Well we made it to day 730 (2 years) yesterday breastfeeding Lil’ B. We woke up yesterday on her birthday and went through our normal routine. I snuggled my baby one last time while breastfeeding her on her second birthday knowing that it would be our last time. When we finished our morning session I told her sweetly that it was her birthday and that she was a big girl now and that boobies were for babies. I asked if she wanted to ‘kiss them goodbye’ and she gave them both a sweet little peck and waved goodbye.
This morning when we woke up I didn’t say anything to her about milk or boobies. She asked me once while I was changing her diaper about the milk and I told her that I would be happy to pour her a big girl cup of milk if she liked. She said “OK” and that was the last she asked about milk today.
It’s been quite an emotional week with all the changes with day care and her birthday but I feel so much better that she didn’t this change didn’t upset her. We’ve gone a few days without breastfeeding before so I know we’re not officially through the weaning process but I’m going to stay strong and stick with my decision.
Why did I choose to wean at two? I never thought I would make it past 14-16 months. At one point I even remember saying that extended breastfeeding was ‘weird’ and only ‘those’ moms do that. With all the support in the breastfeeding community online I realized that extended breastfeeding is very common, healthy for both the parent and child, and recommended by doctors. What I never really gained was acceptance from those closest to me. My family and friends never fully understood my desire to continue the breastfeeding past the first year or so. For at least the last six months our breastfeeding sessions were much more private and only at home. We’ve only been feeding once a day (normally) for the last few months so it’s easy to keep that private. Even with my husband there were many days where he would express his disapproval and lack of understanding. I decided it wasn’t anyone else’s decision other than my own and I didn’t have to explain my reasons to anyone. I stopped fighting and continued to do what was best for both me and my baby.
I love my husband and my family and I respect that they don’t understand my desire to continue this long. My love for my husband is what made me decide to stop at two. With two kids there are so many ways that life comes between us and this was just one more thing that kept tugging at our relationship. My daughter is beyond blessed to have had the opportunity to breastfeed for two whole years. Most children in America don’t make it past 4-6 months and we made it to 2 YEARS! That to me is a success and something that I can be proud of.
Would I have continued if I had the continued support of my family and friends? Maybe – maybe not. At some point I would have to wean her. She’s growing up and she’s no longer a little baby. The value added at this point was purely comfort for both of us at this time. If she was having a bad day it was one way that I could always comfort her. I’m sure she was still getting some nutritional benefit and we may never know how much. She’s been an incredibly healthy baby and rarely gets sick so I’m blessed knowing that I could have helped with that. For me I’ve managed to return to my pre-pregnancy weight and maintain that weight with very little effort. Yes, I’m slightly worried about what will happen to my weight know but that’s no reason to continue breastfeeding.
We will find other ways to bond with one another and I’ll be able to share that with my husband as well. What ways have you continued to bond after weaning? How long did it take your toddler or child to stop asking for milk? How did you respond to those closest to you when they were less than supportive?
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