|My little eater!|
Although Nia's been signing "milk" since 7 months old, about a month ago she started aggressively pulling my shirt and lunging towards my boobs for milk. Mr. Love Bird does not like this one bit and honestly, I don't either as it's very embarrassing in public and once she even ripped the strap off one of my favorite dresses. She also will try to pull my breast out of my shirt when I'm holding her! I've taken to holding her hand and reinforcing the sign for milk and asking her, "What do you want?" She'll then go, "Hmmmmm?" and do the sign.
A couple weeks ago I thought it was ok to start gradually weaning as her interest in solids increased, but then I was slammed with her sudden increase in demand for milk I believe it's due to the fact that she started walking, a couple back teeth are starting to push through and we're in the midst of a heat wave.
I've read on KellyMom about the various ways to wean and how weaning abruptly can really damage a baby's future development. While Nia is now eating 3 meals a day and snacks, her need for breastfeeding is also about comfort. Although walking is exerting her independence she still very much is a baby who needs the closeness that breastfeeding provides (and I love the snuggle time too!) - she's just more aggressive about asking for it now!
Several months ago I had scheduled an allergy testing appointment for the end of August as a push to force me to start weaning Nia as it can only be done when not breastfeeding. Now as that date is nearly a month away I'm thinking I may have to reschedule. I'm leaning towards BLW (baby led weaning), and I think this is the best method for Nia based on her current increased interest in solids.
Honestly, I really, really want my body back, but I can go a few months more and do what's best for Nia. In reality, as Sherry over at Young House Love pointed out, the WHO recommends breastfeeding until the age of 2 and in many other countries children are breastfed until 3 years of age. I really hope not to go that long, but if that's what Nia needs, then so be it.
Besides Sherry's recent post on her 14 month breastfeeding relationship with her daughter Clara, I've found this post from La Leche League very helpful: in Letting Go: A Weaning Story I completely identified with the author when she wrote:
I see how nursing my baby has helped him flourish. I see how comfortable he is in his own skin because he has gotten the kind of comfort he wants. I see how helpful it is to both of us to be able to breastfeed him when he's not feeling well, when we're in the emergency room with croup at 11 pm, and he's feeling hot, scared, and confused.
I see how he finds his peace. Orders his world. I see how blissful it is to sit with him at dawn and nurse him into another day. I see how breastfeeding him for comfort has made him more comfortable in general. More patient. More respectful of my needs. More able to calm himself. More centered. Happy.
I see how it has made me more patient, more centered, able to calm myself. I see the look of deep knowingness in his eye, as if we've been walking the planet together for a couple of hundred years. I see how breastfeeding has become part of our rhythm, our rhyme, our understanding of each other. How it has given our relationship a whole other layer of connectedness. And how that connectedness has influenced my parenting choices, how I perceive him, and how he responds to me.
Overall, I'm very happy that Mr. Love Bird has been supportive of my breastfeeding relationship with Nia and that I have other mommy friends who also breastfeed. A supportive community is very important to a successful breastfeeding journey!
For those of you who have weaned or getting close to weaning do you have any other thoughts or resources to share?