Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Beany weaning

I nursed Sister until she was a year old, at which point I weaned her with no fuss whatsoever. She really seemed not to notice or miss it. In retrospect, she was still very much a baby, though I don't think I saw her that way at the time. She had started walking at 10-1/2 months, and was speaking in 2-word sentences at a year. She just seemed grown enough to stop nursing, I guess, and apparently was.

Bean is nearly 10 months old and is still nursing. From the time that my milk came in, Bean has always LOVED nursing. I can tell that she finds it comforting in a way that Sister never seemed to. With Sister, nursing was useful in satisfying her hunger quickly. With Bean, it's all about snuggling up with the mama and getting warm and comfy.

I had it in my head that this time around I would likely nurse my baby a little longer than I had the first time. I'm a full-time mama at home, after all, and don't have a work-and-pumping schedule to complicate things. Also, I have the perspective that 1-year olds really are still babies. But 10 months into it I find myself a little torn. On the one hand, I also think nursing is sweet and comforting and deliciously snuggly. On the other, I'm getting to the point where I kinda want my sex drive sans nursing hormones and a little more personal flexibility back. It would be nice, for example, to go out for an afternoon to a movie and maybe an ice cream with Sister and not have to worry about whether Bean is hungry and whether I've got milk stockpiled in the freezer for Husband to give her. It would be nice to leave town for a weekend with Husband and leave the kids in the care of my mother who lives just 30 minutes away. I know this sort of thing will happen eventually, of course, but I'm feeling like I might want this back sooner rather than later.

So I'm on the fence about it. I mentioned to Husband that I was thinking about weaning Bean after her first birthday, and he was totally supportive. (He, too, would like my sex drive sans nursing hormones back, I suspect!) I'm sure all my friends would be supportive, too. But I think I would miss it, and I'm VERY sure that Bean won't be down with it. I've got a few months to decide, I guess, but it's been on my mind a lot lately.


Dawn said...

I nursed Em until 18 months. She was a nurser too. I frankly think she'd still be nursing if I didn't cut her off.

And Terrance said the same thing - "Please can I have your boobs back?"

Most Dr's say that you can start introducing whole milk at 1 year - That was when we moved her to Soy Milk in a cup. ( Emmy had no bottles) After a while, Mama's boobs weren't as delicious.

It is hard though. Sometimes I still miss it.

Queen Beth said...

I nursed the Duchess until she was 9.5 months old. I was torn too because I really enjoyed it with her. I nursed Princess until she was 6 months old and then I had to quite because I aquired an illness in which the medication would have stunted her growth. So I wanted to nurse Duchess for along time. But when I wanted more flexibility, I was torn. Then Duchess decided I was really just a snack for her and I thought maybe that was a good time to wean her. It was. And I feel really good about my decision. But I do miss nursing now and again!

Queen Beth said...

Quit, not quite....my typing today is so bad. Sorry.

Rachelle said...

My son has self weaned now and he's just barely turning 10 months old. It makes me so sad. He's my first and I wanted to nurse till least a year. But we've been fighting a nursing battle for months now. Finally, in the last month, he has started refusing one nursing after another. Nothing I do will get him back on. Just this weekend, he gave up the last feeding, refusing to nurse before bed anymore. I've tried more since then, but no dice. I'm still pumping twice a day because I want him to still get the nutrients from breastmilk, even if he won't nurse. I cried about it last night, after the last failed latch on. I told my dh that if I had known it was going to be my last nursing a few days more, I would have treasure every single moment of it. I hope to have other children to nurse, but I am sad this nursing has come to an end. I can relate to your feelings. Part of me wanted to wean, but now that it is done, I miss that!

Piece of Work said...

I had to stop breastfeeding Vivian at 9 months because of supply issues. I was really heartbroken, because I enjoyed it so much with her. With Isaac, I had supply issues at 4 months and had to stop, but then, I was relieved. I wanted my body back. I'm not sure why it was different with Vivian. Anyway, I did miss nursing for a little while--but not too long. I'm sure if you wean her at a year a few months after that you won't miss it at all.
Any change is difficult.

Mama D said...

I keep joking that since it took so long for Audrey to actually LIKE breastfeeding that I will never quit. Actually, I have received some comments already regarding 'when will I be quitting?' I really don't think that's anyone's business but mine but people still ask. It's good that you are thinking about it now because then you'll be ready when it is the right time. Bean will adjust.

Erin said...

I get the 'when will you be quitting' question all the time. Dough Boy is 13.5 months old now. He loves nursing. He loves nursing more than anything and I swear if I didn't feed him anything but mama milk, he would be the happiest baby alive.

That said, I only nursed The Princess to 8 months. She took formula from a bottle until 12 months and on her 1 year birthday we cut her off. No problem.

Dough Boy... Eh, not so much. I started introducing whole milk at 10 months because he wouldn't take formula but he needed more than just my milk. He is an incredible eater and sucks down more than 24 oz of whole milk a day. But, he still needs to be nursed first thing in the morning, at nap and at bedtime.

Anyway, my point is, you are not alone. And Bean will start to reduce the need for milk sooner rather than later. And like before we'll all wish that we nursed just a little bit longer. Well, at least I know I will! :)

cubmommy said...

Little Cubby is 17 months and he still nurses in the middle of the night. Before he wasn't about to give it up and when he turned a year I knew he was going to be nursing longer. Eventually with the help of whole milk, he weaned himself to just the middle of the night.

I keep him distracted and can sense when he is getting hungry I will get him a snack and milk.

You are not alone. You have to do what is comfortable to you. Bean will let you know when she is done with nursing.

Mommygoth said...

Miss K, as you know, self weaned at just 4 months, although I was well prepared to keep going. Bean doesn't like to make it easy for you, I know that, so I imagine it's going to be....interesting. But don't worry- there's gin!

mothergoosemouse said...

Both of my girls gave it up voluntarily at 5 months. I would have nursed longer if they would have been interested. So I congratulate you for nursing as long as you have.

The Daring One said...

This is the best post title ever. Good luck. My first weaned herself and the dude seems to be doing the same. The problem is, when they're done with the breast, they stop drinking any liquid whatsoever. Weird.