The last few weeks, she's only been nursing right before bed.
"Nurse me, peas," she'd say at bedtime in the sweetest of voices.
But last night, she fell asleep while I was reading "The Indian in the Cupboard" out loud (Amazing book, by the way...we're all enchanted by it). Tonight was the exact same scenario.
I looked at her as I left the room - long lashes, rounded cheeks, pursed lips. Still my baby, yet growing up into herself too. Like bittersweet chocolate.
"Weaning has been pretty seamless this time," I told Tim, wistfully, happily. "You said that last time too," he said. "True," I replied, "but this time was even more peaceful...because she's a bit older."
At what age did your baby wean? What was the process like for you?
My oldest son nursed until 20 months when I encouraged weaning, because I was 6 months pregnant. It wasn't bad since he was only nursing to sleep at night. My youngest is still nursing strong at 18 months and still wakes up every 2 hours to nurse, so I may have to try and night wean him soon. I love the nursing bond. :)
First - super cutie you have! She very much reminds me of my sweet girl with the awesome blond hair and blue eyes!
That's great that she weaned on her own, so did my girl. My boy, not so much, I had to wean him and it was hard for both of us. Both times though I was sad at the end of such a beautiful time.
Oh Steph. I have to admit that I glanced at this post a few weeks ago when you first posted it. I was curious about your new header and "peeked" on my phone to see it's gorgeousness (still doesn't show up on the laptop).
And here was this post. I started crying right away. Only mothers (especially you) get it.
I have been wanting to get back for a while and let you know that you helped ease my heart and mind.
I had been mentally struggling with some of my questions about my little one and nursing. She is 19 mo and still nurses at least morning, night, and sometimes a time or two during the day if we are home or she doesn't feel well. We both enjoy our time together. I love the snuggles even when they are brief and she can be pretty insistent when she wants to be: bossing"MILK!" , pointing, and pulling on my shirt :)
The big girl and I went to about 18 mo when we did sort of a gentle wean during a third pregnancy. I think I will probably let little missy go as long as we can. So bittersweet these little days. Thank you as always for your honesty.
How strange that my header doesn't show up on your laptop! Hmmm. What browser are you using? Also - Is my sidebar loading for you?
Kudos to you for continuing to nurse your little one! It's not always easy to be counterculture, but...it is often worth it. In this case, it definitely was for us.
So happy to hear it went so well. That is the best when they just let it go. That's how both of mine did to, and you are right - peaceful is about the best way to describe it. Happy for you!
also, i am so glad it went so well for you! that's the best way, when it just kind of happens.
i weaned clark when i was pregnant with alice. he was, gosh, 15 months? something like that. it was so much easier than i thought it would be, but i was mess about it. i weaned alice when i was pregnant with hal. she was about 22 months and i was very third trimester tired and ready to be done, plus my milk was changing and she fell out of love with it. again, easier than i thought it would be. it just kind of happened. i have no idea what will happen with hal! he is so independent and not that crazy about nursing, so really, who knows??
Aw baby!! My kids all weaned much earlier. But, I was already pregnant each time & my milk production was changing. I have never had an extended , dramatic weaning. It was always over quickly. But still bittersweet. It's true.
Sounds like such a peaceful weaning! My daughter weaned at 21.5 months, and it was the right time for both us:) Love the new look of your site!
Both of my little ones weened around 15 months - Sugar because I was pregnant with Goose and too sick to keep nursing her and Goose because he was just ready to. We introduced "regular" food pretty early for both of them and they were both only night/nap nursing at 12 months. The transition from that to being fully weened a few months later felt natural and went very smoothly.
How wonderful that it was so peaceful for you both. Jake weaned right at a year. He was fine with it...I was not. I thought for sure I had at least 6 more months before he stopped, but he had other plans. I was so sad when he stopped and have often joked that I would nurse my next baby until they were 5 because I wasn't ready to be done with Jake. Hoping with baby #2 it is a much more of a joint decision when we finish.
I thought Cass was to be my last baby and I bawled like crazy when she weaned. I lit candles and locked everybody out of the room and cried my eyes out during our last feeding session. And then breastfeeding didn't go so smoothly with Jayce and it wasn't as heart-wrenching a process when he weaned. Bittersweet, still, but not the same as with Cass. I think it's awesome when littles get to decide when they're done. Makes the whole transition so natural, right?
PS. I'll have to add that book to our reading list :)
I think Jayce would LOVE it. I do intentionally cut out a few words (like "stupid" and "oh my god") when I'm reading aloud, but...overall? It's well-written, captivating, and so much fun. Also - I just discovered there are 4 other books in the series! Yay.
So very, very bittersweet, indeed. Anne was 18 months, Joe was just shy of 18 months. I was a wreck with both of them, quite wanting to go on to 2 years old. But they lead the process. I've often thought I should have kept Joe going on it because there were many times between 18 months and about 2 and a half that, for both our sakes, I wish we had nursing as an option. It may have been more of anursing strike and I took it as weaning but who knows? Anyway, I'm now nursing Evelynn and we'll see how long she goes, eh? I agree that it's usually more peaceful when they're older - that is some gentle wisdom right there for other mamas to receive.
It will be bittersweet for me too because I am ready and not ready at the same time. It may be my last baby and I finally did it right this time so it will be sad to see it end but the bouncing around, up and down, can never complete a nursing at one time because he's too busy drives me crazy.
At 17 months it may be coming to an end as we are down to 2-3 a day but maybe he'll keep on for awhile. We shall see...
Weaning is a sore spot for me. My older daughter weaned at 2.5 years old, partly me, partly my husband, and partly her. I think if it were up to her she would still be nursing often. She asks at least a few times a week to nurse and it kills me nearly every time (and we are 7 months out).
Weaning was definitely not easy. We nightweaned her at about 19 months since my second daughter was due in 2 months and I couldn't phantom the idea of nursing two little ones all night long. We opted for a quick and dirty method, which involved lots of tears. My husband slept with her for about 3 days, and then she resumed sleeping with me. It was no fun, but it appears we are going to have to do something similar with this one in the next few months. I'm hoping that she will be a little easier since she tends to be a better sleeper, but we shall see. The rest of the weaning was mostly me, I pushed her to nurse only at nap, bedtime and one other time during the day before her sister was born. For months on end she would ask to nurse probably 30 times a day. Honestly that was the main reason i wanted her weaned. If I had been able to nurse her a couple of times a day, I would be happy to still do that, but the constant asking, honestly asking more often than her 2-5 month old sister was killing me.
She kind of dropped her second to last nursing herself, we were busy traveling and out of the house quite a bit, so she just forgot to ask. My husband pushed for the last nursing to drop, he really felt she needed to be able to go to sleep without me there. We talked about it a lot. Finally one night when I asked her how many more times she was going to nurse, she said twice. The next night she didn't ask. However the following months she asked often, and usually more often during the day. And she still asks. I don't know if she would remember how, but I feel guilty every single time she asks, wondering if I shouldn't have pushed her. Wondering if this year would have been more calm or easy or something if she was still nursing. But now that new baby is on his/her way I can't go back to nursing two. The little one takes enough out of me with her marathon nursing sessions. I think since there is less milk, she wants to nurse more. I'm always jealous of those who have children who wean easily during pregnancy, my children seem to think less milk means they must nurse more! Hoping weaning is smoother this time, although I doubt it will be.
So lovely she has been able to nurse this long. My older daughter stopped about half-way through my pregnancy with her younger sister. She was 18 months. She still asks occasionally after watching the baby eat, but she's forgotten how. Hoping the little one will nurse even longer.
how wonderful that it ended so smoothly....with my 5 year old, i had surgery right as he was turning 2 and i spent my first night away from him and when i came back the next day, it was as if he had forgotten about nursing =) although i was pretty drugged up and stayed at my mom/dads and they were entertaining him so it might have been more rough than i remember! with my almost 13 month old, weaning is hopefully no where in sight!
Aw, what a sweet and peaceful ending. That's wonderful.
I am pretty sure Ailey will nurse until she's 10. Pretty sure. :)
Ha. I always love your comments because they are so...YOU. I can almost hear you saying them out loud in my mind.
Miss you guys!
Weaning is so bitter sweet isn't it? Both of mine have been very easy wean-ers as well. My son weaned on his own a few months after his first birthday.
My little Lucy was quite a different story. She was NOT INTERESTED in nursing starting around the age of 10-11 months even though she had never had a bottle and only a sippy cup at dinner. But I wasn't ready to give it up just yet so I kept her at it until her first birthday at which point I let her make the final decision. Looking back more than a year later now this experience is completely in line with her personality. She's very independent and is always trying to do things that are older than her actual age.
My daughter weened herself at 9 months. Again, no bottles and not even a sippy cup. It was the hardest thing in the world for me. I was not ready. But, like your daughter, looking back, this is totally her personality as well. independent through and through.
They have all been between 2yrs. and 3yrs. and Tully and Olivia just stopped asking on their own. I had to ask Audrey a few times to stop because I was pregnant with Olivia and nursing Tully and was feeling worn out. It was the hardest with her even though I think she was the oldest. Isn't it amazing how they just know what they need? Eva is still nursing in the morning (or more if she is not feeling well). It was hard getting through the 18 month stage with her because she wanted to nurse ALL THE TIME, but she was cutting four teeth at a time and we were moving so I know she needed it for comfort. P.S. LOVE the new layout!
he's 16.5 months, and only nursing before bedtime for the past few weeks. He is definitey weaning, because he does not usually ask to nurse.... mostly just before bed I ask if he wants some milk - sometimes he just keeps wanting to read... other times he will nurse for MAYBE a minute or two. I think he's ready to be done.
My almost 1 year old (less than two week, oh my!) still nurses frequently. It's only been within the last month and a half or so that he's actually started eating table foods and his primary nutrition is still breastmilk. When the time comes, I hope our transition to no more nursing is as peaceful as yours.
Oh so bittersweet when they wean. My oldest weaned around 3. My other two (2 years old, and 1 year old). It was very peaceful for my oldest daughter and I. Praying it is for the other two as well.
Ughh! So tired when I wrote this, I see I wrote it wrong. I meant to say my other two are still nursing now (we tandem nurse). :)
What a sweet post! I'm trying to do the child-led-weaning thing, and my little girl has "weaned" a few times as well. She's going to turn four in August, and claims that she won't nurse anymore after that ;-)
LOVE your new layout!! And I love how naturally you let the weaning process be.
My 18.5 mos old said 'hi' to my nipple last night as I unveiled my breast for him to nurse. He was smiling like he was greeting his best friend.
I treasure this time with him; though sometimes I wonder when he'll decrease the several-times-a-day nursing he still engages in. (He especially likes to do it as a source of comfort when we're out and about or in new situations.)
My older son weaned (with some moderate pressure) at 15 mos because I wanted to begin fertility treatments again.
I'm going to let this baby ride it out as long as he likes.
I weaned mt toddlr at about 2 years and three months. It took about three days not to ask anymore. I felt like my health was deteriorating and needed a break from nursing and being pregnant. I am happy we did it though. It feels good to be able to drink a glass of wine from now and then
I'm really happy that it went so well for you. I can just imagine how bittersweet it must be. She's growing up so fast.
Lily is still nursing a number of times a day, sometimes I feel like she's never going to be done. Not that I am in any hurry for her to wean. I love our us time, and sometimes it's extra nice because it helps me to stop and take a breath when I didn't realize how much I needed one.