Our weaning story

The last time we nursed…Well, I wasn’t sure at the time that it would be our last nursing session but I guess at this point I should have treated each session like our last. Then again, I’ve heard other moms recall their last nursing session being so sad and emotional, I’m sorta glad I didn’t know at the time. But I do remember that day I was extra appreciative of our moments together. When she’d ask (I haven’t offered since she turned one) I’d allow it without hesitation, and I made an extra effort to slow down and just be with her. I took note of “the look” she’d give me. The one she always gave me while she nursed. I guess her options of things to look at were pretty limited cause usually she chose to stare at me.

She did this time too. And I set my smart phone aside and stated back at her.

She smiled at me while still latched, this was my favorite thing to get her to do while she ate–see if I could make her laugh and giggle while she was still eating. She had a talent of doing both.

She stuck her fingers in my mouth and I pretended to bite them off, and she laughed even harder. This was our little game we played over the last 17 months. I’d see if I could get her to laugh hard enough to where she lost her latch, and she’d keep checking her hand to see her fingers still in tact, them shove them back in my mouth to give me another shot.

My challenge was to make her laugh as hard as she could but also hope she didn’t bite me back.

I nursed her A LOT this day. I was off work an whenever I sat down, that’s just what she wanted to do.

I held her while she napped and she nursed off and on for two hours. I didn’t complain about it. I guess subconsciously I knew this was the end.

The next morning she woke up extra early, so I grabbed her and we slept a few extra hours in the guest bed. Of course she nursed the whole time. This was going to be the most difficult session to cut.

The following morning I woke up before her and my husband offered to take her to school. She woke up just as I was leaving and I tried to sneak out but she got a glimpse of me. I heard her crying from the car. I called and my husband said she was fine but I knew she wasn’t accustomed to starting her day that way. Without me, her morning snack.

When I picked her up from school that evening her teachers told me she was pretty moody for a few hours in the morning. I knew why. And she was asking to be nursed then, but we had to go, and I tried to distract her until we got home. By the time we did it was time for dinner then bath, than bed. And she didn’t ask again, and I didn’t offer.

The next morning I had to leave for work before 4:30, so I was of course long gone before she woke up. During my break I was careful not to sit down when I visited her and my husband. I knew if I did she’d ask to nurse. But I didn’t and she didn’t.

When I returned from work she was napping, and I knew when she woke up would be the ultimate challenge. We had already gone a day and a half without nursing and if we were going to stop, I knew I needed to ride this out.

I heard her wake up from her nap and felt an anxious feeling. This was the first time I’d be seeing her wake up since our weaning process really took off. If we could get through this, we’d be over a huge hurdle. She cried and cried, tried to pull down my shirt and kept smacking my chest. It would have been so easy and harmless to give in but I had to get past this.

I took her outside and she calmed down. I brought some of her favorite yogurt snacks with us and after a few minutes she was distracted.

The next day got a little easier, she still asked but was quickly distracted. We had gone three days without nursing. I wondered if we had hit our new stride, if my milk would have dried up by then, or if she had possibly forgotten how to latch. This was the longest in her life she had gone without nursing. Previously it had been maybe 12 hours or so. I felt bad that evening when she kept asking to eat, so I gave her some ice cream to ease my guilt. And she seemed to be happy for the substitution.

Snacks and cuddles were my new way to console her when that’s what she wanted.

At church, we for the first time went an entire sacrament meeting without us heading to the nursing lounge. This was thanks partly to a woman behind us who kept playing with her, and a bag full of snacks. Next month she can start nursery, and that’ll be a whole new exciting experience.

Monday I was off work, and it would be our first day together all day without nursing. I had a plan to get her out of the house because if she was entertained she didn’t ask to breastfeed. That morning she woke up at 6:30. Since I had just gone to bed at 5 that morning, I wasn’t ready to get up so I finally gave in and nursed her back to sleep, deciding if I nursed her at all, it would only be early mornings, if she doesn’t go back to sleep on her own first.

She didn’t nurse the rest of the day, and at night she’s fine being hugged and kissed goodnight.

Now we’re finding our new groove. Aside from a couple of mornings where we’ve fallen off the wagon, it hasn’t been terrible. It’s bittersweet seeing my little girl grow up. But I know we’re embarking on a new adventures and we’ll find new ways to bond. Then soon enough I’ll have another nursling to start all over with.

Jenna says:

Aw, I loved this. Carson self-weaned and that was the end of it. I was surprised he weaned at 11 months. He always loved “nursies.” But one day he just decided he didn’t want it anymore and never asked again. I tried to nurse him one last time and he bit me. So we were done.

Becky says:

I tweeted you about this the other day. But, when I saw your post, I had to read it.

I nursed both of my babies for over a year and, even though it was always a really rough start and I had to eat and eat and eat to keep up with the milk production, there’s nothing in the world I would trade it for. It’s those moments of them smiling while nursing, giggling while latching and sticking fingers in our mouths that make it so warm and memorable.

I’m so glad that I’ll have those memories forever, even if they will forget. But, what they will keep is that closeness they feel with me, the safety and comfort I give them with a snuggle. I love that you have a photo of her nursing. I didn’t think to take one of either of the kids. I will definitely do it with the next. There’s no other time they look like that!

Joanna says:

Reading this, I’m SO not looking forward to weaning. I hope it will be easy and ‘natural’- and, ideally, child-led. I’m a working mom, too, and nursing is the way DS & I reconnect at the end of the day, after we’ve been separated. Going to just cuddles will be hard for ME. Way to go finding a new groove with Little J- sounds like she’s doing great with it.

And, “soon enough I’ll have another nursling”? Did I miss an announcement?

Betsy says:

It made me so sad to read this! My little girl is 11 months and I do not see an end to nursing anytime soon. At this point it is still my favorite part of our relationship. I hope to nurse until at least 2! Good for you for nursing over a year. Hope it continues to go well for you.

Seana says:

Congratulations Momma! You did it when you weren’t positive you could. 17 fun months of a special bond! I stopped at 1 year with both my babies…couldn’t stand to go any longer. So congrats that it is not so hard to wean for you guys, congrats on getting your body back to yourself, and congrats to Lil J growing up and starting a new and exciting stage in her life…toddler-hood without nursing! Yay for you guys!

You are always so great at putting feelings into words. This was great. It brought me right back to the last time I nursed my son, Colston. It is still a little emotional for me, so expect to feel that little pang every now and then.
And as you said at the end, one day there will be another little one to nurse, so even though we are nto there as yet, I am looking forward to new nursing adventures :).

I know it’s such a tough process. You’ll get there. So bittersweet. I enjoy nursing Princess and I know the end is near too:(.

I know it’s such a tough process. You’ll get there. So bittersweet. I enjoy nursing Princess and I know the end is near too:(.

Galaxia says:

aww : ( bittersweet : )

i’ve heard nursing was really hard so it’s awesome that you did it for 17 months!

Good Job! I nursed both mine while working full time. It’s not easy. My daughter nursed until 16mos and my son until 13/14 mos. For him, he was ready. I was actually trying to get him to nurse and he didn’t want to. I wasn’t quite ready to stop, but he was. It is bittersweet. I miss some of it.

I live for snuggles now. 🙂

Noah's Crew says:

Thanks for sharing this, I m weaning my 12mth old and this lets me know we are right on track , though its bitter sweet 🙂 Im glad to have done it, but at the same time I m ready for the new status quo

Dr fomsky says:

It’s good thing you didn’t know it wasn’t going to be your last time or you would have been sadder.

Quiana says:

Awww yes, I remember your tweet! Lil J is growing up. I can’t wait to get there! For the first time Nia skipped our morning nursing session this past Sunday morning in the busy-ness to get to church and while I was elated, it resulted in me leaking at church. Had to cover up with a nametag! LOL!

I’m so not looking forward to weaning. It’s the only way I can get her to sleep in or take a nap when we’re home so I don’t know how to break the habit. When she’s sleepy she starts smacking the Boppy pillow (or rather, she grabs it and collapses on the floor crying next to it since it’s kinda big to move). Maybe I should just hide the Boppy, though that doesn’t help me in the mornings when I’m trying to get her to sleep longer.

YUMMommy says:

I was a little emotional when Moo stopped breastfeeding because that had been ‘our’ thing. But now we have plenty of things that we do to keep our bond strong. Glad you all are finding a new routine.

This made me cry. THinking about Sol weaning literally freaks me out. I don’t offer any more and have had to limit her nursing sessions because I am so pregnant, and if we’re giong to be successful at tandem nursing I need her to be able to learn to wait until the baby is done, and not HAVE to nurse as much especially at night. Well about a month ago, I was touched out and didn’t nurse her before bed, and then we woke up late and she couldn’t nurse then either b/c we were rushing.(those are pretty much her only 2 nursing sessions during the week, and on the weekend we nurse a little long in the mornings). I also used to nurse her at school, when I went to pick her up. But she stopped asking b/c she was too busy trying to convince me to let her stay a little longer and play. That night after she didn’t get nursed to sleep, because she was extra tired, and went to bed without asking. That night I cried b/c I thought it was the end. I wouldn’t offer unless she asked, and I was afraid she wouldn’t ask again. Well to my surprise she woke up in the middle of the night asking to nurse (which she still does every night, even though I stopped nursing her throughout the night like 2 months ago). I didn’t nurse her, b/c I didn’t wanna get back in the cycle of up veery 2-3 hrs to nurse. I told her she could nurse when the sun came out, and sure enough she was up bright and early making sure we had time to nurse before going to school. My heart was relieved. And since we’ve been nursing 2 sessions per day before bed (but not letting her fall asleep while nursing), and upon waking for a little while. The sessions are really short, b/c its hard for me to get comfy while nursing with this big ole belly. But its easy to distract her and draw her attention elsewhere. And she has started asking very nicely for milk versus just slapping my chest and pulling my shirt up or down…

Jessica says:

i…i can’t. lol

I just stopped nursing my son after the year mark and it was soo hard for me! He did amazing, and has taken it like a champ, but I cried after putting him to bed for a few days. It’s so hard still…Good luck with the process!

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Hi! I’m Jennifer Borget


I'm a former journalist, and lifelong creator striving to make the world a better place. This is the space where I share my journey in making the most of every day by cherishing our individuality and celebrating our differences.

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