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Does the thought of weaning your breastfeeding baby or toddler give you anxiety? I’m sharing my experience and a few tips to ease your fears.
Is your baby nursing less or are you wanting to stop breastfeeding? If this sounds like your situation, continue reading.
Breastfeeding is an incredible bonding experience and studies have shown breastmilk provides many key nutrients for your growing baby.
Many people have the misconception that breastmilk loses it’s nutrition as your baby gets older which is completely untrue.
So for those of you mommas get the side eye or complaints about nursing your toddler just ignore them.
When do you know it is time to Wean from Breastfeeding?
There are many reasons to stop breastfeeding,
Maybe your baby is beginning to self-wean.
Or you have a job that doesn’t allow you time to breastfeed or pump.
Perhaps, you are pregnant and need or want to stop. This happened to me with my middle one.
Weaning my Last Baby from Breastfeeding
My baby girl, Natalia, just turned two a couple of weeks ago. Still can’t believe she’s no longer in that baby stage.
She’s petite so I still imagine her as my baby.
My two youngest children are less than 2 years apart. Breastfeeding my youngest presented so many more challenges as I also had a toddler to care for.
Looking back at all the chaos of raising two under two makes me feel like a supermom. I salute all of the mommas out there for everything that you do.
I remember starting to nurse Natalia for her nap then her brother having to go poop. Oh, the timing.
I’d sit on the stool with a baby on my boob so she wouldn’t wake up while wiping a toddler’s butt. This happened on more than one occasion.
My goal was to nurse up to two years so I knew it was time to start the weaning process.
Dreading the idea of my baby girl being upset or waking up crying throughout the night we’ve been pushing off the weaning process.
By my surprise, it really wasn’t all that bad. I think she knew it was time but wanted to see how long she could continue.
My Weaning from Breastfeeding Experience
Today marks day 6 weaning from breastfeeding my last baby, well… toddler.
I probably got more anxiety over the idea of starting the weaning process than was necessary.
At this point, Natalia was breastfeeding during bedtime and throughout the night.
I can’t remember the last time I’ve had a full night’s uninterrupted sleep.
It was about 8 pm, Natalia grabbed her pacifier (that will be next to wean), her blanket, and jumped up on my lap in our favorite chair to nurse so she could fall asleep.
As I explained to her that it was time for her not to drink milk from momma, she insisted on nursing saying “mom boob please” in her little voice while laying on my lap pulling at my shirt. I told her she was my big girl and that I loved her. She began to cry a little and put her pacifier back in her mouth as I snuggled her caressing her hair and kissing her forehead and cheeks. She fell asleep in my lap within 10 minutes of snuggling.
This happened two nights in a row.
Night three and four were a little rougher. On these nights we laid in bed but she was a bit more emotional and gave in on the third night because she was so upset.
On night five and six, we laid in bed again. Natalia had her head next to mine on my pillow and she let me rub her back as she fell asleep.
I’ve been either pregnant or nursing the last 5 years so it’s sort of a nice feeling to get my body back.
Don’t get me wrong, we both enjoyed every moment. Almost every moment…
If you are ready to wean your toddler from nursing, here are few tips. I am not a healthcare professional. These are just my experiences.
Recently, I went on a business trip for two nights and thought it would be the perfect opportunity to start the process when I returned. Big mistake!
She was so upset as I had been gone that she cried hysterically. You don’t want it to be a traumatic experience.
You’ll want to pick a day and talk to your toddler about it daily (at least a week) before starting the process.
Natalia was only nursing at night so we didn’t need to worry about this. However, if you are nursing during the day for naps or morning snuggles, start skipping these first.
This will also help reduce your milk supply.
Use your best judgment when skipping a nursing session. There are times when your baby really needs to nurse and when you’re their pacifier.
The key is not too sudden to reduce stress on both sides.
This will play a big role in weaning your toddler. Try offering healthy snacks or milk in a sippy cup. If your child has a favorite toy or blanket try using it. My daughter is obsessed with tags and is soothing for her to play with. We love muslin blankets for snuggling as they are lightweight.
Our kids have always needed mommy to put them to bed as they both nursed to sleep for the first 2 years. Yes, I know it was a bad habit. Having someone else put your toddler down for bed may be helpful.
After our son stopped breastfeeding, it was easier for my son to allow daddy to put him down for bed. My husband enjoys the quality time.
I am going to hold onto my daughter still needing mommy to put her to bed as I know it won’t last long.
It will be nice; however, when I won’t be needed for bedtime so I can use that time to straighten up the house or work on my blog.
Wishing you the best with your breastfeeding journey and hope my experience and tips help.
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If you’re a breastfeeding mom, do you have any tips to share? How was your weaning experience?