We decided it was time because the new baby will be here in just about 3 months and I didn't want to be nursing 2 or have K have hard feelings toward his new little brother, and honestly I was ready...or so I thought. I had already cut back to two times per day; morning and night, and had been on this schedule for months. That first night while I was rocking K and he was no longer nursing, I thought I would be thrilled and happy that it was done. Without even knowing why, tears started suddenly pouring down my cheeks. K had fallen asleep quickly and there I was crying my eyes out over...what? When I thought about it, I realized that for me it felt like K had just arrived a few months ago and now he was weaned! I realized how fast time flies and I think the sentimental feelings took over. I imagined him going to school on his first day, graduating from high school and then college, and someday living his life completely independently--which is exactly what I want for him, but not yet when I'm his mother of 21 months!
So, I kissed him on the cheek, laid him in his crib, and walked downstairs for the first time as a "free" mommy with the new burden of realizing that one day all those things would happen and that as hard as it would be, it would also be wonderful for all of us. I vowed to cherish the moments I have here and now and treasure the time we have together before Baby #2 arrives, and then after as a bigger family. I also reminded myself that while time does fly, there are days that seem to drag by and hang on forever, so I need not worry too much!
If you haven't weaned yet and are thinking about it, here are a few things that helped me:
- Gradually cut back the number of feedings.
- Replace the special time with a different kind of special time whether it's reading books, playing with toys, or rocking (something where you are still spending time together).
- Give extra snacks to make sure your little one is getting enough to eat
- Make sure your little one's dairy/fat/calcium/etc. needs are being met since you are no longer providing that. I've been making sure K has been getting extra organic yogurt, cheese, etc.
- I put K to sleep with a sippy cup of water now. That way if he really feels he needs something, he has something. I don't give him anything but water in his cup though because I don't want him to get baby bottle mouth and have teeth issues. Everyone is different though and you have to decide what works best for you.
- Start when you feel ready and think your little one is too. It was extremely easy--besides crying the first night ;-) because I think we were both ready. K still tried to nurse for over a week, but I just occupied him with something else.
- Good luck!