Wednesday, 12 June 2013

To boob, or not to boob.

It makes sense to ease myself back into regular blogging with a familiar topic, but this time I'm writing from a new perspective. Something I've never encountered before. I'm apprehensive about saying the words out loud or writing them down here, so this post feels a bit brave for me.

I would like to stop breastfeeding.

There we are; just six little words that have caused me a huge headache in the last month or so!

This concept is new to me because, although I've breastfed all of my other children when they were babies, they each lost interest by the time they turned a year old. I've never had to wean a baby off before, or find alternative ways to get them to sleep at night! Ted is coming up to 13 months old and still very much my little squashy baby. He likes food, but still breastfeeds half a dozen times a day at least, as well as on average twice a night. He still sleeps in my bed, although we've tried (and failed!) to move him into his cot once he's nodded off. He knows! He can be in the deepest sleep, snoring his head off and the very moment he touches the cot mattress, his eyes fling open and he cries as though he's been abandoned for tigers to eat.

I don't mind him sleeping in my bed for the foreseeable future. He's a lovely, cuddly companion and a big part of me will miss having baby snuggles once he's outgrown us. I don't actually know why I feel I would like to stop breastfeeding. I just would. I've loved every minute of it, never minded missing out on nights out, never felt it was a burden to be his sole source of nutrition for the first 6 months. It doesn't bother me now; people tell me he's only using me for comfort, but that's fine. That's what I'm there for! It's just... I don't know. I'd like my body back. I'd like to be able to buy pretty summer clothes without first evaluating them for ease of boob access and degree of discretion for feeding. It's a vanity thing, pure and simple. I don't mind admitting that. Or maybe I do... I don't want to be called selfish for feeling this way and I don't think anyone with a shred of sense about them would say anything like that, but there's a lingering voice at the back of my mind that knows Ted still needs me, in his own little world.

So! Lovely readers... I need some help. I need some tips and advice for gently easing him off breastfeeding. It doesn't matter if it takes weeks or months, so long as it works without breaking his heart! He's quite fond of his sippy cup but all my attempts to introduce formula or cows milk as a drink (I cannot for the life of me express more than a few drops!) have been met with a look of disgust.

I'm sort of trying "don't offer, don't refuse" at the moment but he's quite persistant and doesn't mind letting me know when he thinks it's time! Dummies get thrown at my head. Bottles make excellent tools for banging on the coffee table, but nothing more.

Any suggestions?

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