A year. When I was pregnant I remember thinking how long a year of breastfeeding seemed. The first week of Hailey’s life when breastfeeding felt like a razor being taken to my nipples multiple times each day, a year seemed like an eternity. Yet here I sit now, 11 months later, feeling like the past year has flown by.
Who is this tiny baby?
I always said I wanted to nurse Hailey until a year, and I won’t deny the fact that I’m proud she’s been exclusively breastfed for the past 11 months. At this point I feel confident we’ll make it to a year. Maybe beyond.
By “beyond”, I don’t mean until age 3. I know extended breastfeeding is a choice of some, and to you, I give high fives! Around here, though, I’ve always had the 12 month mark as my milestone.
Hailey is eating real food at an incredible rate. No longer can she just share off my plate, she requires substantial toddler meals at most sittings. Though she still nurses like a champ first thing in the morning, her 3 other nursing sessions are becoming a bit lazier. To me, this signals that the time is right to begin weaning.
I say begin to wean because I have no intention of cutting her off cold turkey. I don’t want to do that to her (or go through the horrific pain of engorgement. There are not enough cabbage leaves in the world…) Instead, I’m taking a taper approach.
In roughly 2 weeks, when she’s just over 11 months old, I’ll reduce her 4 nursings down to 3 by eliminating the session after her afternoon nap. Instead, I’ll give her a snack when she wakes up. Once she turns 1, I’ll drop the middle feeding and begin introducing whole, organic cow’s milk. (I’m considering trying to find goat milk, but that topic is for another day). After another week or so passes, I’ll drop down to 1 nursing session, then after another week or two, she’ll (theoretically) be fully weaned. I’m guessing this will be mid-Octoberish.
I’m excited about Hailey being sustained on healthy, whole foods. I’m looking forward to being able to throw my pump at a tree. …or just lock it in a closet. I’m going to possibly shed a tear or two as this special bonding comes to an end. But that’s life.
Any advice for me?
How did you wean? Or how do you plan to?