I asked dd the other day if she is done bf'ing and she said yes. I can't remember the exact day her last nursing, but it was in the past couple weeks. I am quite certain this is it. I feel good, she feels good.
If you would have asked me 7 years ago that I would bf this long, I would have thought, "my that is quite old". I never had a timeline for weaning. I just kept going because it worked for us. It is funny, she would have a birthday and I thought, "yup, she is definitely not done, I am pretty sure she will go another year or two". I have said that for the past 6 birthdays. I always knew I would bf, I think it is beautiful seeing a mother and baby connected both being nourished and nurtured. Sure, there were times I would have liked it to end, but not because of bf'ing, because mothering is a hard job. I needed a break from it. I see the results of this attachment. My dd is secure, beautiful(in and out), very healthy, confident child that I attribute to responding to her needs. Sometimes those needs are fulfilled with bf'ing, bringing her back to where she needs to be again and to go back to life's challenges. I never realized how helpful bf'ing is during the toddler years until I was in it. They helped with tantrums so much. I can't imagine not having this amazing tool. And for illnesses as well. DD was not sick much, it helped her recover quickly too. Then, of course when ds came along and I needed some relief soon after his birth, she was so happy to help. Easily the last 3 years it has dropped off significantly. Maybe only 1-3/month for a few minutes at home. She never asked in public after she turned 4.
Sometimes I wonder if she would have gone this long if she didn't have a younger brother who is 4 years younger. Perhaps she was the first born, b/c she needed to bf for 7 years. It will be interesting to see how long ds will go. He is far from being done and turning 3 in November.
I have heard it all.."she won't learn to self soothe, she won't ever sleep in her own bed or through the night if I keep nursing her, you need to not nurse her so she will eat food, you are spoiling her, you are giving in to her". She does sleep in her own bed, she does sleep through the night, she eats food and she is far from being spoiled.
I have learned to trust myself and my dd, to follow her needs and mine. And put the outside world at bay who may be unsupportive and uninformed about bf'ing. I have learned so much about mothering through bf'ing and I am grateful for my supportive friends and community.
Some of you may read this and think, "awe this is gross, I can't imagine bf'ing my child for so long" especially if you have a 7 yo. Think about why you feel that way before you judge.
This has been a long, beautiful and oh, so, gentle weaning. This has been our path.