That’s me with baby Zee. Freshly baked and just smelling like heaven. You know that amazing smell? Newborns. There is truly nothing like them.
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!
omg this sounds sooo familiar!!!
i cant remember exactly what i did but i know it involved going to tresillian
Oh Kat, I never did try sleep school. Maybe I need it? Is it too late?
I just set a date to stop and about two weeks before that date I kept telling my daughter that after then she would be too big for ‘ning’ ( her attempt at saying ‘drink’). It worked pretty well. We just cuddled and read stories to sleep. She only asked once, I reminded her she was a big girl now & she was happy with that. (Did I forget to mention she was 3 at the time?) Oopps. 😉
Another option is to try the Australian Breastfeeding Association (1800 mum 2 mum), they were very helpful, even when weaning.
Well yeah, at this point, I’d take a dry one……
At 14 months, I am not convinced that Zee will be so easily reasoned with!
I might try the ABA website.
Agh! Sounds like you’re caught between a rock and a hard place right now. I wish I had a nice, easy solution for you but I don’t. P very rarely actually falls asleep on the boob these days; I think it’s losing its magical powers for her.
As for boobing being an extreme sport? I hear ya. It was especially that way with F, and I still shudder at the memories of my nipples being stretched in a way that nipples have no business being stretched.
If Zee won’t have a bottle, how about a straw cup? That worked with F.
Oh, and I love your profile pic – trés cute!
Every time Zee performs the boobing acrobatics, I think of you and F! I have not forgotten those stories. How could I? They are the stuff of nightmares…..and now, I am living them!
He uses a straw cup for water but it’s the milk that is an issue. He doesn’t appear to like cow’s milk. And at this late stage, I don’t think I have expressing in me.
And then, the sleep association is now so strongly linked to boob that attempts for B to administer bottle/sippy etc are met with the strongest resistance.
We need to try again.
Its not fun but changing to a bottle doesnt need to be a disconnection from the cuddly bedtime routine. I weaned my 10 month old (after several attempts and teat/bottle combinations). I made sure that I was the one to give the bottle cause obviously I had been the one to give the boob. We still cuddle and sing and have quiet time together. It was/is still a great bonding time together at the end of the day. After the initial few nights of resistance I won!!! Good luck with it Mumma!
Ok, I had the same exact issue with my Tackler. Here is what we did:
– He hated cow’s milk and sippy cups. We used a straw instead and started with Yobaby drinkable yogurt – which he LOVED. We gradually mixed it with straight whole milk, increasing the ratio of whole milk versus yogurt.
– We added a consistent bedtime routine, other than just The Boob – stories, repeated phrases, bath time, etc (no actual consumption of milk was in this – we did that earlier in day to decrease possible rejection). Then, when I had to drop the bedtime feeding, I had My Husband take over for the last fifteen minutes – because where I = boob, he did not. The rest of the bedtime routine would win out and w/out me around, no boob was sought.
– My biggest issue was dropping the nap feeding, because of same issue – only during this time my husband was at work so I had no one to trade him off to. Instead, I ran errands before nap time, just far enough away that he’d fall asleep in the car on the way home, but not too long that we’d miss the 15 minute Dead To the World Window to transfer him to his bed.
I’m currently slowly weaning my Lil Diva – and these steps are working again.
I hope this helps.
Thanks, Ruthy. It definitely requires persistence. But then, it will have been a shithouse day and all I want to do is get Zee to sleep quickly – so out comes the boob.
I am deeply inconsistent with my weaning attempts thus far……
I’m glad that you and the little miss still have cuddles before bed.
Wow, Kelly, thank you for the detailed response. You have some excellent ideas in there and I will most definitely be giving them a try.
I was quite afraid of the weaning thing and tried it a couple of times before just to give it up for some more time and the time passed. But that’s what happened: When my little boy was 22month we moved to another place and after arrival I made sure my breasts were nowhere to be seen, he was distracted by the new place anyway and the first 2 days of asking for ‘dink’ I gave him juice or water or passed him on to his daddy. After these first couple of days he never asked again. But he doesn’t drink cows-milk, eat yoghurt or cheese (never has) and I have to put (hide) milk-powder in a lot of things I’m cooking. I think this is because I was nursing him for such a long time and the breast milk tastes completely different. Good luck to you.
It’s great to hear what has worked for others. You have some great ideas and I think if I were to apply them with consistency, I might be on my way to weaning.
I am encouraged!
Hey, I know how frustrating it is.
Oh, and by the way, I nominated you for an award at my blog:
Oh honey, I’ll be going down this path soon too!! Although, I am feeling already Benny will be harder to wean than the other two! He is very anti-bottle & pro-boob like Zee as you know! As for the nipple stretching, yep, I too am wellllll over it!! Benny has taken to trying to stand on his head with bum in air whilst feeding!! The joys hey?
Good luck getting your rack back 😉
Oh, thank you! How lovely. I am all overcome.
I need it back. I definitely need my rack back!
Good luck with Benny boy. I hope it’s super smooth sailing. xx