I came into this breastfeeding journey without a plan really. I knew from research that breast is best, but no one in my family had breastfed their kids so my only knowledge was what I had read and from friends who were breastfeeding their children. I thought that I would commit to breastfeeding Aiden until he was 6 months old but we got off to a rough start and I only got him off supplemental formula when he was 2 months old. I thought "why stop so soon when it took us a while to get here?" So we kept going...
|Just finished nursing at my friend Quiana's Holiday Party. Lol!|
I'm glad we are still breastfeeding and the World Health Organization actually recommends breastfeeding for two years! But honestly, I cannot see myself continuing until Aiden is two years old. I want so much to do what is best for him but is it wrong to say that I want something for me also? It ain't easy being someones food source and I think I have just about had it. Here's why:
1) The Pump -- I work from 9-5:30 every day with a one hour commute in each direction. You do the math... I spend lots of time away from Aiden so I have to pump at the office to maintain milk supply and make sure that Aiden has bottles for when I am away. Pumping is really, really, annoying! My supply has gone down considerably and I believe it is due to the pump. It's like my body knows that I am not really nursing a baby and produces less milk for the pump. I nurse Aiden on weekends all day and we never have problems with milk supply.
2) Bottles and Babysitting -- because I need to save the expressed breast milk for when I go to work, I can hardly ever get a night out with my husband, or a dinner out with a friend. Right now, I literally have enough bottles in my fridge for Aiden to get through TODAY. Whatever I bring home today will be for tomorrow and so on. We used to have a freezer supply but somehow we went through it and it is extremely stressful to have to worry about this. What if my train home is delayed? It's like, I have no wiggle room... the worst part is that people don't understand this. I can't go out! I find myself explaining over and over why I can't make it to something because there just aren't enough bottles to leave Aiden with a babysitter.
3) Teeth -- mostly, I LOVE nursing Aiden. He is such a wiggly, squirmy little guy and he loves to get into everything so during breastfeeding is the only time he will stay still. He will let me hold him and cuddle him and I love it... but now, he has teeth! He started showing teething symptoms at around 6 weeks old and I thought he'd be an early teether but month after month would go by and nothing. On his 9 month birthday, we noticed his first tooth poking through (the top middle one) and by his 10 month birthday he now has 5 teeth! Two on top, three on the bottom. It was not an easy month for him but he now loves to BITE things.. including me. This is NOT cool.
4) Night time -- We co-sleep with Aiden and this is mostly because he is still waking up throughout the night to nurse. I love him to death but I am sort of ready to have my own bed back. Honestly, in the middle of the night I go into "survival mode" and just do whatever works to get him back to sleep quickly. This is usually just sticking a boob in his mouth. But eventually, he is going to need to sleep in his own room and I am dreading the process of getting him used to this. I think that if he is weaned it will start to move us in that direction. My approach on this is very "Dr. Sears" so I really want to do this in a way that will be gradual and show Aiden that his room is awesome and he is safe in there by himself.
5) Solids -- Aiden has taken to solids like a champ! He is now beginning to master finger foods (I have been terrified of choking so I waited to introduce them until he had teeth) and he loves to eat! He eats fruit, veggies, grains, protein, dairy (cheese and yogurt), and he loves to drink water from a cup. I feel like he is getting a lot of nutrition from solids so I am not worried about that.
I know that breastfeeding is more of a comfort for Aiden and while that may seem less important than nutrition, I think it is equally if not more important. I don't want weaning to be a traumatic experience for him and I do believe from research that breastfed babies actually turn out to be more independent and emotionally secure children because of it. I am trying to stay focused here and do what is best for Aiden... but I am so ready for the next two months to fly by so that we can get started on weaning.
If anyone has any advice... please share!