I am considering weaning DS down to 2 feeds a day in order to be able to conceive. (This was my "fertility threshold" while BFing DD and I am assuming it will be similar the 2nd time round.) DH agrees to have another baby but because of his age would like this to be sooner rather than later, and it could be years before DS is down to 2 feeds a day on his own. I also like the idea of a shorter birth interval between children so they can share the same interests.
DS is 9 months old and I am hoping to wean him around 12-15 month age range. Ideally I would like to keep him feeding a couple of times a day but I do not know whether partial weaning is possible with such a young toddler as it could be easier on him emotionally wean completely. He still gets most of his nutrition from bfing and we are working slowly on going to sleep in other ways at night but he also nurses a few times during the night. I will be really sad to wean him before his time but would like to add a sibling to our family. (we already have 2 children so this would be the 3rd and probably last).
I guess what I am wanting is just for others to share their experiences of weaning or partially weaning a toddler in the 2nd year in order to TTC. Was it easier than you thought on you or the toddler? Were you glad you had done it or wished you had waited a little longer? If the toddler was still feeding a few times after conceiving, did (s)he go on to wean during the pregnancy or tandem nurse? And if you weaned a very attached-to-nursing baby what made the weaning easier? I would welcome any of your experiences.
I nightweaned my DD at 14 months and I got pregnant when she was around 15/16 months. She was still nursing 6x during the day when I conceived. My cycles returned when DD was 8 months, but were irregular at first. I was not charting consistently enough to be certain as to whether I was fertile prior to nightweaning or not. For me, I just felt like I needed my nights to be free from nursing before I could face the idea of another pregnancy and the fatigue that accompanies it. And in light of my age, and our desire for several more children, it made sense to consider at least beginning the TTC process before DD hit 18 months.
Have your cycles returned? Have you noticed any fertility signs? If you feel reluctant to reduce your nursing sessions, you might learn a lot about how fertile you are by charting. If you are really consistent about charting both temps and cervical mucus you'll probably be able to tell #1 if you are ovulating and #2 if your luteal phase is long enough to sustain a pregnancy.
My milk supply tanked over the course of the 1st trimester and dried up completely somewhere around 15 weeks. (I'm 20 weeks now). At first my DD wanted to nurse MORE...maybe to compensate for the small amounts she was getting? That lasted for a week or 2 and was tough because it hurt. I ended up occasionally asking her to wait until later which she did not like. But not long after, DD began losing interest. I found myself offering more than she was asking, and a lot of the time she told me no, she did not want to nurse. Its bittersweet. I personally don't think I can physically or emotionally handle tandem nursing, so I'm somewhat relieved that DD lost interest and that she was the one to decide that we would no longer be nursing. But I also feel a little sad that its over. Best wishes to you in your journey. Nursing is special, and growing a family is special too, and everyone's path will look a little different.
Mom to DD born March 2010, and someone new March 2012
Have your cycles returned? Have you noticed any fertility signs?
No and no. Last time my cycle returned after night weaning but the LP did not extend until after taking vit. B6, gaining back to my pre-pg weight, and weaning DD down to 2 feeds a day. I m/c at that stage and went ahead to wean to once a day, but in retrospect if I had waited another month or two I think I could probably have conceived without weaning that last feed. She was over 2 and handled limits well at that stage, although weaning wasn't what she would have wanted, it went ok and she went on to wean herself off that last feed during the pg when the millk dried up.
Nursing is special, and growing a family is special too, and everyone's path will look a little different.
Thank you, I love this way of looking at it!
I know a lot of women are fertile again just after night weaning -- I'm a softie, though, and found it much easier to distract during the day and so her night-waking feeding was the last one to go.
, mama to Amelie (May 2010), early loss (October 2011), and James (September 2012)