*Disclaimer: In no way am I saying you should/shouldn’t breastfeed your child nor am I saying you have to stop at a certain time. This is just how it is for me and my son.*
When I had my son 2 and a half years ago, breastfeeding was a love hate relationship. It took him a while to get it, it was painful, he ate almost non-stop and I dreaded it. I always worried about my supply running low due to not getting much when I pumped, but he got plenty while actually nursing.
However, over time we got the hang of it, it stopped being so painful and it actually was so easy for us. It was convenient to be able to feed him anywhere I went. It was easy when it came to feeding him in the middle of the night, I didn’t actually have to get out of bed to feed him.
Fast forward 2 1/2 years, and it was still the way I got him to sleep and he was still waking up during the night just to nurse himself back to sleep. It finally got to the point that I was no longer enjoying the nursing experience again. He only wanted to nurse to go to sleep and would wake up for the comfort. It had been over 2 years and he still wasn’t sleeping through the night when everyone else I knew had their kids sleeping through the night before the age of one.
So that’s where my journey to stopping breast feeding started. He needed to learn to get himself to sleep and in my hopes, that would mean he would stop waking up throughout the night. If I got rid of what was waking him up (realizing he wasn’t nurse every time he stirred) then maybe we could get the rest we have been needing.
The first night, I actually set myself up for it being easy. I actually hadn’t entirely planned to stop this night, but in the moment, I knew it was time. He had skipped his nap during the day so I knew he was going to be tired. When it came to bed time, he asked to nurse, but didn’t put up much of a fight when it came to me telling him no. I offered to play with his hair and he was asleep within minutes.
Now, this didn’t last long. He actually woke up every 2 hours this night, but I was able to get him back to sleep with either scratching his back or snuggles. He did decide to get up for the day an hour earlier than usual, but night one was complete.
This night was slightly easier, he woke up about 3 times this night. It did take him a bit longer to first fall asleep, but again didn’t put up much of a fight. In my head, it was much easier than I had expected.
This day he was set to go to my moms in the evening after his nap. This is when the struggle really began. He didn’t want to nap and he also wasn’t feeling very good so he was just not in a good mood to begin with. He was constantly asking to get up and had to go to the bathroom or was hungry. Basically he was using anything he could to not go to sleep. Finally I managed to get him to sleep, but had to be woken up after 45 minutes.
After waking him up, it was constant screaming. He would say he wanted one thing and when I tried to get it he would say he wanted the opposite. He started saying he had to go to the bathroom but every time I tried, he would scream saying he didn’t have to. Finally got him calmed down, and off to my moms he went for the night. Apparently he woke up often, but my mom still managed to get him back to sleep. Again, he was up an hour earlier than usual.
This was the hardest day by far. He screamed all before his nap. He did not want to lay down but he was definitely tired. It took way longer to get him to finally fall asleep. It took a snack and me rocking him to sleep before he crashed from putting up such a fight.
This night was also the hardest. It didn’t take much to initially get him to sleep. My mom had mentioned playing lullabies to get him sleepy when he stayed the night with her, so I put on some music on my phone and he fell asleep somewhat fast. This did’t last very long. He woke up twice, but both times was a struggle to get him back to sleep. He kept crying, he kept saying he had to go to the bathroom but wouldn’t let me take him. I finally got him to sleep by playing more music for him.
So far the easiest day. When it came to getting him to take a nap, he didn’t want anything from me. He didn’t want me to scratch his back or play with his hair. He just laid in bed for a while, rolled over onto his stomach and slowly fell asleep on his own. He slept for a long time this day and woke up in a great mood. A nap time win!
It also didn’t take much to get him to sleep either this night. He did ask for a snack and music but I just told him he could have it in the morning and that was enough for him. I did have to scratch his arm (by scratch I mean rubbing my nails gently up and down his arm to relax him) for a little while, but then he wanted to fall asleep by himself. This was the best night sleep he has EVER had. He woke up one time at 4:20 a.m. but fell back to sleep really fast and didn’t wake up again until a little after 8 a.m.
Weaning him from breast feeding was the biggest thing I was dreading. I had tried it in the past and there was no calming him down. I say if you are looking to stop, follow the timing of both you and your baby. And once you start the process, stick with it. Day Four was the day I really thought about just giving in, but I knew I would just have to start the process all over again. Then look, the next day was the easiest day.
As always, thank you for reading along. Don’t forget to hit the follow but on the right side to keep up with future posts. Have a wonderful day, and comment below any stories you might have of the hardest thing you had to do.