Thursday, May 15, 2014

When Your Baby Weans You

And we are back with week 2 of the One Year and Beyond Link Up!  If you missed it, last week was all about Taming The Tantrums. That was definitely a relevant topic for the stage of life we are in!

This week's topic is about breastfeeding and the transition to cows milk. In our case, this doesn't really apply because my daughter drinks almond milk instead of cows milk, so we are calling this our transition from breastfeeding to sippy cups.
Don't worry, this isn't her sippy cup, but a girl likes to drink from mamas cup every now and again, right?

Weaning is a tough topic to give advice on because everyone's situation will be different. All I can do is share our experience and hope it helps you out in some way!

Although breastfeeding is tough at the beginning, I wouldn't trade anything for the bonding that came from nursing my daughter. I miss those snuggles and knowing that she just needed me. In fact, if all had gone as I planned, I would actually still be breastfeeding her (yep, I was going to be one of those moms.) I was really hoping to make it till she was 18 months before starting the weaning process. The benefits of breastfeeding are amazing and I wanted to give her the added nutrients and antibodies for as long as possible.

As usual, things never go as we plan right? The first step in our weaning process was around 10 months when my daughter bit me hard for the first time while she was nursing. It wasn't just a little ordeal either. It was more painful than the first few weeks of breastfeeding. It got infected and I ended up having to take antibiotics for it to heal. During that time, breastfeeding was not enjoyable for me because of how painful it was. I didn't want to call it quits just because we hit a bump in the road, but during that ordeal my supply dropped tremendously. I don't know if it was because I was under so much stress and couldn't relax, or if it was just time. Either way, I continued trying to breastfeeding 3-4 times a day and 1-2 times a night.

Although my 10 month old continued to ask for milk (in ASL), she would only nurse for about 2-3 minutes and then act like the milk was gone and she was done. It eventually got to the point around 11 months where I had to ask her if she wanted to nurse and even then it was a struggle to get her to nurse for more than a few minutes. At that point, I decided to try offering cows milk to see if I could supplement, but she took one sip and shook her head. Not gonna happen.

So I ate oatmeal, drank lots of water and Mothers Milk Herb Teas, and felt guilty because I wasn't making enough milk for my baby. It was rough. I had decided that in order to be a good mom, I had to keep breastfeeding even though it just wasn't working for us anymore. I kept that up for a couple of long months.

Finally, I realized that this wasn't a battle worth fighting. I had made it over a year exclusively breastfeeding and that was something to be proud of! It was time to accept the fact that my daughter was done.So when she was 13 months old, I dropped her day feedings and started nursing her only twice a day, in the morning and at night. A few weeks later I started just feeding her only at night, and about a month later, she stopped nursing all together. Once we were totally done, she only asked for milk a couple times at bedtime and then it was like she had forgotten breastfeeding even existed!

 I actually wanted her to care, but she didn't.
 I was prepared for a struggle, for crying, for heart wrenching tears. But there were none!

It was a harder process for me than for her because to me it was a big deal, almost like a transition from her being a baby to a toddler. I wasn't ready for her to grow up so fast! 

Once she was weaned, everything was great except for the fact that I couldn't get her to drink cows milk! I know that our bodies get a lot of their nutrients from milk up to the age of 2 so now I had a new obstacle. I tried cows milk with a straw, in a cool cup, and in a bottle. I even tried strawberry and chocolate milk but she wasn't interested. Also during that time, she started to seem increasingly irritable, like she wasn't feeling well. This led us to believe that the little cows milk she was drinking was making her feel sick.

I was so worried that she wasn't going to get the proper nutrients so I ended up calling her doctor for suggestions. They said not to worry as long as she was eating cheese, yogurt, and getting protein from beans, veggies, and other healthy foods. They also suggested I try other forms of milk (almond, soy, coconut etc...). After a few weeks of offering her almond milk, she started to drink bits here and there! Now, after a few months of persistence, she drinks about a cup of almond milk every day.

This just goes to show that we all have our obstacles when it comes to mothering! Whether you're having a difficult time weaning or a hard time finding a breast milk alternative for your toddler, don't get discouraged or feel like you are a failure. Just be patient and push through, making the best decisions that you can!

What is your weaning from breastfeeding story like? I'm curious to know how many of you had babies like mine who were just done! Link up your breastfeeding journey with us below. I can't wait to read them!
From Here to EternityWords About Waverly
my delicious adventure Photobucket
My Delicious Adventure                  The Life Of Faith
Running From The LawThe Olive Tree
         

May 8:          Taming the Temper Tantrums
May 15:        Weaning from Breastfeeding or From Formula to Cow’s Milk 
May 22:        Dealing with Mommy Guilt
May 29:        When People Share Their Opinions and How to Lovingly Handle it
June 5:         Traveling with your Toddler
June 12:       How to get your toddler to eat their veggies…or their food at all
June 19:       How to make time to blog in the busyness of motherhood
June 26:       Bedtime Battles (nap or bedtime)




 photo Newsignature.png
Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory
Colossians 3:17 
And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

11 comments:

  1. That's awesome you made it for so long! My son is almost 9 months now, and I am weaning him for myself. I'm just kinda ready to have my own body back to myself. I wouldn't take back the time I had with him in those moments when he needed me though! Great post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh I totally understand that. I feel like I have so much more freedom now that I don't have to worry about when my daughter needs to breastfeed next. We even left her with a friend for an overnight for our anniversary last week :)

      Delete
  2. Props to you for breastfeeding so long! And you are right, everyone's situations are different! My daughter will be a year old in 2 weeks, I guess it's time to get ready for the transition!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Way to go with breastfeeding! I love it when I hear how moms stuck it out. A year is great! Hoping the transition is smooth for ya :)

      Delete
  3. Great post! I really hope breastfeeding works for us with #2. I agree that weaning was harder on me than it was on the baby! :) Funny how that happens.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know, I felt so dumb admitting that! But it's true!

      Delete
  4. Ha, you were going to be one of THOSE mamas who breastfed forever and I was NOT and yet we've ended up doing the exact opposite ;-) Motherhood never goes as planned!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hahaha yes! Isn't that crazy? I've learned not to set my heart on anything because I never know how things will end up lol! Props to you for keeping it up!

      Delete
  5. Such an honest look at breastfeeding and weaning! Both my boys weaned themselves, just kind of woke up one day and thought I don't need this anymore. It was way harder on me than them. Now with my daughter we are taking more of a slow, gradual decrease in nursing. I also give my kids almond milk, and cows milk. Sometimes they prefer the almond which I think is great! Great post!!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I'm sorry that you had to stop long before you wanted to! I used to think "those" moms that nursed past 12 months were crazy.... but then I turned into one of "those" moms :) But it's what Mia wanted and I still made the milk, so I kept going! Now that we are done nursing I don't miss it, but I am grateful I was able to do it.
    You are an amazing mom to stress and go to all the work that you did to nurse as long as possible!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thanks for sharing this great advice with SYC.
    hugs,
    Jann

    ReplyDelete

Your comments bring a smile to my face! Thanks for visiting my blog :)

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...