It was World Breastfeeding Week this last week and I’m late to the party again (today is the last day). However I’ve been planning this post for a while so I figured now was as good as any time to publish it. A number of blogs I read like this one and this one have been publishing weaning-related posts recently. I guess it’s because our babies are similar ages and we’re all getting to the point where we’re wondering how long we’re going to continue breastfeeding.
When Kiran was born, I didn’t really have an idea in my head of how long I wanted to breastfeed, beyond making it to a year. I was gutted when Iwas advised by my doctor to start weaning Maya when she was 8 months old as I was pregnant again, but to be honest she was never that interested after she started eating solids anyway and at 8 months she was only feeding at night and for naps. It was still emotional weaning her but I did it gradually, cutting out one feed at a time and she had her very last feed a day or two after her first birthday.
Kiran is different. He’s 18 months now and still very attached. He asks to be fed multiple times a day and will very often just come and try to help himself, whatever I might be doing at the time. I’m keen on the idea of child-led weaning and I like the fact that breastfeeding has helped me fit into clothes that have been too small for my entire adult life, but even so I’m getting to the point where I want my body back.
Maya and Kiran have always been very different. I guess as he’s the youngest, he’s always going to be the baby but it’s really crazy comparing them at this age. Maya was like a little kid already, independent, talking in full sentences and we’d already started looking at nursery schools for her. Kiran only has a few words, is very shy and clingy and very much still my baby. He’s definitely growing up though – he’s taken to toilet training like a duck to water and I think with a bit of luck he’ll be fully day trained within a few months.
The last couple of months I’ve started refusing feeds to him during the day time. He gets quite angry about it but it’s usually fairly easy to distract him and often if I suggest he gets a glass of water instead, he’ll toddle off and get it. I think day feeds for Kiran are both a habit and a comfort – if he falls and bangs his head, he comes over immediately and asks for “nyum nyum”.
I’m feeling the pressure from others too, which surprises me here were long-term breastfeeding is traditionally the norm. I was praised for weaning Maya by 12 months, only in a supportive way, but still – nobody has had anything positive to say to me about the fact that we’re still breastfeeding at 18 months. A shame considering the official advice is to continue until at least 2.
For now I’m continuing to try and cut out the day feeds but I have no problem with the night feeds for now. This may very well change in a few months as we’re already thinking about moving Kiran to his own bed – Maya was in her own toddler bed at one year, right after we’d fully weaned. Feeding at night when you’re co-sleeping is not so much of a hassle but getting up and out of bed is a whole different story.