Tips for weaning from breastfeeding

Writing this post is bittersweet for me. I’ve officially completely weaned Austin off of breastfeeding at 19 months old.

The time was right for me; I’ve been pregnant and/or breastfeeding since 2015 with no break. That’s about 4.5 years now that my body hasn’t been my own. So, while I’m happy to be able to enjoy a cocktail whenever I want, use skincare products without reading the label and to take the good cold meds when I’m sick, it’s still sad to close the chapter on this phase of my life.

Weaning Austin was definitely a bit more difficult than weaning Colton. My guess is it’s because I went back to work after Colton turned one, so he had that separation from me. Austin is a Stage 5-Clinger with pretty much no separation from me in his short little life, haha.

So, without further adieu, here’s how to wean your baby in 100 steps or less:

1. The first thing I did was to stop breastfeeding on demand. I fed both my babies on demand. It was for me as much as it was for them. Fussy baby? Boob. Hurt yourself? Boob. Overtired? Boob. This was the hardest step of weaning for me. Instead of feeding on demand I cut Austin down to feeding when he woke up, before both naps and before bed. It was sooo hard for me to not nurse when Austin was fussy for no reason or to use it as a crutch when he got hurt.

2. After about a month we moved onto phase two of our weaning journey, which was to quit nursing before naps. This step pissed Austin off; oh man did we struggle with this step. For nearly two weeks Austin barely napped. He’d just sit and cry in his crib until I caved and went to get him. Eventually he accepted his new normal and his naps went back normal.

3. The next step I took was to drop our morning feed. This step was pretty easy for us; Austin didn’t seem to be phased too much by it. The only downside to dropping this feed was that sometimes I would feed Austin in bed and he’d fall back asleep for another hour. I miss that, haha.

4. Finally, our fourth and final step—kicking that bedtime feed. I held out on this one for awhile. Partially because I wasn’t quite ready to be 100% done and partially because I don’t think Austin was quite ready. In the end, I used a 3-night girls trip as the final push to kick the feed. I don’t think Austin was even getting much milk in the end, which I think helped this step go smooth. When I came home I just didn’t offer to breastfeed Austin again, and he didn’t ask.

And there you have it, the end to my breastfeeding journey. All in all, we probably spent about 6 months weaning. I wanted to take my time on each step to try and make it as easy as possible for a Austin.

Hope this helps if you’re starting the process of weaning your baby. If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments!

Alex

The last firsts

Being a mom is such a mixed bag of emotions isn’t it? On one hand there’s nothing more rewarding than watching this little human you created grow up, learn things, reach new milestones and develop into an actual person. On the other hand, it’s almost heartbreaking having to watch them grow up. To wake up another day older, every single day.

From the moment you see two pink lines on that little stick your life becomes full of exciting and momentous firsts. The first time you hear that tiny little heartbeat, or see his button nose on an ultrasound or feel him kick. His first time crawling, walking or talking. The first year is such a wild ride.

I’m one of those people who absolutely loved the newborn and baby stage with my boys. I lived for the snuggles and lazy days of them sleeping on my chest and having their needs so easily met. You’re crying? Here’s a boob, problem solved! Ha! I wish I could have a newborn for a couple weeks a year every year, but I guess it doesn’t work like that. Has anyone seen those Huggies commercials with the moms and their newborns in the hospital? Oh man, they get me every time!

Austin is very likely our last baby and with him just about to turn one, I’m just over here, feeling sad for myself that I’m never going to get those firsts again. That first moment when you meet your baby and the doctor places him on your chest. The first time their teeny, tiny little hand reaches out and grabs your finger or strokes your cheek. The first smile or laugh or coo. Those moments are just so, so good.

I know there’s still going to be lots of first ahead of us…and I’m sure those will be just as exciting, but there’s just something about first birthdays isn’t there? Boy do they have a way of making you emotional about your baby growing up. The baby stage is just so short in the grand scheme of life.

So, for now, I’m going to pour myself a big ol’ glass of wine, scroll through baby photos and mourn the end of the baby phase. That saying ‘babies don’t keep’ sure feels true tonight.