- Women's Health
The Reason Weaning is Difficult
My Weaning Story
My daughter just had her first Birthday this past weekend and it had been 3 days since her last breastfeeding session. It was a very difficult and emotional process for both of us, but I can say, I think we are both better for it.
I decided it was time to really start the weaning process when she was about 10 1/2 months old and her upper two front teeth started to come in. I had had problems when she was about 3 months old with chaffing and being raw from a bad latch, and I was starting to see the signs of this coming again.
I started by cutting back to nursing only at naptime and bedtime. Of course, whenever that bad feeling on engorgement comes along, I made an exception. Once my milk supply had adjusted to this schedule, things were great. She began getting much more of an appetite for regular foods and was willing to try most anything. Cutting back also really helped my nipples to heal from the damage her teeth were causing.
About 2 weeks before her birthday, I took on the daunting task of putting her down for naps and bedtime without nursing, cue music, du du duh. I started with naptime. I put her in her crib, said I love you and its naptime, and walked away. It was so hard to hear those screams and then the boobies started in their pains to show their displeasure in the situation as well. As hard as it was, in about 7 minutes, she actually fell asleep, I was amazed. Now I can't say every nap has gone as well as this first one, but we are still working on it.
Bedtime was much more of a fight. It usually takes a combination of a bit of crying and then rocking her to sleep after she realizes it really is time for bed. As disheartening as the crying is, she won't hold still to be rocked unless she gets a good 5 minutes or so of it.
I won't tell you the process is easy, or even that we have it mastered. But I knew it was the right time for us and began the process in the way that seemed best for us. Be confident in your decision to wean on your own time, not what anyone tells you they think is the right time. You are the expert on your body and the needs of your child.