It might be premature to blog this, but I can’t help it (and I needed something to post today)! I think Jax has officially weaned. It’s been a few days since he nursed to sleep—since Friday night, to be exact.
And since I know you’re wondering, he’s 2 years old and 9 months.
I’m pretty damn proud of how long we breastfed, but I have to say I am also happy to be finished. And I’m guessing not a whole lot of breastfeeding, AP-friendly mommas say that.
For the record, I fully expect the sadness to kick in soon. Any bets on when you think I’ll shed some tears over being done breastfeeding my baby?
I’ve been thinking about weaning since Jax turned 1 year old—like most American mothers, as Jax approached his first birthday I felt pressured (by just about everyone I know and even those I don’t know!) to wean him. It was hard to tune out the voices and stand firm in my decision not to discontinue our wonderful experience based merely on a number or a date on the calendar.
I’m so glad he wasn’t ready back then and neither was I. I’d have missed all the fun of nursing a toddler! The gymnurstics alone were good for more than a few laughs.
But after he turned 2, I started to feel pangs of “oh-my-god-I’m-so-ready-to-be-done”-ness. I started to have little talks with Jax, hinting (and sometimes straight-up saying) that he couldn’t have “nummies” forever. I plotted and experimented with how to get him to sleep at night without nursing. We changed up our nighttime routine many times, adding and subtracting elements as I learned what settles him down and what only riles him up more. I read countless articles and blogs about weaning.
Last Thursday night as we lay in his bed with the lights out, we talked about how he’s such a big boy now and nummies need a break and he doesn’t need them to fall asleep anymore. He agreed to “just snuggle” instead. But a few minutes later, he asked for nummies and when I said no, he cried. My heart ached, and I gave in and nursed him for 5 minutes. Friday night was an exact repeat.
But then we went to Washington, DC, on Saturday. After a long day walking around, Jax seemed pretty worn out. So I turned on HBO in the hotel room and snuggled up to Jax as we watched one of the Harry Potter flicks, just to let us both unwind before bed. About 10 minutes into the movie (which obviously was wayyy over his head, but he loved it anyway), he passed out with his hand on my chest.
Last night, he asked if he could watch another movie in bed with me. I gave in because I was so tired (and I love watching television in bed, though I sure hope I don’t pass this down to my child). He did not nurse and was asleep 10 minutes into Babe: A Pig in the City.
I’m not crazy about replacing nursing with movies in bed, but sometimes you have to pick your battles. As a child (and even now as an adult), I fell asleep best with a tv on. It calmed me—the soft flickering and low volume helped me fall asleep quickly. I’m not saying I want television to replace breastfeeding for my son, who isn’t even 3 yet. I have all kinds of new anxieties cropping up about letting him fall asleep to a television, believe me.
But just for a few days until I know for sure that he has weaned, I’m allowing this new special treat with the intention of stopping the habit before it forms. I can’t help it—part of me feels a little guilty for denying him something he finds so comforting. I admit this.
I’m going to chalk this one up to a parenting lesson I am sure to be learning very shortly!
I think I might also bake him a cake to celebrate weaning. Should I make one of those boob-shaped cakes?!