Thursday 5 July was the last time I nursed Mushroom. For all my worrying about how to night wean him, in the end he kind of did it himself.
Had I known that night would be the last time, I’d have done something different. What, I don’t know. It’s not as if we’d have had a ‘Mummy Milk’ (or ‘Nee’ as he liked to call it) party with a breast shaped cake to mark the occasion but I do feel as though the moment just kind of passed us by. On that Thursday night, he asked and I nursed. Friday night he didn’t ask – he didn’t even lift my t-shirt. This was a first. I put him down in his cot and he just turned over and went to sleep. I high fived the Mr and made us dinner. The next night Mushroom did ask. ‘Nee?’ he said hopefully. I thought ‘it’s now or never.’ So I said no. And he just went to sleep again. Just like that, no arguments. He did have a few biting episodes around this time so I introduced a dummy into the bedtime routine which seemed to solve this, however, I now think the biting had more to do with his teething than my refusal to nurse him.
At first I did get a little uncomfortable overnight but that settles down within a week and as it did, I realised what a massive milestone this was. Along with walking (check), talking (not quite) and sleeping through the night (Only once so far and that was recent. More on that to come in a later post!), I now feel that night weaning is a sign of emotional development that needs to be reached when both mother and baby are ready. I was ready months ago. Mushroom wasn’t. When he first caught up with me I wasn’t quite sure how I felt about it. A week after his last night feeding I looked down at his contended little face and wondered if he even remembered… He certainly doesn’t now. But I do. It’s funny, most breastfeeding mums can tell you roughly when they last nursed their child, but it’s not something we write in the baby books along with their other milestones. I guess that’s why I’m writing this post. As Mushroom becomes more and more of a little boy (well, toddler – we’ve had the first few tantrums already) I’m feeling that his babyhood is slipping away almost unnoticed and I wanted to record this, which I feel is one of the biggest milestones for both of us.
Did you/Do you continue to nurse your child past 12 months? What kind of reactions do you get when you tell people? When did you/do you plan to wean? If you already have, how do you feel about it now, looking back? Please leave a comment below and share your stories!
This week I’ve decided to join in with helpfulmum‘s meme and blog about what has made me happy over the past seven days. To join in, or just to find out more about this, click on the pink button at the end of this post.
Here’s my week:
- The realisation that I haven’t breastfed Mushroom at night for over two weeks. And he hasn’t asked. Think this means he is fully weaned! Finally! (There is, however, a touch of sadness to this too. More on that later.)
- Mushroom has been giggling a lot this week. It’s a beautiful sound
- Seeing my brother and sister. Ok, this is happening tomorrow but I don’t see them so often and am very excited about it
- The sun has appeared. Apparently it’ll stay a while this time
- Mushroom has started to sleep slightly longer stretches (like, five hours instead of three. I don’t want to tempt fate but trust me, this is progress).
I discover this meme via Jenny ‘the Wren’ so thanks Jenny!
A few Mums have asked me how I weaned Mushroom from breastfeeding, and this post is simply what I did, in response to these lovely readers’ requests. So I would like to start by saying thanks for reading, and getting in touch!
Just to be clear – I am not saying this is the best way to wean! In fact, I weaned him at nine months and current advice suggests that its best to wean older babies straight to a cup. That didn’t work for us, so we weaned from breast to bottle. Here’s how we did it in 5 easy (Ha!) steps, should you wish to use the same method yourself. We used Tommee Tippee bottles with no.1 anti-colic teat (for newborns! But it’s all he would take to begin with), gradually progressing to a no.3 teat (fast flow) when he got used to the bottle.
Offered 2oz formula at his 8am feed. He cried. A lot. Finally he took the formula and then I let him nurse as long as he pleased.
Offered 4oz formula at his 8am feed the next day, which he took without fuss. Let him nurse til he was full (I had to take him off but he didn’t really complain. Much).
Offered 6oz formula at his 8am feed on the third day. He took it happily. He decided he didn’t need to nurse as he was full. Result!
Repeated steps 1 – 3 for every feed until I was only nursing him to sleep.
Waited a week
Repeated steps 1-3 until he took a bottle at bedtime.
Mushroom now drinks his milk from a sippy cup during the day, but for the time being, he still has a bottle in the evening before his bath and bedtime. I still nurse him once or twice during the night.
Just to remind you that I’m no expert, this is just what worked for us. If you try this ‘method,’ and it works for you too, great! Do let me know. Any comments/ questions welcome.