Weaning My 4 Year Old – For Reals This Time
You could say I’m an expert on weaning. I should be, I’ve been doing it for the last two years. I’ve spent more time trying to wean my daughter than I’ve spent just breastfeeding her. Though admittedly my ambition to wean her comes in waves. And it started out gently, from two years old we did “Don’t offer – Don’t refuse” just to see if she’d wean herself – she did not. She’s required a little more persuasion than that. And we’ve reached the point where self weaning simply is no longer an option for me. She’d happily continue, and that’s fine. But I’m done. So done. It’s time.
Writing about Weaning
On the upside, weaning her has been some pretty good blog-fodder.
I started out very optimistically. I wrote “10 Tips For Gently Weaning A Toddler” two years ago.
One year ago – at a low point I wrote “Weaning A Toddler and Failing” Let me tell you breastfeeding aversion and a boob-obsessed toddler is not fun.
…. And then the next World Breastfeeding Week – still a breastfeeding mother
On the topic of World Breastfeeding Week, three years ago a doctor told me that my daughter was too old to breastfeed and that I should wean her immediately (and asked if she was drinking “Regular milk” – because apparently human breast milk is not regular milk for a human child).
Oh how I love to pop back into that doctor’s office and tell him she’s still breastfeeding. Just to see the look on his face.
Then I should look up the nurse who told me just before my daughter’s 2nd birthday that “The only reason she’s still breastfeeding is because you keep offering it”, and her statement was so utterly absurd that I couldn’t even manage a response. So she gave me this smug gotcha look. I wish I could tell her that she could not be more wrong. If she announced the sky is pink, trees grow upside down and dogs can fly – she could still not be more wrong than telling me that the only reason that my daughter breastfeeds is because I offer it to her.
Then the nurse and I could possibly discuss all the common concerns people have had about breastfeeding preschoolers.
So, what is my spectacular, fool proof, perfect plan to wean my daughter that will totally work THIS time and I won’t be writing another article about breastfeeding her ever ever again, because this phase of my life will be over once and for all……?
I’m going away for 5 days. That’s it. Essentially I’m not going to wean her, her father is. Because I’m the one with the boobs and they seem to keep getting in the way!
I have all my fingers and toes crossed that 5 days is a long enough break from the boob she won’t want it any more.
She’s been warned. We’ve talked about it a lot over the last couple of weeks. She’s moderately okay with the idea. I told her when I get back there won’t be any milk left – she did ask if she could “try and see” if there is when I get back, but I’ve told her that’s it. We won’t try. We won’t see. We don’t go back.
Hopefully it’ll stick.
Hopefully this will be the end of it. This time. For reals.
Have you weaned a particular persistent child? What did the trick in the end? Or did they EVENTUALLY self wean?
*UPDATE: IT WORKED! IT WORKED! I’M FREE AT LAST!!!!!!!!