Being Brickner : One Year & Beyond: Weaning from Breastfeeding

Thursday, May 15, 2014

One Year & Beyond: Weaning from Breastfeeding

I sometimes look at pictures or videos of Waverly when she was still crawling or hadn't yet said her first word & I seriously can't even remember what life was like then.  It obviously wasn't that long ago, but it's crazy how quickly our little ones change & we are so consumed with them each day that we don't even realize how fast it actually is (anyone else?).  Breastfeeding is like that for me.  It was a huge part of our lives for such a long time but now that we are past it, I really am amazed that this little lady actually survived on my milk alone for such a long time.
 
 
I breastfed Waverly exclusively for one year, she didn't have formula or any milk besides mine until after her first birthday.  Though it started out tough, the breastfeeding process ended up being really great for us.  I loved being her main source of nutrients & most of all, I loved the bonding time it provided for us & getting to hold her so close often.  What I didn't love?!  That damn pump, I was so happy the day we got to pack that thing away.  You can read more about our breasfeeding journey here or here.
 
When Waverly was about six months old, we started adding oatmeal, fruits & veggies in addition to the milk she was getting from me each day.  This definitely changed how many ounces she drank at each feeding & also how many feedings of milk she needed.  That ended up being good for me, I never was one of those girls who produced a lot of milk so we were literally going day to day with our supply.
I was definitely nervous about running out of milk & also, how Waverly would react to not breastfeeding anymore.  Yet as she started nearing 12 months,  I noticed that she started needing it less & honestly, was less interested in it, too.  I always had breastfed her to sleep at night (despite my pediatrician's recomendation, it worked for us), but as she got older, the time it took shortened & most often, she would fall asleep within a few minutes.
 
I will never forget the night we officially stopped, which was totally not planned on my part.  I took her up for our normal night-time routine of books & feeding yet when it came time for me to breastfeed her, she instead snuggled up to me, closed her eyes & went to sleep.  Of course, I held her as closely as possible for about 30 minutes & then, went downstairs bawling (like the uncontrollable, no breathe cry) to tell my husband that she didn't need me anymore.  Can I blame it on the pregnancy hormones 11 & a half months later?! ;)
 
From that point on, we never turned back.  While I missed that time with my girl,  I felt thankful for how long we lasted & honestly, felt a little freedom to be able to wear normal shirts or dresses again & not have to be tied to a pump all day long.  These days, Waverly still drinks milk (2%) once a day & of course, is not shy about eating everything else.  Especially ice cream.
 
 
Like most other parts of parenting, I definitely feel that breastfeeding is one of those things that you just have to find what works for you & your little one.  You will always get tons of advice (even when you don't ask for it), but at the end of the day, you will know what's best. :)
 
 
Thank you for many sweet comments & advice this week.  I usually don't post so often, but have felt so lucky to be a part of some amazing link-ups (see this post for information on how to link-up today & future posts!) & projects that I have had so much fun with!  You mamas are so inspiring & as always, I could not be more appreciative to be a part of this community.  Have the happiest weekend!!
XOXO
 


From Here to EternityWords About Waverly

my delicious adventure Photobucket
My Delicious Adventure                  The Life Of Faith

Running From The LawThe Olive Tree

 
 

30 comments:

  1. I was totally the same way when I stopped breastfeeding. It was such a hard time for me. But... I hated that stupid pump more than anything... I don't miss lugging that terrible thing around with me, that is for sure!

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  2. Noah had breast milk (that I pumped) until he was 3 months old, but I always had to supplement with formula from day one. The problem I'm having is weaning him from the bottle in general. I've succeeded with the day time bottles but he still wakes up multiple times a night for bottles with 2% milk. I've reduced his intake but I'm not sure how long it will take to completely get rid of them.

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  3. You can totally blame it on weaning hormones! It's a real thing. :-) It's so emotional for me too when we are finally done with nursing. It feels like the first step to growing up.

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  4. We've just passed the one year mark and half of me is ready to start weaning and the other half is SO not. I love the intimacy. I love the ease... And it was suuuuch a rough road for us at first.

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  5. OMG! I love this! Weston is 8 months, so I'm starting to think about the weaning process. I can't wait to be done with the pump, but I'm nervous about the weaning off of breastfeeding part! Hopefully Weston does as well as Waverly did!

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  6. Love this post. I really hope breastfeeding works out for us with #2. I'd love to have that experience. And isn't it funny how weaning seems to be so much harder (more emotional) for the mamas than the kids. :) I would have bawled too!

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  7. Love it! I was so thankful to be able to breastfeed Charli exclusively until about 16 months. With all of the medication I am on I was scared I wouldn't be able to, that it would come through the milk, but thankfully it is safe! It is so crazy how PAINFUL it is at the beginning yet such a bonding time that I loved! I am not looking forward to the pain again though in a few short months! haha!

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  8. This topic is perfect for me! We just hit the 1 year mark, and are ready to start weaning, but I don't see our process going as smoothly as with Waverly :( I also have been nursing Ezzy to sleep (which I now realize was not the best idea.) And Ezzy still wakes up twice a night to nurse...was Waverly sleeping through the night by the time you weaned?

    The Joni Journey

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    1. Glad it it helpful!!!! She was already sleeping through the night - though we had to do CIO to get there when she was around 9 months. It worked for us, was incredibly hard to do but was worth it so we could ALL get sleep. She is the best sleeper now. Hope this helps, good luck mama!

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  9. This is super close to our end of breastfeeding! She just kind of stopping having interest, and I was way more emotional about it than I thought I'd be. But, that only lasted a few days and then I was like FREEDOM! I hated the pump, bc Aria started in the NICU I had to pump first and I only did it like 2 months...still worst part of the whole thing! I can't imagine pumping as a working mama, major props there!

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  10. Such a sweet post about BF and weaning. I hated the pump too! I went through a huge range of emotions after we were done BF. It was almost like the baby blues all over again and I've talked to a few other mom friends and it seems pretty normal. I also remember that YAY i'm done feeling too. It's a bitter sweet ending but I think well know when it's time for us. Thanks for sharing.

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  11. Great post! I breastfed for a year too and you're right about not being able to remember those times now that we're past them. We are amazed at the time thinking back to when she couldn't sit by herself or when she started eating solid foods. It's incredible how the time passes! You and Waverly have such a sweet bond!

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  12. I hope that I will be lucky enough to breastfeed for a whole year. The pump looks awful and daunting but I am sure it's just another thing I will learn how to get used to!

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  13. great post, I was super sad when my breastfeeding journey ended with my son too, although the pump thing, so happy to have it gone! Now that it's back in my life...ugh! Looking forward to being able to wear clothes that aren't bf friendly again!

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  14. That is exactly how Kinley weaned from breastfeeding too. I bawled just like you, I think it was because I wasn't prepared for it. It was about 2 weeks before her first birthday and I knew it was coming but not as soon as it did. I totally cried to my husband when I left her room that night...totally normal ;)

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  15. What a wonderful post... breastfeeding holds so many special memories for me. My son and I had a ROUGH start but ended up bf'ing for 16 months (supplemented at night because of a low supply.) Stopping was emotional, but we haven't looked back. I hope to be able to do it with any future children we're blessed with :)

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    1. Thanks, Kaella!!! And congrats on lasting that long, that really is amazing!!!! I hope I am also able to last that long with future babes! :) Have a great weekend!

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  16. It is a sad feeling knowing your not "needed" any more by your little peanut -but it is also really wonderful: wearing real bars, regular t-shirts, hoodies, dresses...(anything really) again. I was so happy to be wearing all those normal clothing items again. The freedom in being done with nursing is nice ... but yes, it is bittersweet when you realize it's over. Your story sounds a lot like mine!

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  17. I am so happy I stumbled upon your blog tonight. I literally just weaned my baby {13 months} tonight and definitely shed some tears about it. It was a conscious decision on my part. My supply was pretty low because we were only down to the one night session before bed, and I'm pretty sure he wasn't getting a whole lot of milk. I was worried it was only a matter of time before he was done, so I wanted to pick a night, soak it all in and remember it. Thank you for sharing in your post. It's nice to know I'm not alone in the tears over weaning.

    {www.thislifeofmineblog.com}

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    1. I am so happy you did, too! How random of timing. So glad you could relate. It's definitely bittersweet but good for you for lasting that long!!! :) Hope you will continue to follow along! XO

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  18. I am weaning my daughter now, and the hormones are REAL!! I get so emotional about it sometimes. I have done it twice before, but each time it is still sad.

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  19. OK mama. I'm literally in tears over here! We're at 14 months, and I am just getting that feeling you know, like our time is coming close to an end soon? I SAH so I rarely ever pump. But I've nursed to sleep and nap forever. I really don't know how that transition will be. I'm happy to let her take the lead, but I feel like my supply is really tanking. Anyhow, I'm already bawling at the thought of a night like you described. And I never even thought I would want to or enjoy BFing!

    xx Viv at JoieDeViv

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    1. Aw, glad you could relate, too! I thought I was only one emotional over this so it really is comforting to know I wasn't! I hope you have a wonderful weekend! XO

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  20. We have started the weaning process - started it right around 11 months or so - and are down to just one nursing session at night before bedtime. I feel like even that is coming to an end though, as Caleb seems less and less interested in it. So I know it won't be long. I am emotional about it too, but like you, appreciate that I can have a little more freedom. I LOVED packing up the breast pump! Overall, I am just proud that we made it this long. Way to go, Mama! Our babies are lucky to have such dedicated mommies!

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  21. I am not looking forward to weaning Liam, especially considering this will be my last time breastfeeding. It is definitely a bittersweet process!

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  22. Your blog is so sweet Ashley, I am so happy I came across it. Followed you immediately, can't wait to read your new posts.
    Would love if you checked out my blog sometime too so we can stay in touch!

    AIMEROSE

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  23. It is amazing how emotional it can be. I BF all the boys but had difficulties with it and supplemented as well. I remember, especially with Cullen I felt SO guilty for giving it up. It sounds like yall had the perfect experience with her deciding when to be done.

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  24. Oh my goodness! You are so lucky that she snuggles up and falls asleep in your arms! Mia won't do that with me! That had to help the fact that she was done nursing, at least she snuggled into you and fell asleep :)
    And don't blame it on the pregnancy hormones... blame it on the nursing hormones! It's been just over 3 weeks since we stopped nursing and I'm finally feeling like myself again. The first week was fine but the last two weeks? I have been emotional and depressed out of my mind! It's been SO ROUGH! I went in to the dermatologist about my skin (I've been breaking out as well, so lovely!) and he said the hormones are CRAZY after cutting off nursing. Similar to the way they are after giving birth. I swear it doesn't affect others the way it has affected me, ugh!

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  25. I'm really going to try and make it a year with my next baby:)

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