Warning: this is an extremely personal post. While I sit here writing this post, I am on the verge of being an emotional basket case! I finally weaned Reid from breastfeeding and tonight marked the first night of not nursing him to sleep. Needless to say, it is extremely bittersweet. It marks the end of a routine of over 15 months and the beginning of Reid not physically needing me (I know that technically he did not need breastmilk/formula after a year, but still). He is growing up and I cannot slow time down no matter how much I would like to.
My breastfeeding adventure started with Drew and I taking a breastfeeding class while I was still pregnant. It was seriously Drew’s favorite class that we took in preparation as he knew all of the answers (proudly sitting in the front row and raising his hand like we were in school again! It was cute.) We learned in the class that it could be between 3-5 thousand dollars to give formula for a year, we sat in shock thinking it would only be a few hundred dollars at most. Regardless of the class and the desire to breastfeed, I accepted the fact that everyone is different and breastfeeding may not be possible for me.
Fortunately, I had an extremely easy time breastfeeding Reid from the beginning. I remember the first time I held him, I tried to get him to latch (as we were instructed to do) and he wouldn’t. I was so nervous that he may not be interested, but after he woke up a little bit he latched on and the rest was history. Even through teething, he was great and only bit me once.
I originally wanted to nurse for 6 months, then it turned into a year and then I joking said I was “closet nursing” him until just over 15 months. I set the end date as May 31 and started weaning him in the middle of April. I started with 3 feedings (one in the middle of the night, one before nap and one before sleep), I took the nap time feeding out first and introduced reading books. After about 2 weeks, I took out the middle of the night feeding (which actually made him sleep through the night!!). Lastly, I took out the one before bed tonight (last night I only fed from one side).
When I started weaning, I tried to introduce a bottle but he wasn’t having it–so I just went cold turkey and he was fine. I will say that he now is obsessed with his pacifier as he may be using that as a substitute but we will face the challenge of removing that later! One thing at a time right?!
There are so many opinions of breastfeeding, but in the end I took my mom’s advice and did what was best for Reid and myself. It is all about listening to what you believe in and what works best for you and your baby. While I probably would have been fine nursing for years to come, I knew that he was not benefiting from it anymore and that it was time to move on. I am excited for the freedom my body will experience after over 2 years of being pregnant or nursing, but it will take a while to get used to our new routine.