photo credit: Piccsy
First of all, no one prepared me for this. Maybe it is my slightly type A personality, but I like to know it when a challenge is headed my way. Having a c-section...ok.....scabby nipples....ok.....sleepless nights....ok. I was prepared for all of these things. Having a kid who only wants boob at a year and throws cows milk back in your face? Not something I ever thought would be a problem.
So there I was, smacked in the face with the fact that my kid only wanted the boob. I was not only unprepared but I was anxious. You know that pit in your stomach and that feeling that makes you nervously wring your hands and lay awake at night? Yeah, I felt like that....for a while. I mean what if he cried for days while i tried to wean? What if he needed to continue breastfeeding to feel safe and connected to me? What if he would never drink cow's milk? So what I did what every probably every Mom does when she is nervous about her child's health and development...I googled the problem. I googled and googled and found that the majority of all websites about weaning tend to stress why you might NOT want to wean. This just wasn't very helpful to me. I needed help and answers to my questions.
When I went to the pediatrician for my one year visit I explained my concerns, "He wont take a bottle, he refuses cow's milk, how am I supposed to do this?!?" My lovely pediatrician calmed my fears with her explanation. She said that it often takes time for them to learn to drink cows milk and suggested that it would take patience and perserverance. She suggested I forgo bottles altogether and start with a sippy cup of some sort. She eased my fears by explaining even if he always refused to drink enough milk that we could ensure that he was receiving enough calcium and vitamin D through his diet. We could even give him a vitamin supplement if need be. She stated that I shouldn't hold up weaning (if I was ready) despite the fact that my son had not yet established good milk drinking habits. Hearing all of these things gave me the confidence boost and permission I needed to continue.
Armed with good advice (and a little more sanity) I went home and began the weaning process anew. I decided that I would feed Weston 3 meals a day in his highchair with 2 snacks in between to try to stave off any hunger and distract him from what he was missing. Then I did something that some mothers may view as poor parenting. I mixed half a packet of Splenda into his whole milk. That's right people, I gave my one year old artificial sweetener, go ahead and judge. This was not doctor recommended and I did not read to try this anywhere. Necessity is the mother of invention. It was out of necessity that I invented, and it worked! He started to drink his sweetened cows milk and over the next week I put progressively less Splenda in his milk until he was drinking plain cows milk from a sippy cup. Hooray for little victories!
We also started new routines. Instead of breastfeeding in the rocking chair prior to naps we now sing two songs or read a board book while we rock. This new routine allows us sweet quiet time and lots of cuddles, but the singing and reading has taken the place of the feeding.
I would love it if you would share with me. Did you breastfeed? What was your weaning journey? Was weaning for you a natural progressive thing or did you struggle a bit as well?