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Monday, April 18, 2011

It's been about a week or so since I quit breastfeeding Baby Bel entirely.  About 3 weeks ago I decreased it to just night time feedings, which we thought I would do for a while, but she kept wanting it during the day as well. So finally one night I told her it would be the last night for breastfeeding, thinking that it would make it easier for her to forget about breastfeeding entirely.

But it has not been easy. The first few days were the hardest with lots of tears and screaming, but then it got better. Some days are still harder than others. Even now, some days she just wants it during the day or at night. Maybe when she feels especially cranky or needy that day.

She seems to want a lot more closeness now, especially when sleeping. She wants to lay on my stomach and sleep with her head on my chest. She seems to find it harder to sleep without me there beside her. For naps, I pretty much have to sleep with her, otherwise, she doesn't sleep for very long. Today it was probably only about 30 minutes. With me, she could nap more than 2 hours.

 I feel bad for her on the days when she really wants to be nursed. I can see the desperation in her eyes, and she quickly spirals down into a fit of needing/wanting it. Usually the only way to break her out of the fit is to put her away from me for a few minutes. Then when I bring her back, she seems to calm down.

I wasn't really planning on weaning her completely until she was two, but with the pain it was causing me from her nursing all night long every night, the timing seemed right. At 18 months, some people say she is more than too old to be breastfed, and some might say it was sad to wean her when she wasn't ready.

I can say that I do miss being able to comfort her in a way that she loved and enjoyed very much. I feel like this is another turning point in that she is no longer a suckling infant. No more a baby. Breastfeeding has its ups and downs. It's a quick easy way to feed and comfort an upset baby, and it helps baby bond with mommy, but it does get tiresome and even painful for mommy sometimes. 

I liked being able to provide Baby Bel with nutritious milk made just for her. But she drinks regular Darigold milk now and likes it very much. It's amazing to see her move on from having breastmilk as her main staple to eating just about anything. And using a fork or spoon by herself, too! 

Article Comments

Comment By Littlethings
Thursday, June 02, 2011 3:05 PM
For the past month, she has not asked to be breastfed anymore. A few weeks ago, she stilled showed a little interest in it, after a shower or before bed. It was just a matter of time before she accepted it as status quo.

She's just a belly lover now. She can't sleep without cuddling up to my bare belly. She used to rub my belly while breastfeeding, so it's just that one legacy habit that remains.

In a way, I still miss breastfeeding her because I knew she really looked forward to it before bed, and it really relaxed her. But it was time to stop, and I sleep a lot more comfortably now, without her latched on all night long.
Comment By Littlethings
Saturday, April 23, 2011 7:24 AM
Still after a couple of weeks, Bel asks to be breastfed, crying and pulling on my shirt. This mostly happens when she's ready for a nap or bedtime. But she's found comfort in lying down next to me with her cheek against my stomach skin, and her arm on my stomach. I guess she still really needs the skin to skin contact to help keep her calm. I had heard that skin to skin contact stimulates the release of certain hormones that are very calming.

On a side note, I noticed that after I stopped breastfeeding, Bel and I have both been breaking out with zits on our faces. I wonder if that is also a result of change in hormones from the cessation of breastfeeding.

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