Well, my time as a nursing mother has come to an end. Her father and I discussed nursing before she was born, and decided that two years was a decent amount of time for everyone, and it has been.
My cupkeiki has, for the most part, self led herself in this process. I decided, almost a week ago, that nursing for her had become purely a comfort seeking behavior and no longer served the purpose of nutritional balance. We stopped nursing during the day at about 15 months and moved strictly to nights and have stuck with that program flawlessly. However, about two weeks ago, she had started to get into the routine of becoming fixated on nursing early in the evening, it wasn’t that she was tired or hungry, just that she could control it and would beg and throw fits until I decided it was time to lay down for the evening. I wouldn’t give in and realized the change in purpose for doing it (nursing) quickly.
Last Tuesday I began my “no nursing adventure.” I started in the morning by saying she wouldn’t be nursing that evening, then reiterating what big girls do; they drink milk, water, juice, eat dinner, fill up their bellies and sleep all night. Well the evening came and she cried, screamed, punched and kicked. She begged, “last time mama, last time.” And as much as it pained me, I didn’t give in. The following nights and for the rest of the week she would recite her own mantra at bed; big girls don’t nurse, drink milk, water…and then she would pass out and has since been sleeping till 8:00 in the morning! It’s been a whirlwind of emotions for me, as my hormones are changing, my breasts are killing me and my little girl is becoming more independent. I’ll be honest, I’ve done my very best to fill up her belly at night just to ensure she sleeps, making protein fruit shakes using some expressed milk (to handle the pain of engorgement), almond milk and yogurt. It certainly has helped I think. Mostly, I think she knew she was ready for it but wasn’t going to totally stop if I wasn’t. She has chosen to replace nursing with snuggling. Every time she starts to ask to nurse she stops herself and says, “snuggle up mama!”