Why I stopped weaning my child

ben toddler

In a few days, it will be 24 months since I started breastfeeding my son. I’m proud of this feat and I’m happy to provide my child with brain-building, immune and nervous system-boosting, dental-health guarding breastmilk.

But you see, 24 months is already a long time and surely a night of uninterrupted sleep is not too much to ask at this point, no? We co-sleep with a toddler bed attached to ours and he crawls in to feed, usually 2-3 times at night when he’s rustled by either thirst, nightmares or just for comfort.  He can’t sleep without nursing too, if that’s worth a mention.

When he lifts my shirt at night, I am just too tired to stop him and just give up, like saying, “Ok, go on, help yourself!”

Mind you, during day time, I can distract him from constantly climbing up to me to feed. He eats well and is thriving ok without breastmilk, especially when I am at work. But it’s at night when he becomes unstoppable.

Ben eating

During my 4 days of off for the Islamic holiday we had here, I prepared for Operation: Weaning. Me against the toddler! I thought I am prepared for the battle but it involved a lot of crying and tantrums and I went soft. This breastmilk addict child of mine is no way giving up his stash. But what is most difficult is that he kind of developed a trauma – the idea of saying goodbye to the boobies resonated to him like he was saying goodbye to mom. Like it’s not only the boobs that will be gone but the whole mom thing.

And of course he didn’t like it.

He became very clingy, wouldn’t go to his nanny when I am around. It became difficult for me to go to work because he would chase me to the door and let out a cry that will break your heart. And yes, I now take a bath at home with him sitting at the corner of the bathroom, playing with his toy car and constantly peeking if I am still in the shower or if I disappeared into thin air. These past few days, I cannot even sit down to eat properly without Benjamin clinging to me like a baby chimpanzee.

I say, enough.

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So for now, I give up on weaning my child off the boob business. And it’s ok. I’d give him a little more time. We will go slow (but hopefully not until he’s going to kindergarten!). Cue that Time magazine controversial cover on extended breastfeeding.

Are you a breastfeeding mom? Do you have (successful) weaning tactics to share?

7 thoughts on “Why I stopped weaning my child

  1. Good for you Grace for being in tune with your child, for listening to his needs when he showed you that he wasn’t quite ready yet. This time together will do so much for him to help him learn that mama is ALWAYS there for him, supporting him, and will help him become even stronger and more independent as he grows.

    You should be very proud of yourself, both for all you’ve done to give Benjamin such a strong, grounded start and for continuing to be so responsive to his needs as he grows.

    Good on you mama!

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    • Thanks Robin! I felt that my attempts at weaning him was too much for him to handle. I’ve not set up an end date when I breastfed him as an infant but hoped he will self wean at 2. But alas, there are things we cannot predict!

      I love breastfeeding him and feel so close and connected when we’re together but also wanted to sleep straight through the night. Oh well, that is not happening soon but it’s ok because my baby won’t be like this forever…and I’ll admit, though it’s uncomfortable for a moment, I like cuddling him while sleeping and smell his hair..I fall asleep immediately anyway.

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  2. Hey, it’s alright, that really happens. It will be like 2-3 attempts and he would finally wean. Mine finally stopped at 30 months old 😀 Maybe you can feed him a little more at night, and bring some bottled water with you in bed. Eventually he would let go.

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  3. oh I feel you! I haven’t eaten properly too because as soon as I sit on the dining chair, he climbs up to my boobs. One time I was in a restaurant eating ramen, and had to hold the chopsticks with my left hand (because he preferred to feed on the right boob)! my son is 19 months old and i’ve tried to wean him without success. I’ve been accused of being too soft and a spoiler but well, they’ll never understand.

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    • Yay for extended breastfeeding and double yay for holding a chopstick with your left hand!! 🙂

      About being accused of being too soft and a spoiler, I have a follow up for that.

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