Monday, May 21, 2012

On His Own Terms

Welcome to the Carnival of Weaning: Weaning - Your Stories
This post was written for inclusion in the Carnival of Weaning hosted by Code Name: Mama and Aha! Parenting. Our participants have shared stories, tips, and struggles about the end of the breastfeeding relationship.

My Sharky Boy has always been an all-or-nothing-mind-of-his-own kind of kid. Once he's got his mind set, pretty much nothing can distract him or sway him to change his mind. Oh and don't let me forget that this all-or-nothing personality trait makes for some pretty intense emotions, and saying intense is an understatement.

Needless to say, being his parent is tough sometimes.

{You're starting to understand my need for Zen a bit more aren't you?}

This pretty much applies to everything, and it certainly applied to his breastfeeding journey.

When he was a newborn he knew when he was hungry and when he was done. I remember so clearly how upset he would get if he kept sucking and getting milk once he was full. He wanted to keep sucking, but did not want any.more.milk!

That is why I love soothers.

Unfortunately, Sharky Boy also had really bad reflux and gas and tummy pain. From about day 2 of his little life, I knew something was wrong. I sought out help and support, but it took us a good 7-8 months before we finally figured the cause and actually made changes to fix it.

{A huge shout out to my awesome Naturopath!}

In our case, wheat was the culprit. I eliminated wheat from my diet, and his too because by that time he as eating solids. It was hard at first, but eventually the changes in his digestion and his sleep, made the culinary adjustments worth it.

These diet and tummy discomfort issues made breastfeeding a bit tricky because I always worried I was eating something he would react to.

Even when he greatly improved, I still wondered. But we continued breastfeeding and I really did enjoy each time he nursed because I suspected it wouldn't be for long...though I hoped differently.

The weaning process began around 10 months. He dropped down to nursing at afternoon naptime and bedtime.

By the time he was one year old he had weaned down to only nursing at bedtime.

I think most of us nursing Mamas start getting that I-want-my-body-back feeling on some level, at some point. For me, those last few weeks of nursing where very much cherished, even though I was also kind of looking forward to completing the weaning process.

Sharky Boy started saying "No" at around 12 months. With his personality does this surprise you!? Haha!

Anywhoo, at almost exactly 13 months, one night I sat on the rocking chair to nurse him at bedtime and he said, "No Mama." He closed his eyes, put his soother in and started drifting off.

No Mama? My heart broke a little.

And that was it. He didn't look back, he didn't ask for it again.

It did shock me, I don't think I was ready, even though he had begun to wean a little at a time.

I believed for a while that perhaps it was a nursing strike. But alas, it was not the case.

Looking back, I'm happy it happened that way. For some reason or another, weaning was right for him.

Sharky Boy really does everything on his own terms...and I want that for him.

Thank you for visiting the Carnival of Weaning hosted by Dionna at Code Name: Mama and Dr. Laura at Aha! Parenting. Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants (and many thanks to Joni Rae of Tales of a Kitchen Witch for designing our lovely button):


  1. My older daughter was afforded the opportunity to wean on her own terms. I very much have wanted that for my toddler, but am having to push her for my own mental health. I hope my son will be able to wean on his own term, too... who knows how long our nursing relationship will be??

  2. What a great gift you have given him by letting him make this decision for himself.

  3. Sweet mama, thinking about the possibility of Ailia doing that hurts my heart, too - she sounds a lot like your son. She does not nurse for comfort, she is quick, efficient, and done. I'm glad to read about your feelings - that it was the way it should have happened.

  4. Kat- My heart goes out to you. But how lucky your son is to be able to make this choice for himself, completely on his own terms. He's defining "child-led weaning." And you're defining "responsive parenting." You and he have a great future ahead of you! Sending hugs. - Dr. Laura from Aha! Parenting


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