Wednesday, April 4, 2012

21 Months... and Weaning...

42 months.  I began counting months this morning, while laying in bed, because today Mae Bae is 21 months old, which means today is also the day we've decided to wean her.  I've never quite made it to my personal two year goal, but I think 21 months is still pretty good for both of us and she's definitely ready for this step.  If I ask her if she wants to nurse she races over, but she rarely thinks of it on her own (except for yesterday, when I began to suspect she understands what the word "weaning" means) and I don't really expect any drama or difficulties with the transition.

However, while waiting for the girls to wake up, I began adding up the number of months spent pregnant and/or nursing for the past five and a half years.  Actually I won't even count the first year of our marriage, since I wasn't pregnant or nursing.  Let's say four and a half years since that would take us back to the beginning of my first pregnancy.

In the past four and a half years (54 months), 42 have been spent nursing.  For 25 of those months I've been pregnant.  With the overlap, that means 100% of the time I have been either nursing or pregnant.  I had a nursing break from late March 2010, until the 4th of July of that year, and now I should have a break from April until November.

And honestly, I wouldn't have it any other way.  I wouldn't mind if the years keep unfolding in the pattern we've established.

I am thankful I was able to struggle through the first incredibly painful months of learning how to nurse (it took us a while to get the hang of it!) and I'm also thankful that things got easier as time went by.

Now hopefully this goes as smoothly this time around as it did last time!  I think (at least in my case) pregnancy has made weaning easier, as pregnancy often limits supply anyways, and can kind of begin the process whether we want it to or not.  Now we'll see if Mae sees it that way!


  1. Good luck with that! Our 6th baby knows she's onto a good thing, I was going to wean her at one, then 15 months, 20 months...she's 24 month old now and has copped that if she wakes up early enough she can get into our bed and feast away when resistance is low, I don't mind though, I'm just grateful she is alive and meeting milestones contrary to what we were told to expect and she has been through so much already, who could ever begrudge her? All the same, I'm happy when she sleeps on and I'm off the hook that day lol! Jennifer x

  2. I was blessed to nurse my first for almost two years. The second self weaned at 12 months. The third we weaned at 6 months and I regret that. My 4th, well, I hope to nurse for at least a full year if not longer.

    I love the closeness of nursing my babies.

  3. Good luck!

    I'm in the same boat with the pg or nursing thing. I got pg with Kalila in Dec 06 (not counting a chem pg a few months before that) nursed her until I was 5 months pg and now him... we're almost to our 2 year mark (and once again almost 5 months pg) and he is not slowing down lol. Oh well. Honestly I'm not sure what I'll do w/ myself when I hit the not pg or nursing point. The idea seems so weird to me right now.

  4. 21 months sounds good! I'm on 14 months with my first, so your perseverance gives me inspiration to carry on (even through the difficult nights - he's still not sleeping and wakes up to nurse all night long!). However, i love breastfeeding and wouldn't give it up for anything!

  5. I debated whether or not to wean my oldest. Hubby was pressuring me, supply was low because of pregnancy, etc. etc. But it's comforting measure and he's picky. I can't afford for him to not eat; he'll loose weight again. Then there's the constant demand. I did put him on a nursing schedule once his brother was born. It was more for my sanity. And I felt like if his brother had an health issue, I would wean him then. But thankfully that hasn't happened.

    My biggest problem now is with society being against me nursing a 26 month old child. But I'll save that discussion for another post.

    21 months is nothing to sneeze at.

  6. Ah, the weaning question. In a society where few moms nurse even to a year 21 months sounds old. It isn't really, it's perfectly normal biologically to nurse longer, and in Biblical times women typically did. Mae is approaching two and it's pretty cool that you've managed to nurse her that long, especially with all the complications you had this year.

    During pregnancy especially, every mom has to make her own decisions about continued nursing, and certainly has to keep her own nutritional status in mind. A gentle weaning (as in the don't offer, distract) technique usually works pretty well especially with a busy little girl like Mae who's not thinking too much about it these days. I'm sure if she's frantic to nurse you'll find a way to make it a more gradual process. My son had a mommy led weaning during my pregnancy with my daughter, it happened over the course of about four and a half months. We went from three nursings a day down to none by gradually dropping one at a time. He was a pretty scheduled nurser, so we dropped bedtime by having daddy do it, morning time by getting up and having breakfast, and naptime by the painful for mom method of eliminating the nap. With those few changes he didn't ask anymore and it was over. However, he was three at the end, not under two and his sister did a self directed weaning when she was considerably older.


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