Wednesday, December 14, 2011

On Nursing...

As I write this it is close to 1 am, and I am awake, nursing my grumpy teething baby. Moments like this make me so thankful that I have this cure-all to offer my otherwise inconsolable baby. I love being her comfort. I love that she needs me. But I must admit, as we close in on her first year (eek!) I am hoping to see an end to breastfeeding in sight....and it is seemingly nowhere on the horizon. 

Lyla (and mama and dada) had a rough first few months. We battled colic and while I did also have a rocky start to nursing (low supply, scabbed nipples, plugged ducts...eesh.) I don't know how I would’ve survived her colic without having my breast to offer. We spent many a morning/afternoon/evening/night sitting on the couch just nursing. Because while the pain of her constant attachment to my breasts was excruciating, the relief it gave to Lyla was enough to stop her constant crying...and ultimately was the only thing that kept me sane during those first months.



Back to the present. My teething girl is now asleep, still half nursing.  This isn't unusual. Lyla still wakes a few times each night and mostly refuses to go back to sleep without the comfort of my milk. At almost a year, she still nurses every 2-4 hours. No matter how much solid food we give her, she still is insistent on nursing at the same rate she was months ago.  So obviously it is more for comfort than for nourishment (honestly, my breast is the equivalent to a pacifier for other children).

So much time is spent on that couch!  Lyla mostly nurses herself to sleep for naps....
and then I sit and hold her till she wakes up.  Wow.  Is that crazy?  I am taking attachment parenting to a new level.  
I have mixed feelings on how to go about weaning her. I don't want to upset her and I gotta admit, I am just too exhausted to fight her on it. ‘Oh you actually want to sit with mama and be still for a bit?  I can relax and simply watch TV?  FINE.'  Seriously, it’s the only real break I get.  But I’m not sure that without some real boundaries that Lyla will gradually wean…ever.  And what’s funny is that I always said I didn’t want to be that mom with kid who was walking and talking and asking for “milk” but as we stand now, it seems inevitable (because she IS walking and talking and asking for milk…).  Needless to say, I am exhausted.  I feel like our sleep situation won't change as long as Lyla is still reliant on breastfeeding and I won't be able to leave her for more than a few hours at a time (did I mention, she REFUSES my breastmilk from a bottle or sippy cup).

THAT FACE slays me.  Makes me want to nurse her forever...just to see that sweet, content face.

Moms, is there a sudden change that happens, where your nursing baby loses interest in nursing?  Does weaning happen gradually (within reason…like in a few months, not a few years) or should I be taking more initiative to turn her away sometimes when she wants to nurse?  I’m afraid if I keep just following her lead that I will be breastfeeding a teenager.  Help!

xo
Jayme

6 comments:

Rici Reid said...

Teagan basically weaned herself. She stopped showing as much interest in my milk as she did real milk (we introduced real milk at 10 mths even though we were still breastfeeding)and food. You might have to start weaning her a little yourself though. Try making her wait a little longer and a little longer especially during the day. Eventually she's find comfort in something else (bittersweet, I know) and she'll slowly wean.
Good luck, Mama!

Anonymous said...

My son started to loose interest after the 1 yr mark and weaned himself by 14-16 mos...enjoy it while you can.

lynxymama said...

oh my gosh, enjoy every second. literally, you may wake up one day and she will not want to nurse anymore. tova is a mega-nurser as well, much more so than the boys and even though i am unsure how the future will go, (harry never nursed with TEETH so i have no idea what that is even like) i am just taking it day by day. follow what you want and what she wants and never listen to anyone else, ever. they grow so fricken fast. many hugs.

Miskabelle/Miskabelly said...

@Rici Reid

Thank you for always having such kind and helpful words, Rici! I am taking your advice and trying to (gradually...) have her take more time between feedings. Hope you are doing well with your breastfeeding woes as well (I read your post via my phone and didn't have a chance to comment...but I'm not sure what advice I could give! Other than, you are a GREAT mama and I'm sure things will only get easier!).

Miskabelle/Miskabelly said...

@Anonymous

Good to know! I am for sure trying to soak in these last months...hoping it all happens naturally. : )

Miskabelle/Miskabelly said...

@lynxymama

Oh yes...I for sure am trying to remember I need to enjoy these days of nursing because they won't last forever! Thank you for your hugs. You are the sweetest. : )