:24 AM

I sympathize. The Squid is only 9 months and still loves to nurse, but now that she's on a lot of solids and not sleeping with us, we're down to 3-4 times a day. I miss the constant nursing that used to make me feel like a milk-producing machine who was constantly yanking her shirt up over her chest.

Posted by: Another Jordana at April 7, 2006 10:51 AM