So the conversation went;
Friend: You’re not still feeding her!
Me: I am.
Friend: How many times a day?
Friend: You really have to cut that out, or at least drop it down to one or two times a day.
Me: (sounding uncertain, guilty, somewhat afraid) Yes.
That was about three months ago and even though I have been thinking that it is nearly time, Immy is now 17 months old and she is still breastfeeding three times a day. The arrival of her first four molars have made it somewhat less comfortable at times (for me that is, no problems for her!), so for about the past three weeks I have been thinking a bit more seriously about weaning her.
With Dad 101 off work this week, I feel this is the ideal time to begin weaning her off the feed before her daytime sleep. But I am torn.
When I started breastfeeding, I tried to not have any preconceptions about how we would do or how long I would feed for and I can take absolutely no credit for Immy’s uncanny ability to latch on and feed like a champion. It was good that one of us knew what to do! In fact, I had so little knowledge about feeding that I was once scolded by a hospital midwife for feeding her for much too long. Needless to say, she only dropped 120gms during her six days in hospital.
I make excuses not to, “It is part of our bedtime routine. I don’t want to upset the routine,” and “It is good for her immunity, she has been getting so many colds you know,” or “Don’t you know that the World Health Organisation recommends breastfeeding for at least 2 years?”
And then I think about the upsides for me: a greater sense of freedom, not always having to be there at those three times of day, the flexibility to have a nice glass of wine (I chose not to drink alcohol when I am feeding).
In reality, I think I am just scared of the actual weaning process. I don’t really like to think of the battles we will have when I say, “No.” She has never been one to take a bottle or a dummy, this is all she has known. This is her comfort, her security. How do I take that away?
Given my age, she is in all likelihood the only baby I will have. I feel sad, a real sense of loss. I thought I was ready but now the time is here, I am not so sure.
Help! I would love to hear tips from other Mums who have weaned their toddlers.