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?