Hey guys – Hope you had a super rad weekend + and an even better start to the new week! I’m sitting here, nursing AJ, realizing I’ve got so much mommy stuff on my mind and what better place to share than on my blog. TMI warning for the rant sesh to follow – maybe you can relate, or maybe you cant. Either way – let me get this off my chest.
Extended nursing. Full-term breastfeeding. Whatever you’d like to label it – let’s actually talk about it.
As we all know, breastfeeding is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics for at least one year, + the World Health Organization’s recommendation bumps that up to 2 — and both also suggest that moms continue for as long as they want and/or can, as mutually desired. Two key words there – Mutually. And desired.
Right now – I’m in a weird place and I get it – it’s all about perspective. There are many days I look down at AJ while nursing and boy does it my melt my heart. I cherish these sweet little moments with him + full on realize I’ll never get these days back. However, on the flip side – there are just as many days where I find myself a little over it. I feel over touched. Over exposed. Overly annoyed. And on those days, I feel a little mommy guilt. AJ eats food like a champ + is only using my boobs at this point for comfort. But thats what makes the weaning so much bigger of a challenge for us. Kids who suck their thumb – how do they stop? Jax was uber addicted to the binky but getting him to quit cold turkey was quite simple – we threw them all away and he never looked back. It was easy – easy enough. Sure there were days that were more emotional than others – but all in all – it was NBD. I can’t really remove my boobs to wean my child – so now what? When AJ falls and gets hurt, he needs boob. When he’s upset about something, he wants boob. When he’s tired, he wants boob. Boob, boob, boob – all day long it’s boob! There are moments of sweetness but maaaaaan there are times I literally wanna flip him the bird.
I’ve nursed all 3 of my boys for a combined total just shy of 4 years. Ben nursed exclusively for 16 months. Jax for somewhere around 6, and AJ is still going strong at 23 months. So we’re talking 45 months and counting… Now look, trust me when I say I’m not for one second sitting here bragging about it. To be honest, I’m actually sitting here contemplating how in the effing world am I going to stop.
So how do I do this? I have tried pretty much everything. Going away for a night. Vinegar on the nips. And I get it – people say “just stop giving it to him”. That all sounds great and all but it’s just not that easy and what happens when we finally do stop? Am I going to wish that we didn’t? Gah! I recently had a massage at The Pro Club and while I was there, I shared with my PT about the conflicting thoughts I had been having regarding weaning AJ. Listen mamas – this has to be one of the most genius ideas I have heard to date. Here is her story… She started nursing her LO [who I believe was 2+] in the same chair and only that chair, every single day. It became the “nursing chair”. And one day, when the time had come, her husband removed the chair from the room. Poof. Gone. When the LO woke up to nurse, mama said “Oh no! Our nursing chair is gone! It looks like the nursing days are now over.” And that was that. No more chair, no more boob. Seriously how genius is this? AJ definitely associates our couch with nursing – so I can definitely see how this could work. She also recommended using frozen green cabbage leaves to alleviate any pressure + to dry up the production of milk. Now I have never tried either one of these techniques – but I just might so I’ll keep ya posted.
My AJ is a pretty special little dude. Ever since we used WeeSleep’s gentle sleep training to get him completly off the nighttime nursing regimen + into his own bed, he’s really changed a lot – in the best of ways. He trusts himself. He knows what he can handle and he goes for it. He’s confident + I love that about him. But are those the characteristics of an LO who might actually do better in a child-lead weaning scenario? And if weaning is actually a developmental milestone, should I wait until he’s ready? Do you see it? I’m literally a huge emotional ball of conflicting emotions. Do I believe when AJ’s ready to be done, he will be? I think so. I guess the real question is, can I wait that long?
Thanks for letting me vent + stay tuned for the outcome:)
Side note // Mamas – whether you decide to nurse your babe for 1 second, 1 day, 1 week, 1 month or 1 year – you’re still a badass – you birthed a baby. Breastfeeding is certainly not for everyone, but if you can, give it a whirl. There are endless options when it comes to the support one needs to successfully nurse your LO – I’ll link a few below. Which resources have you or do you plan to utilize? And also – would you share your story with me in the comment section below? How long did you nurse + how / when / why did you stop?