Wednesday, March 28, 2007

A Brief Treatise on Weaning

So Julie asked me to post on how weaning was going and since I am procrastinating memorizing my lines or scoring my script for Anton in Showbusiness, I'm happy to oblige.
We started weaning two weeks ago. I stopped nursing her with her afternoon snack, which is at 4:30 and is yogurt. I also tried to give her cow's milk, but she wasn't too interested. The first day, she still seemed hungry, so I nursed her early for dinner. I felt kind of uncomfortably full and that good old ability to squirt milk across the room came back, but it felt doable. The next day I gave her more yogurt and that seemed to fill her up just fine. She still didn't show much interest in the cow's milk.

About a week later, I discovered I'd been giving her too many dairy products and so I cut out the cow's milk for the time being. My original plan was to cut out a feeding every week, but after that first week I felt so uncomfortably full much of the time, I wimped out and decided to wait too weeks. So this Monday, two days ago, we cut out nursing with breakfast. Stella didn't even notice and frankly, neither did I. I do notice cumulatively over the course of the day that I feel a little engorged, but nothing like the early days when your milk comes in.

I am getting a little emotional about what's ahead, though. The thought that if all goes according to plan, she'll be weaned in 4 weeks makes me a little sad. But babies grow up, and she's getting to be a toddler now, it's okay that she doesn't need that part of me anymore, she still needs me for a lot of other stuff. I'm also nervous about next week's meal dropping because I'm going to be going a LONG time between feedings no matter what feeding I choose. If I choose to cut out lunch, she'll be going about 13 hours, if I cut out dinner first, she'll be going about 10 or 11. I'll probably start with cutting out dinner. I have no clue how my body's going to do when I'm just feeding her at 11:00pm and 6:30am, the last feedings I'm going to cut out and the ones I'm most nervous about. I mean, that 11:00pm feeding is going to be really hard to get her to give up. It's the one that kept us from attending all of SXSW a couple of weeks ago. And those of you with babies know that you'll do anything to get your baby to sleep. I'm hoping perhaps some cuddling and a cup of milk will replace that feeding.

T. Barry Brazelton suggests waking your child up before you go to bed for some cuddling and perhaps a feeding to keep them from waking you up in the middle of the night, so we may be doing some variation on our current routine for a while. I'm NOT going back to middle of the night wake-ups!

1 comment:

jooley_ann said...

Thanks for the writeup! Very interesting. I wonder whether Johanna might be the same way -- not fazed by dropping daytime nursings, but maaaan in 8.25 months (who's counting?) if she's anything like she is now she will NOT be happy whe the nighttime feeding goes. Hopefully it'll be *a* nighttime feeding by then. God knows it's more like THREE feedings right now....