I have had mixed emotions about the whole breast feeding thing. Most of the time I love it. The bond we share, the snuggle time, the fact that her food is portable and always stored at the right temperature is a bonus! Our nights were much less disruptive, I wasn't up mixing formula, we rarely became fully awake and she never cried during the night. The flip side to this is the high needs times. When she is teething and wants to attach herself for hours drives me crazy not to mention it's beyond annoying and doesn't feel awesome! All I can hear is the nurse in the hospital telling me, "Don't let her use you as a pacifier!" Um, yeah - I failed at that. I am Fin's pacifier.
Finley has been weaning herself. We had gotten down to only one feed between 4-6pm and then I would nurse her down to sleep at night and then nurse her at her usual 5am feed. It got to the point where I stopped offering her the boobies and only when she signed milk at me while scaling my legs to get near the boobies did I feed her. Usually it was a comfort reason - not- hunger. Then that subsided too, so, I was just nursing her to sleep...Our pediatrician said "cold turkey - just stop!" I decided I'm not taking that advice. It's called weaning for a reason. Besides, I don't want to become engorged and get a breast infection or something nasty! Gradual works.
Then Fin began to latch every stinking half hour ALL NIGHT LONG. Teething again. I was climbing out of my skin. It was driving me crazy and I was resenting the fact that I was not getting any sleep. Truthfully I don't think Finley was either. She was cranky and whiny during the day until after her morning nap. I didn't want her to feel my resentment and then there was the biting when the supply ran dry. She was getting frustrated and biting me. Yeah - that's awesome! Not so much.
Last week we began to night wean. I warmed organic cow's milk put it in a sippy cup and we snuggled in the big chair. The first night she drank all the milk wiggled a little and fell asleep right there in my arms. I was so amazed at how easily she had done this and then I began to cry. I had a great big sobbing cry. My baby is a big girl now. We're moving into new phases this is a great new step kind of cry.
Finley woke a number of times in the night throwing a tantrum when the boobies were not offered. I gave her the cup of milk. She refused it then gradually she would take it and fall straight back to sleep. This went on for several nights and then in the last two nights she had taken her milk at bed time. Rolled around in bed and then fell asleep all by herself. I'm right beside her, she's not alone, but she is self soothing and sleeping. Last night she only woke up twice and I was slow to offer the cup of milk. She settled herself and went back to sleep sans milk. The only feeding she took was at 5am and I'm certain she was very thirsty. Then she settled again.
The nice thing for me has been the early evening. Instead of running upstairs to resettle her with nursing every time she wakes up which was every hour, she now whimpers and settles herself. I get to relax and have some me time. It's been a year since I've had any!!! I know I'm preaching to the choir.
This is going really well, although I dare not say it aloud. Next step will be getting her to take her morning nap without me.... She falls asleep in my arms or in the Ergo Carrier but wakes the second I put her down. Arrrgggghhhh!
One step at a time.
Advice? What worked for you?