After almost 2 and half years of nursing without ever having success with Roen taking a bottle, we are finally done! I thought I’d be more happy and excited to say this when the time came, but it is a bittersweet moment. I loved nursing Roen. It gave him comfort, helped him fall asleep, gave him antibodies, and burned extra calories for me! One day I just woke up and new I wanted to be done. So here’s how I did it, and maybe a few tips on how you can too when you’re ready:
Knowing I wanted the end in sight when Roen turned 2, I began limiting our boobie time to nap time, bed time, and occasionally in the morning (when I was too tired to get up with him and knew giving him my milk bought me 20+ more minutes in bed.) Doing this helps them adjust to less feedings which will eventually help ease the transition to zero times a day. Plus I don’t know anyone whose ever quit anything permanently after trying to stop cold turkey, so I think it’s unfair to do it to kids.
I nursed for another 5 months once we got down to 2-3 times nursing a day. But if you want to quit sooner after cutting down, I would give your little one at least two or three weeks before cutting it out completely.
After I woke up one morning knowing I was going to try to wean Roen 100%, I started googling what worked for other moms who weaned their toddlers. Some great advice I read was that your child is old enough and deserves an explanation. So I told Roen that mommy’s boobies needed a break from nursing and that he would need to stop. He asked why in the sweetest voice and I told him that I have loved bonding with him while nursing but that mommy’s body got tired from doing it for over two years. Another tip I read was to offer them something else when they asked to nurse. Roen has requested cereal. Sometimes with milk (organic Hemp), sometimes without, so we give him organic peanut butter cereal, which doesn’t have GMO corn or grains, less sugar than others, and has protein. I recommend organic almond or hemp milk over dairy or soy milk because of the antibiotics used in dairy milk as well as the level of puss that’s allowed in (documentaries about the dairy industry still haunt me), and because soy is one of the top 3 genetically modified crops and is sprayed with harmful pesticides. If you do decide to go with dairy, I advise you to choose organic. It’s usually only a dollar more and definitely worth it. I’ve also heard that some toddlers appreciate warm water with honey and lemon, which has a lot of benefits!
When Roen cried for “more” as he calls it before his nap, I tried another tip I read: band-aides covering the nips! I explained to him that I had owies and couldn’t nurse anymore, but I told him I would hold him and sing to him instead. He asked a few times and told me to take the band-aides off, but after another explanation, he gave up and cuddled into my chest. I swayed side to side singing softly to him for about 5 minutes and then put him in his crib. To my surprise, he told me goodnight and off I went! No tears!
If band-aids don’t work, I also read that vinegar on the boobs will make them regret ever trying to get milk, but I opted out of this one.
Roen asked the next morning for “more” and I explained to him that I still had owies, and even showed him the band-aides again and he moved on. We went 2 days after that without him asking, then when I was exhausted one early morning I gave in. It’s been 6 days since and he has asked here and there but never seems too disappointed when I tell him no…
Soooo I’m calling it- I’ve officially weaned my toddler! I’m so grateful that I was able to share this special bond with Roen and I don’t regret nursing this long at all. After all, breastfeeding is a superpower!