Thanks for hopping over from Renegade Feminist and welcome to my post for the Keep Britain Breastfeeding Scavenger Hunt Day 6 The End of the Journey; sponsors today include Close Parent who are providing an organic Close Caboo Organic Carrier, a £20 voucher from Burble Baby and a breastfeeding necklace of your choice from Baby Beads for our Grand Prize winner. Over £700 worth of goodies are up for grabs – get your entries via the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post.
As World Breastfeeding Week draws to a close, it’s appropriate that the final theme is on the end of our breastfeeding journey.
I’m not sure when I decided that it was time to stop feeding. I’m not sure it was a decision I came too abruptly or whether it just kind of happened. I’m not even sure if it was all me or whether the toddler played his part too.
My last feed was sat in a food court, in the middle of Aquaventure in Dubai when the Toddler was 11 months old (See public feeding anywhere in Dubai!) after a morning breakfast of pancakes and handling the headache of the hangover from a Dubai brunch the day before. Later that night when he woke in the night, he refused feeding from me. Like that our journey was done.
I guess in a way I shouldn’t be surprised, we introduced a bottle of expressed milk EVERY DAY from 3 months old as his feed from Daddy after the bath. In time he accepted it from Mummy as well. Then that bottle shifted to a bottle of formula around 8 months, as it became a mission to pump everyday to get him the 7ozs he would drown. I only had a manual pump and it was taking me a good 30-45 minutes each day. Attached and squeezing. Like a cow. 30-45 minutes where I could have been crawling round after my commando crawler. 30-45 minutes that, I felt, could have been better spent. And so, with no guilt (oh ok with a modicum of guilt) I introduced formula.
The weeks went past and turned into months and the formula worked fine. More than fine in fact. He happily switched between the two but always preferring mummy cuddles for sleep.
Then around 10 months I switched out the next feed for a bottle. For no other reason than I had a routine waker and I was no longer confident in the fact I was producing enough milk in the afternoon. A fact I now know to be wrong and irrational. But it felt good at the time to know he had drank at least 7oz of milk at lunch and 7oz before bed before his milky cuddles.
That was the beginning of the end. Bottles are easier for a baby to get milk out of. He became a lazy baby. And the world continued to get more and more interesting. And our milky cuddles dwindled. He still fed every morning and through the night. It was still my ultimate way to comfort him.
Then that final feed in Aquaventure. Later that night as he woke I did my usual and he turned his nose up. So I cuddled him to sleep. And didn’t offer again.
I definitely wouldn’t say he self weaned he definitely had a decent push from me to do so.
Am I sad at the way our journey ended?
No. I was pleased to have my body back. For him to be less reliant on me to sleep. To start going to the gym at 7 and not worry that I’d have to rush back to him and feed him all sweaty.
I loved every minute of our journey right up until the end, so much so it was never a doubt that I’d give it my best shot feeding Baby Boy. And who knows where this journey will take me, as I’m starting to realise, every baby is different as is every parenting experience. One thing I do know is, I’m going to enjoy the ride!
For more posts on the end of a breastfeeding journey and MORE chances to enter please hop on over to Mum in a NutshellFacebook, see you there!