When Will I Wean?

Welcome to the Carnival of Weaning: Weaning – Your Stories
This post was written for inclusion in the Carnival of Weaning hosted by Code Name: Mama and Aha! Parenting. Our participants have shared stories, tips, and struggles about the end of the breastfeeding relationship.

Today I am hostessing a guest post from a lovely mama as part of the Carnival of Weaning. I had all kinds of things I could have written about today but honestly, something held me back. Down the road I will share my thoughts but for now, I am going to go breastfeed my 3 year old baby and let you enjoy this sweet post.

As I look down at the gangly long legs and full head of hair that have replaced, almost by miracle, the tiny whispy-haired baby of yesterday, I reflect on our nursing journey. When she was still just a bump people asked me if I planned to breastfeed and for how long. ‘Definitely’, was my response, ‘The World Health Organization recommends two years breastfeeding for maximum benefits to mother and child’, I would inform them. 

Then she was born and breastfeed I did. Through jaundice, cracked nipples, mastitis and an unexplained daytime-only nursing strike, we continued to work together to develop and grow our breastfeeding relationship. 

Now she is 22 months old and the 2 year point that seemed so far away when she was still a bump is almost upon us. Now the question people ask me is when I plan to wean. There are the days when nothing goes smoothly and I feel frustrated by breastfeeding. Those are the days that I fervently search the internet for weaning tips while her dad soothes, calms or helps her off to sleep. Ultimately, those stormy days pass and are forgotten. What stick with me are the days when she smiles up at me with my breast still in her mouth and lets go for just a moment to tell me that she loves me. And the times when she has been sick or upset and the only thing that helps her to feel better is mummy milk. 

I feel so lucky to have this special relationship with her and I marvel at how my body has grown and nurtured this little person for the better part of 3 years now. 

I don’t quite know what weaning will look like for us yet. I am contemplating weaning on a daily basis, looking for something that resonates with me. Something that is sensitive and gentle, and will continue to nurture her once the nursing stops. Intuitively, I’ll know it when I find it, just as I have known which path to chose at other forks in the road we’ve faced before this one. Until that time comes, I will enjoy the ride while it lasts, because the morning when she doesn’t ask to feed or the night when she falls asleep without milk are just around the corner. When that time comes know that I will mourn the loss of this relationship, so special it has been to me. I’ll just have to be sure to embrace my new found freedom from breastfeeding.

About Sarah: I am a mostly stay-at-home mum of one amazing girl born in 2010. We live in Australia now, after moving home from London when baby girl was 3 months old. I feel like I found my life’s passion when I became a mum. I crave information about parenting in a way I wish I had craved learning when I was at university! I can see the possibilities for my daughter becoming limitless as I try to be kinder, more generous and wiser and show her how to be this way too. Our little family of 3 follow the principles of natural/attachment parenting. In my other life I am an Occupational Therapist.

Thank you for visiting the Carnival of Weaning hosted by Dionna at Code Name: Mama and Dr. Laura at Aha! Parenting.
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants (and many thanks to Joni Rae of Tales of a Kitchen Witch for designing our lovely button):

(This list will be live and updated by afternoon May 21 with all the carnival links.)

  • On Breastfeeding, Weaning, and One Mother’s Identity — Jessica at Natural Parents Network has been nursing one or more of her children since 1993 – breastfeeding is wrapped up in her concept of mothering and herself. She shares her thoughts on weaning.
  • two tales of weaning — Aspen at Aspen Mama writes about their countdown to wean.
  • Wean Me Gently — Tam at Please Send Parenting Books shares a beautiful weaning ceremony.
  • You say potato, I say bleeeuuuuch… — Anelie at Mindcradle had read the books and knew just how to introduce her baby son to solids—unfortunately, he had other ideas.
  • A post about Weaning — (Not) Maud at Awfully Chipper writes about how weaning her son took longer than she expected.
  • On Weaning, Pregnancy and Emotion — Shannon at The Artful Mama talks about her mixed emotions as she allows her son, Little Man, to guide her through his weaning process.
  • half of her life — Staci at Springpatch Jam looks back on her nursing relationship with her first born.
  • Is it just this After Forty Mom or is it harder to wean when its your last? — Amanda of After Forty Mom shares her emotional journey towards the impending self-weaning of her toddler daughter.
  • Nursing Limits — Jorje of Momma Jorje shares how she has weaned her toddler down to minimal nursing and her guilt about the decision to do so.
  • Weaning Video Series #1: Preparation for the Weaning Process — Why is weaning such a taboo topic? Dionna at Code Name: Mama got mamas from across the blogosphere to start talking about weaning – on video. Come check out the first video in a series of five that she’ll be posting this week.
  • On the weaning of the boy in the middle — Kelly at Witness To Hope shares the lessons of a little one self-weaning at 18 months in the middle of an unexpected pregnancy, after nursing his older sister for three years.
  • Weaning due to anxiety — Shannon at Pineapples & Artichokes talks about how she had to wean to preserve her mental health.
  • When Will I Wean? A Guest Post — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama hosts a guest post from a mama who contemplates when her breastfeeding relationship will end.
  • On His Own TermsMomeeezen shares her heartbreak from when her son weaned much earlier than she anticipated.
  • Our Weaning Story – Sudden, Surprised, and Embracing a New Season — Weaning doesn’t always go how we imagine. That Mama Gretchen shares the story of her daughter’s sudden weaning and how she has embraced this new season of motherhood.
  • A Tale of Two Weanings — Valerie at Momma in Progress shares the similarities and differences of how her nursing relationships with her now six-year-old and four-year-old daughters came to a close.
  • She Doesn’t Remember — Alicia at Lactation Narration finds that her 6 year old no longer remembers nursing, only one year after weaning.
  • It’s The End of the World As We Know It — A story about the end of a tandem nursing relationship on Never Mind The Rain: A toddler moves on to a new phase in her life before mom is fully ready.
  • A Natural End To Our Breastfeeding Relationship — With two self-weaning children, Jennifer at Our Muddy Boots does not know when the end will come, but that it will be natural and without regrets.
  • Child-Led weaning: It’s Not Extreme; It’s Biological — Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children explains why child-led weaning is based on biology rather than social constraints.
  • 6 Years of Natural Weaning in 5 Steps — Jess at miniMum shares how and why she let her first child stop when he was good and ready.
  • Is This Weaning?: A Tandem Nursing Update — Sheila at A Living Family bares all her tandem nursing hopes and fears during what feels like the beginning of the end for her toddler nursing relationship.
  • Memories of Weaning: Unique and Gentle — Cynthia at The Hippie Housewife shares her weaning experiences with her two sons, each one unique in how it happened, and yet equally gentle in its approach.
  • Weaning Aversion’Gentle Mama Moon shares her experience of nursing and unplanned weaning due to pregnancy-induced ‘feeding aversion’.
  • Three Months Post-Mup: An Evolution of Thoughs On Weaning — cd at FidgetFace describes a brief look at her planned (but accelerated) weaning, as well as one mamma’s evolution on weaning (and extended nursing)
  • Weaning my Tandem Nursed Toddler — After tandem nursing for a year, Melissa at Permission to Live felt like weaning her older child would be impossible, but now she shares how gentle weaning worked for her 2 1/2 year old.
  • Every Journey Begins with One Step — As Hannabert begins the weaning process, Hannah at Hannah and Horn‘s super power is diminishing.
  • Reflections on Weaning – Love Changes Form — Amy from Presence Parenting (guest posting at Dulce de Leche) shares her experience and approach of embracing weaning as a continual process in parenting, not just breastfeeding.
  • Weaning Gently: Three Special Ideas for SuccessMudpieMama shares three ideas that help make weaning a gentle and special journey.
  • Guest Post: Carnival of Weaning — Emily shares her first weaning experience and her hopes for her second nursling in a guest post on Farmer’s Daughter.
  • 12 Tips for Gentle Weaning — Dr. Laura at Aha! Parenting describes the process of gentle weaning and gives specific tips to make weaning an organic, joyful ripening.
  • Quiz: Should You Wean for Fertility Treatments? — Paige at Baby Dust Diaries talks about the key issues in the difficult decision to wean for infertility treatments.
  • I thought about weaning… — Kym at Our Crazy Corner of the World shares her story of how she thought about weaning several times, yet it still happened on its own timeline.
  • Celebrating Weaning — Amy at Anktangle reflects on her thoughts and feelings about weaning, and she shares a quick tutorial for one of the ways she celebrated this transition with her son: through a story book with photographs!
  • Naturally Weaning Twins — Kristin at Intrepid Murmurings discusses the gradual path to weaning she has taken with her preschool-aged twins.
  • Gentle Weaning Means Knowing When to Stop — Claire at The Adventures of Lactating Girl writes about knowing when your child is not ready to wean and taking their feelings into account in the process.
  • Weaning, UnWeaning, and ReWeaning — Jennifer at True Confessions of a Real Mommy discovers non-mutal weaning doesn’t have to be the end. You can have a do-over.
  • Prelude to weaning — Lauren at Hobo Mama talks about a tough tandem nursing period and what path she would like to encourage her older nursling to take.
  • Demands of a Nursing Kind — Amy Willa at Me, Mothering, and Making it All Work shares her conflicted feelings about nursing limits and explores different ways to achieve comfort, peace, and bodily integrity as a nursing mother.
  • Breastfeeding: If there’s one thing I know for sure… — Wendy at ABCs and Garden Peas explores the question: How do you know when it’s time to wean?
  • Five, Four, Three, Two, One, Two, Three? — Zoie at TouchstoneZ discusses going from 3 nurslings down to 1 and what might happen when her twins arrive.

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  1. says

    I can totally relate to this post! My daughter is 17 months and there are days, like this week, where she has a terrible flu bug and nursing is the only thing that comforts her. I am so thankful to have it in my mama tool kit. Thanks for sharing your experiences:)

  2. Dionna @ Code Name: Mama says

    Embracing the newfound freedom – I never think of what I’ll be gaining, only what I’ll be losing. Thank you for making me rethink what weaning will mean.

  3. says

    Weaning is often at the forefront of my mind, but I’m determined to last until her next birthday (4 more months until she is 3yo).

    I think a lot of women don’t even start out intending to nurse a toddler. But, as HoboMama has said, you don’t start out nursing a toddler and they don’t become one overnight. We take it day by day… the nursing relationship will fade away eventually…

  4. says

    Sarah — I just love this: “Intuitively, I’ll know it when I find it, just as I have known which path to chose at other forks in the road we’ve faced before this one. Until that time comes, I will enjoy the ride while it lasts..”
    So much wisdom and trust. You’re an inspiration. Thanks for a beautiful post!

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