Monday, June 3, 2013

the end of our breastfeeding journey

I'm pretty much ready to call it at this point. Gwen, my spirited 3-year old, hasn't nursed in two weeks now, so I'm going to say we're completely weaned. Looking back, it was so much easier then I thought it would be. When she turned 3, I definitely didn't think we'd be done by now, and with so little fussing, but here we are! 39 months is the last breastfeeding milestone we will reach together, and, as a Mama in the one-and-done camp, the last one I will ever reach. As with a lot of things with Gwen, she lead the way, on her time.

So here's a little round up of how Gwen self-weaned:

February 16th:
Gwen turns 3 years old. Still nursing 2x a day, once in the morning, and once before bed.

Week of March 11th to 15:
March 11th, had a long evening because of a friend for dinner. After I had to turn down Gwen's requests to play CandyLand and to watch a music video, I didn't want to turn down her request for a book. So I gave her the choice: read a book and skip milkies, or have milkies. She chose the book!

I offered again throughout the week and she chose the book! At one point she told me, "I'm a big girl Mom, and I don't need to have milkies. I can, but I don't need them."

The whole week, only nursed 2x in the morning because of walking up later due to daylight savings time. This was a little harder for her, but she did well with it.

Did nurse Friday night because of a rough evening. Lots of tears at bedtime and she needed the comfort. 

That Weekend:
Nursed both mornings, but neither evening! One of the mornings she told me that milkies didn't want to come out.

End of March:
We're completely done with evening nursing session. We only ever read!
She's also waking up later on average during the week, so only nursing about 4x a week (2 mornings during the week, 2 mornings on the weekend).

Gwen came to bed with us one morning, and we snuggled and fell asleep! Just like that!

Used that as a stepping point to talk about how big she's getting and how maybe soon she won't do any milkies anymore. She was receptive and positive about it.

Last full week of April:
Nursed only once, on Saturday, for only about a minute on each side (maybe less). Came to bed with us on Sunday and fell asleep for over an hour without nursing!

Generally she wakes up during the week after I'm already in the shower. Yay for extra sleep!

Gwen hasn't nursed in over a week, and that session had only been about a minute. Regularly comes to bed with us on the weekend without nursing.

Last week in May:
Didn't nurse all weekend, which puts us about 2+ weeks now. She told me on Tuesday, "We're not having milkies anymore Mommy. You'll have to give away all the milkie things."

39 months, and I am calling it.

How does this feel? 
Well, it happened so easily and naturally, I can't be anything but happy about it. I'm thrilled that the end of breastfeeding hasn't meant the end of bedsharing for us, as I feared it might. We still get our morning snuggles on the weekend. I had little moments of wistfulness when it was becoming apparent that our nursing journey was ending, but now I'm just happy that it happened so nicely, and proud of my growing girl!


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