I weaned DD when she was about 3.5 years old. You can read about it here. DS is now the age that DD was when I began limiting her day nursing (she was already nightweaned at this point). I haven’t restricted DS’s nursing at all, for two main reasons. First, this is my last child and when he’s done there will be no more children at my breast. It’s a huge milestone for me, and a step that I haven’t quite been prepared to take just yet. Second, DS is a very intense child when it comes to expressing his frustration. To deny him the breast will mean dealing with his unique, screeching cry, which tends to put my nerves on edge. It might just be easier to nurse him then feel like I’m ripping his heart out!
But lately I’ve been finding myself feeling that old familiar feeling I had with DD – there have been times lately when I’m not enjoying nursing. It’s certainly not all the time…yet. But I sense that the time is coming and I don’t want to get to the point I did with DD, where I really didn’t enjoy it. I think what I’m feeling is perfectly natural and is Nature’s way, so I don’t have any guilt about it. It’s just such a huge step…
So today I’ve been giving thought to beginning the weaning process, and I’ve stumbled across some interesting issues. It was easier to explain to DD what was going on as she was more verbal and could ask questions. While DS may understand, he can’t discuss it with me and I already know his reaction will be intense. I wonder if I have the emotional fortitude to deal with his tantrums should I begin to deny him the breast. DD just never reacted the way he did, and she was more readily distracted.
And as I thought about this I began to wonder about something: are his feelings really more intense? OR, are his feelings the same but he just expresses himself in a more intense manner? I’ve always subconciously assumed that he can’t handle things as well as DD did, based on the extremity of his responses. For example, DS still cannot deal with “first we do X, then we do Y” even if X is really short and within his ability to grasp timewise. DD could totally get this at his age. But, is it that he doesn’t understand and only hears “no”? Or is it that he *does* understand but just doesn’t want to wait?
Well, in writing this I believe I’ve made up my mind – I do want to start, knowing it will be a slow process. I think I’ll start with nightweaning – who wouldn’t want more sleep? Maybe I’ll have him sleep with DH tonight and see how that goes. I’ll keep y’all posted!