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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Weaning a Toddler: It's not Black and White

This post is part of the Breastfeeding Blog Hop. Visit the links below and link up your own story to tell us where you are with breastfeeding or leave a comment!

I've talked about the weaning roller coaster on my blog in the past. And Baby T is still weaned.

But he still asks to nurse. Almost every day.

Even after the post I mentioned above, I still questioned my decision to wean Baby T. I finally decided that I had made the right decision when I realized that although I wanted the easy parts of nursing him, like calming a tantrum, special snuggle time, and getting him to sleep easily, I didn't want the hard parts: toddler teeth grating against my nipple, longer nursing sessions than I wanted, or nursing him in public.

I missed nursing him, but the few times I had toward the end, I felt really irritated by it. That was my sign that we were done.

But I'm still nursing Little M, and Baby T sees that. So he asks to drink my milk. He's usually equally content with the offer of some milk or juice in a sippy cup, but yesterday was another story.

I was nursing Little M, and Baby T started: "I want to drink your milk!"
Me: "No, baby. Would you like your special sippy?" (In retrospect, I hate using the word "no" here, but I don't know what else to say.)
Baby T: "Noooo! I want to drink your milk! I need to drink your milk!"
Me: "Do you want some special cereal instead?" (I know, I know--I tell him everything is special. So in reality, nothing is.)
Baby T: "Ok."

I'm holding Little M, and I help Baby T get into his booster seat.
Baby T: "Put Little M down!" (I ignore this). "Put him down! PUT LITTLE M DOWN!"

This clued me in. I think Baby T is needing a little extra one-on-one time with me lately. He has also gone back to asking us (well, daddy mostly) to hold him standing up, which is what he used to do when he was needing a hug or feeling uncomfortable. Asking to nurse is really asking for a snuggle.

Except the only problem is that I do often have Little M in my arms. Or on my back. Or on my boob. It's rare that I have Baby T to himself. And it's been that way for the past 9 months. Baby T didn't seem to show signs of jealously when we had Little M, but lately he has been starting to show a little more aggression toward his brother. And he can voice it.

I still wish I had had the--I don't even know what to call it--{strength, selflessness, desire, motivation} to have kept nursing Baby T, but I didn't. It's hard, because I don't know what to say to him when he asks to nurse. I sometimes say, "We don't do that anymore. You have a {special} sippy cup!"

But it still breaks my heart a little every time he asks.


sweetserendipity03 said... Best Blogger Tips

I know you how you feel. I had extreme guilt when I stopped nursing. It is heart breaking when they want it, but it seems like you made the right decision and are handling it. He'll adjust eventually and you did what you felt was right at that time, so try not to second guess yourself. I've been there, too and that is the advice my friends gave me. Hope it helps. said... Best Blogger Tips

Thank you! That is just what I needed to hear. I second guess myself as a mom, but when I look back when a certain phase is over and done with, I feel like I did everything right. This phase is just taking the longest!

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