I have been blessed to be able to breastfeed with the minimum of drama. Both of my sons just knew what to do. Which was a relief because I sure as hell didn’t. Not even the second time around. It is amazing just how quickly that information will fall right out of your head once you stop using it.
So the photo above is a lovely one. For me, breastfeeding a newborn (after the initial first week of ouchy nips and whatnot) has been the ultimate bonding time. Nursing my infant sons has been rewarding on many levels and beyond that, it was a quiet moment to cherish with my beautiful baby.
But babies don’t stay newborn for long. And if you are committed to feeding for the first twelve months as I was then it can be a rude surprise to discover that the previously angelic baby laying supine in your arms now wants to try feeding while standing on his head and watching the television so he’s going to need the nipple to come this way, thank you very much.
Ummmm, WHAT THE FUCK?
Breastfeeding can very quickly turn into a contact sport.
So then, the solution seems simple. Time to wean.
And I’d absolutely agree with you if I hadn’t made the fatal mistake of breastfeeding my babies to sleep.
See, if you read enough mummy empowerment stuff, you’ll know that there is absolutely no problem with feeding your baby to sleep. In fact, it’s perfectly natural to do so as the hormones released in breast milk are very relaxing for baby.
And it’s true. Feeding to sleep is wonderful. It can be quite an efficient way to put a baby to bed and avoids the whole crying it out scenario.
Yes, breastfeeding to sleep is fucking fantastic until such time as you don’t want to breastfeed anymore.
So if it wasn’t hard enough to wean your boob-crazed baby boy, now you have to instill a new sleep routine as well.
Given that the whole reason I began feeding to sleep in the first place was because it was easy and I didn’t have to deal with crying, you can understand that I don’t relish what lies ahead for me.
And that’s how it came to be that I breastfed both my boys way past the time when I actually enjoyed it.
And yes, this is the second time I’m dealing with this. And yes, I swore I wouldn’t repeat the mistake. And yes, I should probably just use the same method of weaning that worked for LD.
At this point, I refer you to my earlier point about things falling out of my head when I am no longer using them.
For the life of me, I can not remember how I got LD off the boob and still managed to get him to sleep. I think possibly it involved bottles of cow’s milk and that’s just fucking perfect because Zee has no love for the bottle or the milk of a cow (who isn’t his mother. Mooo!).
So I find myself deeply in de ja vu. Been here before but the details are sketchy.
And all the while I am half-heartedly boobing my son, it means no-one else can put him to sleep or settle him. Zee is quite literally attached to me – by the boob.
Turning to the mummy empowerment gurus is no help either. The typical response to “How can I wean my (boob fiend) baby?” is “Only you can decide when is the right time to wean. But just remember, despite other people’s opinions, you shouldn’t feel pressured to give up breastfeeding if you and your baby are still happy to continue.” Ummm, yeah, I know. But what if only one of us is still happy to continue? In fact, what if one of us is fucking delighted with the current arrangement and the other one is thinking of having her breasts surgically removed? Let’s just suppose that when I ask how to wean I am actually wanting to know HOW TO WEAN?
It’s like junkies having to detox. Why haven’t they invented a pill that you can take and just avoid the whole ugly withdrawal hell?
Is it because the junkie doesn’t learn the lesson and thus, is liable to repeat the mistake?
Oh god, that’s me. I am totally a junkie. Of the breastfeeding babies to sleep kind.
I’m over it. I’ve been over it.
What the hell do I do next? Remind me!