It's amazing that you've battled on this far.
When weaning is baby-led, it's usually pretty easy. Unless the baby goes on an abrupt nursing strike, the way your first baby did, the weaning process is generally very long, taking many months or even years to complete. This long goodbye gives supply plenty of time to slowly decrease, reducing the chance that mom will get engorged or come down with plugged ducts or mastitis. If you pursue mother-led weaning, you want to try to mimic this slow process to a certain extent. Cut a single feeding from your day and replace it with solids or a bottle of formula (if baby is <1 year) or whole cow's milk (if baby is >1 year). Wait a few days, and then cut out another feeding.
Mother-led weaning isn't something that is likely to happen without stress, sadness, and pushback from the baby. An older nursling who knows exactly what she wants and how to express her desires- she's not going to give up without some sort of struggle. It really helps to do some or all of the following:
- Avoid your customary nursing locations. If baby sees you sitting in your favorite nursing chair, that may cue her to nurse.
- Stay out and about as much as possible. Babies often forget to nurse when out in public, where there are so many interesting things to see and do.
- Get help! If dad or grandma can take over for you at nursing time, baby will not want to nurse because substitute caregivers don't have what baby wants. Having a sub take over at bedtime, naotime, or the first morning wake-up can be really helpful, because in my experience those are the feedings that babies Rely on more than any others.
Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"