Musings from the Mom of an Almost One-Year-Old (Part I)

>> Sunday, May 16, 2010

I am feeling really weird, ladies. My little guy is almost one--I can barely believe it :( Along with this huge milestone comes a lot of stress and anxiety and re-evaluating our parenting practices because soon we are going to have a toddler, rather than a baby. Attachment Parenting can be draining, and a lot of the things we've been doing we've said we'd be done with when he was a year old, and then things could get (kind of) back to normal. I'm going to do a little mini-series on my thoughts of moving from the AP mama of a baby to the AP mama of a one year old.

Part I: Weaning

Lately I've been feeling a lot of pressure and stress. For one, we always said we'd start weaning him at around a year. Just thinking about it is enough to make me have a mild panic attack. I don't particularly WANT to wean him, but I also don't want to continue until he's two, and I feel like the longer we wait, the harder its going to be on him.

I am fine with continuing to breastfeed him at bedtime for longer, but I think at the one year mark I'd like to try cutting out daytime sessions. I just have no idea how to go about it. Originally we were going to cut out one feeding a week for eight weeks until we were done, which seemed like it would be a gentle method. However, the idea of him being upset that he can't breastfeed at certain times during the day bothers me. He takes bottles regularly, but I don't like the idea of him wanting to nurse and me telling him no in the morning, but then letting him do it in the afternoon. It seems like it would just confuse him and be stressful for everyone to try to hold him off until the next feeding.

So then I thought, maybe I could just take something to dry up my milk supply. Then I could let him comfort nurse all he wants, but if he actually wants to drink, he'd have to take a bottle. I think this could either work really well, or be really bad.

Then I thought, I could always put vinegar or something on my nipples during the day so that they taste bad, and then it would be his CHOICE to take a bottle. Then at night I'd wash it off so that they wouldn't taste bad, and he'd still be able to night nurse for as long as he needs to. But that seems like a kind of sad way to end something so special.

I am really having a hard time with this. One of the main reasons I want to wean him soon is that it is getting really difficult to nurse in public. He is distractable and wiggly and he pops off a million times. That's fine at home, but out and about I am not comfortable with being totally exposed like that. I'm also not really fine with him just randomly pulling up my shirt to get milk, and I'd prefer that he not. Is there a way I could teach him that we can nurse at home, but not in public?

I need advice. I'm stressing.

More Musings from the Mom of an Almost One Year Old to come. . .



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