Weaned at the Age of Three and the Stories Behind It

February 04, 2015
In my attempt to wean my toddler off from the breast prior that age, the heart of being a mother has always won me over.  So I kept postponing weaning which rooted from several reasons.

First, the concept of weaning is the thought that I didn't pay much attention mainly.  Because my job as a work-at-home mom has given me an opportunity to look after my daughter 24/7 so I see no reason to refuse to breastfeed. Second, I couldn't afford to see my child from crying and begging for my breast. (Again, I am just a mother.)  Lastly, we cannot deny the fact how beneficial is breastfeeding for mother and child.

Since I used to view breastfeeding as such, it didn't occur to me ever by setting deadlines for breastfeeding. For as long as the child still wants to, then I  just always go for it.

However, a couple of months ago before her 3rd birthday, a number of realizations struck into my mind that led me to the possibility of weaning. 

1. The supply of breast milk is no longer sufficient to satisfy my child.

Gone are the days where the supply of my milk is like a dripping faucet. Yes, I had an abundant supply of milk for the first semester of breastfeeding, but as my child grows, her demand grows, too. As a result, my supply of milk can no longer sustain her needs up to the satisfaction level.

2. She sometimes treats my nipples as a pacifier.

It would often take her 45 minutes and longer nursing until she dozed off.  But the worse is, even if she's already in a sound sleep I still noticed that she didn't stop sucking as if treating my nipple as a pacifier. It was wearisome and painful (physically) on my part.

3. She often bites my nipples.

My initial reaction after she accidentally or intentionally bit my nipples is pinch her or tightly hold her mouth until she releases the bite. (Baka ma 163 ako..) It was due to out of self-control because it really did hurt.

4.  Asking for my milk anytime at night that interrupts my sleep.

During the first year of babyhood, where a baby relies independently on the nutrition present in the breast milk, and where a growing baby breastfeeds from time to time, you will be really deprived of sleep which is still acceptable.

But by the time my child started taking solid foods already, she would still wake up at night looking for my breast like a blind and saying "tutu" (breast). If not attended to immediately, chances are, she'd  roll over, kick like a ninja, and whine like a cat. But since I am a voracious sleeper, I can't avoid but get irritated easily when I am distracted amid sleep hours.

via: http://dojimonster.hubpages.com/hub/Things-to-Consider-When-Your-Baby-Starts-weaning

The illustration above made me laugh. Yes, it really did. Of course, I don't want that to happen where my child's snack at school will be a glass of breast milk. haha.

Ok. After contemplating, I finally decided to put an end to breastfeeding. Three years has been already a long journey for us. That's enough.

So the weaning strategy I used has worked pretty well in less than a week. Yes, I slightly force it, and it was not child-led. But I assure you it was less dramatic.

Since my child has aversion of sour, I thought of rubbing a lemon (sliced), around my nipple. There was, at first,  a sort of crying and fussiness for days, but she didn't pursue or attempt nursing anymore. Though there was, at times, pulling of the shirt just to see or hold my breast, but up to that point only. The only negative side of it is she's staying up late at night, wanting to play and wrestle with us. Another is she jumps in the bed, imitating the actions seen in "Five Monkeys Jumping on the Bed". Unlike before, breastfeeding is used to be like her sleeping pill. But overall, I found weaning successful. At long last!

Any thoughts about weaning? Feel free to drop your comments below.

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