I had never planned to breastfeed longer than 12 months with my first child and stopping breastfeeding my baby before then was something I just planned. I know it is possible and plenty do but I was going back to work and it was just something I wanted to do at the time. Our breastfeeding journey started a little shakily but after she was born we did manage and she LOVED her breastmilk. I struggled with how much she did drink, the cluster feeding and the constant hunger it seemed. People complained they couldn’t hold her for long, as she would want feeding again and I did start to feel little fed up in the early days.
My eldest was an early weaner though. She was taking baby rice and fruit and veggie purees at around 4 1/2 to 5 months. This stepped up pretty quickly and it wasn’t long before she was having little meals, with her feeds in between.
We had tried for ages to find a bottle that she would take with a bit of formula in but around 8 months my auntie finally found us one! This meant the gremlin would take a bottle in the afternoon and first thing in the morning. We cut the mid-morning feed out early on as she would have her lunch and promptly vomit. I had two lovely occasions with anything tomato based. (which stressed me out so much as all my meals are pretty much tomato-based!). I soon realised she was full up and that morning feed was too much. We switched it to water and a banana. Since having
I was quite happy chugging along with the evening breast feed as I knew that would be the last one to drop. It did want to make the most of it as well as I knew the time would be precious. Bottles get downed so quickly compared to a breastfeed so I was enjoying my evening cuddles and watching my gremin get milk-drunk as she fed away and dozed.
Stopping Breastfeeding my Baby
Then my daughter started to get her teeth. Now, I am no way confirming the myth that you cannot breastfeed when your child gets their teeth but for me it was a deal breaker. I was bitten a good 2-3 times. Enough to bring tears to my eyes. I knew it was the start of stopping breastfeeding my baby. I started to bring out the bottle at bedtime. My girlie was good; she would have some and finish on the breast. This started to steadily increase and soon she was taking the bottle of milk at night with no fuss at all. We could leave her in bed with it and she would fall asleep.
I thought I was done and this was actually quite well-timed with a holiday we were going on. I hadn’t expected to be done before this. However, I had one more feed with her before it was finished. On the flight out my girl was unsettled as I made the fatal error of moving when she was asleep. When we descended to avoid any further hysteria I breast-fed her until her landed. This was my final feed. I remember waking up the next day afterwards to the smallest boobs ever and all my bikinis I bought did not fit! They seemed to disappear overnight!
When I look back I don’t feel sad about it. I feel happy. I succeeded and apart from a few hiccups at the start it has been a great. The breastfeeding journey ended so smoothly; I was surprised. I was dreading having my daughter so upset as she came off but she never was. I’d had a great 10 months and we were both happy. I did miss the long cuddles and her little searching cute nose and mouth around my nipple but she was growing up and other things to follow were just as cute and exciting.
Plus, some cheeky cocktails on holidays numbed the pain of my rapidly disappearing chest!
How about you? How did your breastfeeding journey end?
So glad that you had such a smooth transition from breast to bottle – being bitten is never fun and I think if Sophie hadn't been feeding quite so frequently when she went through that phase I might have stopped too. We had a similar transition when Jessica stopped feeding – she always had to have formula top-ups anyway and it just got to the stage that she was taking more of them and less from me. Glad you got to enjoy a few cheeky cocktails on your holiday as a result! 🙂
So glad you had a memorable journey through breastfeeding! What a beautiful story to share
Unfortunately with my first I only fed her for 2 weeks, but am 30 weeks pregnant now with my second and determined to make it work this time. So hopefully that final feed will be a lot later on x
Mine was sad, I fed twins and that in itself was pretty tricky, but managed for 5 and a half months. I so wanted to be a Mum who fed for quite a long period, but proud I did that far even with a mastitis attack and Drs saying give up. Final feed for two a bit sad, wistful but proud.
It sounds like you had a wonderful end to your breastfeeding journey….
I was surprised by how well my two adjusted, too. I fed both of mine until they were 9 months old, as by then their top teeth had come in, and like you, I had a couple of incidents! They were fine with it, and I was happy to have fed them for that amount of time. Thanks for sharing with #WotW x
I stopped at 6 months as had to return to work
Still going at 4 years 5 months, so no final feed yet.
My final 'attempt' at breastfeeding was when our twins were around 3 weeks old. They were premature and I'd tried around the clock to breastfeed as well as express for them, but they were just too small. They were in NICU for 27 days and in the end we bottle fed them my milk, so although I didn't breastfeed, I did express for them so they still had my milk. Great competition, I've entered. Thanks for linking up to the #BinkyLinky
What a lovely journey, and I am glad that you managed to get a few cocktails in on holiday! I hope that we can let my daughter self wean, we are still going at 20 months so no last feed for us yet, and I hope it's a few more months before we do
Mine hasn't finished yet but my little boy is 18 months
This post, and your ending journey, reminded me of my time with mine. It is emotional and 12 months later we tried the transition from breast to sipy cup and they both seems to accept it without too much difficulty.
A lovely beautifully written post thanks for linking to the Binkylinky
This is a great reminder of how diverse women and our breastfeeding journeys are. I’m so glad and encouraged that your breastfeeding journey ended so smoothly.
I am still breastfeeding my 2 1/2 year old daughter during sleep, but I day weaned her about eight months ago. She took it very well. Actually, she initiated it. But oh my word, I had no idea how bad the hormones can be during weaning!
I will a post on it as I was going through the first few days (https://mamarissa.com/weaning-from-breastfeeding-an-emotional-and-physical-journey/) because I knew other mamas needed to learn this stuff. I don’t think most women realize how difficult it can be to wean from breastfeeding – physically and emotionally