We FINALLY did it!!!!! The most emotionally challenging part of parenting so far. We were successful in weaning our daughter. And it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, which made it even harder for me.
I am proud to say that I breastfed my daughter for 15 months. Our journey had its ups and downs, but overall it was a positive thing. Like many moms I had planned to nurse her on demand until she was a year old and then figured she’d mostly wean herself after that since she started solids at 4 months and loves food. She started winding down around 11 months and by 1 year was nursing to go to sleep at night and a couple times during the night, mostly for comfort.
By the time 13 months or so came around, I was ready to stop. So I read all the articles, Facebook posts, a great book with no-cry techniques, and tried a bunch of things. Many of them worked, but I couldn’t get her to fall asleep without the boob. She would cry even if I held her, laid down with her, or rocked her. I can’t do the leave-them-to-cry thing. It’s not for me, so I was starting to think this wasn’t going to happen any time soon.
When she was 15 months, my husband and I talked about our mutual frustrations and decided it was time for Daddy to step in.
Now prior to this my husband had never put this child to sleep. EVER. However, we decided he would put her to bed. So the first night he went into her room, did the little routine I always did with her, laid down next to her bed, and turned on her favorite music. Twenty minutes later after some crying, cuddling, back rubbing, and soothing words she passed out next to him and only woke up once that night. (Insert angelic music here.) He’s my HERO.
For the next 3 nights, my husband put her to bed and went to her when she woke up during the night. On night 4 I put on a bra, tank top, t-shirt, and sweatshirt, and did the same things. It took me 45 minutes, but I got her to go to sleep without nursing! Then I got up when she woke at night and got her to go back to sleep too. YEAH!!
Since those first few days, she has not once asked to nurse, which both surprised me and at the same time made me feel better about our decision to start weaning.
I was a little hormonal afterward and emotional, since my life had revolved around breastfeeding for over a year. But it is nice to not have to plan outfits around access to my breasts. I used a tea that helped make my milk go away. It worked fantastically, giving me no issues with discomfort or engorgement.
I don’t know if our story will encourage or frustrate others who are ready for weaning, but I wish you all the best!