Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Love-Hate Weaning Baby

Breastfeeding symbol

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My sons are so sweet and cute, giving me lots of kisses and hugs before daddy puts them to is so hard not to snuggle with baby...weaning is the hardest thing about breastfeeding.

When I first began nursing my oldest, I struggled and cried in the beginning wondering why something so natural seemed so hard. Through the help of the lactation consultant and determination I was able to nurse our oldest until he gave up nursing on his own at around seven months.

Now that we have our second child, I have chosen to nurse him as well. The nursing on demand and from the start went easier than it did with our first son, however the weaning is not going as easily. While I had hoped to nurse our first son until he was a year, I have not had that problem with our second son. He is nearly two years old and not yet willing to self-wean, unless my husband is home and I can go in another room. Otherwise, if it's just me and the boys, my baby wants mommy time for naps, bedtime, or snuggle time.

It is so hard to say no or to feel like I am denying him his mommy time and comfort, yet at the same time my husband and I feel it's time to start weaning him. After all having my body back and my time back is something I tend to miss after nearly two years of nursing. Yet, at the same time it's a love- hate feeling because this will be our last child and I hate to feel guilty about not giving him mommy time especially when he's crying for me and my dear husband isn't home to help. So when my husband isn't around, baby gets his mommy time. However, as he gets older I realize it only gets more and more difficult to wean him and I am not one to nurse until he's six!

I know many people continue to nurse their children until the child is ready to self-wean or by the age of four is common in some parts of Europe. The average age for moms to stop nursing babies in the US is about two years old, while the pediatricians recommend at least one year.

What are your experiences with weaning? How did you finally end it with your last child? Please share in the comments.

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