The Weaning Milestone

By: Mirranda Reinhardt for Pregnancy Awareness Month®

Last month marked a significant milestone in my parenting journey. It was a milestone that, some days, I thought would never come and others that I wished could be postponed inevitably.  My final child, now age 2 ½ is fully weaned. I can’t say that it was 100 percent baby lead, but it was pretty darn close. It was a gentle and slow process and he transitioned happily to his “sippy milk”.

It is certainly a bittersweet moment. I’ve nursed three children, for a combined total of seventy-four months and to think that those days are gone forever is a little sad. I’ve been a breastfeeding advocate since my first child was born ten years ago when I was just eighteen. I’ve never had a time in my adult life that I wasn’t breastfeeding or at the very least planning to breastfeed the next little one. It’s difficult to grasp the finality of this moment because breastfeeding is all I’ve ever known. I am happy though, because I know that my children are moving on to new and exciting stages.

In an effort to ease my melancholy, I figured I’d take a trip down memory lane with you. These are the things that I won’t miss about breastfeeding.

Two piece pajamas- no exceptions- Being the frugal mama that I am, I never invested in those fancy schmancy nursing nightgowns. Looking back, I wish I had ponied up for at least one. Instead I wore two piece pajamas every night for years because I figured out really fast that hiking up three feet of material to get baby latched on in the middle of the night is far from convenient. Two nights ago I donned a nightgown for the first time in years and I have to say, I kind of liked it.

Nipple twiddling- All three of my babies were nipple twiddlers. If you’ve had one, you know exactly what I’m talking about. As you nurse them on one side, their hands are drawn like magnets to the other nipple. When they find it, they twiddle or pull and generally drive their mamas crazy. No amount of distracting, moving their little hands, extra layers of clothing or duct tape kept my babies from zoning in on their target. I’m just kidding about the duct tape, although I did think about taping myself up a time or two.

Nursing bras- This is one part of breastfeeding that I will never look back on and miss. There are cute nursing bras out there, but mine were not among them. I opted for basic and utilitarian and while they got the job done they certainly didn’t make a fashion statement. I’m looking forward to shopping and looking for form over function.

I know these are silly things to be looking forward to. In reality, I’m more trying not to think about what I’ll miss. My little man was ready to wean and it was a good time for us as a nursing pair. However, I will miss those early morning nursing sessions in bed, that sweet little face looking up at me with milk dribbling from the corner of his mouth and the knowledge that I can solve any problem in his little world just by nursing him. My nursing days are gone for good; it’s a bittersweet milestone to be sure.

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