Weaning theBayBay

As many of you know, MommyCon is right around the corner. That means that our TMD world is going to be hurled into the world of big scale events and conventions. This also means that my traveling requirements are probably going to increase quite a bit over this coming year. I am ok with that and totally embrace it. This is such an exciting time professionally but also personally. This last year any time I have traveled I have gladly done so with Harper in tow. I actually couldn’t imagine leaving her for any period of time longer then a few hours (even that it is difficult). She is a breastfed baby whose mommy prefers not to pump. I actually rather dislike pumping very much and it takes a good amount of motivation for me to do it. I go in spurts with it too. I can pump consistently for half a month to build a mini stash and then be perfectly content not to do it again until I absolutely need to. Wait, where was I? Oh yea! MommyCon and travel… So we were talking about traveling on our daily TMD group text and Kelli brought up the fact that not too long from now her extended nurser will be turning two, which means the flying free aspect goes out the window. The conversation quickly turned to weaning. While Kelli has no plans on forcing Adele to wean, it got me to open up a little bit about my internal struggle. I have no set plans to wean Harper. I would not wean her just to save myself the money on a plane ticket or really any other reason for that matter. I, do however, think I would be ok if she was READY to wean herself. My goal was 1 year and we made it. I know there is no expiration date on my milk but I do feel like my nipples may be ready for a break. I never saw myself as someone who was remotely interested in extended nursing but, then again, I never really expected me to do lots of things Harper needed me to do. When her birthday crept up on me I started thinking about what our next step would be. Mainly, if I would introduce cow’s milk or any other type of milk? It is somewhat of a really tough decision for me. I know that there is not some magical time warp that happens as soon as that first candle is blown out that means her body will digest the cow’s milk easier. Quite honestly the kid has been eating an array of dairy products for almost half her life. I decided at her 10 month check-up that if they pushed supplementing on me due to her low iron levels that I would just start in with milk. Luckily, that didn’t happen so now here we are at a crossroads.

Harper is small for her age. She is in the 3% for weight and shows signs of an iron deficiency. While her doctor nor myself are none too concerned at this point, I feel I have a responsibility to try other things to make her as healthy as possible. In attempts of full disclosure, I feel like adding whole milk will give her the added fat content that she needs. I am just afraid if I do give her milk then she will no longer want mommy milk. I never thought it would be possible, but the thought of not nursing her ever again makes me sad. Ugly cry sad. I have done almost everything on her terms and this will be no different. I just am feeling so stuck as to what to do. I don’t want to hang onto this part of her life (nursing) just because I am so afraid of her growing up. I know and advocate the amazing benefits of breastfeeding into toddlerhood. I am just not super sure that I see myself nursing a four year. Plus, she is really only nursing for comfort at this point (ie: when she is sleepy, overstimulated, hurt, etc) so giving her other options besides the boob make just tip her over the edge. Then she may not need want me even for that comfort anymore.

Over the next few weeks I will do my research on the subject  and then search my soul. I would be lying through my teeth if I said that the thought of not bringing my pump to Vegas makes me happy. It scares me even more to think of what it means if I don’t.

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  1. Laney K -  December 14, 2012 - 3:53 pm

    Deciding when to start things that lead to weaning was scary for me too. My goal was actually 6 months. And then 9. And then 12. And then as long as it worked for us. We introduced almond and coconut milk at 12 months, coconut after she decided almond was icky. She still doesn’t care for any kind of milk all that much. It didn’t replace nursing for her, and when I was 19wks preg. and she was 18mo and nursing became a frustration for both of us, we finally weaned. It was sad and I still feel a little lost without that close quiet time with her. The transition is definitely a big one. Also, pumping sucks, blecch. No better way to really feel like a cow! Kudos to all the moms that do it, including you. I haaaated pumping.

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