Letting Go Softly


Davina –

Harry is now 14 months old and fully weaned. Harry was one of those babies who loved to nurse. For the first 7 months of his life he depended only on nursing for his supplements. The next 3 months he was introduced to solids but still expected to be nursed at any time of the day he wanted it. This didn’t bother me one bit. After all, he is my baby and he will only be my baby for a short time. Before I know it he will be taller than me, wearing his dad’s clothes, and interested in women. This first part of his life is so short and so delicate, where we are able to share a bond that no one else can understand. A bond that provides trust, comfort, calmness, peace, and relaxation. And so, I would never say no to breastfeeding. But when he was about 10 months old I started sleep training him. Before that he would sleep in his crib in the beginning of the night but then sleep with Bobby and me the rest of the night (we are big fans of co-sleeping, seeing as Harry co-slept with us for 10 months). Basically, I slowly cut out night time nursing by decreasing the amount of times I went in his room during the night to nurse. Within a couple of weeks he slept all night and bye bye to nursing at night. That was a huge relief. When he was 12 months I started to stop the random nursing (ie: when he was bored, upset, fussy, hurt, or whatever the case may be) and focused on finding a new solution (ie: read a book to him, go play outside, take him for a walk, ect). By then he was down to only nursing in the morning when he woke up, after his two naps, and right before bed. The next to go was the early morning, but not the way I imagined it. One morning Bobby and I woke up before Harry and made breakfast. We had the table set for two and was about to eat our oatmeal when Harry woke up. I quickly went to get ┬áhim and planned to nurse as usual- but as soon as he saw the oatmeal he wanted to eat it instead. He ate oatmeal with us then wanted to go play with his toys. I was amazed. There went the morning nursing and I realized the trick was to distract him with something else (aka: food). Every morning after that, Bobby and I made sure we had breakfast ready by the time Harry woke up. This worked for a couple more weeks but I knew I had to continue what I started. Since I knew that food was a great tool, when he woke up from his naps I had a snack waiting for him. For his snack I usually give him a slice of cheese, yogurt, or banana. After he eats, he is ready to play. Its great! I continued this for a few more weeks when one night (around 6:15pm) Harry had a bad tantrum. It started with him wanting something and he threw a fit! He just cried and cried. Bobby tried feeding him, giving him water, reading to him, you name it, but he wouldn’t stop screaming. Finally, about 30 minutes later, I took him in my arms and tried soothing him by singing the lullaby I always sing right before he goes to bed (Hush Little Baby). Instantly, he stopped crying and started closing his eyes! He was tired!! All that crying drained him. So, I took him in the room, turned off the lights, rocked him in the rocking chair while singing Hush Little Baby. He fell asleep in less than 10 minutes. And without nursing! He went a whole day without nursing! The next night I tried the same thing- rocking him while singing but he wouldn’t have it. I think that other night he was so worn out from crying that he didn’t care. So, I replicated our nap time routine, which is reading a few books, goodnight kiss, and placing him down in his crib. And that is exactly what I did. And to my surprise, there were no tears, no tantrums, nothing. He just went to sleep. I was just mainly amazed by how peaceful and productive our weaning experience was. I hear and read about some ladies who do the “cold turkey” type of wean and I just couldn’t imagine. They say it just takes 3 days for the baby to get over it. Nursing is a very intimate and special gift and to tear it away in one day seems heartless. Harry and I were able to say goodbye to a wonderful season in our lives and say hello to a new season with joy, peace, and contentment in our hearts. And so, I am proud to say, Harry is now 14 months and fully weaned.

Published in: on November 14, 2012 at 3:17 pm  Leave a Comment  
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