Weaning our toddler

I don’t really broadcast it, but I have done extended breastfeeding with our son. It’s great living in a state like Oregon, where different forms of natural parenting is the norm. It’s not a huge deal to see moms breastfeeding in restaurants, parks, clothing stores, wherever. And it’s not a big deal to see a mom nursing a toddler.

So when I found out in late summer that I was pregnant again, I was educated and knew it would be fine to continue nursing. However, at this point in my pregnancy (19.5 weeks) my supply is pretty much nil, but that hasn’t stopped my son from wanting “nurses”. But nursing started getting truly physically irritating for me, so I knew I need to wean soon, but gently.

Fortunately, just as my supply had begun to decrease he had started to wean himself, with a little encouragement from me. Even before I got pregnant, I did the “not offering strategy” with him, but instead offered drinks or snacks. If he really, really wanted to nurse, then I’d let him. So within the last month or so, he has progressed to never asking to nurse during the day.

But he is having a hard time letting those night nursings go.

Nighttime isn’t really that bad. We make sure to give him a drink and snack before brushing his teeth. Then he’ll be fine until he starts to get sleepy, then he’ll want to nurse. I give him water and he accepts that. Then when he is just on the cusp of serious sleepiness, he really wants his nurses. He’ll cry and I will hold and soothe him until he falls asleep. This crying phase doesn’t last more than 20 minutes.

As of now, he has not nursed since Saturday evening. This is a record. Even if he is totally weaned, I have read that after baby arrives, he may become interested in nursing again, which I will be fine with.

SO and I are at the point where we accept some crying at night, until he realizes that he can fall asleep fine without nursies. In fact, some nights he has gone out like a light without much fuss at all. So I know that he is ready, just needs patience and encouragement from us.

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