My sweet daughter recently turned 18 months old. I’ve breastfeed her since she was born, and it’s been one of the best experiences of my life. But now that my daughter is getting older, breastfeeding has become something she does less. My goal when I started nursing her was to try to make it to two years of age – or when she weaned herself. I am 6 months months away from that goal.
I still intend to let my little pumpkin take the lead in choosing how and when we stop nursing. I would like to get through the rest of the winter for sure. I really think she has been protected from lot’s of flu and cold germs that were going around this winter, due to the antibodies she has been getting through my milk. But once spring is here, and the cold season has mostly disappeared – I can see weaning on the horizon. And I have such mixed feelings about it…
I’d love the advice of moms out there that have been down this road! Part of me feels like I’m ready to start the process of weaning by slowly cutting down how often I nurse her. Other times I feel like I should wait until she signals that she is done with nursing, and that if that takes a few extra months that it’s worth it. That I should do this at her pace. Will I know when she’s ready? Will she really just stop nursing all by herself? Or do I need to facilitate the process? I just don’t know.
(Mary Cassatt: Louise Breastfeeding Her Child)
Of course complicating the issue are my own mixed feelings about giving up nursing. I have seen what an amazing and comforting bond it has created between pumpkin and I. And once it’s gone, I know I will long for those quiet intimate moments that were just pure mommy and baby. On the other hand, I am feeling excited about the prospect of throwing out my nursing bras! And I’m practically giddy at the idea that I wont have to judge every outfit I wear based on how easy it will be to move aside for nursing! I’m ready to move on, and yet I’m so sad that I can see this special time in my babies life ending!
The bottom line is that I can put my own feelings aside, if it meant doing what was best for my daughter. I am just not sure what that is. Do any other moms have any advice?