We are somewhat working on weaning. Well, some say that weaning begins when solids are introduced, but that is not how I think of weaning. Up until very recently, I have always let Jack call the shots on nursing. Nursing is an important part of his nutrition as well as his emotional development, and I don’t want to take it away before he is ready. With that said, I have found breastfeeding to be emotionally difficult for me throughout the duration, and I feel that I am reaching my limit. I am trying to strike a balance that will work for both Jack and me.
As Jack has shown less interest in nursing and more interest in the world around him, I have begun to test the waters a bit. I have really made an effort to get on top of solids to ensure that meals are prepared quickly when he gets hungry so that he is less likely to get impatient and decide to nurse instead of eat solids. Consistency and proactivity about meal and snack times have been key. Additionally, when he does ask to nurse I try to see if I can offer cow’s milk or water instead, or a hug if it seems that he wants attention. This has been working really well, with only minimal balking from Jack.
I’ve stepped things up as of late. Many a morning I have had to leave for work before Jack is up, so we skip our morning nursing session. Some mornings we run late and although he asks to nurse, I offer him food or water or cow’s milk and he is perfectly content with that (although it surprises me every time!). I have been attending group therapy directly after work on Thursdays and so we have delayed that post-work nursing session or skipped it in favor of a longer nursing-to-sleep session after I get home. He has been sleeping so well lately that some days we are down to only one nursing session!
I’m going out of town tonight and I have thought a lot about what will happen while I’m away and when I return. I know that some kids Jack’s age wean themselves when their mamas travel away for a few days, and I’m prepared for that possibility. Still, I can’t really see that happening. It would sure shock the hell out of me. More likely, the remaining nursing sessions will continue to dwindle away until we cease for good some time in the fall. That would be just about perfect, in my opinion.
While I’m looking forward to moving on from this stage of our relationship, I know it also signifies that Jack is truly starting to grow up. That, of course, sends a little pang to my heart. Nursing or not, Jack will always be my sweet son, my special little guy, my babyman.