Breastfeeding

Weaning L

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I wanted to wean slowly with L. Since he pretty much dropped the first breastfeeding session of the day around the beginning of January (I think it was a mix between being sick and wanting to play with his brother who would barge in on our morning session most days), I gave L pumped milk in a sippy cup at breakfast. My hope was to nurse him 3-4 times a day through his original due date at the end of February,  but the visit to the allergist sort of cut that short. He wasn’t allergic to cows milk and I didn’t know what was in my pumped milk. After his allergist appointment mid-January, I decided it was time to begin weaning more seriously.

If I had asked, I’m sure the allergist would have told me to not to give L any of the saved breast milk I had stashed away in our freezer. However, I just couldn’t get myself to throw it away. Or wait and see if being peanut-free would really help L’s eczema. So, despite not knowing what foods I ate when I pumped, I decided to mix  in one bag a day with the cows milk. I came up with, what I felt were, valid reasons, however unscientific they are:

  • I just couldn’t get myself to throw it away. Liquid gold. My precious. I just can’t do it.
  • I couldn’t donate it because of my antidepressant.
  • Because L was a preemie, I feel it was more beneficial to give him the pumped milk through his due date.
  • I only had one box of pouches left.

My weaning plan was the same as the one I had when I weaned G: take one feed away each week. I started with the one before L’s morning nap. Since he didn’t always finish the sippy cup I gave him at breakfast, I’d offer it to him before I took him upstairs. I replaced nursing with a book, which he wasn’t into at all at first. Luckily he was content with sticking his thumb into his mouth and falling asleep as soon as I laid him in the crib.

The boys spent the day at their grandparent’s house at the end of that week, so I used that opportunity to begin phasing out the nursing session before L’s second nap. Again, I read a book before I put him down for a nap. By now he seemed to be a little more into reading and even began favoring certain books. This was also when we introduced cows milk.

The beginning of the next week, I had a therapy appointment which meant I’d be gone most of the day. I used this to drop the feed L wanted before dinner, and it was the hardest one as it’s Witching Hour. Since he’d usually snack during this session I didn’t feel L really needed it and having him pop on and off the boob numerous times when I am trying to put dinner on the table wasn’t working. If Hubby isn’t around to keep L entertained while I make dinner I hand him a sippy cup of milk and that usually quiets him down for a moment or two.

A few days into getting down to one nursing session a day, L began to to get pretty fussy and clingy. I’m not sure if that’s directly related to weaning, or that he was sick again, or he was teething. Then one day he freaked out every time I turned my back or put him down and he had a fever that wasn’t going down with Tylenol. A trip to the doctor indicated both of L’s ears were infected. Once the antibiotics kicked in a few days later, he wasn’t as clingy and I wasn’t wondering if I had made a mistake by cutting out the Witching Hour feed when I did. It also meant I would

I nursed L for the last time on Thursday night. I was surprised to find I was feeling sad about it. I wasn’t this sad when I weaned G. With him I couldn’t wait for our year-long breastfeeding journey to be over. I honestly don’t think I was ready to wean L. He keeps getting sick (a follow-up visit yesterday determined that one of his ears is still infected) and it would have been nice to continue until spring so he could continue to get some health benefits. But his frenectomy is scheduled for Tuesday. It didn’t make sense to go cold turkey on him the night of having a medical procedure. And it doesn’t make sense to continue after the frenectomy because his latch will be different and why spend time trying to remaster nursing technique when I’d be quitting in several more weeks? I know I don’t need that stress.Nursing-Baby

I’m super proud of what L and I accomplished:

  • We nursed a little over 13 months!
  • No formula — a goal I’d had with G, but it didn’t work out.
  • Exclusive breastfeeding the first six months. I kept a human nourished all by myself! I can’t even keep a plant alive half that long.
  • L and I participated in World Breastfeeding Week. This was one of the most empowering things I’ve ever done.

World-Breastfeeding-Week-Awareness

So, it’s with bitter sweet feelings that I can say L and I are done with this phase in his life.  Now I can focus on sending both boys on overnight trips to their grandparent’s house so Hubby and I can have a weekend alone here and there. And eating peanuts (mmmmmmm, Snickers).

 

52 thoughts on “Weaning L

    1. It is. It took me a long time to appreciate the time I spent doing it with my first son. I was able to savor it a little better with L!

  1. Great post. I think breast feeding is the best option! My husband and I are still praying the Lord will bless us with children and if He does, I’ll breastfeed for sure. I think it’s great that you are sharing your story.

  2. I haven’t been blessed to become a mother yet, but I would like to be someday. This makes me think about all of the things I will have to learn. It is a bit scary, but made easier knowing you and so many others will be there to help me muddle through.
    Meagan recently posted…Dreaming of Greener PasturesMy Profile

    1. Other bloggers have been a great resource for me when it comes to figuring out what to expect (or look out for) when it comes to being a mom. I like reading blogs more than the parenting books 🙂 thanks for stopping by!

  3. Great post! I am a breastfeeding mother and I love the bonding experience that I had with both my son and daughter. My son weaned away from me at the age of 10 months, once we started solid foods and a sippy cup. However, with my daughter who is almost two she requires a little bit of breastfeeding as comfort for night and afternoon naps. I am in the process of weaning her too. I really appreciate your story!
    Toiia L. Rukuni recently posted…How I became a MompreneurMy Profile

    1. Thank you 🙂 setting little goals for myself and reassessing when I reached them definitely helped it be more rewarding for me.

    1. It’s so true! Definitely different for every baby too! I don’t know if I could have nursed for years though 🙂

  4. Wow, does this post ever take me back…. a couple of decades!!! I clearly remember the weaning stages, the anxiety (mine!)and the guilt. ( am I doing the right thing?) Thanks for the reminder…. oh, FYI it all turns out fine and I think what you did is marvelous!

  5. I have three grown children and was not successful in breast feeding any of them. I tried every time, but it just never worked for me. My daughter-in-law had triplet boys and successfully breast fed all three of them for almost 6 months! I never thought it was possible, but it was the best gift she could have given them.

  6. It definitely is a marathon to get through and congratulations on reaching the finish line. I only made it through 2 months of breast feeding and I couldn’t get my DD to latch on properly so I would pump and bottle feed. The closeness is what I found to be so rewarding and then they grow so fast. My girl is now 3 1/2 years-old and I miss holding her close…

    1. Two months is still good though! And kudos for pumping and bottle feeding. Latching is hard to master and I know I was frustrated because people made it seem so easy! I’m still not sure either of my boys latched correctly.

  7. What a blessing that you was able to for this long. I tried that desperately for well over a day. I know 1 day does not sound like a long time to try, but he was born 2 weeks early and had gone over 24 hours of getting no nutrition and had lost 1 lb after being delivered. My thoughts were at the time, I had to pick my battles and I was not going to let this precious newborn die because I insisted that he be BF. My son is a thriving teenager now with many battles that will need to be decided upon.

    1. You did the right thing, Crisi! You did what was best for you and your son and that’s what matters most of all 🙂

  8. What an accomplishment to nurse for so long! Despite my best efforts, I was never able to breastfeed longer than 6 weeks with any of my kids. We just had issues we were not able to work through. While I don’t have regrets about my own kids, I have such respect for moms who continue long-term! Way to go!
    Mary Beth recently posted…Growing Up is Weird.My Profile

  9. Good for you!! I set the goal of 18 months for my youngest but she’ll be 18 months in 4 days and asks to nurse more now than she did at 3 months! I’m so ready to be done since I nursed my son until my daughter was born and now have nursed her 18 months, so I’ve been nursing for over 3 years straight! But I think since my youngest is my last I’m not going to push weaning right now. I know I’ll be sad when it happens.
    Karmen recently posted…Ya never know what might show upMy Profile

    1. That might be what made me sort of sad… we aren’t sure if L is going to be our last so part of me was thinking “This could really be the last time ever!”

  10. What a great inspirational story. You have shared a wonderful bonding experience with us and I thank you for this.

  11. Thank you for sharing your weaning experience. I can TOTALLY relate to your feeling about “my precious.” I traveled while breastfeeding my oldest and would keep every drop, insulate the bottles with paper towels and aluminum foil, and bring it home. Sometimes I was getting fresh ice three times a day, but it was worth it.
    Christina recently posted…Wines and Wineries of Southwest Michigan: Day 4My Profile

  12. I unfortunately did not get to breastfeed as long as I had originally planned for any of my three. My first was premature and with all the meds they had me on, they advised against it. My son it was again the meds and my youngest daughter I was so engorged that I couldn’t even fathom clothes touching me much less my child. BUT I did get to give them their first nourishment (colostrum)! The first feeds of breastfeeding is so important and bonding with them in that way was incredible! I’m so glad you got to complete your accomplishments with L!

  13. I believe in breastfeeding as much as you do! I exclusively breastfed my eldest for 6 months before I decided to wean him but (!!!) my now 2-year old daughter is still nowhere close to giving up breastmilk. Sometimes I feel too tired already, like I want my body back but they said she’ll give it up when she’s ready. I hope it’ll come soon.. 🙂 I need them to stay overnight somewhere else too. LOL
    Camille recently posted…6, 7, 8/52: Catching my breathMy Profile

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