How are we in the final week already? This time has flown by and I am SO happy about it! Before we started the weaning, I was nervous. Nervous as in having a huge freak out on the inside, causing serious amounts of anxiety. Which almost made me not wean Isla! I thought that maybe we should wait because she has a serious attachment to me. She sees me walk up the stairs without her, tears. I leave her with her Dad, tears. Someone else holds her other than me, tears. Isla’s attachment had me thinking that she wouldn’t wean. She would constantly be emotional, and attached to me. But, I really wanted to wean her. This sounds selfish, but I wanted my body back. I gave Isla my breasts for a whole year, and it was now time to have them back, all to myself!
Going into this final week, I had mixed emotions. The previous weeks had gone so smoothly that I thought the universe was going to lay the hammer down on us. You can’t have something this good for this long? Well, we are two days in to NO breastfeeding and not a single meltdown. Isla went to bed twice with no issues or crying. She has not clawed at my chest, or even starred at them intently like she might lunge and bite! Some of you Mom’s might be reading who are currently weaning and having less luck. Or who are about to attempt it and are crazy nervous like I was a few weeks ago. Well I have some tips for you! Things I have learned throughout this journey that I think can help you! Let’s get right into them.
Create a SOLID Game plan
I highly recommend you create this plan at least one month prior to starting. You want to….
- Figure out which order you will cut the feeds out.
- Your timeline (we did one feed a week).
- Establish a nap and bedtime routine. You will most likely already have this, but I recommend you stick to the same routine everyday. Children respond better to consistency.
- What the deal breaker is. What needs to be happening for you to stop the journey, and wait a bit longer till you try weaning again.
This sounds like a lot, almost excessive. But TRUST ME! Having a solid game plan will help you deal with the hard and emotional moments. And knowing what you are doing and when will help you through the process easier. Weaning is a huge moment in your life. The emotions you might have can easily derail you from your end goal.
Establish a Team
Once the game plan is created, make sure everyone in the house or your child’s life knows what is going on. Your partner, or whoever else cares for your child. You are going to want consistency and a great support system. Make sure everyone is aware of the routines, and stress the importance of consistency. The smallest thing can tip the scale, and you won’t want to end up back at the beginning. I made sure my Husband knew the timeline (I even marked it down in our calendars). What was to be done at bedtime, and I explained that it is going to be emotional for me (which it was!).
Don’t rush cutting out the feeds. Give your child a few days to adjust to less feedings. Doing it too fast can increase your child’s anxiety and cause them to become more attached to you. Also, if the journey is not going great. Don’t get frustrated. Your child might not be ready. Stick to your plan, or continuing breastfeeding and wait a few more weeks.
Increase the CUDDLES!
Don’t think you have to reduce contact, because your child might want your boobs more. They aren’t just losing the breastmilk. They are losing that bonding time they get regularly. Decreasing your contact time with them, might increase their desire to have you. Leading to separation anxiety. Take time out to get your daily cuddles in. On the couch, the floor or in bed. Whenever Isla seemed like she was going for my chest, we would stand up and dance! We would keep the cuddles going but distract her from my chest through movement.
I will report back next week and see if we were able to stick to no boob! We have made it this far that I am so ready for it all to be done! Hopefully I skip the engorgement part!
Thanks for reading,