Breastfeeding Weaning

Since I’ve been very open about my breastfeeding journey, both the successes and troubles, I get a lot of questions about weaning. How did I wean? What worked for me since I had a very attached toddler? I will say it didn’t happen overnight for me. I have friends that just stopped and I was so jealous. Or others who’s kids just self weaned, and I was even more jealous! Olivia seemed hellbent on breastfeeding at her college graduation the way we were going.

My weaning journey started when she turned one. I thought this is it! I made it! Time to start cows milk and move on. Big fat fail. She hated it and would no longer take bottles anymore, even with pumped breast milk. So I started trying to integrate more food and food pouches into her day and do less and less nursing. I started going longer hours in between nursing until I was only nursing 1-2 times during the day (early afternoon and early evening) plus the nighttime ones and the first in the morning one. This continued from age 1 to 2.

At age 2 I decided I needed to kick the weaning process up if I ever wanted to stop.

The afternoon one was first cut. She was easy to distract at that time, most days we were out and about or playing. The early evening one was more difficult because by that time I was tired and trying to make dinner, so putting up with the tantrums were almost unbearable. So I started putting large 2″x4″ bandaids on my nipples so she couldn’t get to them. I told her they were ouchies. After a few days the tantrums stopped and she accepted it.

These bandaids were a lifesaver!

Once I was down to just first in the morning and bedtime, I cut the morning one by offering her a food pouch of yogurt or oatmeal when she woke up. While she was sleeping I’d get up and put the bandaids on so she couldn’t access them. Again, after a few days to a week she accepted it. She still will ask for it from time to time, but I just tell her they were ouchies or all gone and she’d just say ok. By 2 1/2 we successfully were down to just a nighttime “go to sleep” nursing. At first she definitely seemed to be actually nursing and drinking milk, but towards the end, she’d only nurse for a few minutes and was barely drinking anything. She used to drink from both sides, but again towards the end she only nursed from one side for just a few minutes. So at this point I was barely producing any milk. This made the weaning process easy on my body as I never felt engorged or pain.

Per my other post about breastfeeding and stopping, stopping kinda fell into my lap and I seized the moment. Tonight makes night 7 of no nursing and it’s definitely easier. She no longer begs for it or cries when I say no. I offer to cuddle for the closeness and it’s been working. I’m still wearing the bandaids at night, I’ll probably have to wear them for a few weeks. But at this point I feel confident in saying we’re done breastfeeding.

It’s crazy because I have some friends who breastfed 2 babies AND stopped before I finished nursing just ONE baby 😂. But Olivia was very attached and stubborn. When you love your child so much and they beg for something that you can give to them, it’s hard to say no.

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