I Don't Feel Guilty About Weaning, Not Even One Bit
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It’s been three days since I started weaning my 3-year-old son.
And it’s been one year and 21 days (but who’s counting?) since I wanted to wean him.But a year ago, he started preschool and I started working more hours at my store. I decided to wait to wean, so as to not make too many changes in his life.
However, now....it’s weaning time.
So, how is it going? For me, GREAT. I’m excited that after nursing a child (I have four) since 2005, I won’t be nursing anymore. I loved my nursing years, but I’m more than done with those years and ready to move on from nursing.
The little one isn’t doing as great as I am. His favorite thing in the whole wide world isn’t available for him anymore.
“It’s not fair.”
“I’m still little. I’m still a baby. I love leche. Why aren’t you giving me what I love?”
These are the things he tells me. And I hear the words and have moment of, “maaaaaaaaaaybe” but that feeling of “stab me in the heart!” isn’t strong enough to actually start nursing him mid-weaning. I truly am quite done nursing.
A year ago, when I wanted to wean him, I still had more in me to continue nursing through the changes he was experiencing. I could do it. I didn’t WANT to do it, but I could do it. Fast forward a year and I no longer have it in me to continue.
It’s the difference between being ready and not being ready to wean.
If you’re considering weaning, consider first the benefits of continuing and ask yourself if you can continue for another week, another month or another year. You’ll know.
And when the time to wean comes, I recommend these weaning tips by La Leche League.
- Don’t ask, don’t offer.
- Offer a substitute (what this is depends on age, ie formula, water, other milks).
- Offer foods or other drinks first before a short breastfeeding session.
- Consider night weaning first.
- Offer extra hugs and snuggles.
- Plan to be out more during the day to help distract your little one from breastfeeding.
- Avoid mastitis by hand expressing or pumping to ease engorgement, but do not empty the breast while pumping.
- Be patient. It could take a while.
When you're ready to wean, you're ready. Breastfeeding is mutual relationship that has to work for both of you. When it's time, remember to wean gently, slowly and lovingly.