Weaning My Toddler

Yes, toddler.  More and more moms I find are breastfeeding until 2 or 3 I find.  Ben I weaned at 12 months.  It was easy – I simply cut one feeding a week and replaced it with homemade baby food.  He was in daycare which helped-we had some independence from each other.  Also, I was pregnant.  After that he slept through the night and moved to his own room.  He’s a great sleeper-12 hours straight.  Naps are pretty great too.

Adam on the other hand has been more challenging.  He never wanted to sleep in a bassinet or crib.  I’ve been co-sleeping with him since birth.  He exclusively breastfed until 10 months old when I allowed him to try soft and easy to dissolve foods from our plates.  He likes food-but he likes to breastfeed more.  He’s very attached and sleep? What sleep?!?!  I’ve been in a zombie fog for 17 months now.  I’ve gently and slowly replaced nursing with food over time.  I started that at 10 months old.  Then Adam reverse cycled and wanted to nurse more at night to feel close and make up for what he was missing during the day. A lactation consultant suggested I nurse more during the day and he will let up at night.  So I did.  I also gave up on the idea of weaning for 2 months.  

At 14 1/2 months I decided I’d had enough with not sleeping.  Adam had been sleeping part time in a crib and I felt like he might sleep better if I just made sure not to fall sleep with him in my arms and put him back in the crib.  Best. Laid. Plans.  Haha-I’m exhausted so that didn’t work.  Instead I would have to get serious about weaning.  I day weaned except nap.  He did not reverse cycle this time.

About 3 weeks ago I decided to cut bedtime nursing and wake up nursing.  Strangely bedtime nursing has been easier to cut back on.  I wait until he’s really tired, I rub Wink Naturals Pure Breathe and Sleep Rub on his chest, and rock him to sleep.  He goes down after 5-20 minutes.  He stays asleep until 3 am which cuts out another 1-2 feedings.

Morning and nap are next to tackle. Not sure which will happen first.  The boys started daycare summer camp last week and he naps there 5 days a week-but I’m not there.  Morning is tough because he wakes up MAD if he can’t nurse.  

Weaning a toddler can be tricky.  It’s so ingrained into their lives to nurse once they’re past 12 months.  Many of my friends who nursed toddlers chose to stop cold turkey.  Im trying to avoid that as it’s painful emotionally and physically I’ve also heard.  Yes, I’m taking the long, winding road-but one day I’ll reach the end.

First day of daycare-lunches and backpacks packed and ready to go!

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