Current Mission: Weaning Ezra from Breastfeeding
This is one of the most difficult things I have done. I let Keenan self-wean, at over 3 years old. Ezra is now 21 months and since we are expecting #3, my mission is to wean him from nursing by Christmas. I physically and mentally need a break before I begin nursing a newborn, I also want Ezra to be unattached before his sister “takes over”.
If you look closely at the picture I posted, he is attached in many ways. It is not only his mouth. His hands are always holding on tightly, and now his insistence is much stronger. I know it can be done, and we actually are taking steps to wean and his sessions are beginning to become much shorter and less frequent. We have started the process by changing his routines. Now, instead of me picking him up in the morning, Gus goes to him, changes his diaper, and takes him to his high chair for breakfast. Ezra gets full from breakfast, and although he asks for mama’s milk, he only nurses for a brief moment before going on to play.
To move past his naptime feeding, I have changed our schedule so that we are out and about each day so that he falls asleep in the car on the way home. He is easy to transfer to his bed, and I make sure to always have a sippy cup with water and plenty of his favorite snacks. After waking, we cuddle and head straight to his high chair for a meal. The hardest feeds for me to break are the ones where he is just wanting comfort. If I am sitting down, changing clothes or showering is when he is the most persistent. I have to work extra hard to distract him and find a new activity. One of his favorite things to do is take a walk around the neighborhood, so I suggest that quite often as a distraction.
Making the switch with a toddler takes diligence, creativity, and teamwork. My husband is very good with distractions and big brother often helps change the atmosphere. I know that his nutritional needs are being met with food and water, at this point our nursing relationship is solely emotional and habitual. It is a bittersweet part of mothering, and a phase that I know we need to accomplish for my parenting sanity.