Thursday, November 09, 2006

Updates From The Road To No Nursing

Weaning Phase One (Mourning Morning?)

It was not the plan to eliminate morning nursing first. We heard all the people who told us that morning was the last to go for them, the one time their children were most attached to keeping. But an opportunity arose and we grabbed it. One Monday both Chris and I had to get up early for work, so we were downstairs, showered and dressed and semi-coherent before Ada woke up. When she woke, Chris brought her downstairs. I held her on my lap and gave her a cup of milk.

Ada responded well to the first week of our new routine. Then the first Saturday with no morning nursing Ada seemed to realize that this new thing was permanent. She was pissed. There was screaming and complaining. Eventually there was crabby, grudging book reading. After a few days this evolved into happy book reading. Well, happy for her. I'm a little groggy first thing, and Ada is a demanding little monkey in the morning. (You know the routine. She commands: "Cup!" "Book!" "Pick up the pace, mama!")

As thrilled as I am to have Ada sit on my lap and read books in the morning, her attachment to particular books has gotten old fast. My boredom led us to take a trip to exchange library books and another to buy a passel of 50 cent books at Goodwill. Why buy four books at $6.99 US, when you can buy a zillion at Goodwill? Ok, some culling is needed, and admittedly I did end up with one book (on opposites) that is going back via a donation (I am not keeping a book that suggests Boys are the opposite of Girls. That is just not correct. Plus the Up/Down examples are just confusing.) But I also got a cool Caldecott medal winning book, plus some other gems.

Weaning Phase Two (Break-Out)

To eliminate day nursing, Chris and I settled on the "fall break" weaning method. We planned this phase of weaning to coincide with Chris's school break so that he would be around to put Ada in her crib for naps. We figured that after a week of no day nursing she'd be over it and I could go back to taking her upstairs at naptime without hearing screams for me and my breasts.

Like many things in life, the initial attempts were extremely painful, but the longer term is going well. Attempt one at nap-without-nursing was gut wrenching. Ada showed all her tired signs (loss of coordination, extra hilarity at small jokes alternating with crabbiness...) and Chris picked her up and asked if she wanted a nap. The problem is that he asked in front of me. So although she said "nap, nap, nap" she was confused and annoyed when he took her upstairs. (I mean, she doesn't know everything, but she's fairly clear that he is no help in the nursing department.)

Our girl made some noises I have never heard from her. Pisssed off, ear-piercing screams. Wow. But they subsided fairly quickly and she napped well. The pre-nap screams went on for a few days, and although they were hard at the time, in retrospect (because I am so much more clear-headed from the remove of several weeks) it was not so bad. Now she is napping with no nursing first, either talking to herself a bit first, or just turning right over in bed the moment we put her down. (I hesitate to even mention this, for fear of jinxing it.)

I am still nursing before bedtime, and will continue to do so until Thanksgiving. I feel torn about what I hope happens with that change. Part of me wants to be done, but I love the cuddle time and singing to Ada in her darkened room and the intimacy of tired mother and sleepy child. So we'll see.


  1. Thanks for posting this - already the Squid hates the boob and heads for the bottle most of the time, so we're contemplating early part-weaning (have I mentioned I'm not good with rejection?), and it's good to hear other people's stories!

  2. Weaning is one of the hardest things I have ever done. I am glad that it is going alright for you. Good luck, the end is in sight!

  3. all of my kids weened themselves - a little earlier than i wanted (evan 6mo. and noah & roxy 3mo), but it was okay.
    so this dilema is one i never had to deal with.
    i have to admit, there are times when i miss the skin on skin time.
    but when all is said and done, it's nice to have your body fully back and look at your little growing up person in a new light.

  4. Goodwill books rock.

    Also, library sales are your friend.

  5. I'm kind of in the same place - though I have two nursing sessions left to eliminate. I've been trying to decide lately how much I want to rush those out ...

  6. this post makes me very sad. I don't want to let go of the cuddling that goes with nursing, either.

    don't. wanna. let. GO!


  7. this sounds like a pretty daunting schedule and you guys are impressin' the heck outta me. good luck and hope the jinx is at bay. have a great weekend.