Thursday, January 31, 2008

No More Nursling

Warning - this is a mommy post, no knitting, no Viking.

My 18-month old is officially weaned, and I was just sitting here crying and talking to my husband and laughing at myself and crying.

It was time. We were down to just once at bedtime and at once at naptime if we were home. It had become uncomfortable for me, and getting worse. My goal of one year was surpassed. He had fallen asleep a few times without nursing.

So why was I crying? Because I'll miss that smile looking up at me. Because it was so easy to do and nothing is easy with this kid. I thought I would just give it a try, not push it. We have joked that I would be lucky to get him weaned by the time he was three. And he just gave it up with really no fuss.For the curious, here's our history. After a rough start at the hospital, the little dear pretty much nursed every two hours, day and night, for a long time. He started solids early but that didn't stop him. At some point around a year we were down to a couple times a day, but still all night.

At about fifteen months I tapered him off the nighttime business to try to get him to stay asleep. I often gave in at 3:00 am because of the crying. That ended about a month ago. He still wakes up at night, and after 3:00 often rolls around having trouble sleeping for the rest of the night, and is up around 6:00. But I digress.

As I mentioned, the nursing was really uncomfortable for me, to the point that I dreaded bedtime, so I thought I would see how he reacted if we stopped. I was really nervous because he really loves to nurse and he is persistent as heck. We had a few things in our favor. We do lots of hugging and snuggling in general and at bedtime. We have a nighttime routine of bath with Dad; lotion and p.j.'s with Mom; nursing; reading books with one or both of us; some crying; sleep. Nap has it's own routine. I thought putting more emphasis on the books and glossing over the nursing might work, and it did. He patted at me a few times and told him they were night-night or all gone, and hugged him and said "Mommy loves you". He cried a bit, but he often cries when he goes to sleep anyway. By the second or third time it was no big deal.

So that's it. I've had no ill-effects, I guess because we tapered so slowly. I just can't believe that my baby isn't my baby anymore, he really is a little boy. I know I was lucky to be at home and able to nurse him without complications, and that I had absolutely no problems once we let the hospital. But it is a rite of passage that deserves a moment of pause.

1 comment:

Kristen said...

It is a bittersweet milestone.