Such a Wean-ee

Oh, Little One. Such a demanding sweet soul. She is persistent, I'll give her that.

After the decision to stay home with the kids once she was born, I also decided she would be breastfed until a year. At that time, she would simply wean herself and begin drinking whole milk like her big brother.

Or not.

She will soon be 14 months old and shows no signs of weaning. In fact, over the last few months she has added feedings to her schedule, despite the fact that I feed her three solid meals and snacks. A growing girl needs her milk. And her comfort. The original goal was to wean by 1 year. The new goal is to be done by 18 months. Little One may have other ideas.

I'm torn because it's not that big of a deal to continue nursing. I just don't want her tugging at my shirt when she's 5 expecting to nurse. (No offense to anyone who still nurses their 5 year old. It's just not for me.) I have a fear that the longer I nurse, the harder it will be to wean her. And, occasionally, it would be nice to not have to schedule my life around her bedtime, since the only way she will go to sleep is after a belly full of warm breast milk, straight from the source. Bottles are chew toys at our house.

I thought I got away with no nursing after nap time this afternoon. She woke up screaming (typical) but was quickly smiling at the sight of Elmo. We played for a while and I gave her a cup of milk. She humored me by taking a few sips. At least 15 minutes passed with no signs of nursing. But then the urge struck and she wouldn't be denied. She climbed into my lap and cuddled up into nursing position. I tried to just cuddle or sit her back up but she wasn't falling for it. I gave it.

The biggest issue is that the nursing is a big comfort thing for her. She often nurses longer than she actually needs to just for the comfort factor. I hate denying my baby the comfort that she wants and needs. She's such a mama's girl. This could be a long, difficult process! My new mantra? I am not a human pacifier. I am not a human pacifier!


Jessi said...

I certainly understand your desire to have your body back, to not be a human pacifier, but I must admit that I'm a little jealous that you are still making enough milk to satisfy her. My body just simply gives up around 6 months despite my very best efforts (and I've tried everything). If it makes you feel any better, the new recommendation is to BF until 2. *wink*

Andrea said...

oh I can sooo relate! I was gonna let Brady self wean too. 6inally, at 20 months I had enough but I didn't fully manage to get him to stop until 23 months. They also were a source of comfort for him. Now though, I look back at his pictures from when he was that age and wonder how I could not want that cute little baby to nurse for as long as he saw fit. Then I remember feeling like a slave and human pacifier and get over it. Just do what feels right for both of you. That includes you being sick of it. I seriously think Brady would still be occasionally nursing into age 3 of I hadn't stopped.

Brandi said...

I want to breast feed til my little one is a year too...but I am already the human pacifier sometimes...especially late at night when she's over tired!

Your mantra is great! :)

Have a great day!

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Wendy Irene said...

Oh my goodness! Did you take the exact thoughts I was thinking and put them into words!! You have no idea how exactly what your wrote is going through my head. My son weaned at 1, in the same way you said. My daughter turned 14 months yesterday, and just what you said down to the word is happening for me right now. Loved your piece on ModernMom today so I decided to stop by your blog. Glad I did because I love it! Thanks for the BIG HUGE SMILE reading!

Carrie said...

I don't have kids but in all of my studies of nutrition, the longer the better. Keep up the good work and I wouldn't worry too much. :)