First I want to share something that i wrote to a friend when we were amidst weaning. I was having a hard time accepting it but its part of our "story"
We have been down to nursing just once at night. Every few days or so, Cooper would wake and cry for milk and point at my shirt. Made me want to cry everytime. Still does just thinking about it.
This morning, when he woke up for the day, he asked for milk. only this time he was pointing towards the fridge. So i went up and got him a sippy cup of milk and he took it right away and drank some. Usually if I offer the cup, he would get mad.
I'm guessing he is now associating 'milk' as cows milk and not mommys milk.
Man, this is so hard! He really has been doing this on his own once I started the Dr Jay Gordon method. I think he was ready. Two nights now, he slept until 3 a.m.-4 a.m. before he woke up and then went right back to sleep for a few more hours. A few weeks ago this kid was up every two hours. My baby is growing up, and its a lot harder on me than I thought it would be. Something we've depended on for 21 months will soon be no more.
I think weaning was so much easier for us, due in part that we would travel a lot to see our family on the weekends. When Cooper was just over a year, I noticed that when we were up north, he wouldnt nurse at all during the day. There was just too much going on. and A lot of the time, he wouldnt nurse during a nap either, but still at nighttime. I thought he would get back to nursing during the day when we got home b/c thats what usually happened. But it didnt. So I realized he did very well with distraction. So he would nurse during the night and when he woke up, nap time and at night before bed. In between, it was very easy to keep him entertained to distract him. Although, he didnt seem to want it anyway, so I really dont think I need to go out of my way to distract him. He really eliminated day time nursing on his own and fast.
Then when I had my trip away last month, DH said we should use that as an opportunity to night wean him, since he would be with out for a night anyway. So I looked up Dr Jay Gordons method for night weaning, made sure DH read it b/c he never reads anything RE: parenting. And when I got back, thats what we did. And it went so smoothly. I did modify so that I could take a bit longer with each step than he says (3 days per step)Cooper did get mad a few times, but it was so easy to get him back to sleep. I just had to talk to him and let him know i was there, pat his back. I took that as a sign that he was ready. He was nursing at least 5 times during the night some nights more, some less (rarely) and within two weeks he was down to one nursing session. After a week of this, I just didnt offer the breast to see what he would do. Nothing, no fussing, crying, grabbing at me. He literally rolled over and went to sleep when I started rubbing his back.
Eliminating nap time was pretty easy too. He would wake up two or three times during his nap, and i would nurse him back to sleep. one day I just didnt do it, I picked him up and rocked him back to sleep. Or walked him around, or layed next to him and rubbed his back. Just two days later, he was finally sleeping 2 hours straight without waking. No issues with waking since.
I dont know if I was just lucky, or if he was just plain ready.
I've always had a friend who was one step ahead of me in everything, her son was a few months older. it was nice to have someone who went through it before me so I knew what to expect. Her son weaned just as smoothly, so I have faith BIG TIME in the fact that they wean when they are ready. But for us it did take some gently pushing, but he went with it.
Every day I think about how much I miss it. But I miss cuddling on the couch and nursing and we havent done that in almost a year. I dont know if its weird that I miss it so much, but I do. I hope with my next child, we can be successful in BF too.
Sweet book i just wrote there...sorry. But i thought if I shared how we did it, it might help someone else too!
(Thanks Shelly for asking about this. i have been having my moments of sadness about it, and I feel better sharing our experience)