Goodbye baby, hello toddler

Graham is going to be one next Friday - I can hardly believe it.  When it's not 10:00 at night, I'll post some of my reflections on this first year of motherhood.  For now, I just wanted to post some thoughts about one big development that is a signal that my little baby is no longer a little baby: the end of breastfeeding.

I've been feeling lately like it might be time to wean.  The first time that thought crossed my mind, I cried.  I've never loved loved breastfeeding, but in hindsight, it was offered a rare 10 minutes when my son sat (relatively) still in my lap.  But it's been a bit challenging lately.  He doesn't want to sit still or focus on the task at hand.   Therefore my supply has been diminishing.  Oh yeah, he's also been biting.  Usually it's the signal he's done with his 3 minutes of nursing.  Yesterday morning, however, after switching sides, he bit down, hard, and wouldn't let go.  It was quite painful (coupled with the pain of not having nursed on that side because he just wanted to bite me).  Last night, he flat out refused (crying, arching his back, waiving his arms) to nurse.  I thought he was just overstimulated from the day.  Nope.  This morning he also refused to nurse - and then refused all the nursings throughout the day, as well.

I've been reading about weaning and, like most literature about motherhood, it implies that I am a stay at home mom who has never introduced my kid to a bottle (because all the suggestions are about introducing a bottle for one feeding and gradually swapping feedings for bottles).  Because he's drinking bottles at daycare, I suppose I'm already a few steps ahead of the curve.  Since he's almost one, I'm just going to start introducing cow's milk, so I can skip having to swap breast milk for formula.  Also, I don't nurse him to sleep, so I don't think the night time nursing will be hard to drop.  That's only the first step in our bedtime routine.  Even though he's refusing to nurse, I can't cut out pumping, because going cold turkey could be really painful/dangerous for me.  So, I'll still pump, but will gradually reduce the number of pumps each day.

My goal was to make it year and we basically did.  I'm feeling a little sad that he's just stopped, but I suppose it was somewhat of a gradual process over this last month.  I'm feeling mixed emotions: sad because that was a little bond (although he's started hugging now which is super cute), but happy about the thought of no longer having to pump throughout the day (once I've weaned myself).


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