For over a year now DD has been nursing only once a day. Every evening when I put her to bed I let her nurse for just a couple of minutes before we have “snuggles” and she falls asleep. At first I thought I would be content to let her decide when she was ready to call it quits, but for the last few months I’ve found it increasingly unpleasant to nurse her. Mother Nature is saying “I’m done!”.
I’ve been trying to figure out how to end it without causing her undue distress. I finally decided to act on a suggestion I read on my online parenting forum, to have a “weaning party”. DH suggested I give her a countdown to the party. Now I had been dropping hints to DD for a while about how she was growing up and soon she wouldn’t need to have “milkies” anymore. I also explained to her that as her mouth and teeth got bigger, it was increasingly uncomfortable for me. So 10 days ago I announced that it was time for her to wean, that we would have milkies for “10 more sleeps”, and then to celebrate her weaning, we’d have a weaning party. She asked if she could invite some friends and have a cake. I briefly considered making the cake in the shape of breasts, lol.
Well, not only did she take this quite well but she has been SO excited about her weaning party. She talked about it every day, and each day she’d ask “how many sleeps until my weaning party” (and then she’d tell me – she learned how to count backwards for this occasion, lol). I reminded her a couple of times that after her weaning party there’d be no more milkies, because I worried that she “didn’t get it”. But she did, and she was totally fine with it. Kids surprise us sometimes!
So, on the night of Wednesday March 8th, I nursed my darling daughter for the very last time. She has nursed every day since her birth, for over 3.5 years now. I tried to capture the moment. I tried to feel nostalgic, emotional, sad…but honestly all I could think of was “hooray! I don’t have to do this anymore!”. Sorry, I guess I’m going to lose a breastfeeding advocacy badge of honour or something (he he he!). Seriously though, it was definitely time for me, and I guess it was time for her, too.
Last night DH and I wondered what she would do. She had her party – our friends were over, we had a yummy chocolate cake. Well, it was time for bed and I said “okay, DD, I’m going to bed. If you want to come you need jammies and teeth brushed”. Usually, I add “If you want milkies and snuggles…” but last night I didn’t mention it. To our amusement, DD announced that she wasn’t ready for bed and was happy to keep playing on the computer. So, I went to bed. DH joined me a bit later, explaining that DD was still content to stay up (by herself!). Eventually, she went into the living room and turned on a Sesame Street DVD, where DH found her asleep on the sofa. So now we’re waiting to see how this all plays out. Apparently, now that she isn’t getting milkies, she’s content to go it alone at bedtime, lol.
My little girl has grown up!