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Thread: Depressed about Weaning

  1. #1

    Default Depressed about Weaning

    Seriously, sitting here crying my eyes out. I always had the goal to nurse until 2. I said in the past that I would slowly start weaning at 18 months, but when 18 months came around I wasn't ready and neither was he. So I just kept going. Now he'll be 2 in 3 weeks. I am just so depressed about weaning him.

    I'm a single mom, and I honestly have never had a problem with nursing. He's had some bad habits at times but nursing is a HUGE part of my relationship with him. I feel like weaning him will be removing a giant part of our relationship. A huge part of me and a huge part of him will just be gone..

    Why am I weaning? He's supposed to start staying with his dad overnights in the summer.. and also staying over at my mother's place occasionally. He still nurses throughout the night. And I guess.. at one point I felt like I was ready to have my body back. Sometimes I feel like he owns my chest and he gets mad at me for not nursing right away or even for sleeping on my stomach..

    My family has been supportive until this point. Now I am started to get a lot of comments on how it's "weird" or "creepy" to nurse past two. So it feels like if I did keep going I would have to avoid seeing my family completely. And avoid taking him out long because he asks to nurse in public and has a melt down if I say no to him.

    I feel like my heart is breaking over this. How am I supposed to just get rid of something that means so much to both of us? I am not sad about him growing up at all, I'm actually excited. But I am really depressed about this...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2010

    Default Re: Depressed about Weaning

    Hi Momma,

    I haven't BTDT, but I have read many times on these forums that babies have a way of knowing when mum isn't available and will surprisingly settle without the boob when she's not there. Also, once your baby is over about the one year mark, your body becomes pretty effective at coping with irregular feeding patterns.

    I wanted to reassure you that spending the occasional night apart does not mean you have to wean! You may want to practice hand expressing or get hold of a pump, to help with any enforcement you may feel.

    I'm sorry that your family is giving you such a hard time about doing what is best for your baby, and works for the two of you. There is plenty of evidence out there for why 'extended' breastfeeding should be practiced. If you think it will help to back yourself up with some evidence then check out the KellyMom site (http://www.kellymom.com/).

    Mum to Alexander, born 2nd April 2010

    Still at a year and when apart
    Part time cloth and

    Midna is our cat - it made sense at two in the morning whilst hunting for help!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: Depressed about Weaning

    I wouldn't wean just because he's going to spend some nights away. He's going to miss you, with or without nursing. My husband took over my daughter's nighttime parenting and we continued to nurse for a few more months... she just knew that she wouldn't nurse if daddy was the one that came in.

    If people are not being supportive, just don't talk to them about it. It's not their business.

    Mommy to
    Lilah 10/08 nursed 25 months
    Beatrix 01/11 nursed 30 months

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Northern Cal.

    Default Re: Depressed about Weaning

    with PPs! After two, you guys can both adjust to having some nights apart, without having to wean entirely. You can also start enforcing breastfeeding "rules" a bit more - you don't have to nurse in public if you're not comfortable with that. Try reasoning with your baby - you might be amazed at how much he can understand and accept. I tell my baby all the time, "milkies belong to mama - mama likes to share milkies with you when we BOTH want to." The ladies on this forum have helped me feel more confident about setting some limits without weaning.

    You can call me JoMo!

    Mom to baby boy Joe, born 5/4/09 and breastfed for more than two and a half years, and baby girl Maggie, born 7/9/12.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2011

    Default Re: Depressed about Weaning

    Hi there,

    I think it is wonderful that you enjoy such a bond with your son and he is still nursing, it is something only you and him share and others who don't nurse don't get it.

    I can tell you that I have an 11 month old daughter and she nursed until 9 days ago when she got Thrush and stopped abruptly. This has been so devastating to me (more so me than her it seems). I am going to try and work through it with her and get her back to the breast, but the more time that goes by, the more I think it won't happen.

    My point in telling you this is that if I could go back to nursing again, I would in a heart beat. I wouldn't wean unless you and him are ready to, or unless you absolutely have to. I agree with the other posts about possibly giving him some boundaries with the nursing.

    I should also mention, that I agree children are extremely adaptable and they just know that when mom is not around, that breast feeding is not possible. My daughter is fine with my husband when I am gone, but if I am here, she wants me no matter what. She even will go to sleep for him, whereas me, I HAD to nurse her to sleep or she wouldn't sleep.

    I wish you peace in whatever decision you make
    Mother of a wonderful 11 month old baby girl who has been successfully BF all her life.
    DD is currently on a nursing strike...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2010

    Default Re: Depressed about Weaning

    I recently bought "Mothering Your Nursing Toddler". It really helped me with setting limits,etc. It also talks about situations like yours, where you have to be away from the baby.. and also talks about weaning if you do decide to go that route. Lots of good advice all around : )

    I'm going to be very honest with you, and share that I don't have the best relationship with my son's dad. We still live together, but have been talking about living seperately in the future.. and I am panicking about nursing at night. Ben sleeps with me and thats how I get him to sleep. Chris says Ben doesn't "NEED" to nurse, and I tell him he is wrong... So this is a big issue for us if we live seperate. I can see myself in your situation when Ben is 2. (Currently 17 months)
    Nursing is also such a HUGE part of my relationship with my son and I get very emotional every time I think about his future weaning. I am terrified we won't be as close and feel like a huge part of us will be missing. I want him to grow up and enjoy watching him conquer new skills and say new words and become more imaginative in his playing, but am just very very sad to think of that day when weaning happens. 2 is my goal also. And like you i've never had any breastfeeding issues.

    In December and January I was feeling VERY touched out and even thinking about cutting out alot of nursing sessions. Chris talked me into going to Las Vegas for our birthdays and though I didn't really want to go and leave Ben, part of me was thinking how wonderful it would be to get away for 3 days. So I went, and I took my pump, and just pumped pretty frequently. Ben got REALLY sick while we were gone with the flu and wouldn't eat or drink anything for Grandma. I felt so awful and guilty. I know that I had no control over his getting sick, but was so glad when I got home and was able to nurse him and get him rehydrated and resume that breastfeeding relationship.. I haven't felt touched out since then. I was so thankful to be able to cuddle him, nurse him, and make him feel better and mother him the only way I know how. I know that this is an extreme situation, but that was just my experience. It has completely renewed my dedication to pumping, nursing frequently etc

    I think it would be absolutely feasible to pump while he is staying overnight with dad or g-ma.. or even not to.. and you would still be able te resume nursing when you ARE together. Or maybe you could show your family some stuff on extended breastfeeding.
    Hey, maybe you could keep breastfeeding him, pump when he is away, and not tell them he is still nursing so it is never even an issue lol!!
    Either way, the overnight stays don't have to be the end.

    Just don't feel like you are alone, because you totally aren't : )

    Momma to Benjamin, we recently made it nursing to age 2!!!!

    Benjamin born 9-17-09

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2008

    Default Re: Depressed about Weaning

    sorry you are feeling depressed over the possibility of weaning.
    I found that simply answering people who asked if we had weaned yet with "we are working on it." to satisfy their need to know. FWIW, once you have started solids you are technically starting the weaning process. I didn't explain that to most people though.

    I nursed my ds1 for around 19 months. he weaned on his own when I became pg with ds2. So in order to be fair, I wanted to nurse ds2 at least until he was 19 months. When that point came he was no where near being ready to wean, so his deadline kept getting shoved back. I was very careful to listen to his responses to my gentle nudges towards weaning. He weaned on his own, just before his third birthday.

    During his second year, I did have some extremely long days where I had to be away from him. My supply was not affected and he was eager to resume nursing once we were reunited.

    As far as weaning changing your relationship with your lo: it will change but that is not necessarily a bad thing. You will learn to relate to each other in new ways.
    Proud mom of 2 boys, both weaned gradually and with love.

    Find a local LLL leader

    For each and every one of us, the person from whom we can learn the most is our own baby: listen to him. - Mary White, LLL co-founder

    The best-kept secret in child psychology is that children who were never spanked are among the best behaved."
    Murray Straus, Ph.D.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Houston, TX

    Default Re: Depressed about Weaning

    I used to say I wanted my body back and that I was ready for DD to wean but just recently she weaned during the day. She wouldn't ask for it, so I wouldn't offer. This removed a lot of the guilt off me because I wasn't refusing at all. I didn't, wouldn't and won't, deal with tantrums/crying bouts because of me withholding the beloved boobie. If bfing doesn't bother you or your son, then disregard what others think...they're not in your shoes and they don't feel that bond that's there. Weaning, itself, is kind of sad because that bond or "routine" get disrupted. It's like something very special has come to an end. BUT I've realized, in my experience, that I'm really enjoying and 'filling' that time doing other things with her like going to the park, having play dates, running errands ("window shopping" ), having lunch or a snack together, reading books, etc. This has helped because I'm loving and enjoying seeing her really become toddler-ish and spending that time actually doing something together instead of being stuck on the coach She still 'just has to have' her boobie at night though to fall asleep, but that's ok because it's re-connecting time. I always thought we needed to be completely weaned to feel like I had myself back, but that wasn't true at all. It doesn't have to be "all or nothing."

    Just because your DS will be spending the night here or there doesn't mean you have to wean all together. You could always bf just whenever he asks for it whether it's during the day, night or afternoon Go with it: if he asks for it then happily nurse him, if not then don't worry. He knows when it available to him and who can "supply" him with the boobis

    My initial bfing goal was 6mths and DD is almost 2yrs old: If I had listened to those who told me it was "weird", I would have only bf her for 3mths and would have missed out on an incredible bond and experience, despite all the challenges! He's YOUR son, and bfing is between the 2 of you. It's YOUR relationship. Who cares what other think! If you 2 aren't ready, then you're not ready and there's nothing wrong with that. Enjoy every minute without shame.
    If everyone supported you bfing him as long as possible, would you still be depressed and crying over it? Probably not. So don't let anyone make you feel bad or "dictate" your emotions
    I'm a SAHM to
    #1 Alyssa 5/26/09 BF for exactly 25 1/2mths
    #2 Emily 11/7/11 completely self-weaned at 20 mths
    #3 Victoria 12/16/13

    New sights, new goals, new directions...

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2009

    Default Re: Depressed about Weaning

    I second the "Mothering your Nursing Toddler" I know toddlers who nurse every few days so really if you're not ready to give it up then just nurse when you're together and it works out. My dd is 19 months and I want to also nurse her till she's two or older but if it's depressing to think about weaning then it really doesn't sound like you're ready. I'm not either and probably won't be on her birthday, either.
    Nursed my sweet daughter 3 years, 3 mos.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2010

    Default Re: Depressed about Weaning

    My DD is about to turn two, as well.

    I have a terrible work schedule, where I work very long hours - and for weeks at a time, I work nights. Then I work (long) days again. Then a few nights. It's not easy to have changes in routine like that just in general... but the nursing part has actually worked out ok. When I'm home during the days and working nights, she nurses a bunch during the day. When I'm working long days and home at night, she co-sleeps and nurses at night.

    It sounds like there's going to be plenty that's hard about the new arrangement - I can see how having nursing stay a bond between you would be a big help. And your feeling of needing your body back might go down when you have some official time off, as well.

    I'll be thinking of you!

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