On my youngest's second birthday, I decided to begin the weaning process. He had gotten very demanding when it came time to breastfeed: screaming if I said no, hitting, and sticking his hand down my shirt. All the redirection and gentle parenting in the world wasn't helping. Between his nursing manners and lazy latch, breastfeeding was no longer enjoyable for me. We had gone two years and had a lovely breastfeeding relationship. He was night weaned around 18 months and began sleeping almost all the way through the night. He only nursed once or twice a day, it'd be easy to wean, right?
Well here we are one month later, he's still nursing once a day, but not every day. When we began this process, I knew I didn't want to rush things. He is my last breastfeeding relationship and I want to treasure it, even the not so great moments of meltdowns and lazy latches. I'm currently not offering him milk, but I am not refusing him most of the time when he asks to nurse. Is it perfect and a one-size-fits-all solution? No, but it works for both of us. He's able to be an independent toddler most of the time, but has a little milk when it's time for a nap or bed.
Here is what half assed weaning means for us:
- do not offer to breastfeed
- do not refuse when LO asks to breastfeed (most of the time)
- if I don't want to nurse, offer water, milk, snack, or another distraction
- breastfeed before naps and bed
- if LO pops off to look at something, that's the end of the nursing session
I posted a photo on Instagram and called my weaning technique half assed weaning. The comments revealed that I'm not alone! Looks like I'm in good company with other moms who are kind of "meh" about weaning. They're not really pushing for it, but have accepted that this is their fate and can happen at any time now.
This may not be the way everyone does it, but it works for him and it works for me. I'm still able to comfort him in the best way I know how, he and I both still get the benefits of breastfeeding, and I enjoy the snuggles so much. Some may call it lazy parenting, but I'm okay with that. Since he's my last baby, I am happy to do it this way. Maybe we will be done by 2 and a half, maybe not. Regardless, we are both content with this arrangement.