A new phase is beginning.

Jude is almost a year old and I always said that once we hit that milestone, I would begin to wean him since it’s acceptable for him to drink whole milk. It’s been on my mind more frequently lately since pumping doesn’t seem to work for me any longer (I only get an ounce at most! What a change from the beginning!). I have talked about how weaning would give me so much freedom. We could finally leave him with someone over night, I wouldn’t have to be there with him when he woke up in the morning to feed him. I could fully have my body back, albeit in an altered state. It all sounded so amazing. Not to mention how I initially thought it would be weird to nurse my little one as he got bigger. . .

And now one year is almost upon us and I am struggling. We have started to introduce him to whole milk and he seems to enjoy it. In fact, it’s been used several times to put him to sleep at night, with no problem. And it almost makes me sad. I never thought I would say it but I am going to miss breastfeeding. I never would have guessed this to be my reaction in the early days, when it felt like such a struggle, an inconvenience. But now, I pick him up in the morning and we snuggle and giggle while he eats. It’s really the only time that he willingly stay still and cuddle for an extended amount of time. Once this stops, we won’t have these moments of quiet, snuggles and giggling. He won’t fall asleep in my arms any longer and I am going to miss seeing his sweet sleeping face drawn in near to me. It makes my heart a little sad to think of life without these things.

I do recognize that it’s an option to continue breastfeeding, many people do, but I know that it’s time for us to move on. There are selfish reasons involved (so tired of my nursing bras and I would love a weekend away) and practical (other people being able to put him to sleep, no more worries about getting bitten). In my heart, I know that this is the right decision for us. But until the weaning is complete, I will be treasuring these quiet moments with him while I still have them. Holding on to the last lingering memories of my baby before he fully turns into a little boy.

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5 Comments

  1. Posted June 1, 2010 at 9:45 am | Permalink | Reply

    ahhh…The first time J gave Miss J the bottle, I cried. I didn’t realize how much feeding her meant to me and that was only 6 weeks in at the time. I totally get where you are. So proud of you for making it to a year though — that is excellent! (As for me, I will continue to not think about what this transition will look like for us in about 8 months…I am going to pretend she will always be this little and will never grow up!) ha ha! 🙂

  2. Shelly
    Posted June 1, 2010 at 11:00 am | Permalink | Reply

    I felt EXACTLY this same way when I started weaning a couple of months ago. It was so sad to think of the special time we would no longer share. I still think about it on occasion, but I’m no longer sad about it. For future children, I may keep 1-2 feedings until 14-15 months, but it is very nice to not have to be home to put the baby to bed or have to get up with her in the morning.

    My advice is to make sure you take it slow. We’d been down to one session a day for about 4 days, so I thought stopping would be just fine. I was in major pain for about 4 days before I decided to try the cabbage trick – it definitely helped. If I were to do it again, though, I’d go to a feeding every other day (one side per day) for a full week before trying to stop.

    • Shelly
      Posted June 1, 2010 at 11:02 am | Permalink | Reply

      And I was amazed at how much I loved nursing too. I spent a lot of my early marriage thinking that breastfeeding was no big deal and maybe I’d do it for 6 months. While pregnant, I decided to do the full year in order to save money, but never anticipated the joy and satisfaction I’d get from nursing. It makes me want to become an activist…

    • Elizabeth
      Posted June 1, 2010 at 11:36 am | Permalink | Reply

      Shelly, thanks for sharing! I will certainly take your advice to heart. I’m still struggling just dropping one feeding a day. I’m trying to be consistant but didn’t anticipate this struggle! I feel like I could be an activist now too! 🙂

  3. Posted June 1, 2010 at 1:57 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Yes. Oh my. I am starting to think about all this (and we are still 3 months away). It is very intimidating to think about that transition. But exciting and yet sad at the same time. I am so looking forward to nights away, sleeping in occassionally, and even a weekend trip with the hubby. But you’re right, it is the end of a very special relationship between you and your little boy. I am really looking forward to see how the transition goes for you–let me know if you have any tips!

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