I know there has to others out there! Can we share some tips and support please?
Our back story is this:
My son is almost 21 months and I recently cut back his "num" time. Kind of a lot. I'm having a flood of emotions about it, but ultimately it feels really good to acknowledge that we are moving in this direction. I have been feeling really overwhelmed by the frequency and duration of the nursing, and realized that I have been harboring some negative feelings toward nursing. Which is not at all what I want our nursing relationship to be like. When I sat down to write this, I realized that I have been slowly moving in this direction for some time now, it just feels sudden because I am finally at the point where I am consciously cutting back and distracting my son from nursing.
He was an "every two hours" kind of kid up until very recently. I started out by going from a nursing on demand style, to really just trying to see if there was a pattern to his nursing, and I realized that he really was nursing EVERY TWO hours...even quite frequently at night too, and since my husband works a ton our family is currently wrapped up in other things, I am spending all day and all night with my son at my side, and most of that time is spent nursing! No wonder why I feel the need to get some time to myself! DS is just now rounding out some kind of developmental milestone, so the past couple of weeks in particular have been quite intense.
What I did was start taking DS for a walk to the playground every morning so that our mid morning session was spent playing. I bring a snack to the playground to fill the void, and that has been working out quite well. That's been going on for about a week. Next I have been taking him out during our mid afternoon session, and replacing that with a snack. And that has been working out too! The other thing with my DS, is that he would typically much rather nurse than eat, and I kept waiting for him to make that change on his own...but that hasn't happened. The other two sessions we are working on are the ones immediately upon waking in the morning (he nurses plenty during the night, so I know he doesn't need it - it's just a nice way for him to wake up...now he cuddles with my husband for a few minutes), and the one immediately upon waking from nap (I have been putting him on the potty when he wakes up to try to get him to make that connection that he can pee, since he's been "holding it" for some time now). I know it's kind of a "no-no" to cut out more than one session at a time, so if he asks to nurse upon waking, I will....just most of the time once he is up he doesn't ask. I felt really bad about it that first day, so I asked him after about an hour if he wanted to go have num, and he said no!! Bittersweet.
So we are still nursing four-ish times during the day, and several times overnight. I'm not really sure what my ultimate goal is here, but for now cutting out these feedings has lifted a weight off my chest that I didn't realize that I had. Although I am afraid that he is going to start compensating on the over night....but I'm not sure that I am ready for nightweaning yet....I know that's kind of backwards....
What's your story?
Mommy to DS born 11-10-10 And DD born 6-3-13
For us, we really had to do the night weaning for a number of reasons. We did it by spacing the feedings out little by little until she could go all night without. She was 22 months at that point and totally ready, so we just had to help her move in that direction. Then, like you, we introduced milk in cups or snacks or other options at times when she wanted to nurse; sometimes she'd take me up on it, but I'd always nurse if she insisted. DD is now 28 months and she could nurse 4 times one day and none the next.
I definitely remember that in-between time when you feel guilty/sad about cutting down but also a little free and relieved to be getting your body back. I hated that conflicted feeling, but I admit that it's a lot easier now than it was 5 months ago. Hang in there and just do what feels right for both of you!
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Thanks for chiming in, Mosiac!
I think I am content still nursing for quite a bit longer, I just really need to cut down on the sessions. It's been going a lot smoother than I ever thought it would, which I guess means that I was holding onto the nursing more than my son...and that is highlighted by how not engorged I have been. He does still really nurse at the sessions I have left alone, so we won't be cutting out any more sessions at this point.
He has been compensating a bit at night, but he will usually still unlatch, roll over, and go back to sleep on his own...which is a relatively new milestone for him. I think once he goes back to his usual sleep pattern I will think about cutting out some night sessions.
I can safely say that cutting out those 2+ sessions during the day has made the nap time and night time sessions SO much more enjoyable.
Mommy to DS born 11-10-10 And DD born 6-3-13