Friday, July 24, 2009

When to Wean

If it were up to me, I'd choose 12 months. That's right. Nola would blow out her one year old birthday candle, eat a piece of gooey happiness from her ladybug birthday cake, and then swig down her first glass of whole organic milk and decide boobs were for babies--and you know how Nola hates being a baby.

But breastfeeding isn't just about food. It is a relationship and like any other it has its ups and downs. Nola and I started our breastfeeding relationship in the delivery room when she latched on like a pro and nursed until she fell asleep. It was a blissful beginning followed by a lot of drama. There was the thrush misdiagnosis which caused a full month of utter hell. There was also my oversupply issues followed by suspected food allergies which led me to eating a diet free of all eight common allergic foods.

And I am ready to eat cheese again. I had a dream a few nights ago that I was using a huge hunk of cheddar cheese as an edible utensil, dipping it into various food items and scarfing it down. I know, in the light of day this is vomit inducing but in the dream (and for a few seconds after I woke up) it was pure dairy heaven.

But breastfeeding is also about comfort and love and connection. It is also the easiest baby calmer tool given to mothers. Baby bumped her head? Whip out the boob. Baby not feeling good? Whip out the boob. Baby need to sleep? Yup, that's right, whip out the boob. Would I even know how to parent without breastfeeding? Could I comfort her in other ways? Is she ready for that? This is a relationship and two people are involved so even though I am beyond ready to have my body back to myself, I don't know when Nola will be.


Annika said...

Sam was almost three when he began accepting other types of comfort from me (though he accepted them from other people much sooner). It's only now that I am pregnant again that we are really weaning, and I can't imagine that he would have allowed it any sooner. But maybe Nola will! Babies are all so very different.

Kelsi said...

I know the feeling - Abby is 27 months now and shows no signs of giving up her favorite food. She will go to sleep fine for anyone else, but if I'm around she has to be nursed to sleep. I love the feeling that mommy can make anything better - I know it won't last for much longer!

Existential Waitress said...

Babies ARE all so very different. Maggie was far more attached to the breast than Bear was - I think she'd STILL nurse if I'd let her. Weaning her was very emotional for me.