Breastfeeding has been the greatest joy that I have shared with my youngest daughter. I was so happy when I began nursing her 3 years ago in the hospital. It seemed to be so natural for the both of us. It was a completely different experience with my second daughter than it was with my first.
In a previous post I talked about the breastfeeding struggles I faced with my first born. I had a really difficult time nursing her because she really had no interest in nursing. I pumped for the first 6 months and it was a lot of work! It was really disappointing and I still regret not being able to nurse her.
The second time around I had a much different experience with breastfeeding. My little one got the hang of it right away and seemed to really enjoy it. In the hospital she wanted to nurse non-stop. I remember the nurse offering to take her for a little bit so I could get some rest. My nipples were so sore and cracked it was a difficult first few weeks.
My goal was to stop breastfeeding her after one year and then switch her to whole milk. That year came and went and I was still nursing her. I wanted to come to a stopping point I just wasn’t sure how I was going to do it. She loved nursing and I didn’t have the heart to take it from her. She used breastfeeding as her comfort. If I ever denied her boob should would scream and cry hysterically. I told myself that I would continue to nurse her until she turned 18 months.
After she turned 18 months there was still no end in sight. She wanted to nurse all the time even during the night. Because I stay home with her all day she knew that it was always there. I felt that it was going do be too difficult to stop breastfeeding her so I continued for another 6 months until she turned 2.
Once she turned 2 I wanted that to be the absolute cut off. No more bow bows (that’s what she calls it). I used to think that nursing a child past 2 years old was kind of gross and a little creepy. I really didn’t want to continue nursing anymore. It was becoming really annoying! She still wanted to nurse all the time and constantly had her hand in my bra. “Leave my boobs alone!”, I would tell her repeatedly!
There was no escaping it or her. As far as I know my boobs are not detachable and they go everywhere with me. They are not like a bottle or pacifier that I could simply throw way. She knew that they were there and so easily accessible and she wanted them all the time. She would often help her self when I wasn’t paying attention. It was becoming too much!
I tried to tell her many times that there was no more milk or that she is too big. At that age I don’t think she really understood or cared. She wanted bow bows. It was her comfort and she wasn’t willing to stop breastfeeding just yet. I started to consider some extreme measures like duct taping my boobs or having her stay with grandma for a week. None of which I had the heart to do.
Frustrated, I continued to breastfeed her until she was 2 and a half. By then all of my friends and family members had stopped breastfeeding their little ones. I was really starting to feel the pressure and judgement from others. I was honestly a bit embarrassed that I was still breastfeeding 2 and a half years later. By that point I was a closet nurser. I would never do it in public or around guests. I didn’t want anyone to know that I was still breastfeeding.
One month before her 3 Birthday something happened. I told her “no” and she accepted it. I said that “there’s no more milk” and I offered her a cup of milk or a snack instead. It was a miracle! This continued for a couple of weeks. She still asked for bow bows every now and then, especially when she was tired. I stayed consistent and always told her the same thing. Eventually she stopped asking all together. I noticed how much better she started sleeping through the night and how much more independent she was becoming.
Breastfeeding with her was a long road, but I am so glad I did it. I guess our timeline is not always their time line. Even though it might seem like there is no end in sight, there will eventually be a stopping point. With kids we sometimes just need to wait for there cue that they are ready for the next chapter. I’m glad that I didn’t force the change too quickly. Things sort of happened organically and I couldn’t be happier about it.
Did you have a hard time to stop breastfeeding your child? What worked for you? Leave a comment I would love to know that I am not alone!