I night-weaned my daughter 2 weeks ago - she was 18 1/2 months. She did fine and I am pleased with how it all went. It seems like she's nursing less during the daytime (most days, but some seem like it's a lot) and I choose to offer sometimes, but most of the time I don't, I just nurse her when she asks. Tonight she nursed at 5:30pm. Then around 8:30pm we started our regular bedtime routine. I sat in the rocking chair in her room where I always nurse her at naps and bedtime and exposed my breast for her to nurse, she climbed up in my lap and went cradle position like she was going to nurse, but put her pacifier in her mouth. I talked to her about what we did that day, which I always do, and she listened and then went to sleep as I rocked her. I put her in her bed and that was it. I can't believe she didn't nurse and I don't know if I should cry or be happy.
I have been nursing her when she wakes up anytime before 10:30pm and then after 6am. And a few nights I went in and nursed her before I went to bed if she hadn't woken up yet. But, I'm wondering if I should go in and nurse her tonight if she doesn't wake up before 10:30pm or should I just let her be? Part of me feels maybe she is starting to wean herself a little and I'm not sure if I should offer or follow those cues of weaning? It seems like a long time to go from 5:30pm to 6am, although she ate a good dinner at 6:15pm. I'm just confused because I want to do what she wants/needs. I don't want to continue nursing if she doesn't want to, but I also don't want it to end. I feel like this is a fine line at her age (19months). I never knew nursing/weaning could be this emotional before I had my baby. The other thing is, is it normal to feel emotional about other people weaning - I met a lot of women from a nursing group in my town and we've gotten close - most of their babies are 4-6 months younger than mine, and they are weaning or have weaned their little ones. I feel so sad about it! But why?
Any insight would be helpful!
Weaning is such a hard time for all involved! The emotional and physical changes throw many of us for a loop!
The decision to nurse her tonight is yours, and that time may already be past, since I'm a few hours past your post. There's no perfect answer, you have to do what feels right to you (and her!).
As for the longterm weaning, you can't force her to nurse. If she still wants to, she will. Weaning an older baby/toddler is often a gradual process, with fits and starts, changes in pattern and routine, and unexplainable increases and decreases in nursing frequency. Weaning is rarely a smooth, gradual curve. Rarely does a mother think "gosh, I wish I hadn't nursed her that one last time", but often, mothers think "gosh, I wish she wasn't weaned already!".
The emotions you describe about the choices other mothers make are normal. Some of us recognize ourselves in them, and how our life may be different had we made slightly different choices. It can also be a reflection of your personal feelings about nursing, weaning, and childrearing in general. It's ok to feel sad about it. If it really starts to get to you, try repeating to yourself "It's not my baby" over and over til you get distracted by the beauty that is your own child. :hug