Well, Elijah has officially weaned.
I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, I loved our nursing relationship. I’m sure that he loved our nursing relationship. And I guess I really wanted to be one of those European-eque mothers who really extended breastfeeding.
On the other hand, he’s sleeping through the night now and my appetite has been cut in half.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding exclusively for the first six months (which I was unable to do when I returned to work), and to continue breastfeeding in conjunction with solids for at least a year, and as long after as is mutually desired. The World Health organization recommends the same, except that breastfeeding should continue in conjunction with solids for at least two years. World wide, most babies wean between ages 2 and 3, or so I am told. In America, most babies wean at 3 months.
Elijah and I made it 15 months. Not bad, I suppose. Great, by American standards. And even though I had to supplement with formula when I went back to work when he was 10 weeks old, I think I still did pretty good keeping the nursing up. I have no regrets (except for how soon I fed him solids, he now appears to have an egg allergy – I don’t know if its related, but doctors say the number one reason to delay solids for six months is to decrease chances of babies developing food allergies, and there are no food allergies in my family), but sometimes, I do miss our special cuddle time.
Here’s how we did it.
I went to Arkansas for two weeks for some good, old fashioned, Army training. Elijah stayed home with my mom. When I got back, he asked to nurse, so I tried, but it hurt and I got a sore on my nipple (just like the first time he nursed! Why, oh why won’t he latch on correctly?), and he was frustrated because there wasn’t any milk there. And that was it. He asked a couple more times, but I instead offered him his sippy cup or a bottle, and now he doesn’t even ask anymore.
He and I still cuddle a lot. We still show each other a lot of affection. We’re still cosleeping (although that might slowly come to a halt in the coming months as well, since he’s sleeping better and better at night). We just don’t nurse anymore.
What’s your weaning story?