Weaning a Toddler

I knew from the moment I found out I was pregnant I would breast feed my child. I didn’t know how much work it would be. Once she was born, I didn’t know if I could ever get the hang of it or if I could continue through the first two weeks. 

My major concern was feeding her, is she getting enough, will we make it through this part of our lives together?

Never did the thought of weaning her enter my mind. I always assumed she would wake up one day and just be done, leaving me heart broken and emptying my full breasts into containers to be donated.

As we came to the first year of breast feeding I was thrilled we made it through the hard times, nursing in public, nursing on demand at all times and continuing to nurse.

By 18 months I was still happy to be breast feeding her, but started wondering when she was going to let up a bit. She just seemed to love it so much I couldn’t bare to take it away from her and break her baby heart. 

Then I started feeling self conscience about nursing a walking, talking toddler… in public.

She is super demanding. When she wants “boo boo” nothing can take her mind off of it! She has never had an attachment toy, blanket or binky. It has always been me. 

Saying no, trying to redirect or offering food and water has NEVER worked. It only amps up her insistence.

So one night last week when I was particularly exasperated with this boob buffet system we had in place, my Husband and I discussed seriously weaning her. Just down to a few nurses a day with the goal of completely weaning soon.

I work Monday through Friday till five and attend night school 3 days a week and don’t get home until almost 8 on those nights. I decided to nurse her right when I get home,  before naps and bed time and at night if she wakes.

The first night, Thursday, did not go well. But that was expected. I got home around 7:45, let her have at it till she was done and than cut it off. No more boo boo till bed time. Bed time is at 8:30 p.m. She screamed hard until than.

The 2nd day she did better, but there were still lots of tears and pleads for her favorite past time. By Sunday she was marching around the house saying “no boo boo till night night” and smiling. She still asks frequently, but doesn’t throw a fit when she doesn’t get it.

This is something I did not think possible. Every outing, every new experience was a melt down if she didn’t get to nurse on her terms. And it was making me resent nursing so long.

Taking the steps slow and gentle and allowing her to grieve with patience and understanding is helping the process. 

How did you wean your toddler? Did she do it on her own or did you actively try to stop? 

An Awkward Mother