Well we made it to day 730 (2 years) yesterday breastfeeding Lil’ B. We woke up yesterday on her birthday and went through our normal routine. I snuggled my baby one last time while breastfeeding her on her second birthday knowing that it would be our last time. When we finished our morning session I told her sweetly that it was her birthday and that she was a big girl now and that boobies were for babies. I asked if she wanted to ‘kiss them goodbye’ and she gave them both a sweet little peck and waved goodbye.
This morning when we woke up I didn’t say anything to her about milk or boobies. She asked me once while I was changing her diaper about the milk and I told her that I would be happy to pour her a big girl cup of milk if she liked. She said “OK” and that was the last she asked about milk today.
It’s been quite an emotional week with all the changes with day care and her birthday but I feel so much better that she didn’t this change didn’t upset her. We’ve gone a few days without breastfeeding before so I know we’re not officially through the weaning process but I’m going to stay strong and stick with my decision.
Why did I choose to wean at two? I never thought I would make it past 14-16 months. At one point I even remember saying that extended breastfeeding was ‘weird’ and only ‘those’ moms do that. With all the support in the breastfeeding community online I realized that extended breastfeeding is very common, healthy for both the parent and child, and recommended by doctors. What I never really gained was acceptance from those closest to me. My family and friends never fully understood my desire to continue the breastfeeding past the first year or so. For at least the last six months our breastfeeding sessions were much more private and only at home. We’ve only been feeding once a day (normally) for the last few months so it’s easy to keep that private. Even with my husband there were many days where he would express his disapproval and lack of understanding. I decided it wasn’t anyone else’s decision other than my own and I didn’t have to explain my reasons to anyone. I stopped fighting and continued to do what was best for both me and my baby.
I love my husband and my family and I respect that they don’t understand my desire to continue this long. My love for my husband is what made me decide to stop at two. With two kids there are so many ways that life comes between us and this was just one more thing that kept tugging at our relationship. My daughter is beyond blessed to have had the opportunity to breastfeed for two whole years. Most children in America don’t make it past 4-6 months and we made it to 2 YEARS! That to me is a success and something that I can be proud of.
Would I have continued if I had the continued support of my family and friends? Maybe – maybe not. At some point I would have to wean her. She’s growing up and she’s no longer a little baby. The value added at this point was purely comfort for both of us at this time. If she was having a bad day it was one way that I could always comfort her. I’m sure she was still getting some nutritional benefit and we may never know how much. She’s been an incredibly healthy baby and rarely gets sick so I’m blessed knowing that I could have helped with that. For me I’ve managed to return to my pre-pregnancy weight and maintain that weight with very little effort. Yes, I’m slightly worried about what will happen to my weight know but that’s no reason to continue breastfeeding.
We will find other ways to bond with one another and I’ll be able to share that with my husband as well. What ways have you continued to bond after weaning? How long did it take your toddler or child to stop asking for milk? How did you respond to those closest to you when they were less than supportive?
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Oh my gosh, I’m SO glad I came across this post. I am weaning my now two year old son. He turned two on Sunday. I was nursing both bedtime & morning, but cut out morning starting Saturday. My plan is to go one- two weeks & then completely wean. I, like you, feel like it’s jut comfort & I would have to wean at some point. I highly doubt he’ll choose to stop on his own. Also like you guys, we’ve gone a few days here & there without nursing, when he’s at grandmas or something. Please keep posting about the progress, I know I for one am very interested in hearing how it’s going!
Thanks and Congrats on going the distance 🙂
I haven’t chosen extended breastfeeding for my kids (we weaned by 13 and 14 months), but I can definitely relate to many of the feelings expressed here. My husband is super supportive of breastfeeding (he really likes it for the cost savings, lol) and I have lots of friends who breastfeed, but how long and whether or not you do it exclusively is so personal. I know people who have taken offense when we talk and I say that my kids didn’t do formula at all and mainly just transitioned to a sippy cup, as if I’m judging them. On the other hand, some people seem to think it’s selfish to want to end breastfeeding at a year for a multitude of reasons – including time with my husband and having my body back for awhile before becoming pregnant again. It’s so personal and clearly this has been a sweet experience for you and your daughter. Nursing is such a wonderful thing.
Congrats on breastfeeding until 2! I weaned my first daughter—or rather, she weaned herself—at about 25 months. By then, she was nursing only at bedtime, and only for comfort. She also really liked to look at pictures of herself. One night, we were running late, and my husband told her she had time either to nurse or to look at pictures. She opted for the pictures. Over the next couple of weeks we kept giving her the option. At first, she chose to nurse as often as to look at pictures, but before long she was always deciding to look at pictures, so she was obviously ready to give up nursing. I missed the special closeness, and it took me a while to come up with ways to comfort her when I was so used to doing so by nursing her. At the same time, it was nice to have my body back to myself and not to have to think about wearing something nursing-friendly. We kept bonding in other ways, such as reading books, playing games, going to the park—all of the other things we did together.
Now, I’m just past eleven months into nursing twins. While I’m definitely stopping pumping milk once they reach a year, I’ll keep nursing them until we’re ready to stop, whenever that may be. It’s important to find what works best for you and your little one.
Go you!!!! I’m pregnant with my 6th and this is going to b our last. I’ve gotten progressively longer each time 3,4,6,11&12 1/2 months. I plan to shoot for 2 years this time. Like u I’ve learned a lot online but am a bit constrained by my husband. I’ve shared the research and he says he’s ok with two if that’s what we both want. We’ll see how it goes.
About other bonding methods. My 4th was 2 when my 5th came along. We wanted to nurse again but I told him that was for the baby. On his own he started doing the funniest thing. He pulls up mine and his shirts just exposing our bellies and lays against me. It’s warm and cozy for the both of us! He’s 3.4 now and still does it every now and then. He even does it with daddy sometimes. He says he think it’s kinda weird(lol) but I think it has helped him understand that closeness we get from bfing.
Wow, good for you for making it 2 years! I remember before I had a baby I thought that going 2+ years just seemed wrong… but now that I’ve had a baby and breastfed I get irritated when people talk like that! I guess sometimes you have to be in a situation (and know the facts) to understand it! I only went to 13 mo’s but that was mostly because my milk supply took a hit when I went down to 2 times a day. pretty much feeding 7am and 7pm and she wasn’t drinking much so I started using my frozen milk more and stopped pumping (The one part of BF’ing that i hated!) and she wasn’t picky, she was happy either way!
I feel now that I stopped it’s a lot harder to maintain my weight! Well… as in I actually HAVE to exercise/diet or I’ll gain weight instead of staying the same =)
As for bonding when I started giving her bottled milk instead of breastfeeding I gave her slow flow nipples so that we could have extra time to snuggle together until she was done and wanted to get on w/ her day (she’s a very busy girl!!) we sit in the comfy chair and I read to her. Nothing is quite the same as breastfeeding though. Having her and being able to breastfeed her was just the most amazing experience and I’m so thankful that I gave it a try =)
Good luck and thank you for writing this =)