Wean on me

My baby boy turned 11 months this week. Which means we’ve hit another milestone together – 11 months of breastfeeding.

It takes me by surprise some times, how he’s not my little baby anymore. I will look over at him sitting in his highchair chewing on a sandwich or playing with his toys and sometimes he looks up at me and smiles and waves. A real little boy.

But our feeding times together have been a constant. It wasn’t always joy and rainbows though. In hospital, for the first day or so he couldn’t latch on, so I’d express colostrum and feed it to him in a syringe. His facial palsy meant he couldn’t open his mouth wide enough on the right side. It crossed my mind that breastfeeding may not work at all.

He soon got the hang of it though, on the left side with his ‘good’ side on top. With the help of a lactation consultant in hospital, we soon mastered the football hold on the other side. Every health professional asked the same question – ‘is he feeding?’ And it made me proud that I could say yes. First hurdle overcome.

But then the fun really began, round the clock feeding, cracked nipples, that toe-curling pain on attachment.  I came to dread the frequent feeding, I would cry at the pain and say that ‘I couldn’t do it anymore’.  But by week 6, we leapt over our second hurdle. It didn’t hurt anymore.

But he was a skinny little thing. Despite being 4kg at birth, he was now one of the smallest babies in mothers group. I looked at the chubbier babies and felt inadequacy. Well-meaning relatives questioned if he was getting enough. My heart would sink when I’d put him on the scales, a mere 100 gram gain a week was the normal reward for my round the clock feeding.

But he was gaining weight – albeit slowly – and despite my frustration,  it didn’t really cross my mind to stop. In hindsight, this probably stemmed from my own stubborness to admit there could be a problem. That maybe his attachment still wasn’t the best. I just didn’t want anymore problems. We fed on.

Then by about 4 months, the first signs of some chubbiness. As the chubby babies at mother group’s weight gains started to slow, my boy’s weight gains, that were considered paltry for a newborn, continued unabated. Our final hurdle overcome.

Since then feeding has been a joy. Convenient and a relaxing time for us both. He is now a solid 10.5 kg. But at 11 months, thoughts creep in about how long we will continue. My goal of 12 months is only a month away and although a life post maternity bras is very apppealing, I’m not sure I’m ready for it to end.

I’d love to hear from you. What was your feeding ‘journey’ like? Those that breastfed, when did you know it was time to stop?

18 thoughts on “Wean on me

  1. what a beautiful photo. You can’t beat booby bliss


  2. Aww. Bless. What an awesome job you’ve done. My Bump has just turned 12 months, so I *can* wean if I want.. but I’m not sure I want! It’s bittersweet, whenever it happens.


  3. What a lovely read. I have breastfed three babies and my third was the most difficult to get started. It certainly is a team effort, and your story is so like mine which I blogged a few weeks back. My boy was born at 4.5kg and with a slow start breastfeeding he gained weight slowly. Luckily I felt confident and could see he was a very active baby that I didn’t stress. My GP was great and once we ruled out physical problems she was happy for me to just continue. He is now 18 months old and I only weaned him completely a month ago. I have never weaned to bottles, just cup feeds during the day and morning and bedtime cuddle feeds. More for me I think. He still grabs a booby and says “all gone,” with the cheekiest grin!


  4. yay!! My little boy is turning 1 this Friday – gosh how time flies! I stopped breastfeeding at 10mths; my decision not his of course. He is a big boy as well – check out our birth story on my website. I am really enjoying your blog and I think we have a lovely friend in common with Brianna 🙂


    • Hi Melissa – happy birthday to your little one for this Friday! Yes, Bri told me about your site and I’ve been checking it out. Will have to read your birth story – I heard he was a very big boy! Glad you’re enjoying the blog.


  5. I love this post, and well done on reaching your 11 month milestone!

    Your story sounds very similar our story, my little O-Man and I. He was born a nice 9lb 4oz, the biggest babe around … and then after a few weeks, he dropped from the biggest to the small. My supply was never an issue, he always got enough – he just didn’t gain? My little guy suffered severe Silent Reflux and dairy/gluten intolerances too but we weathered the storm and by 6 months, life was rosy! Well, except for the sleeping part 😉 We hit our 14 month milestone just last week. It’s a wonderful feeling!

    Weaning is a tough one – Half of me would like to, the other half gets upset at the thought. Good luck with whatever choice you make


  6. My son Walt turned two on Wednesday and I’ve been struggling with weaning for about the past six months … some days I feel really frustrated still breastfeeding … and on others it fills me with an all consuming and overwhelming love for my little boy … some days it’s the most irritating sensation with all the teeth he has now … and others it’s sense free and easy.

    Walt is now down to two feeds a day and sometimes only one. He still likes “mama’s milk” at night and maybe in the morning. I just decided about four months ago that I couldn’t feed 4 or 5 or 6 times a day anymore but I really wanted to keep feeding him till he was two years old (as recommended by WHO, no not the magazine, the World Health Organisation, lol). Walt’s always fallen asleep easily in the car, so to drop the feed before his daytime sleep I would take him for a drive to see some cows – he loves cows – and I called it a “sleepy drive” so there was no sneaky business going on and I was still building the trust between us.

    After a couple of weeks I then spoke to Walt about “no more mamma’s milk till the sun comes up in the morning” and although he still asked during the night for about a week and got a tad cranky (but not hysterical or crying) when I reminded him about the sun, it was much easier than I had anticapted… for both of us. I’d read somewhere to replace the breastfeed with something else, so I got a spill-proof sippy cup and Walt now has water in that for during the night. It comes in and out of fashion depending on his mood I think. :o)

    He rarely asks for his morning breastfeed now… just wakes up and says “hungry, downstairs”… so off we go for breakfast. I’ve noticed though that if we are away from home, be it a daytrip or a few nights, Walt won’t have his daytime sleep (regardless of “mamma’s milk” or not) and always asks and feeds for longer. I’m ok with that as I think he simply needs the reassurance that it’s a safe place to be.

    I can now enjoy the suggestion of Pinky McKay re gentle weaning “never offer, never refuse” and on those elusive occasions where Walt doesn’t ask for “mamma’s milk” at bedtime or starts and then says “don’t want it”, I feel a sense of sadness that our breastfeeding days will come to an end soon but also a sense of relief and achievement that we did it together.


  7. Pingback: Farewell to breastfeeding

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