This is NOT me & Annabelle, by the way!

As the decision on when to wean my 7 month old baby Annabelle from the boobie weighs heavy on my mind, I now understand why some women breastfeed their babies well into their teenage years. Hey, it’s tough to break that amazing bond you’ve developed with your baby since day one. Being your baby’s sole source of nourishment as they look up at you lovingly, and getting to cuddle with your little munchkin like no one else does has been a very special experience for me and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. To think I wanted to throw in the towel two weeks in because it was so painful in the early days!

But the reality is; I can’t nurse Annabelle forever. And I know many people choose to nurse a full year or more, but I had originally just planned on 6 months. Then it became 8-10 months. And I can see myself extending it longer after 10 months! I just personally don’t see myself going a full year and truth be told, I’m starting to want my body back. And here in lies the feeling of being torn. Do I decide to wean Annabelle for my own reasons, or do I let her wean herself when she’s ready and just keep going without an end plan in mind?

I hear a lot of moms say their little ones just weaned themselves, losing interest in nursing once they started eating solids. I wish Annabelle was one of these babies! But nope, she’s not. She still motor boats my chest when I’m holding her. If I have any exposed skin on my neck and shoulders she’ll practically give me a hicky trying to get milk from her mama! She just loves nursing! How can I turn that happy little face and thirsty girl away? I’d rather she turn away on her own so I don’t have to decide for her. I think this means I need to really ramp up her solids. I was slow to get AB into solids because she didn’t express interest and seemed disgusted when I put anything in her mouth with a spoon in the beginning.  But I know if I want her to wean from nursing I need to step that up.

Why wean if breastfeeding is still going well?

Some of you who chose to nurse longer may be wondering why I’m even thinking about stopping now if all is going well. Believe me, as I type that sentence out I’m asking myself the same question. But I do have a few reasons.

I’d really like to get my body back, for one. I really need to get to the gym through the week to make some positive steps towards getting in shape, but I feel like I can’t work out on my lunch break at work because I’m already away from my desk pumping twice a day. That’s another thing; I’m only working in the office 3 days per week and I’m getting busier and busier with my workload. Pumping is becoming a drag to fit into my busy days. I’ve noticed little by little that my milk supply isn’t what it used to be, and it can be frustrating at times to nurse her for 20 minutes and then have to give her a bottle on top of that to fill her up. I hate feeling inadequate to provide for my baby. Have I mentioned that Annabelle has 5 teeth and 2 coming in – that’s 7! Occasionally when she’s bored at the end of a nursing session she’ll clamp those teeth down on mommy and I’m starting to fear an impending bite. It’s only a matter of time before a real one comes. She always does it with a smile though, which is of course very sweet and cute, and it also makes it difficult for mommy to get upset with her!

I feel like all I’m doing right now is trying to convince myself that I have reasons to wean. I guess we all have our reasons and it’s really a mama’s decision when it’s time. In the end, weaning will probably be way harder on me than it will be for Annabelle. I never imagined I’d feel this way about breastfeeding. It’s funny how becoming a mother totally changes your perspective on things.

Any tips from breastfeeding moms on the best method to weaning?

2 Comments on Torn on when to wean my breastfed baby (soon, never?)

  1. Courtney, as I read your post, I heard “me too” playing on continuous loop in my head. I am so ready to be done with breastfeeding, but I just feel guilty and selfish being the one to pull the plug. If only baby C would just lose interest already! I want my body back – these extra pounds are really hanging on for dear life and they’re making me feel completely disgusting (not to mention I still can’t fit into half my wardrobe). I want to be able to enjoy a glass of wine after a stressful day or start my mornings off with a full-bodied cup of coffee! I am starting to feel really guilty pumping during the work day, too (I hate when people stop by my office to see me and my motion-sensored lights are off and I’m not there – just doesn’t look good). Anyway, just know that you are not alone. I hear ya, loud and clear.

    By the way, I can’t believe Annabelle has (almost) 7 teeth already. My 8 month old has no teeth so far!

  2. Glad to know I’m not the only mom that stresses over breastfeeding and pumping. My husband says it’s all I talk about! But think about it; over the last 7 months the most consistent thing I’ve done is nurse my baby every single day. It’s a major part of my life right now, so no duh it’s going to be on my mind a lot! I too am starting to feel guilty for pumping twice a day, especially when it starts to interfere with meetings and work. I hate when I’m running late to a meeting because I’m trying to squeeze a pump in between two meetings. This week I dropped 1 pump and now I’m only pumping once at noonish. I feel sad only bringing about 6 oz of breastmilk to daycare the next day for Annabelle’s food, but I’m going to just have to get over it.

    I know, isn’t it crazy how much things differ from baby to baby? 8 months and no teeth and AB has 7 full teeth now (they spout and grow FAST)! She looks so cute when she smiles!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *