I am so glad to say we are officially DONE nursing!
My goal was to get Helena off nursing before baby number 2 would come around as I really wanted a break between the two.
It is a relief to know I will have about 6 months free from nursing. It will certainly help me recharged my batteries before I start nursing again.
I am so proud of myself. Nursing is certainly not an easy task, and I could never imagine I would come this far.
When I started to wean her off it wasn’t actually hard. I believe I made it harder because I was so used to using nursing at times of difficulty to soothe her, to get her to sleep. At times I should have stick to no nursing, I gave in and nursed just to make my life easier.
Then I realized it wasn’t fair to Helena when she wanted to nurse and I would deny her, but then nurse her when it was convenient for me. So, I finally managed to stick to the plan.
I know some people look up online ways to wean baby off, but we really didn’t do that. There were specific times and places that would trigger Helena’s want to nurse, so, knowing ahead of time WHEN she would want to nurse helped us figure things out. The sippy cup was the most important tool in this process. Whenever she would want to nurse, we’d have a sippy cup ready for her. For about a week or so, Helena would cry because she really wanted to nurse.
Then, I would give her a cup to be with her all day. I would always make sure it had something in it like juice or milk. I noticed she transferred the attachment she had towards nursing to the sippy cup. She would carry it with her throughout the house and drink from it whenever she wanted. Slowly, she forgot about nursing.
But there was still one thing to overcome. During the mornings, when Helena’d wake up, I would bring her to our bed just to buy me another half hour of laziness in bed. At this time, there is no sippy cup or juice or milk that would replace mommy. She wanted to nurse and that is all she would take. I started to hug her really tight and rub her back when she was freaking out because she wanted to nurse and couldn’t . Eventually, she would try to nurse and when she would realize she wasn’t gonna get any, she herself would take the initiative to hug me and ask me to rub her back.
I thought it was very interesting how cuddling replaced nursing in the morning. I guess it goes to show nursing is really a lot about bonding and affection. Lately, I have just been skipping bringing her to bed at all. I figured a change in our routine would help this big change in her little world. After all, she has known nursing since the very first minutes of her life.
With next baby, however, I want to start the weaning process a bit earlier. I really want to be done by the time baby is about 14 months or so. Their little teeth make nursing so much more uncomfortable, at least for myself.
I hope this experience of mine can help someone out there who might be struggling with weaning baby off .