It has been 13 months and three days since Taylor was born. It has been 13 months of joy, 13 months of discovery, and 13 months of breastfeeding. I started breastfeeding Taylor with the intention of weaning her at six months old because everyone said that babies start biting at this time. Not true! At least, I didn’t experience that with Taylor. However, by six months, I was still over-lactating and Taylor just did not appear ready, as she still wasn’t consistently taking a bottle everywhere, including daycare. So, I set the new end date for her first birthday.
For a while it seemed Taylor was weaning herself. She was drinking more and more from her cup, and she was consistently drinking her milk at daycare, whereas months earlier she would often refuse bottles at daycare. Then that all changed when she began teething. Taylor now wakes up repeatedly at night, crying and wanting to nurse for comfort. She refuses her cups of milk, and throws fits because she would rather nurse than drink from a sippy cup.
I consider it a blessing that I have been able to provide my daughter with breastmilk for as long as I have. According to many studies, I have provided her immune system with a great jumpstart to surviving in this germ-filled world. Taylor is also less likely to encounter certain diseases, as a result of being a breastfed baby. I also benefit; my risks for certain cancers have been reduced and my husband and I have saved so much money because we didn’t have to buy an abundance of formula and bottles.
I feel I have done my duty as an educated, caring mother. Now, I am ready to reclaim my body! My biggest concern with this process is making weaning a transition. I can’t expect Taylor to quit cold turkey, this is all she knows. I have considered comfort alternatives like reading Little Bea, her favorite book, cuddling in bed with her, and listening to classical music as I brush her hair. My plan is to use these alternatives at night time when she wakes up wanting to nurse, in hopes of one day getting a good night’s rest again. I will let you all know how it goes! This blog is definitely to be continued…