Breastfeeding – Weaning at Two

I’m sure it’s no surprise to you but weaning at two is much different than weaning at one. 

When I weaned our son we had been planning an anniversary trip out of town for a long weekend and I had slowly weaned him over a week (hardly enough time to do it right) and then we went cold turkey!  What I learned that weekend was a very painful lesson – weaning hurts.  Over the next two to three days my breasts were very engorged and painful as the milk dried up.  Fortunately it wasn’t an emotionally painful experience for either of us.  At one he couldn’t really communicate well and couldn’t verbalize his desire.  He quickly took to his sippy cup (which we had already introduced) and we never looked back.

I guess one (of the many) reasons I held off on weaning my daughter was because I remember how painful the weaning process was.  With her we’ve been working on weaning the right way for over a year.  We slowly reduced the frequency of feedings over the year and she usually only asked for it once a day.  For at least a month she’s only been nursing once a day for 10-15 minutes (sometimes only 5 minutes) at a time.  It all depended on the day and our schedules.  Some days we would skip completely because we were so busy and she didn’t seem to mind.  Other days she would ask repeatedly for more – at lunchtime, at nap time, at snack time, and bedtime. 

It’s now been one week since we said bye-bye to the boobie and we’re doing really good.  She still asks for milk about once a day but doesn’t kick and scream like she did earlier in the week.  That only happened one day but it involved hitting mommy and lots of tears.  She now asks for ‘milk cup’ instead of just ‘milk’ and I let her pick out the cup she gets.  She’s become incredibly picky with her cups too – just be warned that a tantrum will follow if you give her the wrong cup! 

I’ve tried to avoid our regular morning snuggle in my bed since that’s where we usually nursed and have started spending more time playing with her in her room.  I’ve noticed she’s much more patient and enjoys sitting next to me reading stories more than before.  Last night she woke up around midnight coughing.  I tried to give her cough medicine (Boion Chestal is amazing and homeopathic) but she pitched a fit.  I know what she really wanted but avoided the suggestion of that.  We did have a few tears as I encouraged her to drink her medicine (which she takes no problem from daddy who was sound asleep).  You want to know what calmed her down finally?

Moving back to our bed, propping ourselves up (to allow for proper drainage), and letting her lay her head on my bare tummy.  She still found the skin-to-skin calming and was back to sleep in about 2 minutes.  Not once did she try to sneak a sip – she just wanted to snuggle.  That was around midnight and she slept soundly until about 3 am when she woke up serenading us to her favorite melody…

“mommy, daddy, puppy, bryce, mommy, daddy, puppy, bryce” sung sweetly and as loud as she could!  Thankfully she went back to sleep after a few more minutes of signing back in her crib.  As for me – after 7 days I’m finally starting to feel some pain physically.  It’s not nearly as painful as it was with my son but I think I may be entering a few uncomfortable days.  We’ll see.

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