Last week we did something that I had long been procrastinating about. I had said I would and then I wouldn’t for over 10 months. I didn’t know if she could handle it. If I could handle it. Then I saw a window, a portal, and I knew that it was time to wean my baby girl from breastmilk at almost 22 months old. Just writing this makes me want to cry. I had thought about this moment and built it up so much in my head. Chloe was completely fine, I however was not.
Since I had become pregnant with my two babies so close (19 months apart) I had been pregnant or breastfeeding for a total of 4 years, 1 month and 5 days. That’s 1497 days of giving my body to my children and the thought of weaning broke me.
I never had a goal when it came to breastfeeding. I had even purchased a tin of baby formulae when I was pregnant with Ari ‘just in case I couldn’t feed.’ Not once did I put pressure or expectation on myself with a deadline. It turned out that I loved breastfeeding and ended up feeding not only my babies but safely donated milk to other little ones who needed it too.
The week before I decided to wean Coco I was on a photoshoot with my friends Sam from Laine Tribes. I casually said to her “I think I’m going to wean Chloe next week so let’s take a few pictures of her feeding just in case.” Then the following week she woke up one morning and I decided that I might wean her. So, I took her into bed with me, put my phone down and enjoyed a morning cuddle and a feed. I didn’t make a big deal out of it in my head just let myself think that ok maybe this will be the last time. Then the following day instead of bringing her into bed with me we headed straight downstairs and made up her bottle. She wasn’t fazed at all. I wasn’t fazed at that point either because I had told myself that if I wanted to feed her again later I could. NO PRESSURE AT ALL. Then the days rolled on from there and I realised that I was really doing this. She never asked for it, she’d been used to taking a bottle for a long time, so this really was her time. For me it was soooo emotional. I cried more than once, in fact I am crying now. Some people reading this might think ‘well why didn’t you just keep feeding then?” the answer is because it doesn’t matter when I weaned her I was still going to feel this way. I had given myself months of grace period and kept feeding even though I knew that she was ready. Don’t get me wrong so many times I nearly fed her to satisfy myself, but I needed to take this opportunity where I could see that she was happy and run with that. Isn’t motherhood a funny thing! Now that it’s over I am glad that it’s done. Yay I managed to wean her from me, (or should I say me from her!) And you know what, the love there hasn’t changed one bit! I still get my gorgeous morning cuddle in bed while she guzzles her bottle and plays with my hair. It’s my bliss.
How we weaned
I had introduced a bottle of expressed milk at a young age and loved the flexibility of knowing that my littles were comfortable with boob and my milk through bottle. This made my weaning transition with both very easy. At 12 months I decided to wean Ari and at 13 months (when I was 5 months pregnant with Chloe,) he had his last feed. Funnily enough I don’t even remember it, I think the fact that I knew I would be feeding again comforted me. Also, the fact that he loved his bottle… I mean literally two weeks later I put my boob in his face to see if he was interested and he looked at it like he’d never seen it in his life! I like to take my time with weaning by slowly dropping each feed and trading it for a bottle. My babies have always had three milk feeds per day by 12 months old – when they wake in the morning, after lunch nap and before bed. The before bed feed had been an expressed bottle from quite a young age so this was easy to switch out by mixing my breastmilk with the milk alternative of my choice. I gradually increased the amount of the alternative until it was 100%. The next feed I switched was the after-lunch nap. Finally, the morning feed was always last, where we switched out breastmilk for a bottle and big cuddles in bed. I would generally give at least 2 weeks between dropping each feed. By doing this slowly I also allowed my breasts to settle gradually and never had any issues with feeling too full. With Chloe I started this whole process a bit later.
What we recommend
When weaning a baby one of the first things on a Mother’s mind is what product to wean onto. Knowing that you are giving your baby the best possible is ALWAYS a Mother’s number one priority and doing so make the weaning journey so much easier. There is an overwhelming amount available on the market that it can be nerve wrecking, so I wanted to share what has been tried and tested with my family. What we recommend.
I have been a long-time user and supporter of Bubs Australia. Their range spans from newborn to toddler (age 3) and not only do they produce baby formulae but food products as well. The Bub’s Goat Milk is an exceptional product that I highly recommend and have used for both of my children. We have even travelled overseas with our Bubs products in tow and you can read all about how easy it was here.
10 reasons why I love Bubs Australia for my babies:
1. Australian made.
2. No numbers. No nasties.
3. Premium nutrition – it’s full essential fatty acids, vitamins, prebiotics and other beneficial nutrients.
4. Accredited by the best.
5. Naturally easy to digest for happier tummies
6. Great for little ones who suffer from cow milk protein intolerances or sensitivity, with issues like poor digestion, congestion and skin sensitivity.
8. Is gentle on tummies.
9. Easy to use.
10. Great to travel with.
FOR 20% OFF OF BUBS AUSTRALIA TODDLER GOAT MILK AND BUBS BABY FOOD PRODUCTS, PLEASE USE THE CODE NATALIE20 AT CHECK OUT WHEN PURCHASING DIRECT THROUGH THEIR SITE.
Now the question remains… will I ever feed again!?
As always please remember that I am not a midwife, lactation consult, doctor or any other medical expert. I am just a Mother expressing her journey and opinions.