08 August 2013

Our Weaning Story

In honor of World Breastfeeding Week (which apparently ended yesterday, but I'm traveling so oh well), I'm finally going to share our weaning story.

I have already written a bit about some of the trials we had in the early days of our breastfeeding journey--see here, here, and here. After hearing lots of different breastfeeding stories from other moms, I have basically decided that those who are successful at it are either lucky or persistent. I unfortunately fell into the "persistent" category initially, but I also ended up lucky (no tongue tie, no reflux, no milk allergies, etc.)

So back to our journey. After we got into a groove, breastfeeding went along fabulously. We started table food, nursed in public both with and without a cover, and all was well. Cora never really 'asked' to nurse, so around 9-10 months we fell into a schedule of 4 sessions a day. We ended up sleep training at 11.5 months, after a month of middle-of-the-night-won't-go-back-to-sleep-after-nursing issues. We never did and still don't co-sleep, and I have no regrets on that.

After Cora turned a year old, I had planned to wean. I was never one of those people that thought I would nurse through the toddler years. I reveled in our sleep training success, I bought some whole milk, and we dropped her second feed of the day (the one after her morning nap). She had no problems with it, and drank it out of a sippy cup like a champ.

This was just after she turned a year old. I used that MBF pillow all the way to the end!
A week later, we dropped the third feed. This left me nursing her just after she woke up and right before we did her bedtime routine. And that's where I stalled out. My mothering attachment emotions got the best of me, and I decided we didn't need to fully wean so soon. We stayed on that partial wean for a few months, and it was seriously the best of both worlds. I loved that I could leave her with Daddy all day and not have to worry about her, but I still got my breastfeeding cuddles to start and end the day.

Around the 15-month mark, I decided to drop the morning feed. I always thought that would be the last one to go, but for whatever reason, it just worked out better. My boobs were fine with it, too. So then Cora was on once-a-day pre-bedtime nursing. She was beginning to revert to a newborn-style of nursing, in that she would either fall asleep on the boob or just not want to be taken off, ever. I realized after a bit that it was just the best time for us to end it. I also had some physical issues of my own that couldn't be fixed until she was weaned (feel free to ask me about that privately, kinda TMI for the blog).

Just after Cora had turned 16 months, B and I had plans for a night out. It was more business than pleasure (not exactly a date night), but we got his aunt and uncle to babysit Cora that night. I decided that the night before would be the last day of our breastfeeding relationship.

So on May 29, 2013, when Cora was 16 months and 3 days old, just over 2 years after I found out I was pregnant, Cora and I had our final nursing session. I was a bit sad about it, and had B take a few pictures of us to commemorate the occasion.

Final nursing session
I think there is something special about nursing your first baby, since you can give them soooo much attention. I haven't had a second kid yet, but I'm betting that there will be a lot more hollering over his head or walking around and doing stuff while nursing than with the first. (I'm already looking into ring slings!)

I'm thankful that I ended up having such a positive breastfeeding experience with Cora. I never would have considered myself a "pro" at it--I still had to fix her latch half the time even at the end, and there's no way I ever could have cooked dinner or done the dishes while nursing--but she is healthy and happy, so I think I did pretty good.
My view :-)


  1. What a beautiful story! Thank you for sharing!

  2. How sweet, I love the way you took a picture of her last time.

  3. That is a beautiful story! I'm so glad that weaning went really well for you, and that you were able to nurse her for so long. Good for you for sticking with it! :) The last nursing session pic is a great idea - I'll have to do that with Daphne when the time comes, whenever that is, lol. Do you have any tips on nursing weaning? I feel very out of my league when it comes to weaning . . . :)