You may remember a couple months ago when I posted about my experiences with breastfeeding, and some of the struggles I was having with weaning. I have some good news to update:
Sam is officially weaned!!!
Want to know how we did it? It was hard. You may remember the difficulties I had with cutting her off from the naptime nursing sessions. Up until that time, we were slowly easing into the weaning, cutting back one meal at a time and replacing it with the sippy cup. Once we got to the nap situation though, it was a problem since it was a comfort thing for her, not a meal. I finally had to just buckle down and get it over with though. Her teeth were so painful, I could hardly stand to have her latch on anymore. Especially since she wasn't really nursing anymore, she was really just using me as a pacifier. Ouch.
Week one, we cut out the afternoon nap nursing. That one wasn't so bad, since probably 3-4 days out of the week she naps in the car while we're out in the afternoons and wasn't nursing to sleep anyway. That week went fairly well. She did cry and try to go for the boob when I rocked her to sleep, but we got through it okay.
Week two was the WORST. We always do morning nap at home, and she had a really strong association between breastfeeding and napping in the mornings. I had to just pin her down in my arms while she flailed and screamed and flopped, trying to get at my boobs. It probably only lasted a couple minutes, but it felt like forever. But eventually she'd calm down and fall asleep in my arms.
Week three - at this point, we were down to just early morning nursing and bedtime nursing. Mike has been putting her to bed most nights, so I really wasn't even nursing her to sleep most nights anyway. Whenever I put her to bed though, I would nurse her. I decided that we would drop the nighttime nursing first, since the early morning was convenient for me - we would bring her in bed with us so I could nurse her, and I'd get an extra hour or so of sleep. ;) This went fairly well. Mike put her to bed almost that entire week, so it wasn't until the last couple of days that I had to try putting her to bed without nursing. It was no problem at all! She was already so accustomed to going to sleep without me that she didn't mind at all when I didn't offer the boob.
We really didn't even have a week four. The last day of week three, I gave her the boob in the morning when she woke up, and it was just pointless. She wasn't getting anything out of it, and it was just hurting me. It felt forced. She took it because I offered, but she totally didn't need it. And that was the last time I nursed her! (I might also mention that things, um, changed with my body at week three, so that probably has a bit of something to do with her lack of interest in my milk/lack thereof.)
It has been several days now, and we are doing great. She still fusses for naps when I rock her to sleep, but she doesn't really go for the boob anymore. She does like to keep her hand on them as she falls asleep, but I don't mind that, if it makes her feel comfortable. (As long as she doesn't pinch the nipples...I hate that!!!)
Now, our next step is getting her to go to bed without being rocked to sleep. She's starting to get so long now that she seems very uncomfortable in my arms while I'm rocking her. I think she's outgrowing the chair. Hopefully that's a step in the right direction, so that she'll be more comfortable falling asleep in her own bed. I'm sure we'll have another adjustment period for that, but we're getting there. For now, I LOVE my cuddle time with my baby as I rock her to sleep. These days are almost over, and we'll never have them again, so I'm cherishing every sweet moment. :)