unicorn paxplaydate cate 15 months rainbow houndstooth poppins breastfeeding

I chose to push off the inevitable heartbreak and enjoy my baby’s breastfeeding relationship with no strings attached; morning, noon, or night, #babycate’s milk was available to her 24/7 which was a very enjoyable situation for both of us. Now at 2 years old, my sleep deprivation is catching up to me, she is irritable if I ask her to just cuddle me at night without a nipple in her mouth, and oh… my poor stretched saggy nipples deserve a break for at least a few hours a night to recharge and recover! Armed with the advice of an entire colony of mothers who have gone before me, and Dr. Jay Gordon’s blog post on night weaning committed practically to memory, I write on my calendar “NIGHT WEANING” and mark off an entire week during which I have prepared my family that both the baby & I will be emotional, exhausted, and potentially unable to do anything other breastfeed every moment of the day to make up for our rough night times! Sunday night comes, and off we go….

First up, I “front loaded” the information that #babycate would not be nursing at night, and we read the book, Sally Weans from Night Nursing, early in the day. I made sure that she ate her favorite foods at dinner to fill her up, and my older kids played with her extra exuberantly to tire her out. Bedtime rolls around, big sister Lucy helps me with her usual routine : potty, pajamas, 2 books, final breastfeeding and toothbrushing. My sweet baby goes to sleep easily with her sister breathing gently into her hair, and I take a shower and prepare for the emotional rollercoaster and guiltfest I know is coming around the bend.

2 short hours later, the familiar wail begins and I go in to comfort her. While I am confident that #babycate is completely able to comprehend the meaning of my words, “milkies when the sun comes back up!” and “no milkies right now while it’s still dark out,” her despondent stare at my treacherous chest is too much to bear. I know that her sobs right now are out of frustration, anger and sadness that I am not meeting her previously scheduled needs but it’s important that I remember that she is not hungry, just grumpy! For 24 months her favorite snack has nourished her little body, nursed her back to health after a cold, and soothed her when teething. Her milkies have dried her tears, comforted her to sleep, and distracted her when scared! This baby has never had the chance to attach to a lovey or figured out how to self soothe since I have always been readily available to her, but tonight is a game changer. #babycate is a smart cookie and figures that if she cries enough, her mama will give in to her desires; we can nurse and go back to sleep like old times. Sadly, Saturday night was her last nurse-on-demand, all you can eat milk buffet, and tonight, after 43 minutes of countless rounds of her favorite song, and many tears from both of us, #babycate is asleep in my ring sling, giving soft little sighs and shudders every so often; I’m feeling spent and devastated.

Her next wake up, I fear, will be even worse than this, but hopefully the full day of snuggles I can give her in the morning will make it up to her! According to Dr Gordon, she’s going to have a rough week, but with consistency and a strength I need to pull from knowing each of you are rooting for our continued breastfeeding success, we will night wean with flying colors and go on to enjoy bed sharing and day time nursing for many months to come!
Wish us luck!
*happy babywearing*
*happy babywearing*

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