Photography by Briana Lindsey Photography
I've got a little weaning update for all of you and if you aren't caught up, here's the back story....
On New Year's Eve you all helped me decide which dress to wear after I posted my three favorites over on my Instagram stories. The dress I loved the most (and really wanted to wear) was not breastfeeding-friendly so because of that, I ended up wearing the dress I didn't want to wear to ensure I could nurse Ava when needed. And that was ...annoying. And it's one of the reasons why I've begun to feel like a prisoner to nursing and I don't like it one bit.
Ava is almost two and while I'm terrified to stop breastfeeding (click here to read more about that) I think it's time. I really think we're ready (okay, I'm ready) and after the New Year's Eve dress incident, my mind was finally settled.
On January 1st, I officially started weaning and while I don't have an end date in mind, I'm taking it slow for the both of us. So I wanted to do a quick little update on where we're at and how it's been going:
First of all, my fear of not being able to bond with Ava has completely gone away. Within a week, I noticed that Ava has been way more cuddly and loving with me and that makes my heart so happy. She will randomly run over and hug me, she loves kissing my nose and my head, and she will even just lay there on the couch with me and snuggle. Yep, all snuggling and no nursing and that's something that never ever happened before January 1st.
On Day 1 of weaning, I immediately cut it down to 3 nursing sessions per day -- morning, afternoon and night. And there have even been evenings where she goes to bed without nursing so I'd say, it's going much better than expected.
She still asks to nurse at least 20 times a day but I've been trying to change the subject by asking her if she wants a snack or something to drink and that's (most of the time) been working like a charm.
With everything I've gone through the past 9 days now, here are my tips for weaning a breastfeeding toddler:
-- Re-direct: When they ask to nurse, ask them if they want a snack or something to drink and head straight to the kitchen.
-- Wave Buh Bye: I know this sounds incredibly silly but when my milk is out, Ava used to continue to suck, sometimes for an hour. So now, when it's gone, I tell her to wave buh bye, she does it and the session is done.
-- Routine: Set a routine. Instead of just saying "I'm going to nurse three times per day for now," set times and stick to them -- mornings when hey first wake up, afternoons before nap time and after dinner before bed.
-- Be Strong: It's sooo incredibly hard telling her no. She doesn't eat much as it is so I feel terrible telling her no to milk. But I know that if she's hungry, she will eat. So I'm standing strong and sticking to my plan.
I think that in the next couple of days, I'll cut it down to two feedings a day, morning and afternoon, but after that I have no idea what I'm going to do. I nurse her to sleep for nap times so that one's going to be rough.
But until then, I sure am enjoying my freedom.
That's my update for today! Please please please keep on sending me all of the good vibes and well wishes because they've all been so re-assuring. And they've been just the push I needed to get this thing started!