Well it is official, Maggie is weaned. As of today She hasn't nursed since Friday morning.
I think I had mentioned in a previous post that we had begun the weaning process quite a while back as in the end of November I think... Has it been that long??
I think it has. We decided to take the avenue of slowly removing nursing sessions. I started with getting rid of her midday and afternoon nursing sessions (in retrospect the easiest since I could distract and substitute), then we got rid of the middle of the night session (the hardest to get rid of since there wasn't a way I could really distract her and I didn't want to get her in the habit of a midnight sippy cup). Once she adjusted to that I got rid of the morning session which I ended up bringing back and removing the night time session instead because I wanted to sleep longer in the mornings... Maggie hardly noticed the night time one being removed. We just adjusted her nighttime routine to be PJs, story time with sippy cup, then brush our teeth then bedtime.
The last nursing session Maggie seemed ready to let go of but a part of me wasn't ready. The truth is I cherish these times of closeness with my baby. Plus not having to get out of bed to go make her morning sippy cup was just more convenient!! So I held off for a couple of weeks, this last week I finally felt it was time. So I started the routine of getting her a morning sippy cup and we have both adjusted well. Maggie didn't even notice which I am both proud of and a little sad about.
On the second morning of not nursing, I was a bit engorged so I chose to let Maggie nurse a little off each side but didn't let her have a full session (just enough to get rid of some of the pressure and soreness). She handled that fine and didn't seem to care when I put them away sooner than usual; of course it had helped that I had already given her the morning sippy cup so she wasn't hungry to begin with. I ended up repeating this on the fourth morning (Friday) more for my comfort although I wasn't nearly as sore or engorged. Since Friday I haven't been sore or engorged so I think this slow reduction really helped my supply adjust and it made the weaning process much less painful than if I had just stopped one day.
I have to say I am very proud of myself for going over a year nursing!! I am also proud of myself for being able to wean Maggie without causing her distress.
You know there is a lot of different opinions (as well as societal pressures) about when a baby should be weaned and I don't know if there is a specific right time. For Maggie and I, I wanted to be done nursing before she turned 2 and I wanted to make sure that Maggie was at a point where she was ready. For us that age was 16 months. This is just another testament that each baby is unique and will make reach that milestone at their right time for them not so much when society feels the right time is.